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Hello, I am new to this forum and I need some help. I have a 55, 2 20s and a ten. The 55 gal has been set up for over a month now and I have been testing the ammonia and nitrite levels constantly to watch how it has been progressing in becomming an established tank. I had treated the tank with benificial bacteria (SuperBac) and stuff like that to help it along in the process. Recently I have been testing it and the ammonia went down to 0 and the nitrite was getting there too, I was so happy because I thought it was finally about to become established. To my surprise a couple days ago I went to turn on the lights and the water started becoming cloudy, I had just put in a filter pouch that is supposed to take out the nitrites and stuff like that the night before so I thought it was because of that. I tested the water and the nitrite and ammoina levels were as high as the test would read them, and of course I freaked out thinking my fish were going to die. I havent added any extra fish to the tank, actually I have removed some because I had 5 preg platies. I checked everywhere in the tank, there are no dead fish, all the plants are alive and green, I dont over feed and I have been cutting back since on food even more since I found out just incase that was the problem. So I did a small water change probably about 25% and its still testing high. Yesterday I was looking at the top of the water and it looks like there is a film on it that was never there before. There is plenty of airation in the tank, there is four under gravel tubes going, a sponge filter and a decoration that has an air stone in it. The bubbles coming out of the tubes and everything dont look right, they are really big, not fine like they used to be. I checked the air stones and they are all clear and working well. The tank just keeps getting cloudier and cloudier and I dont know what else to do. I have been using some Ammo Lock to protect the fish and Amquel to remove some of the ammonia and nitrites. I have cleaned the rocks very good, the carbon was just replaced, the sponge filter doesnt have any obstructions and like I said I have checked the plants for anything that might be dying and removed it. Im really lost now, my mom was so scared for the fish she did a large water change yesterday and the fish were breathing a lot better and the water cleared up a little. I woke up this morning and its very cloudy again. Any advice would be much appreciated, I have had tanks before and never had this much trouble with them. Please help before its too late!!
 

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I had the same issue for the first month i had my 55 and heres what I did.

Checked the bio load (no more than 1" of fish per gallon fat fish count as 1.5" for each inch)

cleaned out all the dead stuff (removed browning leaves and pruned any leaf thats not absolutely perfect [done for plant health anyway] and used a siphon and gravel cleaner thing to get all the food and poop out of the gravel)

fed them much less (a fish should eat as much as can fit inside its eyeball each day, not more)

finally I bought fish and equipment to eliminate my need to maintain the tank, namely what are ALL the fish in your tank? if its just the ones your breeding that alone can the the problem, get some bottom feeders (my choice by far are shrimp even ghost shrimp are really cool to have in the tank and unless you overfeed by huge margins theyll get everything that your fish miss) I bought oto catfish for algae 4 in my 55 keep the algae to nothing and to deal with the cloudy water specifically i bought 2 bamboo shrimp, theyre filter feeders and will take anything out of the current thats big enough for them to grab.

As for the equipment; I have activated charcoal in bags stuffed into every nook inside my filter.

I have slightly cloudy water (only noticeable looking down the long end) but I dont do water changes, gravel cleaning, or filter replacing (except i keep the charcoal fresh every 30 days per bag (3 bags 10 day cycle I replace the coal in one)

The only other thing is that you said you check ammonia and nitrite?
nitrAte is another important one, dont know if you dont test it for forgot to mention it but the levels in an established tank should be:
Ammonia==0ppm
Nitrate==0ppm
nitrite==40ppm

so if your comment is accurate and your nitrite levels are near 0ppm then you may be doing something wrong and thats the cause?

(just remembered; the first time i set up the tank i used a little too much water conditioner and it was very cloudy when your doing your water changes remember to use too little conditioner (by far) than too much (at all)
 

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since the one post was long enough I decided to address the other problem in another post

the scum in your water is a bacterial situation. You said that theres pleanty of airation, thats good as its the biggest step to getting rid of the problem.

Your filter is about 90-99% of airation (bubblers are for looks and dont help on any real level) so dont worry if your bubblers are looking different.

The second thing to do is make sure the surface is moveing asmuch as possible (I accomplished this by dropping my water level 1" and letting the filter feed back into the tank with some gravitational force behind it (this also helpsto improve airation)

Thirdly add some aquarium salt even freshwater fish will oftentimes do better with a little salt in their tank but bacteria HATE it.

Lastly there should be some medicine at your pet store I never had to use it but researching it i found that there is something to add to the water to help kill it off.


BEFORE YOU DO ANY OF THE ABOVE:
Get the cloudy water cleared up and treat it after wards is its still there. My scum never god extreemely bad but it cleared up completely with the cloudyness of the water.

Hope my advice helps you out (even though I delivered it with a double post)
 

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do you have a canister filter or a over the back filter that may be the problem. not enough filtration. you can get good canisters for under 100 online. i never really liked undergravel filters as i dont think they do the job good enough.
 

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UGF air driven are good for 30 gal and under, but aftert hat you should use powerheads to are rated for you tank. Aquaclear sell some good in for cheap.

UGF's move water through the gravel to create conditions favorable for biological filtration. Once the beneficial bacteria colonize the gravel, they begin to efficiently break down waste materials. The waste materials particles are then pulled and lifted into the water where they can be filter with a canisterfilter or HOB. These filters are not really designed for planted tanks as the roots will block the grate holes or clog the flow of water and create a dead spot were toxins can build up. These toxins will kill fish if the are released into the water. So if you ever stop using one you need to remove the plates from the tank.
 

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Glad I searched for this thred. I am bringing it back. My symptoms are similar to Kaybears. I have a 40 gallon acrylic Sea Clear tank with Eclipse 3 hood. Everything was fine for a month or so and BANG, its cloudy green with minor scum on top. Everything tests fine as far as ammonia nitrates and nitrites. I have had aquariums for years and never have had a problem like this. Completely stumped. Thinking of adding some more filtration to see if that will help.
Any comments or suggestions would be great. Feel free to PM me. I am a member of some car forums and can't keep up with all the subscriptions.
Thanks in advance,
Darren
 

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how much are you feeding and how long are you light running. Is there any other light source it may be getting light from, ie windows other fixture is the room. Algea needs two things to grow lighting and to much nutriants in the water. Are you over stocked?
 

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Green water is due to an algae bloom. A milky cloudiness is often due to a bacterial bloom. For both, watch out when doing large water change, this will add nutrients back in and in a few days....boom...another bloom.

For algae, make sure you don't have too many watts per gallon (~3w or less), and do not have your lights on for more than 8-10 hrs a day. As Djrichie stated, watch out for direct sunlight and how much you feed.

For bacteria blooms, just wait it out. Do smaller (if possible) water changes and keep your eye on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Do not wash your biological filter. Limit the feeding... and depending on the food, this may also add to the oily film layer at the top of your tank.

BTW, I think cal mis-typed. You want Nitrite at 0ppm and Nitrate can be around 40ppm. Nitrate can be used up by live plants in your tank and is not too bad for fish. If you see your nitrates go from say ~0 to well over 40 within a week of a water change then you might have too much load for your tank/filter to handle.
 

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Been doing small water changes,just a few inches at a time. Chemistry has been fine. Checking every day at the time. Fish seem happy and healthy, just green cloudy water. Think I will ad a small filter with UV sterilization to help the Eclipse3 hood. Will keep upto date with what I do. Hopefully I willlearn a couple of things. Never have I encountered so many problems in twenty years.
 

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Well we will see how it goes. Installed UV Sterilizer today at 2:00 PM. Have seen a little improvement already in clarity. Removed decorative plants, ie. plastic and got new for later. Did a small water change when I put in the unit. Added a half dose of Tetra Algae Control and left light off most of the day. Chemistry is fine 0 Ammonia and nitrites and nitrates in check. May also have high phosphate level, just cant test for it don't have the kit. maybe get a phosphate catcher I saw at the store.

Heres the link: Aquarium Gallery - osomoso Gallery

:fish-bones:
 

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Yeah it was fairly green. Thats why I took the last ditch effort in getting the sterilizer. Now that they have become more affordable and compact. The whole thing is one unit. I will be taking some more pics today at the twenty foer hour mark. By the way the lights usually run for about eight hours a day.
 

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The UV should take care of the green water but you will still need to get to the bottom of what caused it, try adding a small PH and point it at the surface to get rid of the scum, how old is the bulb or bulbs because when your lights shift there spectrum it can help cause an algea bloom but it also needs some excess nutrients
 

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The more I think about it, the more I realize what happened. The entire set up is new. I just used the gravel and some or most of the original water from the old tank. I did what anyone else may do at one point. I did a mass water change, but less than 50%. Proceeded to scrub all decorations. When it was filled back up, I started a new cycle. OOPS! Gave me a good reason to get a sterilizer, which I have always wanted. It will be removed and only used when needed again. I am going to try it in my pond later after we clen it real good. We always get bad green water in it.

Heres the pictures after 24 hours: Aquarium Gallery - osomoso Gallery

Hope this helps anyone who may encounter this. Just don't give upand spend some extra bucks when you can. It was only $59.99 plus sales tax at the local gigantore store. The product is the Green Kiling Machine 24 watt version. Any questions feel free to ask.

Darren
 

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Here are the results of the Green Killing Machine 24 watt: Aquarium Gallery - Final results.
Hope this helps someone out. The only thing I see is that it will have to be removed and possibly used again at a later date. It will eventually kill beneficial bacteria as well over time. Now kinda struggling with the thought of getting another product I found accidentally. Hope this is ok, but here is a link the product site. I have no experience with this product or have anything to do with them. Just want to know if anyone else has hadany experience with it or heard of something like it. ECO-Aqualizer
I don't mind the maintenance involved in having a nice aquarium, just want a better habitat for my fish with fewer problems.
 
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