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Perpetually Cloudy Water.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by mistern2005, May 18, 2016.

  1. mistern2005

    mistern2005 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Desperate times call for desperate measures. I am at the point of begging for help…


    My 75 gallon aquarium has had cloudy water for about 1 year now. Nothing I’ve done has impacted or reduced the cloudiness. I have three tanks that are basically set up exactly the same (two 20 gallon longs and this 75 gallon tank), the other two tanks look great.


    This is my zebra pleco breeding tank. The temperature is 85*F, and the tank has a 300W inline Hydor heater, an aquaball and Hydor Korlia for water flow, two Ehiem Pro3e 2078 filters, and one Ehiem 2026 filter.


    The plants are in amazon swords potted in ADA Aquasoil.


    The lighting is 4x26W LED light bulbs from AHS Supply. The lighting is on for 9 hours per day.


    Typically I do two 50% water changes per week. I dose ADA Green Brighty Step-2 and Metricide for supplemental CO2. I do not run pressurized CO2 on this tank. I am open to changing the fertilization regime, but I am not going to run pressurized CO2 on this tank.


    I have noticed the cloudiness will increase after a water change.


    Here are my current water parameters:


    Gh = 140


    Kh = 90


    Ph = 7.6


    No2 = 0


    No3 = 30


    TDS 290 ppm


    Here are some of the things I have tired with no luck:


    -New lighting (upgraded from normal T5 bulbs to the LEDs listed above)


    -18W Emperor UV sterilizer run inline with the Ehiem 2026


    -Added a second Ehiem Pro3e 2078 with additional filter media


    -Minimal water changes and minimal cleaning of filtration media


    -Cutting back on feedings


    -Removed substrate from bottom of tank (now bare bottom)


    -Water clarifiers (Seachem Clarity)


    -Using carbon


    -Using Seachem Purigen


    -Using Boyd’s Chemi-pure elite


    I’ve attached a picture of the tank – as you can see, it’s pretty bad. It almost looks like a bacterial bloom associated with setting up a new tank.


    Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    Hi , are you keeping the tank in front of the window ?


    How long is your photo period ?


    What media do you have in your Eheim filters ?


    What are your phosphate (PO4) levels in the tank ? Usually high phosphate results in cloudy water


    KH 90 and GH 140 are insane high in my opinion , maybe is caused by the rocks you have inside the tank


    I see you dosing ADA Green Brighty Step-2 , but how much ?


    Also NO3 is too high for non CO2 tank
     
    #2 skija, May 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2016
  3. mistern2005

    mistern2005 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thank you for your reply, I am thankful for the help. This has been the most aggravating experience of my 20+ years of keeping aquariums. Here are my responses:


    The aquarium is not in a location where direct light from a window reaches it.


    The photo period is 9 hours/day. I'm running all the lights during the photo period.


    In the filters, I have Eheim Substrat Pro - coco puff looking quartz balls (probably a total of 8L) and Efifmech - short ceramic tubes (probably a total of 2L).


    I do not know my phosphate levels. I've ordered a test kit and will post once I have those results.


    The KH and GH are listed in ppm. The TDS is right around 300ppm. I'm using my municipal tap water which is hard. I've tested the rocks with HCL and they are inert.


    I dose 14 pumps of the Green Brighty Step-2 after each 50% water change.


    Would you just propose additional water changes to lower the NO3? What would be a good target for my NO3 level?
     
  4. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    Hi , i believe that you could have more problems than just one in that tank regarding the cloudy water.


    I would replace the filter media in all canisters . Just add Eheim substrat pro in all external filters (throw away other filter media), that will give you a good bio filtration , resulting in clear water .


    I'm curious whats your PO4 levels are . NO3 its very high for non co2 tank .You should have 5 ppm max. Try feeding your fish NO more than one time per day , add food on the top of the water and let the fish eat the food , don't let the food reach the bottom of the tank.


    Do water changes to reduce NO3 levels, but do 20 % water changer each 2-3 days .
     
    #4 skija, May 20, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2016
  5. mistern2005

    mistern2005 Lifetime Charter Member
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    So the phosphate test was difficult to interpret. The phosphates looked like they were between 0.0 and 0.50 ppm. The color scale on the test is just very hard for me to interpret. However, to be certain, I've been using Seachem Phosguard for about 5 days now (should remove all phosphates and silicates). It has not made any difference, the water is still cloudy.


    Any other ideas or suggestions?
     
  6. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    Ok , phosphates are ok lets say , i thought you have much more like 3-4 ppm . Did you started to replace media in the canisters ?
     
  7. mistern2005

    mistern2005 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've replaced the media as suggested. I've been doing smaller (20-30% water changes) and started using Seachem Purigen for the past several days to help with any excess nitrates. The water is still cloudy as it has always been.


    Seriously, I've been keeping aquarium for over 20 years and this is the only tank that has ever become cloudy and stayed cloudy for more than a few days.


    What else could be causing this issue?
     
  8. tgenega

    tgenega Lifetime Members
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    What about those rocks... .looks like they might be shale...?
     
    2 people like this.
  9. mistern2005

    mistern2005 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Inert schist, not shale.
     
  10. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    Well really donno what to say then , just one thing left in my mind , temperature 85*F which is 30 Celsius , seems to much for me , but i don't know if this can influence cloudiness , i keep my tank at 24-25 Celsius . Are you using a heater or that 85*F is the temperature in the room where you keep the tank ?


    How many days have passed since you changed media ?


    Just wait for someone else opinion , maybe some one have better experience with this
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You do not need to add liquid ferts really, at least not for awhile. Swords are fine with the ADA As alone. At least for a year or two and if you feed the fish well. I'd leave it be and try adding the filter dirt from the other tanks to this tank, you could do a large water change and use the other tank water to refill this one. Try 7-8 hours of light. I'd not use the chemical stuff, just sponge and bio media.


    One of the main things that's better for non CO2: few water changes. If you like those and have to do them, then emergent plants and an open top are better options.


    I would not keep Rummies and Zebras together. They are pack hunters.
     
  12. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    I've been having this issue for the past 5 months but hundreds of times more serious than yours, in my tank you can't even see two Inches beyond the front glass, my tank has been running for over an year before the problem started and now I understood that it could be the light because my Volvox can still grow even without any ferts and with the reverse osmosis water alone GH 0, KH 0 !


    Now I've temporary installed a UV light that helps and I want to try also diatom filter. Just to say how serious is the issue, if I change 100% of the water the visibility is going back to zero in only 4 days.
     
  13. mistern2005

    mistern2005 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom - I am grateful for your advice, thank you. I implemented your suggestions the day of your post. I added the filter dirt from the other two tanks into this one. Still cloudy after a few days, but I suppose that is expected. I've pulled out all the chemical filtration media and just have the bio media and sponges. For a tank this size I should have more than enough bio media with two Eheim 2078s and and 2024.


    What are you thinking in terms of water changes? Weekly 25% would probably be the minimum to keep my fish happy.


    If I reduce the water changes, won't I have an issue with nitrates? Or is the idea the plants will utilize them so it is an appropriate level in the water column?


    Do you think it is the combination of the plants, additives, and large water changes? I'm surprised I haven't had this previously or issue with my other tanks since they are all kind of set up the same and I treat them the same. My intuition says getting rid of the plants would be a bad idea, but I am open to it. Your thoughts?
     
  14. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    Any news , did you manage to fix this ?
     
  15. 1077

    1077 Guru Class Expert

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    I still think the rock is contributing to the cloudiness.


    Though it may be inert and not affect water chemistry GH,pH,,It might still be unsuitable for maintaining water clarity.


    Landscaping store would be my next stop to search out large or small smooth river stones.


    Had similar issues with flagstone pieces in large cichlid tank .


    Might be worth a shot?


    The stones do not cost much per pound,just need good rinse before using.


    My two cent's.


    Another thought,maybe place a few of the stones in glass bowl or jar for a couple day's and see if water remain's clear, or becomes cloudy.
     
    #15 1077, Jun 16, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2016
  16. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Get a few fresh water mussels, put then in a separate container within that tank, and the cloudiness will probably go away. That won't address the root cause of the cloudiness, but your tank will look better. As it clears, reduce the mussel population
     
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