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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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white cloudy water

Greetings, I have a 35 gallon hex, heavily planted, not many fish, maybe half a dozen cardinal tetras, a couple black phantom tetras, and a few red phantom tetras. This tank has been beautiful, crystal clear water for a couple years. Occasional bouts of blue/green algae, but always clears up in a month or two. One day though , I'm not sure what possessed me, but I did a 30 percent water change and cleaned the filter(eheim cansister) in the same day. The water started slowly to turn white, which I know is a bacterial bloom. Problem is, this was six months ago. I've tried everything from doing nothing to water changes twice a day. Smalll water changes, large water changes, no water changes. It did almost clear up once, but the plants were in such a bad need of pruning, I did a little trimming and a ten percent water change and I'm back to square one. I also tried introducing some water from my goldfish tank. At times, the water starts to turn from white to yellow. Also the water seems clearer in the morning when the lights first come on, and then get cloudier by the end of the day. I don't use carbon, which I think I might try, I don't test my water. The tanks been on an even keel for years, I do regular water changes, clean the filter every couple months. But why can't I get rid of this condition....
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 04:35 PM
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Dont use carbon, try purigen it might help and it wont affect nutrients. Never fully clean the filter, remeber just to rinse out and get rid of debris with the same water from you tank, I think you might have killed the bacteria in your filter.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 04:39 PM
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Out of curiosity, you say you "did nothing", and no water changes, but how long have you gone without water changes/filter cleaning?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 09:10 PM
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Sounds like it could be green water, which isn't always green as the name would imply. Have you tried a black out?


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eyebeatbadgers View Post
Sounds like it could be green water, which isn't always green as the name would imply. Have you tried a black out?
I wondered that too. I did shut the lights off for about 3 days, and saw no improvement. It does appear to be white most of the time when it's in a bucket, absolutely not even a hint of green, although it does start turning yellowish at times.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
Out of curiosity, you say you "did nothing", and no water changes, but how long have you gone without water changes/filter cleaning?
I have left it alone as long a month or so if I remember correctly. I have since made some water changes. The filter hasn't been touched since this episode began, probably this past spring I think.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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First off you need to do more regular water changes and vacuumings. I change my 75 gallon once a week, about a 20 percent everytime, vacuum usually once a week sometimes once every two weeks, prime my filter weekly (magnum 350 bio-pro).

If the water doesn't have an unusual odor and your fish are OK, I would do another 15% water change, put just a tad of salt in there (tetras are really sensitive to salt) and watch, you may have just helped your tank by encouraging the bacteria to colonize, which is a great thing.


If there isn't any smell, no green flecks in water, and your fish are swimming fine than I think it would be pretty safe to assume it is biological bacteria making the water cloudy.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindingVines View Post
First off you need to do more regular water changes and vacuumings. I change my 75 gallon once a week, about a 20 percent everytime, vacuum usually once a week sometimes once every two weeks, prime my filter weekly (magnum 350 bio-pro).

If the water doesn't have an unusual odor and your fish are OK, I would do another 15% water change, put just a tad of salt in there (tetras are really sensitive to salt) and watch, you may have just helped your tank by encouraging the bacteria to colonize, which is a great thing.


If there isn't any smell, no green flecks in water, and your fish are swimming fine than I think it would be pretty safe to assume it is biological bacteria making the water cloudy.
What exactly are "biological bacteria"? I doubt that this tank is suffering from a bacterial bloom if it has been established for two years, and has an eheim filter. Bacterial blooms only last for a couple of weeks, and the nitrifying bacteria will colonize and clear the water. I've not heard before that adding salt to the tank will aid in the colonization, but they will colonize just fine in regular non-salted water.

To the OP, you said you turned off the lights for about three days. I'd suggest at least three days, probably three or four. You should start this immediately after a water change ( 40-50 %) and cover the tank with a sheet or something similar to block out all light. Do not feed the fish during this time.

Also, what is your lighting like? Your photoperiod? Excessive light intensity and/or photoperiod will encourage greenwater conditions.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Well about the odor. My tank has always had what I would characterize as a very strong greenhouse odor. I've not really ever known if this was normal or not.
If I remember correctly, the condition started after I stupidly did a major water change and cleaned the filter the same day. I had also replaced the fine sponge in the eheim canistor. That's what led me to believe I caused a bacterial bloom. I have had green water before when I had a tank next to a window that received sunlight. I basically had to do a hundred percent water change to get rid of that. That was a long time ago before I ever heard of a black-out. The current lighting is a homemade 15x4 watt flourescent 12 hours a day. They don't really make a high intensity short bulb system for a hex. Unless you hang a metal halide pendant over it. Which I'm not sure if metal halides are good for a planted tank.
But is the odor I describe normal? I mean it's strong enough that my girlfriend complains when I do a water change. And it resembles a very strong, humid greenhouse odor. I will say when the condition started, and this has been going on for six months now, that the odor disappeared, but has since returned.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2007, 03:57 PM
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1. Metal halides are great for a planted tank, and would look really good over your hex tank. They can be a bit pricey though, and put off a lot of heat.

2. I know the odor you're speaking of. My tank has the same odor, but is only noticeable when standing directly over the tank, and I guess it may be more noticeable when changing water. My wife complained a few times about it when a couple of tanks were starting up, but either the smell has gone away, or she realized I'd choose the tanks over her (just kidding honey !!) I suppose I can't offer much help here. I want to say I actually saw a product once that claimed to fix this problem, though I'd bet good money that it's just snake oil, or would be detrimental to plants.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Well, turns out, it is green water, although you'd swear it was white. I picked up a magnum 350 and let it run overnight with diatomaceous earth in it, and the water is clearer than it has ever been. In it's concentrated form in the filter it has a barely detectable green hue to it. I've stepped up the gravel vacuuming after thinning out some plants that were preventing me from reaching the substrate. Problem is, my energy shifts like a pendulum(sp) between this tank and my 75g reef tank. Thanks for the input!
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