to Cure Cloudy Water
The Inside Scoop on keeping crystal clear water from Aqualand Pets Plus
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Single-celled algae growing in your water causes it to turn green.
While algae is actually good for your fishes, very few aquarists
want green water.
Light and fertilizer encourage algae.
Decrease both and you will probably not see green water.
Water changes and small amounts of salt encourage algae.
Fast-growing plants such as anacharis compete with algae for food
and will starve it.
In the past, algaecides killed algae (and other aquatic plants).
Algae Fix appears to do the job these days.
Brown Water. New driftwood leaches tannin and humic acids into your water. Soaking driftwood in bleach water will lessen those brown colors. Water changes remove them mechanically. Carbon adsorbs them. Change it often.
Brown Water. If you feed color foods, expect weird colored
water. When we put 1,100 white clouds in a 55 and feed them color
foods, the water tints up fast. 95% water changes get rid of
it. Avoid these massive changes unless you have plenty of aged water
Many of the colored gravels will also leach into the water.
If you have pink gravel and your water turns pink, don’t bother
calling Sherlock Holmes for a second opinion.
Carbon will remove these colors fast.
You will need to keep changing the carbon as long as your gravel leaches.
Many medications contain strong dyes (or ARE strong dyes) that will discolor your water
-- some ich cures will discolor your aquarium sealer.
After completing your course of treatment, remove the dye(s) with
Now we’re down to what most people mean by “cloudy water.”
This type of cloudy water comes from bacteria and infusoria growing
in your aquarium.
In basic terms,
this results from excess organic matter in your tank (more than
your filter can “digest”).
So let’s look into some of the reasons water turns grey.
Goldfish bowls and other non-filtered aquaria cloud up nearly
Water goes bad fast in aquaria without filters.
The smaller the container, the bigger the problem.
Small sponge filters work miracles in goldfish bowls.
Your new under gravel filter contains insufficient bacteria to
“digest” your fish wastes.
Change your water more often.
Add freeze-dried bacteria or liquid enzymes to clear it up.
We find the Bio-Spira works well at preventing
new tank syndrome. Add
the problem arises. Our
old-fashioned way to prevent or cure this problem:
Add a quart of “dirty water” siphoned from a functioning UG
New tank owners especially like to overfeed their fish.
When you go on vacation, your helpful neighbor will also overfeed
old kids can always be counted on to overfeed your fish.
Make sure you keep your fish food in a hard-to-reach place.
If two people feed the fish, your chances of overfeeding double.
Sick fishes always eat less.
Overfeeding only adds to their health problems -- and their cloudy
Poor quality fish food or the incorrect fish food falls to the
bottom and grows moldy.
Fish will not eat spoiled food.
Bacteria eat it and cloud
your water. Unrinsed thawed brine shrimp (or other
juicy “bug foods”) can leach blood into the water.
Only bacteria can eat this bug juice.
Snails overrun your tank because you overfeed your fish.
Snails and bacteria are the only critters that will eat that layer
of dead food on the bottom.
If you get tired of the snails and dispose of them, you can
your tank and cloud your water.
An unnoticed corpse in your tank can overload your filter system.
Get it out before you have a layer of belly floaters.
Ditto on dead plants and dead snails.
Look for a loose airline tube, unplugged air pump, or clogged
airstone. Check your filter cartridges.
Flocculants. After checking for and correcting the cause of your cloudy water, add one of the water additives designed to clear your water. These make small lumps clump together so your filter grabs them more efficiently. However, bacteria regrows again in a few days. You need to fix the cause.
Word. When all else fails, slap on another filter -- even those
little corner filters invented by Orville and Wilbur Wright’s
actually work wonders -- especially if you fill them with used gravel out
of an African cichlid tank. LA
A: Sounds like you have diatoms (a floating micro-algae). Water changes encourage its growth. Usually it's green or tan, but your symptoms sound like diatoms. Look for a product called AlgaeFix. If it clears up in two days you have diatoms (or used to). If it doesn't clear up, call me in the morning. LA
A: I doubt diatoms would decrease the pH. I'd think they absorb carbon dioxide and increase the pH. I don't think UG filters deteriorate. I've had several dozen for at last 35 years. In our area, lime clogs up airstones in six or eight weeks. I just take them off. The air tubes also eventually clog with lime where the bubbles come out. I use a piece of technical equipment to remove 5he lime (a paperclip). Sorry for the late reply. LA
A: I'll have to check into the Aqueon water changer, I've never used one. LA
A: Once in a while I get one right. LA
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