View Full Version : Water getting cloudy..fish dying

01-03-2011, 06:08 PM
i have a 180 gal (US) tank.. its got one under gravel and one power filter.. the water turns yellow after few days of refilling.
but nowadays a new problem has started... its cold where i live so the room temp drops to 10 degree Celsius.. and now the water is turning cloudy.... and 2 if my fish have died one was gold fish and a silver shark... had them both for the past 3 years... and now one gold fish is just drifting and swimming with its belly on the top....

rest of the fish are also very slow...
i added methylene blue anti chlorine drops and anti fungal drops... but its not helping at all.....
plz guide me as what to do with the water and the dying fish..

Plant Man
01-03-2011, 07:17 PM
What power filter are you running?

How much water do you change per week?

Why do you not have a heater?

Michael Milligan
01-03-2011, 07:19 PM
Any chance that your fish started to die after you medicated for diseases you don't seem to have?

Yellow water and cloudy water are both results of high nutrient levels.

Depending on how long you have had that under gravel filter running, it might be clogged and or full of waist and is converting all that into nutrients that are yellowing the water. Fogginess had been in my experience the the result of over feeding.

So, looks like you have some maintenance work to do. First step would be to either clean or replace the UGfilter with something else. Secondly I would really suggest cutting back on the food that is going into the tank.
More and bigger water changes.

Lastly, fish meds are not like taking an asprin. They are stressful and should only be used when needed.

Wild Turkey
01-03-2011, 07:47 PM
-How long has the tank been setup and what method did you use to cycle?

-Parameters? (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate)

-Are you using dechlor after each water change?

If not that can cause cycling problems after a re-fill. Otherwise though, you dont need to waste any of that.

If you can check your ammonia and nitrite, start there. Thats really where you should start if you see any odd behavior or happenings at all.

99 times out of 100 cloudy water is indicative of a nitrogen cycle issue, which includes over feeding and as Mike suggested UGFs can make an over feeding problem a lot worse. Dying fish will also make this problem worse so you'll want to remove them immediately.

You definitely need heaters. Two 300 watt heaters should do alright for that tank.

Mike is spot on about the meds, if you arent sure whats wrong with the fish you dont want to medicate them as it stresses them out and often many dont survive. I would waterchange it out immediately.

If you dont have an ammonia test kit, look at the fishes gills, if they are red that's a sign of ammonia burn. The test kits are really important for gaining insight into whats going on in the aquarium chemically though, and you can get all the basic ones together for about 20 dollars.

Yet another small contributing problem may be that you are under filtered? The biggest HOBs I know of you would need 3 or 4 of for that tank to be properly filtered, and UGF systems are just not very good in the traditional sense. If you can afford them, canister filters would be best for that tank imo but theres nothing wrong with a combination if you like HOBs. Unfortunately, canisters are pretty expensive.

Lady Hobbs
01-04-2011, 12:07 AM
I so agree. That's a big tank and you could easily use two canister filters on that tank.

Why are you medicating? Medicine depletes oxygen and since you don't have enough filtration your fish could have also died from lack of oxygen. But adding methylene blue and fungal meds because your tank is cloudly makes no sense to me unless your fish had Ick or fungus.

If so, the meds could have killed your bacteria.

You also had cold water and warm water fish together.

Michael Milligan
01-04-2011, 06:12 AM
You also had cold water and warm water fish together.

The solution is to get another tank... or 7! :) That's how it starts.

01-04-2011, 08:12 AM
thank u all for ur suggestions.... i'll get a 300 watt water heater.. and change half of the water.. clean the gravel..
i have 2 sponge filters capable of filtering 600 liters per hour and one 600 lit/hr power head connected to the under gravel filter..
i live in Asia so we dunt have ammonia or nitrate testing kits over here...
and not much med are available...
i'll do the changes and get back to u ...
canister filters are not available over here.... we only get under gravel or sponge filters...

Michael Milligan
01-04-2011, 08:41 PM
Asia is a big place, I'm sure you can get all those things somewhere. But they can be costly, so if you can make your setup work, do. Under your gravel filter it might be full of fine particles so there isn't much flow.

Do you have a gravel vacuum? They are the best thing ever!

01-04-2011, 09:47 PM
yeah i had a gravel cleaner... will use it again to vacume the dirt in the gravel...
i have had the fishes in the same tank for the past 4 years and none died but suddenly over the past week or so the water turned cloudy (already had the water turning yellow problem but the fish was all ok) and the fish started to die :(

01-04-2011, 11:43 PM
With an undergravel filter, which I had been using for a long time until I took it out when I got my hob, you not only need to vacuum the gravel regularly, from time to time, you will need to clean underneath the filter plate. The only way you can access that is to tear the tank completely down so you can get to it.

With hobs and cannisters, you still have to vacuum the gravel regularly, but at least you can clean them without having to tear the tank apart, because all the media is on the outside of the tank in the filter housing for easy access.

You do need a test kit, and the best one I've found is the API Master Freshwater test kit. I'm sure you can find it somewhere, though it might take some looking. Don't you get aquarium catalogs where you are, like PetSolutions or Foster & Smith, or their equivalents? They would have that and most everything else you would need.

Not only do you need to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, you also need to test the pH to be sure it's suitable for your fish and stays constant (stable). The kit I mentioned above includes solutions for testing pH.

You might want to get a separate test kit to determine the hardness of your water. That, too, can affect fish if they normally aren't suited for the hardness or softness of the water they're in.

Do you have live plants in your tank? They will go a long way toward eating up ammonia, nitrate, etc.

You should invest in some Seachem's Stability, as well. When doing large water changes, putting some of that into the tank afterwards, or in the power filter after rinsing the media, can help re-establish some of the beneficial bacteria that might have been lost.

When you rinse your filter media, do you rinse it in existing aquarium water or in new water? It's best to use existing aquarium water or else always dechlorinate when using new water.

You do need more filtration, and a heater. Are you having unusually cold weather where you are?

Finally, if you've had this tank for 4 years without any problems until recently, you need to figure out what has recently occurred that is different than before. I would bet that underneath your UGF filter plate, there has built up such a huge quantity of gunk that your filter(s) can no longer handle it. Maybe it's time to thoroughly clean beneath it, or get rid of it altogether and invest in more and better power filtration.

And I agree with the others about not using medications unless you're absolutely sure you need them, and then only temporarily. If you can, try to set up a separate hospital tank and get it fully cycled. You can then isolate fish you suspect are ill and just medicate them without affecting your main tank.

Large water changes and activated carbon in your hob should get rid of the medications that you've put in there. Then change your carbon afterwards so it doesn't leech the medications back into the tank.

Finally, avoid overfeeding. Fish don't need as much food as often as we think they do.

Hope this helps.

-- mermaidwannabe