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cloudy water in a cycled tank! halp!

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Apologies for the wall of text. I just wanted to be thorough.

Ok, so I am SOMEWHAT new to fishkeeping. A friend gave me an established tank years ago which I never had any problems with. I've since moved to a new continent and I don't know any fishy people here so I have nobody to ask, and our LFS had dead & sickly fish in ther tanks, and seemed totally clueless when i mentioned fishless cycling, SO i wont bother asking or trusting them.

background, so you know the situation.

We got our tank on April 22. We put in sand, 5 plants (one of which has been removed because it was all sad and dying, the other 4 are doing fine) and a bit of driftwood. Sometime shortly after we added gravel to go on top of the sand. On may 7 I noticed that we had snails. yay snails..... I started fishless cycling it with 5ppm of ammonia on May 11. I had a stall in my cycle when I went on holiday for 10 days.

When I returned home on May 26, I started cycling again with doses of 5ppm of ammonia whenever the ammonia hit 0. On june 5, my cycle appeared to be completed with ammonia, nitrite, nitrate ant 0,0,80. Just to be sure I dosed it with 5ppm again. Ammonia and nitrate were both 0 the next day so i did it again. zero the next day again. From everything ive read that means that the tank is cycled.

we rented a car to go on an overnight fish-shopping, inlaw-visiting trip, and before I left, I dosed the tank with a further 5ppm just to give the bacteria something to do while I was away. (we were just window-shopping the first day, dont worry, lol)

On day 2 we bought 5 baby endlers, 4 baby dwarf chain loaches. I've read that endlers like well planted setups and the loaches in the shop speared to like hiding behind things so we bought 2 more bits of drift wood to make caves and hidey holes, as well as dwarf anubias and a (something plant?) both attached to more small bits of driftwood, and another, bigger, leafy plant to keep everyone happy.

We raced home, and I had to go to work for 5 hours, leaving husband to put it all together. He empted out as much water as he could to get rid of the high nitrates left from the fishless cycling, and refilled it with water that had been treated with API's proper ph 7.6 (because our water consistently is an evil 8.2, no matter how long we eave it in the tank). he scrubbed the driftwood with water removed from the tank and while he was putting the wood /plants in he drip acclimated the fish with tank water, since i read that this is the most humane way to do it and causes the least stress. he then netted then and put them in the tank. I told him he had to do that so that there was no icky fish store tank water in our new tank. The only thing he didnt do was add stress coat, because we didnt have any (i thought we did)

When I got home last night the house looked like a fallout shelter but everything and everyone was in the tank.. the fish were showing no signs of stress, the endlers were eating all the brown algae and bonking into snails, and the loaches were hiding under things but eventually came out to play. The water looked a little cloudy but i assumed that was from husband sitrring up the water when replanting. we have ahd that happen a few times so i went to bed assuming it woudl clear up as it had before.

I woke up this morning and the tank is all cloudy (white cloudy) and it looks like there are clouds settling over the dips in the substrate. there are a lot of clouds around one of the new bits of driftwood. Everyone is still swimming around in a similar fashion to how they were last night, and they still look fine, not stressed or anything.

I tested the water and I'm at ph 7.5 (yay) 0 ammonia and nitrites, and 10 nitrates, so I freaked out and googled, and the only solution I saw was it being a bacterial bloom, but I dont understand that since the tank was cycled! could it be a pollutant from one f the bits of driftwood? I know that he didnt boil the wood. It's the only thing I forgot to tell him to do, because I had all of the other things on my mind and I was racing to work.

I dont know what to think. Should I siphon away the more dense clouds and take the driftwood and boil it? should i wait and see? I just really don't want to hurt my little fish or have them suffering through nts! I'll include photos in the next post.
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It sounds like a normal bacteria bloom. This happens to me when I do a bigger than normal water change and scrub the driftwood and rocks a bit too much. I think it has to do with removing to much beneficial bacteria. It will go away on its own, I generally don't do anything about it if the fish are acting normal. I say leave it alone.
 

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What kind of filter is in there ? It looks as though you don't have any current at all for that "cloud" to form lke that.
If you have an ammonia test kit try to get some of that and test it. A piece of aquarium air hose can be used in the same manner you would start a siphon, but just stop once it fills a few inches of the air line and release it while holding it over a cup.
Just keep that end down during the whole process. Test what is in the cup.
For that to sit like that in your tank it must not have much of any current which
hinders ferts being evenly spread about the tank but also encourages hair algae if you have enough light for it to grow in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There actually wasn't much of a current going on when the photo was taken; there was so much of that goop that it clogged up the filter intake sponge. I squarshed it out and things are moving around again. We took some a water and a bunch of the goop that we sucked out with an air hose to a well reputed fish store in another town in a jar along with the photos. He said it was because we hadn't boiled the driftwood. If it doesn't stop gooping by tomorrow, I'll pull it out and boil it for a few hours. I'm just glad that it's not an evil case of fish death.

Tomorrow morning I'll suck up some more goop and test it to see what the results are. The fish seem happier today than they did yesterday though. one of the loaches seems overjoyed by all the goop he has to play in!

Thanks for everyone's help<3
 

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Although unrelated, I'd suggest you stop using the Ph down. It can cause a lot of problems as none of these products can keep a stable Ph and you can accidentally kill fish. Fish don't care about a Ph reading. A Ph reading on its own does not tell absolutely anything about the chemical composition of the water so without knowing any of the rest of the stats I'd ignore it completely. Normally during a cycle it goes up too in case that's when you've tested, so to test properly the Ph, you need to fill some tap water in an open glass and let it sit for 24hrs before you test.

Also, you need surface movement for oxygen replenishment, it really looks like a very stagnant tank in the pictures. If that filter intake sponge clogs up easily I'd replace it with a coarse sponge, obviously with caution if it's the only mature media in the tank. A clogged filter is as good as no filter.
If the cloudiness is not from the wood but a bacterial bloom, it's normally an indication of anoxic conditions in which heterotrophic bacteria thrives and eventually if released in the water column can overtake the tank. Oxygen and water movement is the solution otherwise it will be followed by a mini cycle as this bacteria outcompetes nitrifying bacteria once out. It normally stays deep in the substrate but in small numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Although unrelated, I'd suggest you stop using the Ph down ... test properly the Ph, you need to fill some tap water in an open glass and let it sit for 24hrs before you test.
unrelated, but incredibly useful. I had bo idea how to get a true reading on tap water, though every time I tested the tank (nearly daily when not on holiday), aside from one set of three days in a row, it was 8.2.

A lso, you need surface movement for oxygen replenishment
We have 2 bubblers at the back near the opening of the tank, churning away a fizzy storm, but because of the angle of the photo, the angle of the sunlight (reflected off everything else in the room, not on the tank itself), lack of dark background, and all the cloud, you cant see them at all. The filter was jammed up one time, but it was well after the photo was taken. Again, you can't see the movement for all the same reasons as the bubblers. Bad set if circumstances leading to difficult photos >.<

Lfs said that, because i'd been cycling the tank with 5ppm ammonia, and because my ammonia, nitrite, nitrate readings were 0,0,10, that it was unlikely to be a bloom. Is this not the case?
 

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That white goo is rather common on new driftwood. I personally do not know if it is fungus, bacteria or what but i do know from personal experience that it is harmless and will disappear on it's own in a week or so.

v3
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I removed the driftwood, siphoned off all the thicker clouds, cleaned all the coudy guck from the filter, and did a 25% water change. its all cleated up! the remnants of cloud are stuck to the intake sponge of the filter, so ill wait a week to see if they vanish, and if not, ill suck them up too. I spent 8 hours boiling driftwood yesterday and at the end the water was still coming out as dark as it would have if id made a pot of tea with 47 tea bags. I'm going to let t sit in daily changed water for a week and see if it clears produces any more cloudy goop.
 
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