Cloudy Water in a Fish Tank and What to do About It!

if you've ever dealt with cloudy water

in a fish tank you may know that it's

one of the most frustrating things that

can happen in the fish keeping hobby

we're going to talk about how to deal

with it so stay tuned hello everyone

this is Jason from primetime aquatics

and today yes we are going to be dealing

with a very frustrating thing and that

is cloudy water in an aquarium how do we

deal with it so why are we talking about

it one because cloudy water doesn't look

the best and two in some cases cloudy

water can be an indication of how

healthy the water is for the fish all

right so in this video we're going to be

looking at the reasons why water becomes

cloudy we will also look at what to do

about it but I need your help prime-time

aquatics community if you've dealt with

cloudy water in the past before leave

that in the comments section below how

you successfully cleared up your water

we get this question all the time we

just set up a fish tank and within a few

days the water is cloudy and it doesn't

matter how many water changes you do or

you clean the filter media the water is

still cloudy why does that happen often

when you're setting up a new tank and

that tank is not fully cycled and we

talked about the nitrogen cycle in

another video I will put a card in the

upper right hand corner when a tank is

not cycled usually once you start adding

fish and once you start adding fish food

the water becomes really cloudy why

often it's a bacterial Blauman so you

have bacteria that are suspended in the

water column

creating cloudy water cloudy water can

also happen if you're overfeeding your

fish if you've got too much fish food in

the tank and the fish don't eat it it

can sink the bottom of the tank and

begin to rot there all that food the

starts to dissolve break apart it goes

into the water column you can also have

cloudy water if you have too many fish

and too small of a tank especially when

those fish are interacting with the sand

or the ground will the substrate they

can be kicking up a lot of stuff debris

food waste and that can create cloudy

water as well the other thing that can

happen is inadequate filtration

we've talked a lot about filtration in

the past we've talked about the nitrogen

cycle we've talked about water quality I

will put all those videos in a

description below so you can check those

out but it adequate filtration could be

a problem there's three types of

filtration chemical mechanical

biological the mechanical filtration

aspect is the one that we're interested

here today because that's the ability of

your filter to pull out particulate

matter from the water column so if the

filter is inadequate in other words it's

too small for the amount of fish and the

amount of fish way that you have the bio

load that you have and the volume of

water that you're trying to filter that

can lead to cloudy water but there's

something else that that's just

important when it comes to mechanical

filtration you may have the right size

filter but the wrong media in that

filter and so the finer the pour is the

smaller the pores in your filter media

the more particulate matter will be

trapped from the water column so for

instance you might have a very coarse

sponge in your filter that may trap some

debris but if you had filter floss in

that filter media as well it would trap

even more of course there's a trade-off

if you've got filter flaws in the filter

it's going to gunk up a little bit more

frequently you're going to have to

change it more often the other thing

that can happen is you might have the

right filter you might even have the

right media but as I just mentioned if

you are not changing the filter media

often enough that usually has an impact

on the quality of the water and the way

it looks mechanically and so once that

filter floss gets gummed up it isn't

going to trap any additional stuff

coming from the water it's just gonna be

passed through right back into the tank

the other thing that can cause water to

become cloudy dead fish that fish is a

key sometimes you'll get a fish that

gets stuck behind some rocks maybe it

even got into the filter itself it's

somewhere where you can't see it and it

begins to decompose in the tank and

everything starts to turn cloudy because

you've got all this additional organic

material in that fish tank and that can

create all kinds of problems I'll just

check around make sure you have all the

fish that you're supposed to have and

that will certainly help this last thing

is something I think it's overlooked a

lot your tank can look pretty dirty and

you may think it's the water and it's

not actually the water

it's the glass so bacteria in the tank

begin to produce a biofilm over the

glass and it gives the tank a somewhat

cloudy appearance sometimes just doing a

quick little algae scraper along the

glass will

make a world of difference it might not

actually be the water it just might be

the viewing pane of your fish tank all

right so those are some of the reasons

why water can become cloudy now what do

we do about it obviously one of the

reoccurring themes I think that we're

seeing here is proper fish tank

maintenance is key what does that mean

it means doing your water changes your

water changes are primarily going to be

based on the amount of nitrates you have

in your fish tank we've talked about

this a number of times in other water

quality videos again I will put those

videos in the description below but

essentially your nitrates typically

determine how much and how often you're

going to be changing your water so

proper water changes that's going to be

important and if you don't have a

planted tank and you've got gravel off

then that means grab will vacuum the

tank when you do the water change that's

going to pull out a lot of the uneaten

food it's also going to pull out some of

the fish waste and that organic material

once it's removed will help ensure that

your water stays a little bit more clear

second thing we've already mentioned it

make sure your glass is clean that will

also make the fish tank appear a lot

cleaner we've mentioned this already but

proper filter maintenance if you've got

the right size filter you've got the

right type of media make sure you change

it once the media gets saturated with

fish waste and uneaten food and whatever

else is floating around in your tank for

us what that usually means is when we

use the fine filter floss and a lot of

our tanks for the few hang on back

filters that we that we run in our fish

room we're changing it out about every

couple of weeks but most of our tanks

are very heavily stocked

what we're looking for is that the

filter media is starting to look Brown

and kind of nasty we pull it out put

fresh filter floss in its place if we

look at it and it still looks relatively

good we keep it in there and we'll let

it go another week now this last thing

is probably one of the most important

for those of you who are starting a new

tank if your tank was not fully cycled

before you began adding fish and now

you've got cloudy water because you have

a bacterial bloom there's a few things

you can do about that thing number one

reduce the amount of food that you're

feeding your fish so if you're feeding

them two or three times a day maybe do

one small feeding every day

second thing don't add any more fish all

right right now

what's happening in a new tank is you've

got a lot of bio load going into what

was once a relatively sterile

environment and their fish are producing

waste and they're eating food and all of

that stuff is food for bacteria and

that's why the bloom is there the other

thing that you should be looking for is

ammonia ammonia is very toxic to fish

we've done videos on how to deal with

ammonia I will put a card in the upper

right hand corner that video will also

be in the description below I highly

recommend you watch that video to learn

how to deal with ammonia that's probably

coming next if it hasn't already started

in your fish tank if it is a brand new

tank the other thing that you could be

doing it's not necessarily going to

reduce the cloudiness by a lot is do

water changes so if the water is super

cloudy because you have a bacterial

bloom water changes somewhere in that

thirty to fifty percent may be helpful

if you are having a problem because your

tank is brand new and it's not fully

cycled one of the best pieces of advice

I can give you is try to find some used

filter media from a trusted source from

a different fish tank that doesn't have

disease and put that media in your

filter that will help you make sure that

you don't have an ammonia or nitrite

spike later now there are some products

on the market that will claim to help

you clarify your water if it's due to a

bacterial bloom it's probably not going

to work so if you look at the those

products and you put them in there if

you've got other issues besides

bacterial bloom they may help for me

personally I have never used those

products and seen a noticeable

difference after using it alright

everyone so hopefully you found that

helpful again I understand cloudy water

can certainly be frustrating primetime

aquatics community if you've got

suggestions put that in the comment

section below if you found this helpful

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