Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to get rid of cloudy water

If you are an aquarium owner, you would probably has experienced cloudy water solutions at some time or another. As a result of numerous emails to me, I thought I share some simple tips on how to have clear waters for your aquarium so that you can continue to enjoy looking at your fish, and your fish are healthier and less likely to die so quick.

Cloudy Water

If you have just started your aquarium, or recently changed the gravel, added an aquarium decoration and are experiencing a grayish brownish discoloration of the aquarium water, and notice some coloration in your water, please don't panic. The gravel or decrocation was probably still "dirty". The free-floating dirt particles should settle as well as get trapped in the external filtration fairly quickly. There are a lot of commerical solutions available that can clump fine particles so that they are more likely to be trapped by the filter.

A yellowish discoloration or brownish tint is typically attributed to organic matter. Activated carbon and bio rings should absorb this and eliminate this yellow tint.

Green Water

The green water, is often due to an algae bloom. Free floating planktonic single celled algae growing at a rate that turns the water green. The cause is always the same, too much light and excess nutrients (nitrates) often resulting from overfeeding. Excessive light cannot only be attributed to the aquarium lighting but also intense room lighting and direct sunlight.

Keeping nutrients low can prevent green water, while water changes provide little to no help in clearing the water. The algae spores are readily available in the water, including most waters used for changes. These spores will thrive in nutrient rich water, adding to the deterioration of the visual appeal. An algae bloom can become so severe that the content of your aquarium can literally vanish in the green water.

To cope with green water, there are some algaecides that can kill the gren algae, but personally, I have found most of them to be ineffective against algae boom. It is my personal recommendation to purchase filter with UV set to get rid of the the algae. While this can be expensive for the beginning hobbyest, I personally find the use of these filters a god sent- less frequent water changes are required and the filter media and UV combination does an excellent job of killing aglae.

White Cloudy Water

White cloudiness is a result of a bacteria bloom. Sometimes the cleaning of all filters at once, or the changing of the gravel can trigger a bacteria bloom, due to the removal of bacterial colonies that had settled on the filter media or substrate. Another cause can bemedical treatment of the tank using antibiotics, which may destroy these colonies. As the colonies are destroyed, the bacteria are either re-establishing themselves, or are feasting on high nutrients. In nutrient rich water they can multiply at such a high rate that the water becomes cloudy white.

A bacteria bloom is cause for concern as bacteria need oxygen. A few grams of bacteria consume about the same amount as an adult human, again posing a threat of de-oxygenation in the aquarium. Immediate action is required if the problem is severe, or persists.

A UV-Sterilizer may be somewhat effective, as it kills bacteria.

But the biggest problem is that it's the ammonia spike that will soon occur (if it hasn't already), followed by elevated nitrites. Both could result in the loss of some or all of your fish. To avoid this problem, I strongly recommends solutions for getting rid of excess ammonia.

Clear quality is possible if you take simple precaution


Cloudy Water: [Online], [Available],

Fish Tank Guide, Cloudy water [Online], [Available],

How do I Fix Cloudy Water in a New Tank? [Online],[Available],

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