Food and water cloudiness - the saga continues! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Food and water cloudiness - the saga continues!

I originally posted on my cloudy water problems here. To summarise - it's an established tank (two, three years?) but I've been fighting cloudy water and diatoms for nine months now. After great conversation on that thread, I made a few changes:

  1. Started doing water changes with RO filtered water (to minimise possible silicates in water)
  2. Got a few (five) oto cats to help fight the diatoms
As of a week ago, things had seemed to improve. Diatoms were in better shape all around, water cloudiness *may* have improved further, but was still there

Then I went on vacation for a week.

The tank denizens are several varieties of tetras and cory and oto cats. Maybe ... 22-25 fish total in a 46 g bowfront tank. I've been feeding them every-other-evening with TetraMin flake food, as well as a few algae tablets on the same cycle for the cats.

When I left for vacation, I dropped a tetra weekend (5-day? Who gets five day weekends?) feeder into the tank and a couple of algae tabs, and had a friend drop another weekend feeder and a few more algae tabs in the tank about mid-week.

I got home expecting/hoping that the tank wouldn't be in horrid cloudy/white/algae shape, that everyone would still be alive.
What I *found* was that not *only* is everyone alive, but in addition:
  • Diatoms appear to be *further* into retreat (still some pesky persistence on the annubias, but nearly gone)
  • Cloudiness appears to have IMPROVED STILL. Not crystal yet, but by eye definitely better.
So my scientist mind says "three things changed":
  1. I hadn't done my weekly-biweekly 10 gallon RO water change for five days before holidays and obviously did not while on vacation - so LESS WATER CHANGED
  2. Did not feed with TetraMin Flake food
  3. Used weekend feeder.
So.... my questions to this group go like this:
  1. I know that frequent water changes can disrupt filter biology. I've tried stalling out on changing water before, but never had the 'success' that I see here. Water chemistry has persistently been in good shape by all the metrics of the Test Kit. It doesn't seem likely that that's the cause/contributor here, but could it be?
  2. I know that overfeeding can lead to cloudiness through bacterial growth. If I've been feeding once every-other-day (a reasonable pinch that the fish consume within a couple minutes), that hardly seems like "too much". But are certain foods (say, TetraMin flake) more likely to cloud than others?
  3. I know that some weekend feeders have agents to combat cloudiness. That might be what has helped to clear my tank when *nothing* *else* has done so. If so, is this something that will persist, or can I find those agents and continue their use while using regular foods?
The good news is that even before holidays, the water *had* improved some and plant growth had greatly improved. The diatoms are fought back to the point where I feel confident putting new plants in the tank (YAY). I just would like to get the water looking as good as it can!

Thanks for your help!



Tank: 46 g Bowfront
Filter: SunSun HW302
Filter media: three rack: lower rack is course, medium, fine filter mesh, middle and upper rack biohome mini ultra
Lighting: T5 2x39W fixture plus BeamsWork 1500 Lumen LED fixture
Lighting cycle: 8 hours on
CO2 regulator: Milwaukee MA957
CO2 cycle: CO2 starts 30 minutes before lighting cycle, ends 30 minutes before lighting cycle ends.
Inline UV: Coralife TurboTwist 6x 18W

- Charlie
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 03:28 AM
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Algae is usually combated from two different ways with the same base. The water column has too many nutrients, the base. The usual combat method is to change water and lower/suspend the photoperiod. My method, with great success, is to increase the photoperiod. I have a heavily planted tank and increasing the period allows the plants to take in more nutrients and starve the algae.

Some food will cloud the water easier than others whether or not it's eaten. This is usually do to it composition, including fillers. I haven't had a clouding problem with API and Seachem flakes in all my years, 20+. You can invest in a biomagnet to help clear the water. Depending on the water you are putting in when you do the water changes, it could be disrupting your biological cycle enough to cause the cloudiness.

Does your filter flow top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top? If it flows from top-to-bottom, I would suggest nothing. If it flows from bottom-to-top, I would suggest flipping the filter trays. I have mine go through the bio first, then the mechanical. This way, even with water changes, there is enough gunk on it that it doesn't disrupt my biological filtering. It also allows for more bacteria than needed. I would give it a try. If nothing changes or gets worse after a couple weeks, you can always change it back.

Your UV filter in on the return line correct? If it is on the intake line, it can be causing issues by destroying bacteria before it can populate the filter. It might also not be destroying all life forms so they get returned to the tank. For greatest effectiveness, it always goes on the return line. It could also be that it is time to change the bulb in it. The bulbs only last for about 1 year before needing replaced.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 10:15 PM
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i will put uv on return and add another filter try eheim pro 4 250 or add to the existing filter pure aquarium by evolution aqua they fairly cheap
looks like there is not enough biological filtration !

and when you leave on holiday don't feed the fish ! they will be fine

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-13-2018 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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