cloudy water , bad filtration ?
Hi I am new to these forum and fairly new to the hobby
8 months ago I went to my LFS and bought a 190g aquarium
they chose to use an internal filter and a canister filter
when I was setting up everything I noticed that on the canister filter it said
'up to 185g' the internal filter only said '260gph', I am now having very cloudy water could it be due to poor filtration ? I told the fish store I wanted cichlids and then I left the rest to them so I ended up with 2 gibbiceps and some juvenile JD, firemouth and eartheater(Geophagus brasiliensis) cichlids
I have read that the gibbiceps cause a heavy bioload and having 2 probably doesn't help , one is 6,3" and the other is just 3-4" I have also read they grow quite large, the large one chases the other one around when they "bump" into each other and I imagine this is just gonna get worse when they grow really big.
Oh and for the cycling they gave me some startsmart or something and the 2 gibbiceps then they told me too come back when the tank was cycled and I would get the cichilds.
I did a 70% water change and then the water cleared up but as the days went by the cloudiness came back. then I did a 30% water change 2 days ago and same result
I have a jbl test kit and these are the readings I got
could it be algae bloom ? or bacterial bloom ?
Any help would be greatly appreciated
The LFS (local fish store) sounds good since they told you to cycle the filter before adding a lot of fish; not good that they didn't explain what the full process entailed. Your water parameter numbers mean little unless you provide parts per million (ppm) units. Since it has been eight months and you have some fish in the tank (and they are still alive!) than there is no way your filters aren't cycled.
A 70% water change (WC) in a 190 gal is impressive, as is a 30% WC. That is a lot of water! If the cloudiness cleared with large water changes, there is little doubt that your filters are not handling the bio-load. You need to add another and larger canister filter (with all trays filled with ceramic chips/bio-noodles) to increase the bio-filtering as quickly as possible. Of course, this can take time (two or more weeks) for the filter to cycle (lots of water changes during that time if you keep the fish!)
Consider building an algae scrubber (separate tank system with a slump pump) because this will fully 'cycle' (i.e. grow all the algae required in the system) within a week and will eliminate all ammonia/nitrites/nitrates and phosphates.
Right now you need to keep the ammonia in the water below 0.25 ppm and nitrites below 0.1 ppm (or 0,25 ppm and 0,1 ppm.) Your posted values, if in ppm, are not possible (way too low) for any test kit I'm aware of to measure/display and such low values would never produce cloudy water. Hence, I am thinking those values are more like 0,5 ppm ammonia or even higher (guessing here.)
Your pH is excellent as are your WC’s (large.)
As for the makeup of the cloudy water, most likely algae since the picture you provided (good idea!) shows green water but bacteria is also likely to be growing - this would indicate an un-cycled tank or not enough filter (I would think your case.)
Best if you try adding something to neutralize the ammonia (into ammonium) until your are certain of the water parameters (what are the parameters for your tap water?) Could add a zeolite to the filter to absorb ammonia but that is a short-term fix only.
I assume the fish you are talking about is a Steatocranus gibbiceps in which case it will only reach 10 cm which is small for a 190 gal. I know zero else about them so they may not be social - if actting anti-social and since you are having tank issues, return them to the LFS. To continue cycling, feed the bacteria using pure ammonia (obtain at the local hardware store) and then you will not need to do water changes at all (no fish to harm!)
Last edited by Cermet; 10-23-2012 at 12:02 PM.
Thank you for the quick reply
Other names for the gibbiceps are , sailfin pleco , gibbiceps pleco, leopard pleco.
I will upgrade the canister filter to either eheim or fluval (I don't have room for a sump)even if the water doesn't clear up I'm sure the fish will apriciate better filtration , I think the values are in ppm I'll double check when I get home from work. I don't recall my tap water parameters but will check when I come home.
Thank you for your help
what liquid test kit are you using?
If memory serves, that can get to be a very large fish. Your measurements must be off a decimal to make sense. In which case they are a bit high but not terrible - are you overfeeding? Have you cleaned the strubstrate well?
Originally Posted by nilo
How in love are you with the gibbiceps? If not much, see if you can trade it in for store credit. The Brasilensis will do a good enough job of eating excess food.
Do you have sand in the tank for the eartheaters?
I use a jbl test kit , will double check the values when I get home from work .
They grow large indeed aparrently upto 20".
I could get rid of one of them maybe both .but they do a good job cleaning the glass . I have a fine gravel substrate 0,8-1,2mm they said the brasilianes was the only earth eater which could have fine gravel instead of sand.
I don't think I overfeed the food is literally gone in seconds its like a feeding frenzy when I feed them , but I am abit worried about the earth eaters as they don't come up to the surface when I feed the others but they eat the frozen food which sinks , any tips on what to feed the eartheaters.
Thank you for all your input it is greatly appriciated :)
The values are mg/l, and the decimals are correct, I took a picture to confirm Im not misreading it , sorry about the bad picture quality.
Eartheaters chew the sandy substrate to forage for food, they are not surface feeders and don't typically occupy that area of the aquarium.
Cloudy water can be caused by incomplete or insufficient cycling.
If it continues after cycling is complete try some of the follwoing.
Increase surface agitation and therefore oxygen in the water.
Water polishing media in canister.
Ultraviolet filtration to zap the microblighters.
Last edited by MuckyFish; 10-23-2012 at 11:10 PM.
Unusually I have nothing more to add...
Yes but I noticed the firemouths do the same thing and was just concerned, but thanks.
I have a powerhead in addition to the two filters ,
I have tried filter floss with no luck
there is a uv thing on the interal filter but how effective this is I dont know , the low flowrate of the filter probaly doesnt help.
thank you for your help
Last edited by nilo; 10-23-2012 at 11:22 PM.