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Old 12-21-2010, 12:49 AM   #1 
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Cloudy tank... plz help

Hello All,

So I bought a Betta fish for my girlfriend a few months ago and everything was going fine with it. It lives in a Fluval Chi 5 gal tank. Things were going great with it. Until the winter hit and the water got to a relly cold 66 degrees so I bought a heater for it and its not anywhere b/w 76-78 at any given time. However soon after the heater the tank got really cloudy and I mean cloudy to the point where you couldn't see ANYTHING until the fish came right up the edge of the glass. I tried to correct it with daily water changes of like 10% and than a weekly 25-50% but honestly nothing had worked for it.

SO yesterday I took the tank down completely. Removed the substrate and everything. Added new substrate (sand) and took the beta plant that I had grown from a bud and chopped it down in a bit. It needed to be trimmed anyways it was getting out of control. Added my water conditioner to the water, my cycle to the water and a little bit of water clarifier. Also I cleaned the rocks and the fake plant and than added them back to the tank. Yesterday the tank looked great water very very clear. But this morning the water I can tell is a little cloudier given that I can see the rays from light shinning down into the tank. I added my second day of cycle to get the tank started today as well like I'm suppose to do but my real fear is that the tank is going to get super cloudy again and I'm going to be stuck in the same boat that I was before where it just gets out of control.

So the tank is continuing to be cloudy. It been about a week of me doing 50% WCs everyday. The tank looks a lot better right after I do the water changes (first thing in the morning) and than by the evening its getting pretty cloudy and today I didn't have time to do it in the morning and when I came home it was cloudy to the point where if I let it go another day it would have been cloudy to the point where I couldn't see the fish. I am using a Fluval Chi and I cleaned the filter out and everything. I am just at a loss as to why its gotten so bad and won't resolve a little at the most. Does anyone have a Fluval Chi or know if you can put some bio ball things in the water reservoir above the filter (I wouldn't see why not). I am really concerned that it is my heater tho. It all sort of snowballed when I put it in because the tank was 66 degrees and I was fearing for my fishes life.

ANy thoughts? help? suggestions? would be great.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:23 AM   #2 
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What are your water parameters?
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:51 AM   #3 
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Also, just my initial thought, it sounds like bacterial bloom, which is actually a good thing for cycling. I'd need the water parameters to be anything like sure, though.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:20 PM   #4 
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So the tank is a 5 gal with a top filter. It is only mechanical with the coarse black foam pad and a filter pad which from the looks of it is only a filter pad not a chemical at all. So I went out today and got some BIO-MAX for biological filtration and some carbon filtration. I put them above the others where the water circulates hopefully they will get used some how. I am going to call hagen and ask their tech support if its a viable option since I don't think mechanical alone is good enough. So for my tank paramaters. I checked the water on the 16th and 21st of this month so far. Here are the results
12/16 12/21
Nitrate 0 0
Nitrite 0 - 0.5 0 - 0.5
Hardness 200 200
Chloride 0 0
Alkalinity 120 120
pH 7.8-8.4 7.2

My big thing is that I set the tank up in October and everything was perfectly fine the tank was crystal clear from the get go and remained that way till early december when it got really cold and I added the heater and than a week later BOOM I got the BLOOM!!! sorry I had to :) So why take so long to get the bloom?

One question though I have. Every time I do the WCs which are daily at this point should I still be adding the cycle nutrient stuff. I only ask because it says I should when I do maintenance WCs. But this is like excessive maintenance that I am doing.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:21 PM   #5 
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Well that looks like poo
12/16 / 12/21
Nitrate 0 / 0
Nitrite 0 - 0.5 / 0 - 0.5
Hardness 200 / 200
Chloride 0 / 0
Alkalinity 120 / 120
pH 7.8-8.4 / 7.2
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:30 PM   #6 
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
I think you may be having a bacterial bloom now, and the reason it started once the heater was put in was because perhaps the water was too cold for any cycling to start up. It should clear up on its own, but water changes are good too. Unless your cycle stuff is SafeStart, it doesnt work and wont do a thing for your cycle :)
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:40 PM   #7 
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I figured this much that its bacterial bloom given my water parameters but I just don't get why its not even dying down a little? I am using Nutrafin cycle... I have used it in the past with other tanks and I have never had a bacterial bloom EVER. So that is why I am extremely perplexed by this one and its persistance. Roughly how many weeks of me doing 50% daily WCs am I going to be doing before I do a WC and its gone?
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:24 PM   #8 
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I don't know much about the bacterial bloom and water parameters and such, but the thing that hit me when I was reading was the sand. It might be having some wierd reaction to the new source of heat or such. If somebody more skilled comes along and agrees with me, I would suggest getting some gravel or something that isn't as loose and easily disturbed as sand. But, as I said, I'm no expert. If I were you, I would do more research online and check back here regularely, in the event that somebody more experienced than me comes by.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:50 AM   #9 
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Thats a good point but I had this cloudiness with my tank when i had blue gravel in there and the heater was off the rocks.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:39 AM   #10 
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Definitely sounds like a bacterial bloom... the heater probably kick-started the bacteria growth. Keep an eye on the water stats and change the water religiously. Test the ammonia and make sure it doesn't rise above .25 ppm. The Chi is a great tank and I'm sure the filtration system will handle things well once the bacteria have settled down.

And yep, the bottled bacteria cycle starters are hit-and-miss. Unless they have to be refrigerated, they don't contain actual bacteria (just the digestive enzyme that the bacteria use to break down Nitrogen). You're almost out of the woods though... hang in there!
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