Constant Cloudy water. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Hendersonville, NC
Posts: 38
Constant Cloudy water.

Im having trouble with my planted 40 breeder. I cannot seem to get the water clear. Heres some information about the tank

Fluval 50 filter with bottom sponge and 2x bio-media
(tried adding carbon with no changes)

7 small clown loaches ~2.5 inches
4 small bumblebee catfish ~2 inches
1 Blue Ram cichlid
3 Ottos

Ive been doing co2 and Seachem Flourish, Trace and Iron

Tried using Seachem Clarity with no luck.

I do 20% water changes weekly.

Does anyone have any ideas why its cloudy? Too much bioload? Not enough filtration? Not enough water changes?

Heres a picture of the tank.
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Last edited by Bercume3; 02-04-2016 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Posted in wrong forum
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 10:39 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 5,373
How are you doing CO2?

Cloudy water is usually either bacterial (should clear by itself) CO2 micro-bubbles (if doing CO2 injection) or particulates (mech. filtration plugged or ineffective, possible chemical precipitation from reactions).
so a bit more info is needed.

not exactly a DIY topic though....

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Hendersonville, NC
Posts: 38
definitely not DIY, I'm trying to get this thread moved. Im atomizing co2 about about 2 bubbles per second.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 02:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: US
Posts: 2,538
How long has the tank been set up/cycled and up and running?

How long has this cloud been appearing?

Test your ammonia and nitrites. Let us know the results.

Cloudy water can be from:

Bacterial bloom: white hazy cloud, population bloom of Heterotrophic bacteria because there is excess organics in the water. They break down organics into ammonia, so ammonia spikes would be present if cloud is present. Vacuum/clean out excess organics (uneaten food, debris, detritus, etc.) to remove Heterotrophic bacteria food source to subside the bacterial bloom. Do water changes as necessary to remove organics and dilute ammonia levels.

Physical debris particulates: just need fine pore mechanical filtration media to catch/collect the tiny particles out of the water. Harmless to livestock.

Precipitation: some reactions happening, which I think are not harmful. Just give it time to naturally settle itself out.

Green water: algae free floating in the water column. UV light can eliminate green water. Or can do blackout. Or address ammonia or nutrient problem if that is the cause.

From what I hear, co2 micro bubbles won't make the tank cloudy, but the tank will look like a carbonated beverage with little bubbles everywhere (Sprite, etc.).

Just looked up Clarity and it basically just makes particulates larger so coarser pore media can catch them. And since you are still having the cloud, I kind of doubt it being physical particulates. But there is still possible the particles are still too small to catch for your media or there is so much of it coming from your substrate being disturbed.

I overstock a lot and don't get any cloudy water, so that wouldn't be a problem if your tank is appropriately filtered and well established.

Well the biggest thing to check if the ammonia and nitrites, that will narrow things down.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 02:50 AM
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Location: WI
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I lean to particulates, especially considering the type of filter. Had a similar situation on a 20 when I did a full clean and a substrate replacement.
Thought it was bacterial and would clear in a few days..didn't so I just replaced the HOB filter and it cleared in a day.
Still, may be coincidence..

The mechanical filter did clog almost instantly apparently so water started bypassing it..
sooo... stop all Co2 and plant feeding for a few days, and change your mech. filter pads daily

I suspect that if it was ammonia and nitrites causing that much cloudyness things would be dead by now..

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Hendersonville, NC
Posts: 38
Tanks been set up a year, nitrates and ammonia are 0ppm. Going to try cleaning my sponge filter everyday and doing water changes. Also think Ill cut back on feeding to every other day and see if that helps.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 05:57 PM
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Location: Cape Town
Posts: 2,262
I found sponge filters are quite good at catching dusty particles, you just need to pick it up carefully by the base to prevent squishing all the dirt back into the tank when you are done..

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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