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Discussion Starter #1
So guys, I have a 2.5gallon, not cycled tank for a month and a half now. I have a sponge filter Top Fin that should be up to 10gallon, but the water is always cloudy. I changed 50% of the water 2 days ago and now is already cloudy again. When I change the water a lot of particles go up from the bottom of the tank. The ammonia level is fine at the measure kit. Is the filter not enough or could the cloudy water have another reason? Is it too bad to my fish? I don't know how transparent is good enough.

Thanks.
 

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Is the water milky white looking or is it greenish?

Green would be an algae bloom. Do you have the lights on very long? Does your tank have direct sunlight? These could contribute to an algae bloom.

Do you do gravel vacs, and how often do you usually change the water and how much each time? How many inhabitants in the tank? How much are you feeding?

White milkiness could be a bacterial bloom. It is common in new tanks, and usually harmless. Although these bacteria can use up a lot of oxygen so you might need to increase the air-circulation to help the inhabitants of the tank.

While cloudiness can also be caused by tiny bubbles from the filter. You might need to look into if everything is connected properly.

I never used sponge filters myself, but just recently looked at the hook-up of one on youtube. There is this tube that sits at the sponge-filter part, this needs to be pulled slightly up to open the intake hole. Just mentioning it in case you might not have done so!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, the cloudiness is green. I am changing half of the water every three days but I just clean all the tank once a week, it is the only time the water gets transparent. I do not gravel the vacs, to be honest I don't really know the process of doing it. There is just one fish and I feed him 3 pellets in the morning and 3 pallets at night. My fish does not have lights in the tank yet because I'm still buying stuff, but the lights of my room are on more than 12 hours a day, but there is no direct sunlight .

My sponge filter is for submerge, so there is no tube in it.
 

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Could you post a link to the filter you have?

The accumulated fish waste and uneaten food in your substrate is probably to blame for your algae outbreak. All this bio-matter is food for algae. You could also place some live aquarium plants in your water to help absorb the nutrients.

Gravel vacs are very important, especially if you have substrate. The way they work is you have to place the vacuum part into the tank and start a siphon (you can find youtube videos to show you). To make it easier you can also get a squeeze siphon starter. You will need to get a gravel vac for small aquariums.

What you could do right now is take your fish out of the tank and remove the substrate to rinse it in dechlorinated water. You want to get most of the debris out of it. You want to use dechlorinated water so you don't kill any beneficial bacteria that has started to build up. This beneficial bacteria helps keep the toxins down in your tank.

Until you have your gravel vac you could get yourself a turkey baster. You will need to swirl up the bottom of the tank a bit so you can find the uneaten food and fish waste and remove it with the turkey baster. If you keep picking up that waste you will get rid of the algae by removing its food.
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjGs09VhVec Here's a youtube tutorial for using a gravel vacuum. It has a little pump to get the siphon started, and it's the brand I use. I use a smaller one than in the video, but it gives you a good idea on how to clean the gravel.

With algae blooms (green water), you can try decreasing hours of light and increasing water changes. On a 2.5 gallon tank, I do 2-3 water changes a week unless there are enough live plants to keep nitrate readings down.

This may seem like a lame question, but please humor me. Do you have your sponge filter hooked up to an air pump?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Netti, I don't believe there is uneaten food because I give one pellet at a time and I just give another when he eats the previous one, but he does produce a lot of waste. How often should I do the gravel vac?

This is my filter: http://m.petsmart.com/h5/hub?id=/WF...-0?green=96AD4F8C-6B95-594D-A18B-33E31E2D293B

Sadist, my sponge filter has an internal motor, so there is no external air pump. Does that make the filter a bad one? Your 2-3 water changes per week, are they of 100%?

I have rocks at the bottom of my tank, I bought them cause they are easier to clean. Is that a problem?

That algae magnets that pet shops sell, do they work?
 

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No product comes up when I click on the link you provided for the filter. But I found a recall on some top fin filter products. See if it is one of these https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/comments/3vxh7p/topfin_filter_recall/

Gravel vacs should be performed once weekly at the water change, or more frequently depending on how dirty your inhabitants are (some fish species produce more waste than others).

If you haven't performed any gravel vacs since you've set up the tank, then all the food you have fed your fish are now laying at the bottom as waste. :(

For a small tank such as yours you don't need to get an algae magnet. If your tank is not acrylic you can use a srubby (not the kind with a sponge on it, ensure it is new) or even just a plain old credit card to scrape it along the glass.
 

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An internal motor sponge filter is fine as long as it isn't on the recall. I would recommend pointing the spray bar at the aquarium wall if it pushes the fish around too much.

My 2-3 water changes on that size tank are 50% (because eventually the filter will cycle and there will be 0 ammonia). Once a week gravel vacuum should be fine, though I still use the vacuum to siphon water out on the other changes.

Right now, I have several floating plants in my 2.5 gallon that use up all of the nitrate. I only do 1 change.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
No, my filter is not in the recall. This is my filter:



The filter in the recall is the Top Fin 10 power external, mine is the internal one.

Netti, since I washed all the tank and changed all the water has been a week. Is this timw enough to make the water greenish because of the waste?
 

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Bettas are strong enough that some people do the cycle with the fish in.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=555434 Here's the simple version.

When the fish isn't there, you use pure ammonia to cycle. With the fish in, the fish produces ammonia, which starts the cycle. Bacteria grow on the sponge and change the ammonia to nitrite, and a different bacteria changes the nitrite into nitrate. Water changes remove nitrates (and live plants eat it as food). The cycle still happens, but it may take a different length of time with the fish in there and water changes and such.
 

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Algae will happen when there too many nutrients, and too much light or too many hours of light.

You said you are seeing debris coming up from the bottom. That's where the nutrients are coming from. It is normal for debris to accumulate, I have it my tanks too. It's called mulm. In planted tanks it is not a problem, since the plants are using it up as food. But even in planted tank you will want to do gravel vacs, too much mulm, too many nutrients can cause algae in planted tanks too.

Another thought, have you checked your filter? Could the sponge in it be clogged with debris?
 

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You can rinse the sponge from your filter either in old tank water, or in dechlorinated water. I rinse my filters not at every water change, but about once a month or every 6 weeks.
I also have pre-filter sponges on my intake tubes (to prevent damage on my fish's fins, and to keep shrimp in my big tank to enter the filter housing), I wash those almost at every water change, because those can get clogged up making the motor work harder.
 

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Fish can shed skin particles and there can be biological build up from waste in the aquarium. What kind of substrate do you have gravel or sand?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You can rinse the sponge from your filter either in old tank water, or in dechlorinated water. I rinse my filters not at every water change, but about once a month or every 6 weeks.
I also have pre-filter sponges on my intake tubes (to prevent damage on my fish's fins, and to keep shrimp in my big tank to enter the filter housing), I wash those almost at every water change, because those can get clogged up making the motor work harder.
Netti, what kind of pre-filter sponge do you use. I think I need because Josh loves to go under the filter.
 

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Those beads are not helpful they let waste get trapped in the aquarium and are not easy to vacumn. I would suggest you get some regular aquarium gravel and remove the other stuff. I will have a few other suggestions but I am on my way out now so I will have to post later.
 
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