Cloudy water - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy water

Hello. I have a 90 gallon tank with plants and Rainbow fish it has been setup for about 4 years with no problems. Last week I noticed the water looked cloudy. Idid a normal water change and trimmed some plants. 3 days later still looked the same did another water changed and cleaned canister filter. Last night it still looked cloudy cant figure out what is going on.
I did not change a thing this just came out of nowhere. Any help would be great.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 03:20 PM
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what colour of cloudy? is it kind of silverish white? blueish green? brown?

when you say cleaned the canister filter, did you clean ALL of it? did you have bio blocks or other ceramic filter media that you might've done something with? i would wonder if it is a cloud of bacteria forming to replace lost benificial bacteria from the canister?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy water

My wife says it is greenish I think more whitish color. This all started before I cleaned filter.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 06:13 PM
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are you testing for the various water parameters?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 06:14 PM
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Sounds like an algae bloom to me. I'd research posts regarding ways to combat this. For a tank with live plants, decreasing the photoperiod (the time the lamp is on each day) will 9 times out of 10 stave off the algae, especially if your tank is well stocked with plants.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 06:23 PM
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Could there be a dead critter or dying plant in there? If you haven't messed with the substrate could it be too full of mulm or even have anaerobic pockets?

I suffered from green water for years as my biofilter wasn't strong enough to handle little surges of ammonia from disturbing things.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy water

Thanks for all the replies. No I have not tested for anything in a long time. Like I said this tank has been setup for at least 4 years with no problems ever. I do try and stir up the substrate every so often when doing water changes. Today it is really cloudy and it does look greenish. No dead fish or decaying plant matter as I do around 20-30 gallon water changes every 2 weeks or close to that. Going to do a big water change tonight them black out the tank for a day or two and see what happens. Here is a pic of tank today. Click image for larger version

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:17 PM
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that does appear to be an algae bloom.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 12:20 AM
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it is green water.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 03:31 AM
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Green water algae often starts as a grey or white colored cloudiness before you can really tell that it is algae. After a few days the green gets more intense, and you can see, as in your pictures, that it really is green water.
Another way to tell is to put some new white filter media in the filter, such as polyester floss. When it traps the green algae cells the green shows up pretty well against the white media.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 10:26 AM
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Do you shutdown the co2 at night?

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy water

Yes co2 is turned off at night.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 01:32 PM
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If it is a algae bloom then your more then likely have phosphates. Not so good for the fish, it jacks the oxygen supply from them. You can do a big water change, turn off the lights for a bit like days, or use a phosphate sponge in the filter or run a UV. Whatever you choose, you need to do a massive water change.

I had this happen to me 10 years ago in my 75g clown loach tank. I learned the hard way.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 01:38 PM
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I remember reading that NH4 causes green water
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy water

Just last night I did another close to 50 gallon water change and am blacking the tank out. I will test for phosphates when I get home.
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