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Old 02-08-2010, 11:43 AM   #1 
GingerSnapped
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HELP!! cloudy water mystery...

figured I'd try here since everyone else I ask is completely mystified...
I've had this betta for over a year and a half (he is not my first but I've never had this problem before)

he has lived in the same 1 gallon bowl as long as I've had him and was FINE for the first 18 months or so - then his water started getting cloudy (white NOT green)

first of all - if anything I am under feeding him (if I fed him like the food container suggests, well I'd KNOW why his water is cloudy hehehe) so it's not that... but if there is any question, he will be cloudy right after a COMPLETE water change when there is no food whatsoever in his bowl

I use spring water as I don't trust my well water (it's not good enough for me, it's not good enough for my pets!!) - I've been using the same brand of spring water as long as I've had him

he had the same gravel and (fake) plants in there for months before this started...

when this started I did a total water change minus cleaning the gravel as I didn't want to make to drastic a change at first... when I put the new water in it was cloudy from the get-go - which I figured MIGHT be from the 'stuff' in the gravel needing a chance to settle... but it never cleared up

I tried changing his water a few times over the course of a couple months - rinsing the gravel, not rinsing the gravel etc. - no change

about a week after one of the last water changes I took a water sample to the local pet store to have it checked out and it came back totally fine (which they were VERY surprised about)

they were clueless so they gave me TetraAqua water clarifier - which I did once but have been kinda afraid to continue with as the bottle doesn't say how often is safe... one dose did NOTHING

so when that didn't help I did the whole shebang... put in all new gravel (as the guy at the pet store suggested MAYBE the paint was coming off the old gravel... I didn't know that stuff had paint on it :/ ) - I now have clean river rocks (nothing artificial!) rinsed the plants well and did all new water

and I THOUGHT I had the problem licked... it was bright and clear and beautiful for the first time in months... for about 2 days - then BAM it started getting cloudy again

the fish doesn't seem ill... he's always been a little uh... lazy - he doesn't swim about much and many times people have suggested to me that he might be dead because he likes to just hang out at the surface, completely still - he's always been that way this is NOT new since the cloudy water issue started...

anyway... does anyone have any clue what might be going on or what I can do?

thanks =)
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:10 PM   #2 
kelly528
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It sounds like you are having ammonia problems. When ammonia is extremely high it clouds the water. Ammonia is produced by fish waste and exhaled by them. You may recognize ammonia as the main ingredient in industrial cleaners and yes, it will kill your fish. Furthermore, 1/2g is not actually suitable for a betta to live in. For starters, a small volume of water amplifies the concentration of ammonia and othe toxic chemicals. Also, it is impossible to heat a 1/2g bowl without cooking the water (all commerically available heaters are rated for 1g at minimum). You may have purchased such small quarters for your fish under the impression that wild bettas are happy in sub-par conditions but this is not true. Here is a good mythbuster you should read.

I suggest you pick up at least a 3g tank and a heater. That should solve your ammonia problem.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:16 PM   #3 
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Well first off, you tank is too small for your betta. He will need to be in a 2.5 gallon or bigger. He seems lazy because of the water temperature I bet. It needs to be around 76-82 degrees F (I prefer 77). Also, you said you changed the water a few times in a couple months? You will need to change it a few times a WEEK in that small of a tank... What type of food are you feeding him? Underfeeding isn't always good...

About the water cloudiness, did you put any new decorations in right before you noticed the water getting cloudy? I had a few pots in my tank, and it made the water cloudy, so I took them out, and no more cloudiness!
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:20 PM   #4 
GingerSnapped
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no no the bowl is not a gallon... it is one and a half gallons - actually closer to 2 gallons - when all is said and done (after gravel and plants) he is swimming around in more than a gallon of water

I've had several bettas - in fact I currently have another one (who I've had for over 3 years) in another slightly smaller bowl that I have never had any problems like this with...

anyway - it is not an ammonia problem... the water has been tested for that and come up fine - PLUS it will be cloudy after a complete water change when there is no way too much ammonia could possibly be in there

hmmm
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:22 PM   #5 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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Hmm do you use water conditioner? Some water conditioners will make the water cloudy.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:26 PM   #6 
Noko
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You will need a bigger aquarium for your bettas to thrive. Just because they seem okay, doesn't mean they are okay. You said your betta was lethargic. I am 99% sure this is because he isn't in the right conditions. You need a heater for your bettas. They like warm water.

How long does it take for the water to get cloudy after you do a water change?
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:27 PM   #7 
GingerSnapped
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noko - I have another betta in the same room (in a slightly smaller tank/bowl) who behaves totally normal (active, creates bubble nests etc.) and doesn't seem to have any problems at all... he's been going strong for over 3 years!!

this fish though - the one with the cloudy water - has been lazy since day one - I think it's just his personality

but to answer your questions - no I didn't change a thing about his water/bowl/food/anything before the cloudiness started

and I feed him the exact same thing I feed my other one - nutrafin max betta food and aqua select freeze dried blood worms...
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:35 PM   #8 
GingerSnapped
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since I use spring water I do not use conditioners

and since this started before I changed the gravel it would remain cloudy even after I changed the water - I thought this was because those times I just changed the water but did not clean the gravel - I thought it would take time for that to settle as it had in the past (I don't rinse the gravel with every single water change)

but this last time I totally changed out the old gravel and replaced it with clean river rocks... and it was clear for the first time in months - then it started getting cloudy again after about 2 days =(

I wouldn't even know where to get a 2.5 gallon aquarium - I've never seen one in my life and I've had many bettas and 20+ gallon fresh water setups

I've never had a problem with any of my fish - until now =(
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:44 PM   #9 
GingerSnapped
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for as long as I've had bettas (several years) I've kept them in 1-2 gallon bowls, with minimal gravel and a plant or two
once a week I scoop out about 2/3 of the old water and replace it with new (spring) water

every couple months I tear the whole thing apart, rinse the gravel and plants and start fresh - I have always done it this way and never had a problem...

and this problem is only with the one bowl... like I said I have two and the other is clear and the fish is active and healthy looking... and I assume happy since he spends much time making bubbles
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:00 PM   #10 
kelly528
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I would try going with a more consistent cleaning schedule, say 100% twice a week, rinsing the substrate when you do so. That way there is no ammonia or rotting detritus left behind. The problem with doing paritial water changes in an uncycled tank is that you leave a fraction of the ammonia behind each time and over the course of a few weeks or even months it will build up to harmful levels.

Installing a heater will boost your bettas metabolism, allowign him to digest more food and expend it as energy rather than waste.

Another idea... are you sure it isn't the acrylic that's cloudy? I am assuming you have the Tetra Water wonders 1.5g?

Aqueon sells a 2.5g tank kit called the Mini-Bow and you can also purchase 2.5g bare tanks as a standard size. Eclipse, Aqueon, Tetra and Penn Plax manufacture a number of kits 6g or under of various shapes.

Last edited by kelly528; 02-08-2010 at 01:08 PM.
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