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  1. #1

    Default why is my water so cloudy!?

    0 Not allowed!
    so here i am setting up my 300L (79 US Gallon) tank, ive got pebble substrate which has been thoroughly washed, a sizeable heater for the tank size and a canister filter running at 1400L per hour. ive also added a driftwood plant. *NOTE; there are no fish in it at this stage!* all was going well until a couple of days ago when the water went really cloudy. it has previously gone cloudy a little bit before of which i used a commercially available agent called 'clarity' to clarify the water, this worked well. I then went ahead and put the plant in an it has slowly been getting worse. yesterday i cleaned out the filter which was really white water almost like milk and today i have conducted a 50% water change. ive also added a carbon sponge to the filter as i have read that this should help. and now im at a loss, im reluctant to use the water clarity agent as it initially makes the water very cloudy (which is a sign it is working). any ideas on what i can do?

    there doesnt seem to be any algae at all, the water is just really cloudy! hopefully the images shows up;

    cloudy water.jpg

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    need a little more information.
    how long have you been running the tank?
    are you fishless cycling using ammonia?
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    the tank was purchased on the 26/9/13 and thoroughly cleaned, it has been 'operational' for approximately 10 days.
    i havent started cycling at the moment, however am looking at starting a fishless cycle shortly.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    what did you use to clean the tank/equipment?

    Sometimes cloudy water can represent a bacterial boom during a cycle, but this appears very cloudy. The clarity is probably a flocculant, meaning it causes particulate matter to clump together in order to be filtered out. This would explain why the water in the filter is even cloudier. Have you been doing any testing of your water chemistry? What can you tell us about your source water? Most municipal water supplies will post water quality info on their website.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    initially when i cleaned the tank when i bought it, i cleaned it with a small amount of disinfectant and lots of hot water and allowed it to dry in the sun before rinsing with cold water.

    when i most recently cleaned the filter, i purely emptied the milky water out of it and allowed it to refil from the aquarium water. i also took a bucket of the tank water (not so milky) and rinsed out the various sponges, although these weren't dirty at all.

    ive been doing water testing daily as im titrating the pH and water hardness at the moment.
    the water prior to the 50% water change came straight from the hose pipe (bad i know, but it was the only way to fill the thing without it taking forever, it was treated to remove chlorine and chloramine)

    the 50% water change i have just done (about an hour ago now) consisted of 50% demineralised water with added discus minerals (as i plan on keeping discus and require really soft water) and 50% tap water treated for chlorine and chloramine.

    ive just tested the water now and got the following readings;

    Temp 26.6
    pH 7.0
    Ammonia 0ppm
    Nitrite 0ppm
    Nitrate 0ppm
    GH 107ppm (6dGH)
    KH 161ppm (9dKH)

    would commencing a fishless cycle help bring this 'bloom' under control or make it worse?

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    It's probably not due to bacteria at this point as there is nothing for them to feed on (0ppm ammonia and nitrite). Tell us more about the disinfectant. I'm afraid that may be the cause. What are you using for substrate? Unwashed sand can have small particles that become suspended.

    I wouldn't start cycling until you know what is causing this, just because it could all be wasted effort on the chance that it would prevent you from stocking the tank.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    the disinfectant was 'pine-o-clean' available from the supermarket, i used about half a cap (5ml) for about 150L as i cleaned the tank at half capacity. the tank was perfect about 2 days ago which makes me think that the disinfectant isn't the problem.
    another thing i forgot to mention is the use of 'stability' which is 'a new tank stabilisation system for rapid and safe establishment of bio-filter' this has been added daily up until 3 days ago.

    this is an updated picture of the tank at the moment, which although still marginally cloudy, seems a bit better compared to the previous one. as you can see in the pictures you can make out more of the plant and the air pump line in the back corner and now actually see a bit of the back of the tank.

    (ive added the original so you can see both at the same time - hope this is ok)

    perhaps its just a waiting game, what would you suggest?

    cloudy water.jpgnot so cloudy tank.jpg

  8. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    Its hard for me to say for sure so I'll wait until someone with more experience can chime in. I'm still worried about the cleaner though...

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zerileous View Post
    What are you using for substrate? Unwashed sand can have small particles that become suspended.
    the substrate is small natural pebbles available at the local hardware store, these were thoroughly washed prior to placing in the tank.[/COLOR]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerileous View Post
    I wouldn't start cycling until you know what is causing this, just because it could all be wasted effort on the chance that it would prevent you from stocking the tank.
    thanks, ill stay away from the cycling for the moment until the water clarity regains itself.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for all your help! its just great to be able to talk to someone about it when things go pear shaped!

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