What Causes A Cloudy Fish Tank?

There are many causes of a cloudy fish tank and these are wide ranging.

If the water biomes immediately cloudy within a couple of hours of filling up the tank then it is probably due to gravel that hasn’t been washed sufficiently.

Find Out What Causes Your Fish Tank To Turn Cloudy

You should drain your tank and rinse the gravel until the water becomes clear again as this will resolve any issues.

If washing your gravel isn’t enough to solve the problem, then the next probable cause of your cloudy water is that your newly filled tank is high in dissolved constituents like silicates, phosphates or heavy metals.

If you test the pH of your water and discover that it is high in alkaline, you can then treat your water with specific conditioners that will resolve the problem and balance out the pH levels.

An alternative option which has numerous benefits to it, is to use RO or Reverse Osmosis water.

This type of water should be sold by your local fish shop, otherwise this type of fate will be available to purchase online or alternatively, you can purchase a unit that is capable of making RO water itself.

When Does My Aquarium Water Start To Get Cloudy?

Cloudy water doesn’t necessarily appear as soon as the aquarium has been set up.

It can take several weeks or even months to turn cloudy and the most likely cause in this instance is bacterial bloom.

As the new aquarium goes through the initial break-in cycle, it is common for the water to become cloudy or hazy as it can take several weeks to establish the necessary bacterial colonies that will be able to clear any waste from the water.

Over a period of time, the cloudiness will resolve itself.

The milky coloring of the water can also be caused by uneaten food or decaying plants that can worsen a bacterial bloom.

What To Do When Your Fish Tank Water Turns Cloudy?

Irrespective of the cause of the cloudiness, do not panic over any bacterial blooms that may occur.

Keep Your Aquarium Clean

By keeping your aquarium clean and removing unnecessary debris such as decaying food or plants as well as cleaning the gravel on a regular basis, you will definitely be able to maintain the clarity of the water in your fish tank.

Performing partial water changes can also quickly resolve most occurrences of bacterial bloom.

You should cut back feeding your fish to every second day as this will also reduce the build up of any excess food decay.

If there is any left-over debris in the water and you are unable to remove it via these processes, a flocculant can be used in order to clear away the debris.

Flocculants will cause particles of debris to amalgamate together in a clump and these are then more easily removed by the tank’s filter system.

Clean Your Filter Regularly

You should also ensure that your filter is cleaned regularly so that it is working efficiently at all times as this can be another cause of cloudiness.

Flocculants are generally sold as water clarifiers and you will be able to purchase these at your local fish shop or alternatively, online.

hat To Do When Your Fish Tank Water Turns Cloudy

If your water turns green, then this is due to algae-growth.

This is the hardest aspect to get rid of but once you have determined the cause then you can make the necessary alterations to clean your tank.

Ensure The Light Is Right

Green water can be caused by too much exposure to light as this inherently results in algae growth.

The reason that pond’s have a lot of algae is because they are exposed to direct sunlight and your fish tank will follow suit if it is placed on a windowsill for instance.

You should also reduce the amount of time that lights are switched on around the tank and always move your aquarium out of the range of direct sunlight.

An excess of nutrients like phosphate and nitrates will also enhance algae growth and so these must be reduced in order to successfully conquer any algae-growth within the tank.

Change The Water

A full water change will provide immediate relief but it may not solve the issue entirely.

It is therefore important to deal with any nutrients like these at the source in order to get rid of them completely.

Remove Old Food And Decaying Fish

Phosphates usually derive from two key sources: decaying food and from the water itself.

You should test your water for phosphates and this will inherently let you know whether you have a problem with your water source directly.

If your natural water supply has a high level of phosphates then you should use RO water (as aforementioned) or a phosphate removing substance in order to treat your water prior completely.

Reducing the amount of food that you feed your fish and switching your fish food to a brand that is lower in phosphates will also prevent any unwanted algae growth.

Nitrates can be sourced straight from the water and will naturally rise over a period of time as a byproduct of fish wastage.

The only way that you will be able to remove any nitrates from your water is to perform a complete water change.

You should also ensure that your filter is cleaned regularly and is the appropriate size for your tank.

You should make sure that you haven’t overloaded your aquarium as you will be continually battling with an imbalance of nitrate levels in your water.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, cloudiness in your fish tank can be caused by a number of sources.

These range from unclean gravel to decaying food matter and you should ensure that you have fitted your tank with an efficient filtration system in order to prevent the build up of nutrients within the water supply.

Cloudiness can also be caused by high alkalinity within the water itself and you should test your water’s pH level and restore the ratio of it’s pH levels by using the resources and supplies that have been lifted above.

Above all, consistent water changes will mean that your fish live longer, happier lives and you can enjoy watching them swimming about in fresh, clear water without feeling guilty or unsettled by any unwanted cloudiness.

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