Cloudy Water

Terry

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Hi,

My 250 ltr planted tank is filtered by an EHEIM 2026 Pro II operating at about 50%. I’ve recently (3 weeks ago) changed from using a mix of RO and Tap Water to purely Tap Water. However, since the change the water in the tank is noticeably cloudier. I change about 50% each week. After reading various threads on this forum that tap water is much better for plants and also to avoid the hassle of driving to the LFS each week to collect RO.

Would putting the active carbon filter mat in the filter cure the problem and should it remain in the filter all the time?

PS: Love the new forum format
 

Dan Crawford

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The cloudy water sounds like a bacteria bloom. Turn your filter up to full flow (flow and turnover are good) and change 25% of the water every day till it clears. The bacteria bloom should not harm your fish or plants. It should clear in under a week.
just a question, does your tap water look clear before you Putin in the tank?
I hope this helps.
Dan
 

nry

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May or not be relevant, but sometimes the chelater (so I am told) in some liquid plant fertilisers (and that sometimes in powdered trace mixes) can cause cloudy water. I had this with SeaChem and the AE mix, switching to Tropica Plant Nutrition (which is said to have a better chelater) has solved things completely.
 

Terry

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Interesting observation, thank you. Coincidentally, I've recently switched to EI (same time as change to puely tap water) and dose according to the instructions given on this forum. All powders purchased from AE.
 

Ed Seeley

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Terry said:
Interesting observation, thank you. Coincidentally, I've recently switched to EI (same time as change to puely tap water) and dose according to the instructions given on this forum. All powders purchased from AE.

Do you use GH booster? I add Seachem's Equilibrium when doing water changes (using RO water) and this clouds the water but has cleared by the next day.
 

discusdean

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you dont mention whether the cloudiness is green or not
my tank appeard cloudy at certain times of the day and finnally tracked it down to the lamp type reflecting through the water when i changed to a different type problem was solved.(cloudiness appeared grey tinged)
 

Terry

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In answer to replies:
eds - when I was mixing RO with tap I never used GH booster.

Discusdean - colour is very light grey/off white, hard to define.

I'm currently running with Dan's suggestion on turning up power on the filter. Will advise on progress.
 

GreenNeedle

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Terry said:
Hi,
Would putting the active carbon filter mat in the filter cure the problem and should it remain in the filter all the time?

Planted or not, only use the carbon when it is needed i.e. removing meds.

In a planted tank it will remove nutrients.

It also has a very short shelf life and therefore after its been in a few days is worthless as carbon and becomes and extra filter sponge.

Andy
 

LondonDragon

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My water becomes a little cloudy when I add Sachen Fe to my tank, but when I add Kent Botanica Fe it doesn't happen!
 

Terry

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Update - turning up the filter to full power coupled with 25% water change has already shown a marked improvement. :)

Thanks guys for your advice.
 

Terry

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Unfortunately, the Cloudy water issue has returned to my tank which was previously diagnosed as a bacterial bloom on this forum. I intend to administer same treatment as advised before. (25% water change increase filter flow to full power).

My question is what is a Bacterial Bloom and how can it be prevented?

Thanks in anticipation.
 

tanker

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Thats a good question. I also need the answers :D I sometimes have cloudy water as well and it usually goes away after repeated water changes.
i have a bottle of what it says as bacteria to help speed up biological filtration. Do i need it? Or its not useful. can the bacteria bloom be caused by this?
Kindly advise
 

Ed Seeley

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A bacterial bloom is simply a large quantity of bacteria in the water column giving it a cloudy appearance.

IME, cloudy water can be due to:
Chemicals in the water that have not fully dissolved (e.g. adding a GH booster or some dry ferts - Seachem Equilibrium clouds my tank water every time I add it).
Tiny particles in the water that have either come from something breaking down in the tank or the substrate (Aquaosil can cause cloudiness when plants are uprooted)
Green algae in the water column giving green water (When this first starts it can make the water look cloudy rather than green.)
Or bacteria blooms. (The only time I have had one of these is when adding wood to a tank that encouraged the bacterial growth.)

If it's particles then you want a fine mechanical filter media such as JBL Symec Micro which is a very fine filter sheet. If the particles still get through this then you can buy flocculant treatments that make the fine debris stick together so the filter can remove them. Also try to not disturb the substrate too much and when replanting use tweezers to move less substrate and cut stems off at substrate level rather than pulling them up too often.

If it's cloudiness due to some undissolved chemical then you could try dissolving the chemicals in a smaller amount of water and then adding the dissolved section to the tank. This speeds up the water clearing for me when I use Equilibrium.

If it's green water then you need to look at your dosing, CO2 and lighting set up and if it is bacterial then you need to track down the cause of the bacteria as, like any living thing, they need something available to grow on. Suspect any wood and give the tank and filter a good clean.

Good luck!
 

tanker

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Hi Ed, thanks for the explanation. i suppose such bacteria bloom does not come from the bacteria that breaks down ammonia into nitrate? my aquarium does not contain wood, so i sup[pose the bacteria bloom comes from the ADA malayana soil that i'm using, as i'm still replanting plants that become uprooted.
 

Ed Seeley

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tanker said:
Hi Ed, thanks for the explanation. i suppose such bacteria bloom does not come from the bacteria that breaks down ammonia into nitrate? my aquarium does not contain wood, so i sup[pose the bacteria bloom comes from the ADA malayana soil that i'm using, as i'm still replanting plants that become uprooted.

The nitrifying bacteria only exist in high numbers in the filter in a biofilm which is very firmly attached to the filter media.

If you're replanting plants from Aquasoil then you don't have a bacterial bloom at all IMO, but small particles from the Aqusoil floating in the water column. Aquasoil is very soft and every time you uproot stuff it will cause some cloudiness. It should go in a day or so then the water should be clear. I'd try some fine filter media to help clear it or do a large water change everytime after you uproot some plants. (I've got to remove some Nymphaea in my Rio growing in Aquasoil Amazonia later today and will try and remember to take some pictures to add to my journal to show what happens.)
 

Terry

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Guys,
Thanks for the explanations. Happy to report that after doing 25% water change each day for a week the problem has once again gone away. The water has been clear now for nearly two weeks.
 

gixer

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Glad to hear it's sorted Terry.

Just wanted to add that running your 2026 flat out shouldn't cause any problems.

My tanks half the size as yours at 120L yet i've been running my 2026 flat out for near on 3 months without any problems.




Cheers
Mark
 

Terry

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Mark,

gixer said:
Glad to hear it's sorted Terry.
Just wanted to add that running your 2026 flat out shouldn't cause any problems.
My tanks half the size as yours at 120L yet i've been running my 2026 flat out for near on 3 months without any problems.
Cheers
Mark

Thanks. Water still remains crystal clear. CO2 stable at last and Plants also doing extremely well.

Cheers
Terry
 

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