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Cloudy

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Offline Lellynelly

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Cloudy
« on: October 31, 2016, 06:51:33 PM »
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Argh.  200 L. Day 3 of fishless cycling - this is my 4th tank and never had this before - came home from work today and found this. Just tested. Nitrate 10, nitrite 0, GH 21, KH 20, PH 8.4, cl 0. I see the PH is a bit high but could it account for this cloudiness?

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 07:09:27 PM »
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It is a bacterial bloom, very common in newly set up tanks. Unfortunately, these are not the bacteria we want to grow. Bloom bacteria feed on organic substances in the tank, and new tanks have a lot of these - chemicals in the corner sealant, plasticiser in all the new plastic things etc. They live free floating in the water, unlike the filter bacteria, and they multiply very quickly; and we can see them as the cloudiness.
The good news is that once they have eaten all the available food, they die and the water clears. It's just a matter of waiting. They won't affect the progress of the cycle, they just make he tank look a bit odd.



Your pH goes hand in hand with your hardness - both are usually high together.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 02:55:52 PM »
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a week on and it's still no less cloudy. I did a 25% water change yesterday but it hasn't helped :(

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 03:04:31 PM »
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Sorry to hear that your bacterial bloom hasn't cleared up yet.
Sue has indicated that it is just a matter of time befor the problem resolves itself, and as the bacteria are in the water (rather than the filter) I would have though that water changes would have helped. I guess if a food source is still available then the bacteria will multiply after the water change, so you wont see an improvement in the cloudy tank.
I had this problem with my 50L temperate tank not long after I set that up. I had upgraded some of my temperate fish to the 50L tank,  and also moved the decor and filter from the previous tank. The fish were fine for a couple of weeks, then the tank suddenly became cloudy. I was worried about the fish, and did a lot of frequent water changes, but the fish didn't seem bothered. The cloudiness disappeared after a while, as suddenly as it appeared, and I've not had any problems since.
I know this doesn't help you right know, but I hope it gives some comfort that everything will be ok eventually.

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 04:24:00 PM »
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The problem is that bloom bacteria multiply very quickly, much faster than the filter bacteria. Water changes hardly make any impression on the cloudiness because the bacteria just keep on multiplying, almost as fast as you can do a water change.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 07:43:16 PM »
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now there is a kind of white 'cotton wool' algae resting on the substrate like an early morning fog

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 07:46:35 PM »
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That does sound a bit odd. Do you have any wood in the tank? They sometimes get a kind of fungus that looks like that.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 08:14:35 PM »
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@Lellynelly What I'm about to suggest isn't a real fix - I think that is just time that is needed, but it might help speed the clearing process. Try a flocculating additive like API Accu-clear. These cause particles (to be honest I not sure about bacteria) to collect and either fall out of the water column or be retained in the filter.
Do you have some water readings for Ammonia, Nitrite and pH and hardness? Somebody might spot something to explain what you are seeing.

Offline Matt

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 10:27:08 PM »
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Can you provide a photo LellyNelly?

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2016, 08:14:53 PM »
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Hi Matt. No For some reason my computer won't let me upload one. It says its too big and I have no idea how to shrink it. Not sure how I uploaded the first one at the beginning of this thread!

Offline Matt

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 10:01:39 PM »
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When you say cotton wool is it like strands/fibres or more like a 'mist'?

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2016, 06:53:27 AM »
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it's like cotton fibres. the water is now clear though. I am hoping to take a sample to the aquarist tomorrow and see if they can recommend something to add to get rid of it

Offline Matt

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2016, 07:34:53 AM »
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Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2016, 12:19:35 PM »
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Since you are fishless cycling you have a while yet before you get fish. Take a sample to the aquarist (shop?) by all means to see if it can be identified, but I would not add any chemicals. Two reason - it may have gone away by the time the tank is ready for fish and any chemical could interfere with the newly establishing bacteria colonies.
If it is still there when the cycle finishes, maybe add some chemical then, but wait before adding fish till the chemical has been removed, and to check that the bacteria are still OK.



Re Matt's suggestion of algae - do you have the tank lights on at all? There are no plants in the photo in an earlier post, so the lights should be off all the time to avoid algal growth.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2016, 10:18:57 PM »
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Sounds like it could be hair algae, see https://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/blog/2012/07/my-tank-has-hair-algae-how-do-i-get-rid-of-it.html
No, what I have on the bottom tank is white, with very fine strands. Looks like fog on the fields on a winters' morning

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2016, 10:54:57 PM »
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@Lellynelly As you describe it its starting to sound rather attractive... you could be on to aquascaping's next big thing :) and we are trying to kill it for you...... Oops.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2016, 06:51:26 AM »
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Can you syphon it off the substrate?

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2016, 08:35:58 PM »
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Can you syphon it off the substrate?
I did syphon it off but it came back.
I went to an aquarist today, took a water sample for testing and showed them a photo. After mush discussion between 3 staff members they decided it is fungus and harmless.
My plan is to syphon it up again, then I am going to add some water from one of my other aquaria to speed up the cycling.
They told me the water is fine, but the nitrates are on zero and shouldnt be. So after I've added some from another tank and syphed the fungus they said it should kick the cycle into completing so They expect it should be ready for fish in a week or two

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2016, 09:20:45 PM »
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Great news.  :)
Glad to hear that your tank should be ready in a week or so. That's very exciting.  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2016, 09:10:06 AM »
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Using water from the other tank won't do much as the bacteria we want are attached to surfaces not in the water. That's why we start with so very very few - that's all there is in our tap water.
But if you have another tank you can speed the cycle up by taking some media from the filter. This is much more effective than using water from the other tank. It is safe to remove up a third of the other tank's media, just swap a bit with the media in the new tank. You can use any type of media, and if it sponge just cut it up to make it fit.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2016, 07:25:41 PM »
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thanks Sue. I had a media swap at the weekend, and 'hoovered' up the fungus while I was at it..
My readings according to a simple test strip are as follows:
Nitrate 10, nitrite 0, GH 21, KH 20, PH 8.4, Cl 0.
these are the same readings I got 10 days ago.

Can I add plants and fish yet? My 2 angels, and 1 torpedo, are still stuck in a 50L tank and the sooner I get them out of there the better I would think.
Don't want to make them ill though

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2016, 07:37:58 PM »
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The nitrite is OK but without an ammonia reading it is impossible to say if the tank is ready yet.


I know test strips are not terribly accurate and members on here report that GH is one of the least accurate but the GH from your test strip at 21 is very high for angelfish.
Can I suggest you look for your water hardness on your water company's website - that will be more accurate than the strips.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2016, 07:43:05 PM »
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The nitrite is OK but without an ammonia reading it is impossible to say if the tank is ready yet.


I know test strips are not terribly accurate and members on here report that GH is one of the least accurate but the GH from your test strip at 21 is very high for angelfish.
Can I suggest you look for your water hardness on your water company's website - that will be more accurate than the strips.
I got the same when I took a sample to the aquarist at the weekend. This is Norfolk UK, the water is exceptionally hard here. the aquarist did point out that any fish I have bought locally would be used to hard water anyway so not to worry

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2016, 07:48:48 PM »
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Even tank bred fish might suffer if the water is too hard for them, so keep an eye out for any problems.


Have you been adding ammonia to cycle the tank? If so, how much have you been adding? And what is the ammonia reading now? It could be that you haven't grown enough ammonia eaters to make any nitrite yet, which is why nitrite is zero.
The tank will only be ready for fish when you add 3 ppm ammonia and have zero ammonia and zero nitrite 24 hours later.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2016, 07:53:00 PM »
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The nitrite is OK but without an ammonia reading it is impossible to say if the tank is ready yet.


I know test strips are not terribly accurate and members on here report that GH is one of the least accurate but the GH from your test strip at 21 is very high for angelfish.
Can I suggest you look for your water hardness on your water company's website - that will be more accurate than the strips.
I got the same when I took a sample to the aquarist at the weekend. This is Norfolk UK, the water is exceptionally hard here. the aquarist did point out that any fish I have bought locally would be used to hard water anyway so not to worry


Even tank bred fish might suffer if the water is too hard for them, so keep an eye out for any problems.


Have you been adding ammonia to cycle the tank? If so, how much have you been adding? And what is the ammonia reading now? It could be that you haven't grown enough ammonia eaters to make any nitrite yet, which is why nitrite is zero.
The tank will only be ready for fish when you add 3 ppm ammonia and have zero ammonia and zero nitrite 24 hours later.
I added a water conditioner and bio boost - which the aquarist said should be all I need. I added per instructions when setting up and when changing some water last week and when adding more after I lost some during my substrate clean. I have just put a strip in the angels current tank and it's showing nitrate at 250!!

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2016, 08:03:09 PM »
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That sounds like typical shop advice I'm afraid. And without a source of ammonia going into the tank, those bacteria that were alive in the bottle won't have anything to eat and so won't multiply. Too many shops say you should add a bottled bacteria product and put fish in the tank as the source of ammonia. Adding the ammonia from a bottle s much safer as that way you can see if there are enough bacteria without risking fish's health. And you need an ammonia tester as well.


That nitrate is high. A lot of experts now recommend keeping it below 20. Because it is so high it could be dangerous to do a big water change - when nitrate is high so are a lot of other things we can't measure, and these make the tank water very different from tap water so a large amount of tap water going in changes the tank water too much for fish to cope with.
The answer is daily 10% water changes till the nitrate comes down quite a bit, then increase to 20%. As the level in the tank gets nearer to the tap water nitrate, you can space the changes out more, but do bigger changes to keep nitrate low.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2016, 08:05:18 PM »
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I wondered whether the nitrates being so high in their current tank might make it adviseable to put them in the new one. - the lesser of 2 evils maybe?

Offline Sue

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2016, 08:14:16 PM »
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The problem is that in the old tank they need lots of water changes to keep the nitrate down. If you move them to the new tank, they have to cope with ammonia and then nitrite which means even more water changes. At least the old tank is cycled. Ammonia burns their gills making it hard for them to take in oxygen. Nitrite binds to their blood the same way carbon monoxide does to us. This means the blood can't carry enough oxygen and the fish effectively suffocates causing nerve damage.
Of the two scenarios, keeping them in the old tank and doing lots of water changes is safer for the fish until you know you have grown enough bacteria in the new one. The only way you can be sure of this is by adding 3 ppm ammonia and testing the tank for ammonia and nitrite 24 hours later.

The big problem is that it is impossible to make strips that test for ammonia together with everything else but you can buy ammonia strips. It is something to do with the length of time the strip has to be immersed for being different for ammonia than all the others.

Offline Lellynelly

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Re: Cloudy
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2016, 08:19:29 PM »
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Ok Sue Thank you. will do a water change now

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