Overcoming cloudy water in the aquarium

It is obvious to get paranoid about seeing the water of your aquarium turned cloudy. The new hobbyists and especially those who have recently set up an aquarium find the situation very puzzling. It is very disturbing to see the tank, not in its usual form.

Certain questions that arise in mind seeing the condition are:

  • Is this normal?
  • Will the water get clear by its own after some time?
  • Are the fish fine?
  • Will this lead to altering the nature of flora and fauna of the aquarium?

If you are or have been in a similar situation, it is the time to get a complete insight into the matter. You must know in detail what causes cloudy water and what preventive measures can overcome it.

Cloudy water in a new aquarium

If you are a hobbyist and recently had a new aquarium, the chances of your tank seeming cloudy are very obvious. The good news is there is nothing to worry about it. Newly setup aquarium takes plenty of time to settle down the dust during the cycling process.

So if you experience cloudiness in a new aquarium- sit back and relax. You will find the water getting clear after a course of time by itself.

Cloudy water in an established aquarium

If you are not a newbie and have an established aquarium, yet experiencing cloudy water- it is a matter of concern. There could be one out of different reasons which have led the water to go cloudy from clear.

Let us find out what these reasons could be.

UNRINSED SUBSTRATE

This is one of the most common reasons that contribute to making the water cloudy. The improperly rinsed substrate not only makes the water cloudy but also diminishes the beauty of the aquarium. It doesn’t matter what type of substrate you are using in your aquarium, what matters is whether you rinse it or not.

There is always a certain amount of dust residing in the substrates. As soon you put it in the water, the dust releases and ultimately deteriorate the quality of water making it cloudy. However, the dust must settle in a few days or catch by the filter within a few days.

In order to prevent the substrate from causing cloudiness, you may use pre-washed substrates. Moreover, you may also put some efforts into cleaning them beforehand. All that you need is to wash and rinse them in a bucket and discard the dirty water. Repeating the process three to four times could help in getting rid of initial cloudiness to some extent.

BACTERIAL BLOOM

This is another reason which could lead the water to become cloudy. Bacterial bloom is not a rare thing to encounter in an aquarium. It makes the water turn milky and cloudy both. These bacteria are typical nitrifying ammonia consuming types that can be found in the filter. Others can be found swimming freely in the water as well.

Although the bacteria are not at all dangerous to the fish and tank, they release ammonia in such a high amount that filter fails to deal with it. This is when doing a test immediately to check for the possibility of your cycle being disrupted becomes essential. If this is the case, you must change the water immediately and test until the water values turn to normal.

Adding extra nitrifying bacteria is also a good idea. It speeds up the entire process and re-cycle the aquarium quickly.

ALGAL BLOOM

The free-floating algae may cause water turning green. The condition becomes even critical if there is an extra supply of nutrients and light. Therefore, steps should be taken to prevent the growth of algae.

The two essential steps one can make include:

  • Shifting your aquarium to a place where there is no direct sunlight
  • Adjusting the lightning schedule of the aquarium

In the situation is very critical, you may consider keeping the lights shut off entirely for a few days as well. Make sure that both water values and lightening schedule are up-to-date. Once everything comes under control the chances of getting clear water are high.

Other than this, you must include some plants in your aquarium. The benefits will be immense:

  • Plants will compete with algae for light and nutrients and thereby reduce their bloom.
  • Aquarium will get a natural look.
  • Fish will feel more safe and secure

DIRTY WATER

This is something worth to give heed. Water is the essence of an aquarium. If the tank’s water is murky or dirty not only your fish will suffer, but your entire setup will look rubbish as well.

No one adds dirty water in the aquarium. However, if there is some issue with stock, equipment or the maintenance schedule the chances of water becoming cloudy will automatically rise. Sometimes the filter stops working properly which alter the water values. Some aquarists overstock their tank with fish which also indirectly leads to the same problem.

So, no matter what the reason is for the cloudiness, the first step will be to change the water. Once you are done, look out for the possible reasons and work on it. Make sure the filters are working properly, the tank is not overloaded, and there are sufficient aquarium plants.

How to prevent cloudy water formation

Here are a few points to keep under the belt to ensure that there are no chances of aquarium water to turn cloudy. Check them out!

  • Cycle the tank now and then- Once you add any new fish make sure to cycle the aquarium completely. The chances of bacterial bloom increase if the aquarium is not cycled since ammonia/nitrite spikes up.
  • Never overstock – Have your recently added new fish in the tank? Are you sure that the tank is not overloaded due to it? Overstocking leads to a number of problems in an aquarium due to excessive waste output. The most common issues include dirty water and algal and bacterial bloom.
  • Get a good filter- A properly working filter is must-have equipment in the aquarium. It helps in sustaining the cycle as well. A filter which comprises the right filter materials and can handle the waste fish produce is best to install. Moreover, you must never switch off the filter for more than an hour. In addition to this, you should never replace the filter media all at once.
  • Maintenance is important- Checking the quality of water, performing regular water tests, keeping an eye on water value and changing the water as per the requirements is essential. You must remove the waste materials, leftover food, dead plant debris, and other decaying stuff to maintain the hygiene.

So these are the possible reasons and potential preventive measures for cloudy water. If you are concerned about the water getting cloudy, give heed to the points above and get a clear and aesthetically beautiful aquarium.

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