Cloudy Water

Discussion in 'Filters, Filtration and Pumps' started by Terry, 18 Mar 2008.

  1. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    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
     
  2. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    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
     
  3. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    Dan,
    Thank you for prompt reply. Water is clear straight from the tap.
     
  4. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    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.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    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.
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    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.
     
  7. discusdean

    discusdean Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    berkshire
    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)
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    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.
     
  9. discusdean

    discusdean Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    berkshire
    let us know what happens as my turn over is pretty low and the light thing may have just been a rouse
     
  10. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    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
     
  11. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,277
    Location:
    London
    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!
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    Update - turning up the filter to full power coupled with 25% water change has already shown a marked improvement. :)

    Thanks guys for your advice.
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    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.
     
  14. tanker

    tanker Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    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
     
  15. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    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!
     
  16. tanker

    tanker Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    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.
     
  17. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    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.)
     
  18. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    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.
     
  19. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    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
     
  20. Terry

    Terry Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Cowplain, Portsmouth
    Mark,

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

    Cheers
    Terry
     

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