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Cloudy/Milky Water

605 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RussellTheShihTzu
Hey all, I am new fish parent and am having a few problems. Quick backstory, I moved my male blue veitail from a 3 gallon tank to a 15 gallon tank on Friday May 23rd. I had intitially set up the 15 gallon tank on Saturday the 17th with no fish. It gradually got cloudy after the 17th but within a few days it was crystal clear again. My fiance moved his 2 female bettas and 4 cory cats into the tank on Wednesday to filter his tank. When I brought my boy home on the 23rd I did a 2 gallon water change and added my male, a mystery snail(his tank mate when he was in the 3 gallon) and 5 cory cats.

It is now Wednesday and his water is very cloudy, almost milky. When I did the water change last Friday I boiled the water first, added Tetra's Betta Safe water treatment and I also use aquarium salt.

In the tank there are 6 plastic plants, 2 caves and a live moss ball. I have no idea what to do because when he was in his 3 gallon with his snail his water crystal clear.

This is the filter I have

I do use algae wafers for the cory cats and Aqueon Betta Food for my betta. Could it be the algae wafers?
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Most likely its just the "bacterial bloom" that is normal in new tanks. Its not a risk to the fish and is a sign that your tank has started the nitrogen cycle. Just monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels. Do water changes if it gets to dangerous levels.
Wait, do you have a male betta, 2 females, and 9 corys all in that one 15 gallon tank?
How often should I change the water and how much at a time if the levels are safe?

NO NOT ALL IN ONE TANK :) In my 15 gallon I have one male, 5 corys and a snail. The 2 female bettas and 4 corys are in a 10 (my fiance's tank)
Oh whew! You never know. People do some crazy things . . .

Once the tank is cycled and all levels stay safe, once a week 50% will do you just fine. That's what I do on my 20g tank.
I did readings for the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate last night. The pH was at about a 7.4 and all the others readings were high on the chart. I did a 2 gallon water change last night and dropped a pH corrector tablet in it also. Then this morning I noticed one of the algae wafers was spoiled on the bottom of the tank.

I'm planning on doing atleast a 50% water change, vaccum the gravel and cleaning all the decor.

While the tank is setting up it's cycle should I be changing the water more frequently and if so how much and how often?

Should I use chemicals that correct pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate or does the tank just need to tank its natural course? Should I use those chemicals ever?

I'm so concerned about the health of the fish and don't want to hurt them.
You should do a water change when any of the following conditions are met:

  • Ammonia reading reaches .25 ppm or higher - a higher reading should equal a larger water change.
  • Nitrite reading reaches .25 ppm or higher - a higher reading should equal a larger water change.
  • NitRATE reading reaches 30 ppm or higher (some people argue higher on this, which may be valid. This is just what I do).
  • OR it has been a week since your last water change.
In a new/cycling tank, you may need to do 2 or 3 water changes a week, but in a 15 gallon you may only have to do 1 or 2. Just keep an eye on those toxin levels and act accordingly.

I would not use any of the pH or ammonia/nitrite/nitrate correction products in the tank. They only mask the issues that can be taken care of with water chages. A pH of 7.4 is perfectly fine. The only exception to this is I do advocate the use of Prime water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, nitrates along with dechlorinating/dechloraminating/removing heavy metals.

For me personally, the only time I would take any steps to correct the pH in the tank is if it is below 6.7, above 8.0, or if you have extremely soft water that has a hard time keeping the pH constant.
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Well my readings aren't really changing a whole lot. I removed my betta into his old tank because I noticed some fin rot and I think it was because of the high levels since the water was only about a week old.

The filter I have is for a 20 gallon tank and I have a 15...should I upgrade my filter to one that is for a 30 gallon or higher?
I'm not very experienced at keeping bettas, but I do know that some of them don't like stronger current. If you put a filter that is rated for a 30 gallon, then the current may become too strong and you may not be able to baffle it enough. Like I said, I don't have a lot of experience with betta, but that is my opinion. I had the PF10 )a filter rated for tanks 5 to 10 gallons) in my 5 gallon, but the current was blowing all of the leaves to the silk plants a lot. I opted for a filter with a lower flow rate.
I am cycling a 10 gallon tank with a single CT betta.

First week I didn't have to do anything but as ammonia and nitrites started to spike, I've had to do as much as 3 50% water changes in 4 days.

How often are you checking the levels? I think you have added too many fish too soon and it's causing your water parameters to go all crazy.
A matter of semantics. :) Filters are not rated for specific tank sizes but "up to." What this means is an "up to 20 gallons" filter is not rated to adequately filter anything higher than a 20. If it has adjustable flow you could probably use the IF30. Or, you could run two IF20s.

Might want to give the tank a bit more time to clear up. As stayahead suggested it's most likely a bacterial bloom and has nothing to do with the filter.

I'd leave that pH alone, too. Messing with it can do more harm than good.
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