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Cloudy after water change.
April 25, 2015
8:36 pm
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Gaina
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March 8, 2015
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Hello All,

I did a 10% water change on my 65 litre tank on Monday and over the past few days the water has become misty.  We used exactly the same utensils and water source to do the job as last time and my filter is still working.

I've recently had a 'baby boom' of snails, but I am continuing to pick them out as they get big enough to grab!

It does look slightly clearer this morning (Saturday April 25th) but not much. I have just done a water test and these are the results:

PH - 7.6

HI RANGE PH - 8.2

AMMONIA - 0

NITRITE - 0

NITRATE - 10

Nitrate has gone up 5 ppm since the last test on April 18th

Thanks for your help :)

P.S. I'm trying to attach a photo of the tank but I keep getting a message saying 'HTTP Error.  Upload URL might be wrong or doesn't exist'.

April 26, 2015
2:06 am
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Byron Hosking
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November 3, 2008
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Cloudy water that is whitish in appearance (as opposed to being greenish) is usually due to a bacterial bloom.  It may also be due to microscopic sediment in the water, but this would appear right after the water change, so we are most likely dealing with a bacterial bloom.

As organics increase, bacteria increases to feed on the organics.  You might be surprised to see the level of organics dissolved in tap water, regardless of chlorination.  The bacteria that consume the organics are termed heterotrophic.  Heterotrophic bacteria cannot synthesize their own food so they need organic material such as fish waste, dead bacteria, fish and plant matter, etc., all of which are organics.  While some of these bacteria are aerobic, many are facultative anaerobes, meaning that they can survive in either the presence or absence of free oxygen.   

Heterotrophs appear sooner and faster than nitrifying bacteria which are autotrophic.  They build many of the biofilms that all bacteria use to adhere to surfaces, and they reproduce much faster, around 15 to 60 minutes, compared to hours for the autotrophs.  The "organic waste" in the water itself feeds the heterotrophic bacteria and they very rapidly reproduce and cloud the tank milky white.  This will occur in fishless cycling with just ammonia.  It is usually less likely, or will be minimal by comparison, with live plants because they assimilate nutrients from organics.

On the snails, in my view they will in a sense help in cycling so I would not be too quick to remove them.  They are a natural part of an aquarium's biological system, and can be very helpful.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
April 27, 2015
8:02 pm
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Gaina
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March 8, 2015
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Byron Hosking said
Cloudy water that is whitish in appearance (as opposed to being greenish) is usually due to a bacterial bloom.  It may also be due to microscopic sediment in the water, but this would appear right after the water change, so we are most likely dealing with a bacterial bloom.
As organics increase, bacteria increases to feed on the organics.  You might be surprised to see the level of organics dissolved in tap water, regardless of chlorination.  The bacteria that consume the organics are termed heterotrophic.  Heterotrophic bacteria cannot synthesize their own food so they need organic material such as fish waste, dead bacteria, fish and plant matter, etc., all of which are organics.  While some of these bacteria are aerobic, many are facultative anaerobes, meaning that they can survive in either the presence or absence of free oxygen.   
Heterotrophs appear sooner and faster than nitrifying bacteria which are autotrophic.  They build many of the biofilms that all bacteria use to adhere to surfaces, and they reproduce much faster, around 15 to 60 minutes, compared to hours for the autotrophs.  The "organic waste" in the water itself feeds the heterotrophic bacteria and they very rapidly reproduce and cloud the tank milky white.  This will occur in fishless cycling with just ammonia.  It is usually less likely, or will be minimal by comparison, with live plants because they assimilate nutrients from organics.
On the snails, in my view they will in a sense help in cycling so I would not be too quick to remove them.  They are a natural part of an aquarium's biological system, and can be very helpful.
Byron.

Thank you Byron, that's very helpful. :)   We live next to a Cider farm and they have an effect on our water pressure from time to time.  The local water company have also been doing work that sometimes makes the tap water cloudy so that may well be it.

This morning (Monday 27th) the water did look slightly clearer and I was due to do a water change today anyway so I changed 10%.  I am going to take some water to the place where I got the tank from along with the records I've been keeping and see if I'm ready for fish soon.

May 2, 2015
9:32 pm
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PJ
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March 25, 2014
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If you do want to get red of the snails,... cut a cm thick slice of the bottom of a tomato (wash it first if not biologically grown). Remove seeds and gel-like substance. Put it on the bottom of your aquarium just before the lights go out at night. Eat the remaining part of the tomato (just because it is healthy for you). Take it out in the morning before the lights come on,... together with all the snails that gathered there to feast on it....

May 3, 2015
9:12 pm
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Gaina
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Forum Posts: 43
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March 8, 2015
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PJ said
If you do want to get red of the snails,... cut a cm thick slice of the bottom of a tomato (wash it first if not biologically grown). Remove seeds and gel-like substance. Put it on the bottom of your aquarium just before the lights go out at night. Eat the remaining part of the tomato (just because it is healthy for you). Take it out in the morning before the lights come on,... together with all the snails that gathered there to feast on it....

Thanks PJ I'll try that if they get too numerous. :-)

My tank water cleared rapidly after a 10% water change last Monday and all seems well now. I'm taking some water to the shop this week for testing to see if their results match mine and find out if I can safely add some fish.

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