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Old 04-12-2011, 10:55 AM   #1 
Littlebittyfish
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Water quality issues..unclear water.

What could make my tank look so white cloudy with particles floating in the water?My tank has been up and running for 3 months now.

My tank is a 10 gallon..I have my one betta Cleo, 4 small peppered corys and an apple snail living in this tank as well as my 1 lonely ghost shrimp.. ( I plan on moving my apple snail into my other 10 gallon soon)It is decently planted..A bit of a messy planting arrangement at the moment from all the frequent vacuuming...but it is planted..
It has been cloudy for about 2 1/2 weeks now..I have upped my water changes to 50% twice a week with substrate vacuuming. Also it looks like a nasty "dust" settles on most of my plants by day 3 after vacuuming...Especially my cabomba furcata and my anubias...They look rather antiqued.
Could it be my sand?It doesn't really look like sand...Or am I going through a bacteria bloom of some sort? ooor is it possible to be some sort of algae? My tank is somewhat close to a window.( plan on moving it eventually..but I have to find someone to help me first.)
I have also had troubles with this particular filter...I have cleaned it several times with dechlorinated water... and it still has a pretty slow outflow..I don't even have to baffle it. Should I get a new filter maybe? I also haven't changed my carbon filter cartridge in a few months....Do you think it would help if I changed it?
The first day I noticed the cloud and particles I checked my ammonia and it was up at .50ppm! I felt like crying! never seen it that high before! I did a 50% water change right away and added a little extra Prime and it hasn't been that high since.
Which is making me believe it may be some sort of cycle I am going through...but...the water looks real nasty and I can see stuff floating around even after I do a 50% water change with vacuum.I plan on bringing a sample of my water to the fish store to get tested for the other stuff sometime this week...until then I will just keep up with water changes and hope for the best I suppose!
I feel like I clean this tank non stop and it still looks cloudy and dirty.
My fish is acting ok..He just made a huge bubble nest the other night and my corys are active and hungry as always..and my shrimp is convinced he is a cory cat..
What do you think I should do?
I have some photos to come...I just have to find my camera adapter thing...
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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First fill a glass with your source water and let it sit for a day- to rule out mineral deposits....

The cory cats may be kicking up the sand keeping it in the water column.....how many and what kind of plants.......I would stop with too much vacuuming and just do water only...very careful so not to disturb the sand bed when you refill and make sure the overflow on the filter is not hitting the floor-make sure either a plant or hard scape is placed under the flow-give the plants a little shake and/or a rub to get the particles off the leaves.....a pic would really help......
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:25 AM   #3 
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I know that my goldfish tank will often cloud after a water change. Same sort of thing, small particles floating around in the water until they settle out. I feel the same way, endless water changes, filter cleanings, and still the tank looks cloudy.

My tank is mostly bare botton, so it isn't sand.

Just wanted to let you know you are not the only one, and I am hoping for a solution too.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
First fill a glass with your source water and let it sit for a day- to rule out mineral deposits....

The cory cats may be kicking up the sand keeping it in the water column.....how many and what kind of plants.......I would stop with too much vacuuming and just do water only...very careful so not to disturb the sand bed when you refill and make sure the overflow on the filter is not hitting the floor-make sure either a plant or hard scape is placed under the flow-give the plants a little shake and/or a rub to get the particles off the leaves.....a pic would really help......
The glass idea is a good one. I may try that in a little bit.
The cory cats do go pretty crazy at night..They love to uproot my sword plants.
I am always very careful not to kick up too much sand while doing water changes..I use the container my fish came in to poor the water into that...That way only the surface/top part of the water is disturbed while I add new water.I have a few diffrent plants in my tank..wisteria, amazon sword..rose sword..some little swords i'm not sure what kind...ludwigia, java moss,anubias and cabomba. I have sweet grass rubberbanded infront of my filter outtake because I found out it wasnt fully submersible..it looks cool there I think..

Photos:







Close up
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:53 PM   #5 
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Your tank looks great...nice job.....

It looks like sand dust to me....I got that in one of my tanks when I had to top off with more sand and it took about a month or so to get it under control by just doing water only changes every couple of days and it settled down.....
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #6 
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Thanks, I really hope that is all it is! Do you think if I switched to a bigger grain of sand it wouldn't be so bad? The sand I use right now is a very fine sand. I plan on eventully changing my sand over into a brown colored sand.Maybe change 1/3 out a week.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:20 PM   #7 
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Yes, larger grain will help by giving the dust a place to settle......I had silts real bad in one of my tanks (55g) from using really fine grain sand from my stock pond and I had to use fine grain gravel to get it to settle out and had to keep wiping the glass to get if off the walls inside too...what a mess...lol.....
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:32 PM   #8 
Littlebittyfish
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Thankyou!
A mess indeed! I have put this sand in all 4 tanks. This one is the worst though...I believe the cory cats are stirring it all up. I will try slowly switching my sand over into a bigger grain and see if that helps.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #9 
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is that just a terra cotta pot with moss on it on the left? looks like a little arch, I like it
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:47 PM   #10 
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is that just a terra cotta pot with moss on it on the left? looks like a little arch, I like it

Yes! I was trying to break the bottom out of a terracotta pot with a little hammer..and I hit it a little too hard!so it fell apart... I though the top rim was pretty cool looking though so I sanded it down really well and attached some moss. My fish loves that little loop/tunnel..so do the cories.
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