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:
- Started doing water changes with RO filtered water (to minimise possible silicates in water)
- 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":
- 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
- Did not feed with TetraMin Flake food
- Used weekend feeder.
So.... my questions to this group go like this:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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