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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have a 4 gallon, heated, filtered, cycled & planted tank (not NPT, no substrate, just gravel) and accidentally overfed on Wednesday because I switched from ghost shrimp to red cherry shrimp and forgot the littler RCS wouldn't eat as much. Now the water is disgustingly cloudy.

I did a 75% water change this morning by siphon to get as much gunk out from the gravel as possible, but the water after settling for an hour is still clouded. Treated fresh water with Prime before adding to the tank. Question is, can I now rely on the filter (Penguin Mini with fresh media as of yesterday) to take care of this, or am I going to have to do another change? Should I do it today and keep going until the water is clear or should I let it settle for a few days and see where we're at?

Current water params:
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 5ppm
pH = 6.8
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, it's whitish-fogginess.
 

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Sounds like a bacteria bloom brought on by overfeeding and changing the filter. Your beneficial bacteria ( a lot of it ) lives in the filter and when you throw it away you lose some of your ability to consume ammonia. The fog is a rapid growth of bb to catch up with excess ammonia. Changing water won't make the fog go away, just give it a day or two to rebalance your system. IMO you should never change the filter for this reason. What I do is buy a media sponge in place of the cartridge that I never throw away, I just rinse it in changed tank water, not tap, to keep the bb alive. If you buy one to replace your cartridge, stuff it in your filter with your current cartridge for a week or two to grow bb on it then ditch the cartridge. Let your tank ride and it will clear itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, I see. What you say makes sense about the bb in the filter. Dumb me changed it. Argh. Oh well... you live, you learn. Everybody's still alive, so that's something. I'll let it ride for a while and see where we end up.

Thanks for the info!
 

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Everyone goes through it. I see the fog as a good sign that your tank can and has begun to recover. Feed lightly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Recovering is good. I like recovering.

See, my problem is I speak mammal. Specifically feline. So this whole speaking fish business is new to me. I had a bad translator for the first year I owned poor old Malachai and he lived in a 1.8 gallon with no heat or filtration or lighting or anything.

I'm trying now to make up for lost time by treating him as well as I can for the rest of his life, so I've been reading and researching and lurking and learning as much as I can, but it's a bit counter-intuitive at times. I really appreciate this forum and the folks on it who are really knowledgeable and helpful. :)

My goal is to learn enough with Malachai to be able to take care of a 55 gallon community tank at some point. If I can take good care of him, maybe I'll be able to take good care of a community.

Onward and upward!
 
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