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Old 01-27-2013, 09:51 AM   #1 
thp0822
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Tank Troubles-milky looking

Hello,

I have had a 6.6 gallon Fluval Chi for about two months now. The last month my tank has has been cloudy, kinda looks like some milk was dumped in the tank.

I have tested the water, everything comes back normal. I am totally lost, not sure how to fix it because I don't know what the problem is.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:55 AM   #2 
MattsBettas
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It's a bacterial bloom (new tank syndrome). Do a 50% water change and add cycle or even better sea hem stability.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:57 AM   #3 
thp0822
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What is cycle? When I started the tank and allowed it to cycle before adding the fish I added some stuff (sorry can't remember what it's called) but it was to start the bacterial process...is that what you mean?
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:34 PM   #4 
thp0822
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I did a 50% water change and added cycle....now it's a little cloudier than before. I am confused!!!! When I set the tank up I let it run for five days before adding my Betta. The Betta is the only fish in the tank, I have a heater and I was cleaning it weekly....I was told cleaning it that much is what may have caused the milky color so I purchased some "good bacteria" and added it without a water change two weeks ago. Things got better for a day or two then it got cloudy again. I must be doing something wrong!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:41 PM   #5 
Kithy
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What's in your tank? When I put in a coffee mug that I thought was clean it ended up leeching a milky color to the water.

Also if you didn't rinse any gravel you bought in hot water for awhile that can attribute to the cloudiness.

Do you have a filter? You let it cycle before adding fish?

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838 This should help clarifying cycling. It's a very important process.

Sometimes when you add fish into an already cycled tank it puts it into a mini cycle. Cycling, in short, is the process of growing beneficial bateria. If your bioload increased you will likely see an increase in BB and thus a "mini cycle".

I think that's the basics of it anyway. I'm sure someone more advanced will come along and assist. In the meantime I suggest reading through a few of the stickies.

I'm not sure if anyone is going to need most of this information but try filling out as much as you can. Every little bit of information (including pictures) is going to help diagnose what's going on.

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #6 
thp0822
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OK so thank you for your help I really appreciate it! I will try to answer as best as I can:

I have a 6.6 gallon Fluval Chi, it does have a filter, it is heated to 76 degrees, there are no tank mates just one male betta. I used Carribean Sea sand and it was rinsed, we have rocks and two plastic bamboo and a plastic pagoda. I did a fishless with food cycle for five days before adding my Betta. Things were good and clear for the first month (I added the fish in November), then it had some murkiness I checked the levels of everything and it was fine. At this time I was using spring water. About four weeks ago it started getting this milky look, I switched to tap water and used conditioner, things got better for a short while then got milky looking again.

I just tested the tank last week but I don't have the parameters, everything was well within the normal range.

I feed the betta Omega one betta buffet pellets, 2-3 pellets a day.

The fish seems to be fine, I am not sure how old he is we have had him since November. I haven't treated the fish for anything.

The quick rundown is this:

I bought the fish from a fish only store, they told me he could live in a little tiny bowl...I felt bad and bought the Chi after researching for a while. I started the tank, let it cycle then added the fish. The water was fine looking for about a month then it started to look dirty at the time I think I might have been over feeding the fish so I cut it back, cleaned the tank about 50% then realized that the booklet that came with the tank said I should clean it weekly at 25% so I started doing that. A few weeks later the milky look started, I tried to clean it to about 75%, it was fine right after that but then it started again. Like an idiot I cleaned it out almost completely (bad move I now realize), I went to the pet store they told me I got rid of the good bacteria, sold me some water conditioner, I went home and added it, the water looked better for about a week then started to get the cloudy look again. Today I took the advice above, did a 50% water change and added clarifier. It now looks worse however I believe it's actually clearing up. I will try to post a picture!
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #7 
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How well are you vacuuming? When my water clouded after the tank had been running for a few months I did better vacuuming & it cleared up after a couple of weeks. Weekly 50% water changes are, IMO, the best way to maintain a tank.

Also, stability & other bacterial boosters will cause cloudy water with a bacterial bloom, which is why your water got worse.

Last edited by shellieca; 01-27-2013 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:57 PM   #8 
thp0822
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Well I am not sure! When I "over cleaned" it a few weeks ago I took all the ornaments out and really moved the sand around and vacuumed it well or so I thought. How exactly is the best way, like should I be sucking alot of it up into the vacuum hose and then returning it back down?
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:03 PM   #9 
shellieca
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No you don't need to suck up the sand, just swirl the water a little bit which will stir up debris & you can vac it out. I have gravel & wasn't getting down deep well enough but you shouldn't have that problem. Have you rinse your filter media in used tanks water lately? Changed it out? When you test your water are you using strips or a liquid test kit? Strips aren't accurate, I'd get a liquid test kit & check your water parameters. It is possible you're going through a new cycle from the cleaning you had done.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:03 PM   #10 
Kithy
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Cycling can take up to two months or more. The bacteria you buy in "live sand" is enough to give it a boost but you still need to cycle. The pet stores don't always care about the animals they are selling :<

Keep doing 50% changes every two days. It sounds like you're cycling and it probably is a bacteria bloom which is usually the last step before a finished cycle. The best thing you can do, if you can afford it, is to buy the API master test kit for freshwater. It's less than $40 and gives you like 800? tests or something like that. If you are close to a Petco/Petsmart they will test your water for free if you bring in a sample.

We all make mistakes especially since you would think pet store employees would know what is best and know everything but unfortunately they don't. What's great is you came here to find what you need ^_^ I'm sure you can imagine how many poor fish die from improper education. I can't really fault an owner for anything like that, they trust the people selling them the fish. It isn't their fault. But you've taken the first step and found a place with great information. Keep in mind when you're here that everyone has their own opinions and experiences on what works best and you'll need to develop your own as well. But generally most of the information here is great. Don't take it to heart if someone accidently hurts your feelings. A lot of owners are here for the fish, not you. So if they are blunt (sometimes even rude) don't take it to heart. They just care a lot about your fish. Personal attacks are not okay but I don't think you'll see any here.

I would bump your temp up to 78 if you can but 76 is better than fluctuating temps. 76 is on the low end on what's good for a betta so you're fine if you don't have an adjustable heater right now. I keep mine around 78-80.

What conditioner do you use? I used API stress coat plus for a long time before I kept seeing Seachem brand Prime conditioner. I REALLY love it because it detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for 24 hrs. There are some days where my ammonia is high but I can't change the water so this is a Godsend. Also it throws the hubby off because of the smell and that amuses me. It's all pretty much the same really as long as it removes chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals.

You have a filter which is great. A filter is pretty much required for a cycled tank. Most of your BB are going to be inside your filter, not so much on your gravel/decor/sides. Make sure your fish's fins can't get stuck in the intake and that the outflow isn't too strong. It should break the surface to aerate but it shouldn't throw him into the side or anything like that. Baffling is a pain(it was for me but not all are!!) but a must have. Some people use filter sponges but I use water bottles. With your media, you don't really need to change it unless it's literally falling apart. Once your cycle is established take your media out and "swish" it in old tank water (the water you have siphoned off in a bucket or something).

I believe most keepers say that tap water is best because it has the nutrients our fish needs. I use tap and add my conditioner and wait like a minute and go ahead and add it in. Once you're cycled you can look into getting a couple of live plants. I love amazon swords because they seem to hold up well against my goldfish so I think it would do great with a betta. Don't do bamboo, it's not fully aquatic :3 Just wanted to mention that. Let's see, what else..

I think that's about all. It sounds like you're on the right track which is good. I'm 90% positive your cloudy water is an algae bloom. As long as your fish is doing fine just keep up with your water changes until you're cycled :)
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