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Old 10-09-2006, 08:20 AM   #1
Aroboy II
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Default Water Cloudiness

A lots of hobbyists encountered cloudy water in our aquarium tank at least once during the course of our hobby. Ever wonder what causes this cloudiness? How to prevent cloudy water and what counter measure to be taken to reduce or stop them? I would like to share some pointers here and hope in one way or the other to “reduce” some stress for hobbyists who are facing this cloudy water problem.

Causes of cloudy water
  • New gravels, sands or substrates added to the tank
  • Bacterial bloom
  • Over feeding
  • Washing/Changing of bio-medias
  • Addition of fishes
  • Overdose of commercial bacteria into the tank
  • During cycling
  • Medication in our tank
  • Power failure that cause our pump and filter to stop.

Prevention/counter measure:

New gravels, sand or substrates added to the tank:
Wash the new gravels, sands or substrates thoroughly before putting inside our tank. This will reduce the cloudiness. The tank should clear up in a day or two in this instance.

Bacterial bloom:
This indicates that there is a huge growth of bacteria and the tank is not in balance with the nutrients in the water. Waiting for the bloom to subside is the only solution and usually leads to clear water after that.

Over feeding:
Reduce feeding and immediately remove any uneaten food after feeding will help to reduce the cloudiness. Feeding good quality of food like pellets that does not cloud water is another good alternative.

Washing/Changing of bio-medias:
Using tank water to wash bio-medias will reduce the casualty rate of beneficial bacteria colonies already thriving in the media. Indirectly it will reduce cloudiness significantly. When changing bio-medias, always keep one third of the old media and mix with new ones. This will help the colonilization of bacteria faster. Do not change 100% of the bio-media, if not you will have to re-cultivate the beneficial bacteria all over again.

Addition of fishes:
Introduce new fishes to our established tank slowly and gradually. This will allows our biological filter to handle the additional bioload more effectively and efficiently. At this point, you may consider adding more bio-medias to “house” more BBs!

Overdose of commercial bacteria into the tank:
Reduce the dosage of commercial “bacteria” into the tank. A series of frequent but small amount of water changes with aged/treated water will helps to eliminates cloudiness.

During cycling:
Introducing zeolites to absorb ammonia as a temporary measure helps here. However, do remember to remove them as zeolite has the tendency to release back the ammonia once it reaches it's absorption limit.

Medication in our tank:
As medication kills or damaged beneficial bacteria in our biological filter,
Installing an UV-Sterlizer, using activated carbon and doing partial water change will help to clear up the water too.

Power failure that cause our pump and filter to stop:
Do a water change (about 20% to 30%) preferably with aged water and add some "commercial" bacterias to "counter" the ammonia and nitrite in our tank. The water should clear up within the next 48hours after a water change.
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