Cloudy Water in the Aquarium. Causes and Solutions
Finding that the cloudy water in the aquarium wraps everything up is quite exasperating, as it completely ruins any landscaping work we have done.
We simply cannot enjoy our aquarium.
Clarifying the water in an aquarium is a process that must be done with time. First, you must understand that the care provided to an aquarium mimics a biological cycle , since fish require a time of adaptation for the habitat that we assemble to become their home.
Throughout the article I hope to provide you with the information you need: the reasons why the water in your aquarium has turned cloudy and how to fix the problem.
Why does the aquarium water get cloudy?
There are many reasons why an aquarium ends up with cloudy water, but the colorations are always the same: whitish, yellowish or in the worst case, green water.
Whitish cloudy water
When the water is cloudy with a grayish white color , it has several possible explanations. It is usually a problem that usually occurs in newly assembled aquariums, or if they take time, when a decoration change has been made:
Cycling problems in new aquariums
The aquarium cycle must be carried out completely before putting fish in for the first time, since the water must comply with certain quality parameters, maintain certain pH levels, we need nitrifying bacteria to appear, etc. You can see how the cycling process is done: HERE .
We are all very excited about the idea of integrating the fish into the aquarium as soon as possible, but you have to know that they have to wait a prudent time to realize that everything is in order, otherwise you can cause the fish to get sick or In the worst case, they end up dead.
When we have not completed the cycling process and we have put fish in the aquarium, the water can turn a whitish, almost milky tone.This phenomenon is mainly due to the presence of ammonia and dissolved ammonia in the water, coming from the excrement of the fish.
In an aquarium in which the cycling process has been conveniently completed, nitrifying bacteria have appeared, which are responsible for conveniently eliminating these wastes.
How is whitish water removed from the aquarium?
At this point we must try to save all the fish that we already have in the aquarium , and of course, we should not introduce more fish until we have it solved.
- Partial water changes. As a shock measure, we will remove 25% of the aquarium water , and the new water that we introduce will be treated with an aquarium water conditioner, which basically introduces the bacteria that we have not allowed to appear.
We will repeat this process a couple of times a week.
- Aquarium filter. We have to try to create bacteria in the filter, which will help us in the cycling of the aquarium. Therefore, the filter is not cleaned until we have managed to recover the adequate levels of nitrates between 5 and 10 mg / l.
- Neutralize high levels of ammonia.
Chemical products can be used, but it is best to add nitrifying bacteria , which we can buy «ready» to do their job.
- Control unnecessary waste from food scraps.
During these days make sure that the fish eat only and exclusively what they need.
It is not convenient that on any food that may end up in the bottom of the aquarium, and add more decomposing material and make the cleaning task much more complicated.
- Have you introduced plants?
If not, you should consider introducing fast-growing plants, such as Foxtail or Ambulia , great allies to eliminate waste and contribute to the aquarium’s filtration system.
- Increases the oxygenation of the water.
For this process it is convenient to get an aerator, avoid adding chemicals. There are very good aquarium aerators, which will make your task much easier.
You can see a good selection of aquarium aerators HERE .
New and assembled aquariums: whitish water due to gravel
Although it is a mistake more typical of new aquariums and aquiophiles, you can make the mistake of introducing gravel into the aquarium without washing.
The consequences are usually obvious, a lot of dust in suspension inside the aquarium and a whitish-gray water … or not, depending on the color and origin of the gravel.
Before putting any «new» element into the aquarium, we must proceed to a careful examination and eliminate possible problems before they occur.
With gravel, the problem is that they are not usually clean enough, even if the manufacturer assures us.
How to remove white water, caused by unwashed gravel?
Once we have a problem, rather than focus on the causes that have caused it, we have to find solutions.
- The solution for an aquarium with whitish water caused by unwashed gravel, involves making partial changes of the water, taking care not to move the bottom of the substrate.
- With an aquarium siphon , we will remove the largest accumulations of particles from the bottom that we find, to prevent any sudden movement inside the aquarium, putting them back into suspension.
- Add filter material to your aquarium filter, which helps you retain microparticles. A good ally is the greyhound , which you must monitor constantly, to avoid saturation.
- Prevent the aquarium filter from removing a lot of water, to avoid more suspended particles. If you have a flow regulator, lower the amount of water it expels into the aquarium.
- You can add clarifying products , which cause the suspended particles to go to the bottom of the aquarium, where we can easily remove them thanks to the siphoner.
Aquarium with yellowish water
The yellowish water is more typical of already assembled aquariums, than of new aquariums.
In any case, the coloring is unpleasant and does not invite you to enjoy the aquarium.
There are several causes that can cause the aquarium water to turn yellow:
Aquarium log problems
Aquarium logs are very popular with aquarium fans as they bring great naturalness to any biotope.
But … they are also one of the causes of yellowish water, due to the increase in tannins due to the decomposition of the wood.
Not all the logs that we see out there are used for the aquarium. Very hard woods and roots are usually used.
In any case, you have to be very careful, because they can alter the composition of the water. I recommend you see my “mega” article on aquarium logs, HERE .
Do you overfeed your fish
We know that fish must eat several times, it all depends on the type of fish you have.
The feeding of the fish must be done with accuracy and moderation, because otherwise it can be a big problem for the health of the fish (they have to eat what they need), and also for the balance of the aquarium.
When the fish are not able to eat everything we give them, the remains end up at the bottom of the aquarium, decompose and… can cause yellowish water, excess algae… to name some of the most common problems.
What fluorescents does your aquarium mount?
The lighting of the aquarium is another element that must be taken into account to avoid «see» that the water is yellowish . It seems obvious but it is essential that you buy clean white lighting … in this case it is an «optical» effect, but unsightly.
Don’t be fooled by products of dubious origin.
Why does the aquarium water turn green?
The green colored water in the aquarium has only one source: Problems with single-celled algae.
This is the worst problem, but do not be overwhelmed, everything has a solution. Learn how to remove algae from the aquarium: HERE .
To prevent your aquarium from having greenish-toned water, all the parameters that determine the quality of the water in our aquarium must be well controlled, especially those related to nitrates and phosphates.