Accidental plant newb, cloudy water disaster...
I'm brand new here, as of today. My 36g bowfront has been set up and fully cycled for 4 years, and fully planted with easy plants that require little care...until now :/. Black blasting sand substrate.
For the first 3 1/2 years, I never did water changes or any cleaning at all, and not ferts. I recently started enjoying the plants, and decided to do some research and dive deeper into them. Now comes the current issue...
For some airheaded reason, I thought it would be a great idea to set up a diy powerhead/floss polisher to remove all of the mulm/detritus that had develops over the years...I now cringe at the thought. I even went through with a turkey baster and flushed everything off the plants into the water column. The particulates cleared out quickly, filling my polishing floss within a couple hours. A light haze was left behind, which I assumed was fine substrate particles that would eventually settle. While letting my filtration work it's magic, I went to the LFS and purchased plants I would have never thought about in the past (you know, now that I'm a master java fern keeper. Lol). I purchased anacharis, dwarf hair grass, A. Reinecki, and crypt undulata...along with API root tabs, and Flourish liquid. I get home and start planting, and place a few strategically located root tabs, then dose the flourish per instructions. The next day, my tank is white as a ghost. I immediately panic, and go purchase a master test kit to check parameters (I know, I should have already had this). I suspected a bacteria bloom to be the culprit. After testing, I was surprised to see that my water was perfect, biologically speaking. 0-0-40ppm, ph 7.0. The nitrates were high, but I've heard of people running their tank like that on a regular basis. After reading the results, I bought a flocculant to see if it would clear things up....nope. I know that iron can bond with phosphorus, I think that's right, and cause a white haze, but this is a white out that seems to be getting worse...consistent with bacteria. Root tabs? I'm completely puzzled and would appreciate any thoughts.
Btw, my fish don't seem to be phased by it, and my plants are LOVING it. The reineckii was dull when I planted it a few days ago, it had now doubled in size and turned a very bold and lush red, with roots spreading everywhere.
Please help, I'm not going to do anything else to the tank until I can determine what the actual cause is.