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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I’ve had my heavily planted 75 gallon aquarium up and running for about 3 months after cycling.
Water has been crystal clear up until about ten days ago.

after a few water changes, filter cleaning and reduction in feeding, the water remains cloudy.


Ammonia is 0
Nitrite is 0
Nitrate is 5.0

ph 6.5
Phosphates 5.0

I only have test strips for gh and kh, and both of those readings are basically zero.

i dose excel daily.

occasionally dose:
1tsp of equilibrium
1/2 tsp potassium nitrate
1/8 tsp of mono potassium phosphate.
Any idea what I’m doing wrong?
Thanks!
Ridley
 

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I'm sure your water has some hardness because you're adding the Equilibrium. Don't clean that filter. The bacteria bloom will go away when there's nothing left in the water for the bacteria to eat. Do bacteria eat? I don't know. It will get better as the tank matures. I don't know how long it will take. I think it was the filter cleaning that caused it.
 

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As others have implied, it’s usually a timing issue that occurs shortly after the nitrification process is established, assuming that it is bacterial. It is a point where organics are so lacking that they leave other elements readily available as sustenance for bacteria. Organics are good and they are bad. Good because you need a little and bad if you generate too much, usually with poor maintenace.

Certain organics (humic and fulvic acids) act as weak chelates that bind Ca, Mg and Fe. Our fauna, plants and,unfortunately, algae can still utilize these weakly bound elements, but bacteria cannot and this suppresses them. Your tank will naturally reach a good organic level and it will clear up. You can also add some fulvic acid if it really bothers you. In fact, a little fulvic acid is like adding tannins, but in a controlled dose, which many fish and plants will benefit from, but without the tea-coloring that you get from various leaves, peat and driftwood. You just have to be careful about it because it can lower pH. I’ve found that about 200mg/gal (accumulated from 5mg daily dosing) will drop pH by about a point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all so much - i tried to find my answer online first, but everything I read indicated that it should be gone by now. This is reassuring, and thank you again!
Ridley
 

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First off, get yourself an API KH/GH test kit so you really know the water hardness. Sometimes a failed nitrogen cycle can be tied to having too little GH and KH.

A TDS/pH pen is helpful for testing for CO2, although not really that necessary.

You're adding a lot a macros fertilizers, if you are using any sort of fertilizing soil like ADA Aqua Soil you should let it be your main plant fertilizer for a few months and then slowly introduce the macros.

You didn't mention how much fish or plants you have in this tank, could be an important factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My tank is a heavily stocked and planted 75 gallon. 45 rummynose tetras, 6 apistos and 2 small angelfish.
I'm going to order the KH/GH test tonight.

The cloudiness seems to be getting worse - I wonder if it's an algae bloom. i have a finnex 24/7 light, and i'm running it on 24/7 mode. I understand this is usually too much light, but i've had almost no algae issues since stocking the tank.

I've attached a picture. it's a 4' tank and I can't see from one end to the other anymore. I'm turning the light off mid - day now to see if that helps.

Ridley
 

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