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Aquarium Troubles - advice please!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Paul O, May 15, 2005.

  1. Paul O

    Paul O Member

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    Hi all,

    I've got myself a new fish tank but its all gone cloudy, and I'm not sure what to do now!

    I bought the tank (18x10x12"), which came with an undergravel filter (a plastic sheet type thing) and an air pump which I've got on the back right hand side. Its only been on low setting, but Ive put it onto high now.

    I cleaned the gravel, but after speaking with some people, it might not have been done enough.

    Anyway, I had it running for a couple of weeks, but it got a tiny bit cloudy. However, as soon as I put in 1 fish (a fancy goldfish type), its gone really foggy within a week!!

    I've tried cloud cleaner product, gravel cyphoning, and 2 other bottles Stress Zyme and Stress Coat. I've also got some plants in there now too.

    None of these has really made an impact! The pet store just keeps selling me more bottles of stuff to try - which just aren't working and each one is at least a fiver a time. :(

    I suspect that I haven't cleaned the gravel enough before I put it in? However, the pet shop guy says that I must not empty the tank and put in new water, as this is bad for the fish!

    Can anyone offer some advice as to how I can clear my tank - I'm stuck and can't find any references in books/web as to how to actually combat this - other than what I have tried.

    If I empty the tank and clean the gravel, then put new water in will it kill my fish? :eek: :confused: Anything else I can do? What about 1/3 of the water every week, or will I still have lots of fog, as I'm not actually cleaning the gravel. I'm a bit worried about my new fish!

    Thanks people! :smashin:
  2. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy Active Member

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    is it near a window? Could be algae forming quickly in direct sunlight...alternatively knock the under gravel filter on the head, get down to the pet shop and buy an external filter like a Fluval or something, this should sort it.
  3. Miyazaki

    Miyazaki Member

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    is it cold water or tropical?

    Have you got a filtration system in your tank?

    I didn't clean my gravel when I got my tank and it was cloudy for a couple of days, but settled down.

    What do you mean by foggy?
  4. shodan

    shodan Active Member

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    Does your fish have diarhea?
  5. lukmek

    lukmek Guest

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    go to
    ultimatereef.com
    or
    reefhaven.co.uk
    or
    reefscene.com
    They are forum about fish and aquarium
    thanks
    Luca
  6. Paul O

    Paul O Member

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    Hi, its not near a window, but the room might get fairly hot during the day (assuming we have a hot day in the UK!), so that might have helped?

    Cold

    Yes, just an undergravel filter jobby.

    Its cloudy. When you take the water out though, it looks pretty clear, but when looking through the tank, you can't see through to the other side :(

    Thanks for the forum suggestions Lukmek, I will check those out. I thought I'd post on here first, as the trusty AV Forums lot are a most helpful bunch on all manner of subjects.

    Thanks guys for the replies!
  7. Miyazaki

    Miyazaki Member

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    try a 50% water change mate. Get some of that crystal clear liquid stuff from your local aquarium shop as well.
  8. ibrox50

    ibrox50 Member

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    how many hours are your lights on ?
  9. Garrett

    Garrett Moderator

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    It just may need time for the bacteria to settle down they perform an action in getting rid of harmful chemicals. I just forget the exact name but turn nitrates to nitrites.
    If you know a mate who had a tank and is near by get some of his water, better still some of his filter material that is in use in is tank.
  10. MarkB4506

    MarkB4506 Member

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    Don't strip the tank unless you have a mature tank to house the fish in - you'll destroy your developing filter bacteria on the gravel. In an aquarium, fish swim in their own toilet and the filter is the sewage system - it's not there to keep the water clear, it's there to clear ammonia and nitrite (both lethal) from the water, converting them to nitrate (a lot less lethal). 2 different organisms perform the sequential ammonia - nitrite and nitrite - nitrate conversions.

    You keep nitrate levels acceptable by regular, partial water changes with nitrate free water.

    I'd have expected dirty gravel to have been evident from day 1 and get steadily less with water changes. You might have an algal bloom - especially if there are high nitrate levels in the water. Even if it's not near a window does it get direct sunlight?

    Give it a couple of weeks - perform 10 - 25% max. water changes twice a week and don't add any fish until it decreases, in case it is a bloom.

    You should only change more than 25% of the water if the alternative is death - eg filter failure and ammonia/nitrite are present.
  11. samjet

    samjet New Member

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    quite simply get rid of that small tank and get something at least 24 x 18 x 12"

    the small size you have makes it impossible to have correct water management and anyway you could only have a cuople of small fish in a tank that size - any more would be cruel and further exacerbate your existing problems

    sorry to sound harsh but over the years i have learnt (the hard way) a bit about fish and aquaria :D

    quite simply the bigger the tank the easier it is to have good quality water with less effort!
  12. MarkB4506

    MarkB4506 Member

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    That's excellent advice and something I'd have said myself if I'd taken on board the size of the tank when I read this late last night!
  13. Paul O

    Paul O Member

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    Hi everyone, thanks for all the advice, it will be used wisely!

    Unfortunately, this is the biggest tank I can have due to my incredibly small living space.

    However, it was only ever indended as a move for my one goldfish who is now 8 or 9 years old. He's in a very small tank and thought it would be nice to move him into a much bigger one. I've bought him a buddy as well, and he's the one thats living in there at the moment. Once I've sorted out the murkyness and had the water tested, my goldfish will be joining him too. It should be of adequate size for the two of them :)

    Regarding lights, the tank doesn't have any at the moment.

    Thanks again!

    Paul.
  14. stealther

    stealther Member

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    Hi Something for you to consider:

    If you have a goldfish bowl I would introduce the new fish into that and start again with your new set up. Having had experiance with both methods of filtration, I cant see any reason why you cant use the equipment you have described.

    A undergravel filtration system is completely dependant on your gravel and I think its a good bet that thats where your problem lies.

    2 options ditch the Gravel or remove and thoroghly clean.

    When cleaning gravel or preparing gravel get a bucket and fill it half with gravel then continually rinse with water until the water runs out clear then you can add to your tank.

    A undergravel filter works by trapping useful bacteria in the gravel itself along with all the waste produced by fish. If you have a healthy working setup and change your gravel or clean it out you could well be killing your aquarium. This is not to say if the gravel starts looking gross that it can not be changed just merely not all at once.

    I ve been keeping Tropical fish for 15 years and have never lost one due to a clean out or a aquarium move.
    Hope the info helps.
  15. alancolledge

    alancolledge Member

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    I've had a few similar experiences with cloudy water. It was the result of a bacterial bloom where the tank wasn't mature enough and I put the fish in.

    There was a product called Accu Clear which clubs the bacteria together so that it gets caught in the filter media. It clears in a couple of hours, but I had an internal canister filter in mine so I wouldn't have thought it would be much use with an under gravel one.
  16. Garrett

    Garrett Moderator

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    As above a canister fillter or internal is better as when you clean the filter all the muck is taken out of the tack with an under gravel the muck gets chured up when cleaning.
    To make the filter bigger you can send the water from a canister or internal back down the tube and under the gravel (reverse flow under gravel). The when cleaning put a pipe down the tube and leat the water be sucked through the gravel up the pipe and into a bucket.
    The gravel is realy acting as a bacteria (good I may add) spawning ground.

    They say fishkeeping is about water keeping, not the fish.

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