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incredibleSE
02-18-2014, 04:18 PM
Hey Guys,

I recently switched from using cartridges in my HOB filter to using ceramic rocks. Since the switch, I've noticed that my tank water has been slightly cloudy. Even after huge water changes, the water still stays slightly cloudy. Any advice on how to fix it?

ronv
02-18-2014, 04:26 PM
Do you have any kind of mechanical filter to filter out the fines? The ceramic will work fine as a biological filter. The other possibility is that your tank is cycling... possible if you removed the bacteria with the filter cartridge. How long has the aquarium been set up?

incredibleSE
02-18-2014, 04:50 PM
Do you have any kind of mechanical filter to filter out the fines? The ceramic will work fine as a biological filter. The other possibility is that your tank is cycling... possible if you removed the bacteria with the filter cartridge. How long has the aquarium been set up?

Ron, I cut out pieces of filter pad to put in front of the rocks. I restarted the tank about a month ago after moving here from Alabama. I cycled it with some of the old tank water for 2 weeks before reintroducing the fish. I also used the filter pad cut from the last cartridge used during the first month of filtering.

ronv
02-18-2014, 05:03 PM
How are the fish doing? I suspect that you are not cycled. Old tank water will not provide enough bacteria to start a cycle. The filter pad will help if it had bacteria on it but I'm afraid it didn't. Cloudy water is a classic symptom of a tank that is not cycled. It would be a bacteria bloom... but not the good bacteria.

incredibleSE
02-19-2014, 01:10 PM
How are the fish doing? I suspect that you are not cycled. Old tank water will not provide enough bacteria to start a cycle. The filter pad will help if it had bacteria on it but I'm afraid it didn't. Cloudy water is a classic symptom of a tank that is not cycled. It would be a bacteria bloom... but not the good bacteria.

The fish are doing fine. They haven't shown any signs of being affected. The filter pads that I used in the cycle were pretty aged. I think it's cloudy because I used the larger filter floss material and the little particles are getting through. I'm going to pick up some more filter pads that are a little more tightly constructed.

HN1
02-19-2014, 02:10 PM
I tend to agree with Ron that you are likely seeing a bacterial bloom. To check it put the water into a clear glass overnight. If it is still cloudy in the morning, you have eliminated particulates as a suspect. If it is cycled and you're battling particulates, I'd recommend filter floss (pillow stuffing) to clear / "polish" the water.

caricell
02-20-2014, 07:57 AM
I just had the same thing in two of my tanks. Stuck a UV filter on both. 3 days...gone. Crystal clear.

ronv
02-20-2014, 10:21 AM
That's cool Larry, but if the bloom is caused by "new tank syndrome" a UV filter is not going to fix it.

mstamper
02-20-2014, 10:30 AM
That's cool Larry, but if the bloom is caused by "new tank syndrome" a UV filter is not going to fix it.

Ronv, I agree with you. From my reading on other sites about what the OP wrote this a classic mini cycle in the tank from taking a large portion of the beneficial bacteria out of the system. This causes the bloom that was described by the OP. As for using a UV filter to control a cycle that the tank is having to go through to re-establish itself does not make sense to me. I would bet that the tank would have cleared up in the same amount of time with or without the use of a UV filter. I could be wrong, it just does not add up from my research about mini cycles.

incredibleSE
02-20-2014, 11:39 AM
I did the cup test last night. This morning, the cup is still a little cloudy. How long does a bacteria bloom last? My tank has looked a little cloudy for the last 3 weeks.

ronv
02-20-2014, 02:22 PM
Do you understand the "cycling" process? Do a google search for new tank syndrome or cycling an aquarium and then come back here and ask questions. Lots of good folks here that will help you. There are a couple of simple solutions to your problem. To determine "for sure" that your tank is not cycled, go to a fish store and purchase an ammonia test kit. If ammonia is present in your tank the diagnosis is confirmed.

incredibleSE
02-20-2014, 03:34 PM
Do you understand the "cycling" process? Do a google search for new tank syndrome or cycling an aquarium and then come back here and ask questions. Lots of good folks here that will help you. There are a couple of simple solutions to your problem. To determine "for sure" that your tank is not cycled, go to a fish store and purchase an ammonia test kit. If ammonia is present in your tank the diagnosis is confirmed.

Ron, I wouldn't say I'm an expert on the tank cycling process but I do understand it a little. I do think this is not a case of new tank syndrome, I really think it is an issue with the new filter setup I have. I asked just it case if the re-worked filter system doesn't clear it up. That's why I came to the forum with my questions. This is my first venture outside of the standard cartridge system, wanted to see if anyone else has had this issue.

Mog Carns
02-20-2014, 05:51 PM
The realistic answer is it is going to last as long as it is going to last.

Sometimes a few days, sometimes months. Plants help make it go away faster, especially fast growing plants that sap nutrients quickly. On the other side of the spectrum, your fish stocking level makes it last longer. However, that is the wrong way to think about it.


You probably know Fish make ammonia, which bacteria turn into nitrites, which different bacteria turn into nitrates. Plants eat Nitrates, and we also do water changes to control their build up.

Your process is interrupted at some point along that line. You have an excess of one of the nutrients, and the bloom of bacteria is feasting upon it.

So, what should you do? The short answer is nothing. Unsightly as it is, nature is currently working on resolving the issue. The issue is balance... and if the good is going to balance the bad... you have to let the bad be bad at full strength. Everything you do is going to work against you.


The long answer is as little as possible. You don't want your fish to die, so you might have to do something. If the ammonia or nitrite builds up too much, you will have to do a water change. The water will clear for a few hours, then come back with a vengeance.


If you have another filter that has been running in another tank (especially a heavily loaded tank) you can add it to your bloom tank to help quickly resolve the problem... but if you are uncareful you can simply cause a new bloom in the clear tank as you just removed some of its bacteria. I believe I have heard that the bacteria colonies can double in size every 24 hours, so never remove more than half the media from tank.

HN1
02-20-2014, 08:05 PM
Mind telling us a little more about your tank and fish? Size, How many fish, How often do you change water, feed, etc. When in doubt, I've always found it to be a good idea to do a large water change with temp matched and treated water. Have you had your water tested by chance? A liquid test kit can shed a ton of light on the goings on of your tank.

HN1
02-20-2014, 08:13 PM
Mog nailed it. Seeded media is the best answer. I work near Sandy Springs and could bring some nasty used filter media from grossly overstocked tanks to work sometime. JLMK.

mountainman36
02-20-2014, 09:38 PM
well....you guys are probably right, but one more thing to help is total darkness for a few days, to weeks. The ceramic media could have clouded the water, but it should have cleared by now, so the bacterial bloom is most likely.
I have used a lot of hang on tank systems, and not had the issue. Setting up the tank again, and even with seeded media it doesnt always work. I have had a few instances of cloudy water that just wouldnt quit, and turning off the lights really helped. i KNOW its not algae, but it still helps.