Cloudy Tank not Clearing Up. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy Tank not Clearing Up.

First of all, sorry if this is in the wrong section. I wasnít sure where to put it. I also appreciate the help because I am sure everyone is sick of cloudy water problems.
When I first setup my tank the water was cloudy, I figured it must just be the dirt settling. After a week it still looked just as bad, so I figured it must just be an algae bloom or the tank cycling. The tank cycled, the algae went away, many water changes were preformed, fish were added, the tank is still as cloudy as day one and it has been 3 months.

First off, water parameters:
Tank size: 40 gallon breeder (36x18x17)
pH: 6.9-7.1 (Milwaukee controller)
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
KH: 7 degrees
GH: 5 degrees
Temp: 78 degrees

Water Source: I buy the water from the same place I get the fish and plants. It is RO/DI water with some seachem equilibrium and alkaline buffer added.
Lighting: 2x 24Ē marineland plant LEDs
Filtration: Eheim Pro3e 2074 and Fluval 206
Plants: Dwarf grass, Red Ozelot sword, Anubis Wrinkle leaf, Anubis Nano, Ludwigia Palustris (both red and green kinds)
Fish: 4 rummy nose, 3 Harlequin Rasbora, 3 Guppies, 3 Galaxy Rasbora, 4 Cherry Barbs, 2 Peacock Gudgeon, 2 Amano Shrimp, 3 Nerita Snail, 1 Flag Fish
Soil: ADA aqua soil

History: Fishless cycle for 6 weeks, with a 50% water change every week. I introduced the fish over the course of two weeks, from a different tank. The tank has been running for four weeks since then (12 weeks total). I had a bit of an alga bloom around week 4 or 5, but by the time I got the fish in the tank they quickly cleaned it up. There is still at little here and there, but nothing you would notice unless you were looking for it. My other tanks use the same water and are crystal clear and never had this problem.
Any ideas are greatly appreciated, because I am starting to worry this problem isnít going to go away on its own.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 07:42 PM
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Seems like you have covered most things in your post.

What are the differences between all the other tanks (that are not cloudy) and this one?
Substrate?
Water?
Any other added materials?

Have you tried adding Purigen?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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That was fast!

As far as differences, I can't think of any. They all use the same substrate, water, and type of lighting. They all cleared up during cycling. The only difference is this one uses CO2 and is a little bigger.

I used excel for a week or two during the first algae bloom to slow it down, but nothing since.

I am not sure what Purigen is, I will have to do my research there.

Also, when I do my water changes I drain the water into a white 5 gallon bucket. When looking down at the water in the bucket it is a really dark yellow. I don't know if that means anything or not since the water from all the other tanks have a little bit of a yellow look to them as well, just not nearly as dark.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 07:52 PM
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Yellow is usually from organic matter like peat moss, driftwood, and can be from ingredients in the substrate.

Purigen is a filter media, very fine granules that remove a number of things from the water, and often make the water a lot clearer.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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So, do you think it is possible it is the soil still leeching something out? If so do you think it will still go away with time? This batch of soil did seem to give off a lot more ammonia than some other bags did. I also found some roots and other things still in the soil when I was first setting it up.

I do have some wood in there, but it came from some other tanks that didn't have a problem.

I was just reading about Purigen on amazon. If you think it might help with this I will give it a try. It sounds like I would just put it in one of my filter trays?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 08:07 PM
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Sounds like the yellow is from ingredients in the substrate (bits of root etc). It should clear up in time.

I have not used Purigen, but have talked with people who have. They say it helped clear up their tanks.

If you want to keep trying to figure out what the cloudy water is, then here is a way of doing this:

1) Look at anything that is different between the cloudy tank and all the others.
2) If nothing is different, then maybe there is something else going on.
3) Test each material separately in a jar of water. Put some substrate and some water in a jar and swirl it around. See how fast it settles and if the water is cloudy. Put some... whatever else is in the tank... in a jar. One material at a time. Do this with whatever chemicals you are adding to the tank.
4) Put some white floss (polyester quilt batting or similar) in the filter and run it for a day or two. Then pull it out. Has it trapped anything? Is it green? Then the cloudy water is the beginnings of Green Water Algae.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Great ideas, thank you. I think I will put in the white floss and if it turns green put a UV sterilizer on it, if it doesn't try purigen to help with ingredients in the substrate.

Thank you again for the help, these were some things I wouldn't have thought of.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 09:36 PM
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Puri gen or a activated charcoal sponge that you can add to your filter. That should get your water super clear
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I put 100 ml of purigen and some activated carbon in the fluval filter and waited a week and didn't see any improvement. I then added a coralife turbo-twist UV sterilizer inline to the fluval and 250 ml of purigen to the eheim filter. It is still as cloudy as day one, how is that possible? Is there anything else I could possibly do?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 10:06 PM
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Wow! That is really persistent cloudy water!

Most often cloudy water is from one of just a few things, most of which you have already covered.

Ammonia.

pH altering/ mineral additions like GH booster

Green water algae

Heterotrophic bacteria, which decompose organic matter. Often happens in a new tank, less often in an established tank.

Substrate getting stirred up (got Cories, Loaches or other bottom fish?)
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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My ammonia is zero. Both the fish and the plants seem very healthy

I did have to use a good amount of seachem alkaline buffer for a while there as my KH kept plummeting, I think it was just the ADA soil. It seems to have settled now though. Could that still be causing it? I have done quite a few water changes since then.

If it was green water algae shouldnít the UV sterilizer have cleared that up?

I donít know anything about the bacteria your have mentioned, so I canít really give any insight there.

The only thing that moves the substrate at all is the nerite snails, they seem to move it a little sometimes. I donít think that could be the case though because when I move plants around it gets really cloudy, but then clears up within an hour or two to what I have now.

Ok, so I have been reading up on heterotrophic bacteria. After understanding that better I took a closer look at my tank. Some of the bottom leafs on my Red Ozelot Sword are starting to get really thin, almost transparent. Is it possible that those bottom leafs could have died months ago and are slowing decaying, feeding the bacteria? That seems like a long time to be going on, and the leafs didnít change color or anything, they just got a lot thinner than the leafs above them. It is only two leafs, but they are rather large leafs..

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-28-2014 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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