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Please help my cloud tank

Posted by kevabear (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 27, 12 at 8:09

Hi, I am new to this forum. I have an establishes fresh water tank, 30 gallon, with about five neons, one betta, three little white bottom catfish, and maybe one more. I've had quite a few die recently and I think my betta is about to die. I have gotten my water tested numerous times and they tell me it's perfect. The water continues to be cloudy. Even many days after I've done a water change it will just not clear up. I am getting so frustrated with it. I had goldfish for many years and never had this problem. I am losing sleep over this worrying about what to do. Any words of wisdom, help, and encouragement would be so greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Hi,
My first recommendation would be to get a test kit. I am assuming that by "they" telling you your water is fine that you mean a petstore. The problem with that is that each fish likes different perameters so unless we know exactly what we are dealing with, it will be hard to tell. Once you get a test kit, please post exact numbers for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, kh, ph, and gh.

Second, can you tell us what sort of filter system you have in place? A box that hangs in the back, underground, a canister? That can help us determine why the water is still cloudy.

Third, what chemicals do you add to your water? Do you add a dechlornitor, if so, what kind? Do you add anything for water cloudiness and have you used any medications?

Fourth, can you describe the cloudiness or post a photo? Is it green, gray, brown? Does it look like particles or is it finer than that?

Fifth, do your dead fish or your beta show any odd symptoms? White spots, gray areas on the back, bulging eyes? Anything that you would say is different?

Let us know and we can try to help!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Thank you so much for your response. I will need to get a test kit and then will let you know the numbers. In answer to your other questions... I have two large Aqueon filters that hang on the back. I have been told by one person to always change the filters as apposed to just rinsing them with each water change. Someone else told be to change one of them, and then the other, one at every other water change. I use Stress Coat and Prime, and sometimes AmQuel Plus. The cloudiness, not any color, pretty much white. If I look close it seems I can see very small particles, not 100% on that though, could be finer. I have not seen any symptoms on my fish. Only thing I have noticed is sometimes they just seems very sluggish. The past few days my beta has seemed sluggish, but today he seems a bit more energetic.
Thanks so much. I am so frustrated with this and want to just give up at this point. But really can't do that, what would one do with ones fish, and, I like my fish!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

First off, dont be hard on yourself. A lot of the fish you have are terribly inbred and difficult to keep if you got them from a chain store. For example, a few weeks ago my local chain stopped ordering neons because they were having trouble keeping them alive. Speaking of the neons, what is your temperature in the tank set at? They generally like it a little cooler than a lot of fish.

As for your filters, in no way should you replace them that often. A majority of your good bacteria live on those and your causing fluctuations in your nitrogen cycle by doing so. Instead, rinse off any excess sludge off of them at each water change using dechlorinated water. This is probably a big cause of your fish deaths.

As for your cloudy water, do you have hard water? When I was using water from my faucet, my tank looked similar. I would use seachem's clarify to fix that problem.

Otherwise, your choice of filters and chemicals looks good (although I wouldn't double on the dechlorinators) so just a few small changes would be my suggestion. Beautiful setup by the way.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Thanks so much for your input. We have soft water. I've had the tank for years, previously to having fresh fish I had goldfish and never had this problem with cloudiness. The neons I haven't had too much of a problem with. I think I lost a couple of them awhile back, but the five I have in there now seem to be fine. The temp is about 80. When you rinse your filters, do you use bottled water?
I did a water change yesterday morning and added Aqueon water clarifier last night. Looks a LITTLE better this morning, still cloudy though. Going out in a little while, once the stores are open, and get a test kit and will then post the result numbers.
Thanks for your compliment of set up. Just think how nice it would look if it was all crispy clear! 8)


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Ok, got a test kit. Not sure if it has the numbers you need, but my results are:
Nitrate - Between the 0 - 20
Well weird, the first two lines on the comparison chart say Nitrite. I see nothing different except for the numbers of the colors. The second Nitrite on my tab is between 1.0 - 3.0
GH -150
Chloriine - 0
KH - between 120-0180
pH - 7.2
So by what it says on the bottle, first one says safe, second says stress, third is hard, forth is safe, ideal, and last, neutral.
So looks to me they are stressed out and in hard water. But we have soft water.
So, any thoughts and suggestions?


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Alright, more than likely it is your high nitrite that is causing your fish deaths. This means your tank isnt fully cycled (probably caused by the constant change in filters). To figure out a way to lower that number, can you test your tap water and report the numbers? That will give us a baseline for where we are starting. I would also get a bottle of Tetra safestart and help add some beneficial bacteria while we figure out how to quickly cycle the tank.

As for the gh, it isn't so significantly hard that it should be causing fish loss but it is probably a reason the cloudiness won't go away. Once you test the tap water we can figure out where it is coming from.

As for the temperature, 80 is a little high for neons and cory cats. Bring it down to about 76-78. Pet stores and many people keep their temperatures at 80 or higher because it keeps the disease known as ich under control but it causes stress and makes worse disease such as mouth fungus grow faster. Ich is easy to treat, much easier than alternatives, and rare with healthy non stressed fish.

By the way, if you are going to be replacing your neons once we get your tank cycled, may I suggest cardinal tetras? Look close to identical to neons but are much hardier from what I have found.

Also, for cleaning your filter bottled water will work or you can just dechlorinate water from the faucet. Usually what I do is just clean them off in the bucket with the water I siphoned off from a water change. Since I do mine weekly, the water is fairly clean.

Hopefully we can figure out more things once you get a chance to test your tap water.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Alrighty, test from tap water shows:
1st Nitrite about 20
2nd Nitrite about 1.0
GH 300
Chlorine between 0 - 0.5
KH about 120
pH between 7.2 - 7.8

Was just about to add that it is looking cloudier this afternoon. I added some more clarifier.
Don't plan on replaceing the tetras, on less of course they die. The five that are in there seem to be doing well(knock on wood). I will lower the temp in the tank, been awhile since I did anything with the heater, hope I turn it the correct direction!
I so appreciate your help!!!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Alright, so your tap water isn't setting you up to succeed unfortunately. Until your tank is cycled I would use distilled water in a 50/50 combination with tap water for water changes to try and get your nitrites down since your tap water still has a good amount of nitrites in it. Hopefully it doesn't take longer than 2-3 weeks to cycle.

For the cloudiness, if the clarifier doesn't clear it up, I would try boiling your tap water before using it for water changes (obviously wait for it to cool down) which will get rid of the carbonates but not the hard minerals. If that fails, the only thing that will help with the cloudiness is continuing to use distilled water for your water changes. If that is the only solution, I would suggest investing in an RO/DI system. Costs about $130 but it removes everything from the water, bringing your nitrites/nitrates/ammonia to zero, kh/gh/and ph down. I unfortunately have to use it but all of my tanks have been much better off since, no casualties in ages and my water has been crystal clear. Obviously it isn't the cheapest solution so I am keeping my fingers crossed that something else works first!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

OK I will go out tomorrow and get distilled water and give that a shot. And definitely look into getting the RO/DI system. Can they be found at pet stores? Another question, why when I just had goldfish I didn't have this cloudiness problem? Thanks again!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Update....Tank was still looking a little cloudy this morning, but better than it's been. Added a little more clarifier and now it is looking quite crispy! When I do the next water change I will use 50/50 distilled and tap mix and see how it goes. With any luck this will be the solution I have been searching for.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Could be a few factors, for example temperature affects the way minerals disperse and your temperature in a goldfish tank would be much lower. Also organics will cause cloudiness so it could still be a difference on your tank being cycled at that point vs not being fully cycled now. I am glad the water is doing better! I honestly would wait two-three weeks in hopes that the tank once fully cycled would take care of the problem. An RO/DI system would still be a great investment but it is pricey and usually and hopefully not necessary to fix the water cloudiness. If you still want to get one in the future, pet stores will have a unit or two but they are significantly cheaper online and many petstores will attempt to sell you a uv filter instead (which will not work as they are meant for algea blooms).

I say wait a few days and keep us updated!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Makes sense about the temp with the goldfish and the temp would be lower, never even had a heater in there. Think I am going to put off investing in the RO/DI system, experiment a bit first with mixing distilled with tap. Now, got yet another question. By waiting two-three weeks, do you mean not to any water change? Sounds lovely. Have gotten pretty tired of the constant water changes. Sorry to be a duffus, still have a lot of learning to do with these fishies. The tank is looking great. I will post a pic, at work now so can't at the moment. When I'm home, can't hardly stop gazing at it!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Unfortunately no, the tank will still need water changes and that will help with the cycling because you will be taking out any excess nitrites and organics that are in the water. By wait two or three weeks I mean before you invest in an RO/DI system or look at other alternatives. Based on your water tests, I am estimating it will take two to three weeks for your tank to full cycle and at that point hopefully all of the problems are solved. How often are you doing water changes?

And I am glad the tank is doing well! I find myself spending way too much time looking into mine. The obsession starts quickly haha. Just put a second one into the guest bedroom - I am running out of space!


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

I can't really pinpoint how often I do water changes. Fairly often lately because of the messed up water. For awhile when I was taking the water in to get tested, the ph was extremely low. So I don't really know how often I should do water changes. Any suggestion?
Sounds like you have "a few" tanks, with one going into the guest bedroom. Actually had read that guest bathroom....
I have been reading lately the posts concerning betta's and multiple betta's. I have on male in mine. What are your thoughts of adding a female, or possibly two?


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

We actually have two in the guestroom and almost one in every other room, minus the bathroom but that might be something we have to discuss hm...haha

I do water changes on all of mine once a week to the tune of about 40-50%, more on a few loaded tanks. With yours, I would test your water every two days or so and anytime it shows nitrites close to 1 I would change. Ideally you would change anytime you have nitrites over 0 but your tap water has some so until your bacteria catches up you would be tiring yourself out. You should get to a point where you are doing it once a week if your fully stocked. At that point you should have no nitrites registering and instead you are attempting to keep nitrates in the safe zone (which depends on the fish). Do not test your water for 24 hours minimum after a water change because you will get false positives and negatives due to Prime.

As for betas, it really depends on the beta. I have one male with two females in one of our 55 gallons and he does fine. We have another one we tried putting in with females and he would go after them mercilessly and would not give up. So now he is alone. You can try it but make sure you have a backup plan in case he is harassing the females. I would definitely add at least two though. Just my experience though.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Got my water tested yesterday and he said all was good, ammonia just a little high, but basically good. I will test water again tomorrow. Afraid that when I do a water change again it will cloud everthing back up, but if so, will add clarifier.
I got a few new fish yesterday. Two of them bright orange/yellow bodies with orange fins. When I got them home I noticed on one of them the tail fin looked a little damaged. Well my beta chased that poor fish around and this morning it was dead. So, I don't think I will add any betas. Let him be the king of his castle, but try not to add anyone he thinks he needs to pick on. I got a little suction cup leaf that I put right up top, left hand side in pic, he likes to hang out above as he gazes down and rules.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Well tonight it looks like my Betta blue might be dying. He was laying at the bottom when I got home. I brought him up to the top for some air, seemed he liked that and he swam around for a bit up top getting air. So I set him up on his leaf perch so he is close to the top of the tank for easy access to air. Hopefully he will make it. If not, I'll think about a female, maybe a bit less aggressive, or maybe two.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

He dyed. It's too bad, had gotten a bit attached to him. They seem, the betta's, a bit more personable than the other fish.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Hmmm...Died, not dyed. Two totally different things goin' on there, and to think I believe myself to be a good speller.


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RE: Please help my cloud tank

Oh geez, not good, especially since the tank was starting to look so good. I wonder if the new fish introduced anything, I would closely monitor the other fish. Also, wait until ammonia is at zero before getting any other fish, ammonia is quite toxic even at the smallest levels.

As for male vs female betas, none of my female betas have ever showed aggression, but they also are significantly smaller and less flashy than my males. If you are thinking of adding more fish to your tank however, I would suggest introducing a betta last. Once they get territorial over their space, they seem to be worst to new comers whereas they seem to tolerate them more if the other fish were there first, in my experience. Also helps if the other fish are bigger.


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