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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is something just not right with my two planted tanks. The water is always cloudy no matter what I do. I have added beneficial bacteria. I have tried several different chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration methods. The water levels are all normal (ammonia, PH, phosphate, gh, kh, nitrate, nitrite). I have tried water changes (everything from 10% to 90%). NOTHING IS WORKING!

What is making my water so cloudy and how can I fix it?:pout:
 

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HOw long has your tank been set up? Usually cloudy water is a result of cycling

Also, any decorations or rocks that possibly are not aquarium safe?

There is also the possibility that the chemicals you are adding to the tank are reacting with other chemicals. Try not adding any chemicals to the tank and let it cycle that way
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The tanks have been set up for a few months, since this summer.

The substrate is sand, there are a few pieces of drift wood and some rocks - other than that it's just plants and very few fish.
 

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If the cloudiness is more of a brownish colour the chances are that your drift wood is still leaching tannin's. That would be my best guess. How often are you doing water changes?
 

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Turn your light off completely for 3-4 days. If your tank clears you have an algae problem. My suggestion is to get a UV sterilizer. In fact even if your problem is from bacteria, the UV will cure it.
 

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Quite often bacteria blooms happen and can drive you mad sorting it out. Chlorine is unstable in water and does not kill everthing. Once the Chorine is neutralized or leaves, the Bacteria grows quickly. It usually starves quickly too and the carcasses go out with water changes. All the advice is good...probably the best is the UV filter as a quick fix. I do not know why mature tanks do not have this problem but water changes, which are usually "the answer" are counterproductive if this is indeed the problem. Everytime you add new water a new batch of Bacteria (the reason for the cloudyness)is introduced. The tank will eventually snap into clarity but it may take a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess I'll have to look into getting some UV filters.

The cloudiness is white/grey (definately not algae or tannins). The weird thing is that the fish are not bothered by it and the plants grow like crazy.

I have tried both bio-chem and purigen and they did not work.

I am thinking of just buy some plain water clarifier from Petsmart, they have a decent store brand flocculant.
 

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I occasionally have that problem and I usually put a charcoal pad in my filter for a couple of days (while suspending ferts) until the water clears up and then remove it and continue as normal. This has always worked for me. Just remember that charcoal will take out any ferts in the water as well as reach a point of saturation and need to be removed, not that charcoal is recommended to be kept in planted tanks for the long term. A charcoal pad costs about $3 where I live. A UV filter would be even better but the cheapest one I could find was about $50.
 

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I guess I'll have to look into getting some UV filters.

The cloudiness is white/grey (definately not algae or tannins). The weird thing is that the fish are not bothered by it and the plants grow like crazy.

I have tried both bio-chem and purigen and they did not work.

I am thinking of just buy some plain water clarifier from Petsmart, they have a decent store brand flocculant.
Before you throw more stuff in your tank you should at least try turning you lights off. Often algae bloom appear grey when they are at a low level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Before you throw more stuff in your tank you should at least try turning you lights off. Often algae bloom appear grey when they are at a low level.
We decided to check the water by taking some of it out and putting in a clear bottle and holding it up to the light. Sure enough, it is very pale light green. I'm assuming that it's an algae bloom due to my inexperience with dosing dry ferts.
 

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Get a HOT Magnum filter with the micron sleeve. It's about $50 shipped online and will clean it up in a week. I had horrendous green water all the time and it did the trick. Not to mention it provides an extra flow to my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I came SO close to buying a canister filter but made myself believe the HOB would be fine....

I guess tomorrow will be water changes and algaecide.
 

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The HOT filter with the Micron sleeve works. You really should own one.

The UV filter will get rid of the Bacteria as will the Magnum HOT/Micron sleeve.

Ray is giving really good advice and adding chemicals that may or may not work is not as cheap or easy as turning off the lights.
 

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I keep a UV on 24/7 I know it kills parasites/bacteria that's bad for my fish and any algae in water. Great invention! It's worth the investment. An algaecide my hurt some of the plants you want to keep..... mosses, etc.
 

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I understand your frustration, but the magic bullet, ie, algaecide, is not the way to go in the long run. Work with the tank to stabilize it, and give the plants what they require, and most of your algae issues will go away. In the long run, this way will be much more beneficial for your tank.
 

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I agree with TexGal the way to go is with a UV sterilizer. I keep mine on 24/7. I figure that based on the kill rate, my tank water has less bacteria than my tap water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For leaving the lights off, do i need to completely block the tank from ALL light or just leave the tank lights off?

I may be able to get a better filter and/or UV sterilizer for my birthday or christmas coming up. Otherwise, I am just a flat broke unemployed college student in a bad economy.
 
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