cloudy tank

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cloudy tank

Postby thermalthong » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:50 pm

Hi anybody know how to cure a cloudy/milky tank? the tank is my dads and is not overstocked, overfed or in direct sunlight and all ornaments and gravel were thoroughly cleaned before being used in the tank. The tank is a 350 ltr and is running its standard filtration system which includes, spraybar, sponges, bag of charcoal sticks and also ceramic balls (inc one fine filter media designed to stop cloudyness lol) as well as another fluval 4 internal filter as well as regular gravel vacuuming. Am at a loss as to why it is clouding up so much as some days it goes nearly clear and then the next it is all milky again. Have also tried the chemicals to eliminate clouding but they are not working either. Help!
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Carylnz » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:43 pm

Personally I am not a fan of using chemicals to clear clouding.
I gather this tank has been recently set up? Clouding is usually bacterial and a result of imbalance in nutrients as it cycles fully. As the tank matures it clears but it is not usual to have it cloud then clear then cloud repeatedly.
You mention regular gravel cleans. How are you cleaning the filters? I wonder if you are over-cleaning and creating continual mini cycles.
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby thermalthong » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:52 pm

The tank is not mine its my dads. The tank was set up in may and has only started becoming an issue over the last two months say. He cleans the gravel with a tank vacuum and the filters are cleaned in a bucket of old tank water to remove the muck etc and when required they are changed.
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Rob W » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:49 pm

He's being erm....too clean! The tank is what - 7 months old? No way should he be replacing any of the filtration media only the media that collects fine particles that is designed for regular cleaning or replacement. And only clean the filter when the flow slows down considerably, even though he's cleaning it in old tankwater he is washing out the bacteria in the media. Only clean filtration media if you absolutely have to and then do it in stages and leave a couple of weeks in between cleaning each cartridge or foam block. Never clean the ceramic media or even move it unless you have to. As posted above you are creating mini cycles which allows other bacteria in the tank to flourish as they have little competition from filtration bacteria to keep their numbers down.
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby ady » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:56 am

Have to agree that it seems to over dilagence on the cleaning front
It's great he keeping it clean, but time to leave the filter alone
And allow bacteria to re-grow.even with cleaning in tank water
You can remove too many.

I only clean my external when flow drops,approx 4 times a year.
Forget the chemicals,water changes and a maturing filter will
Sort you it out for you..
Good luck
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Carylnz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:57 am

4x a year? Mine is lucky to get cleaned out once a year. It is usually once every 18 months.
Over summer I do not do water changes either. We go on water restrictions as the water table drops (we have artesian supply) and I find I have dreadful green algae blooms if I try to do a water change in the summer months. I assume it is because the greeblies in the water are super concentrated in the lower water volume (that's my theory anyway!).
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby ady » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:42 am

i mainly clean the first course screens out carylnz.....and leave the rest alone,apart fro the bottom set of sponges which are a
smaller grade sponge than the screens.this helps pick the flow right back up to normal.

it has reduced in frequency since my big old plec has been rehomed....boy that fish could drop a cable :rofl:

even when i do a major clean of the other media,it's more of a good swish around in the tank water that i removed ,just to clean off the worst of the muck....then leave it soaking in the dirty water as i rebuild the filter....gotta keep the microscopic friends happy and alive.
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Carylnz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:07 pm

Those plecs sure are poo machines! :roll:
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Rob W » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:43 pm

I have a Fluval U3 and the carbon cartridges are recommended to be replaced every 2 to 4 weeks. Nice little earner for Fluval that! I buy them in bulk on fleabay and just wash them out every few weeks and replace them when they start to fall apart which is about every 6 months or so. The foam cartridges are recommended to be replaced every six weeks, I have never replaced them. In fact I have never even fitted the ones that came with it because I took the ones out of the old filter and cut them to fit the new filter cartridge. My Fluval 204 has recently undergone a freshen up with new pads and biofoam as the media was falling apart but it will be a couple of years before I do it again most likely.

Just because the manufacturer recommends replacing things doesn't mean that you have to, filters are best left alone, nothing wrong with a quick swish around in tank water to clear them if they start to clog but do each block a week or two apart so you don't hit the bacteria hard and upset your tank. :wink:
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby ady » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:54 pm

have to agree with rob....the manufacturers give guidelines that are a tad pants......they only want their tills going kerching !!..

when i started my 405,i worked out how much the media would cost to buy over a year....then spent my money on large sheets of pond filter foam and cut them too size.3 layers in each basket.i do have ceramic rings in there too,but the bulk is the foam.

3 years down the line,i havnt bought any other media,it hasnt broken down and does a great job of filtering and provides a huge porous area for the bacteria to set up home and have little bacteria :wink:

it all cost less than 1 value media pack from fluval.......quids in my pocket,not Mr Hagens...

all it needs is rinse out in tank water and your good to go again,with plenty of bacteria stock left in it...until my local water board started adding ammonia to the supply,i had perfect water parameters....

dont believe the hype and claims by big manufacturers....without a bit of research they are making money on summin you dont really need....

hope the tank is settling back down now :)
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Gary fergusson » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:59 am

Hi ady. Can you point me in the right direction for the pond filter foam as I use same filter as you and want to make sure I get the right stuff.
Ta
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby ady » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:25 pm

hi gary......

there are a few grades of foam in mine...i still have 2 original fluval screen foam ( in the upright ) section and 2 bits of the pond foam,in the other side of the upright section.

it is the green grade foam...it's shaped like a egg box bottom on one side and flat on the other...then in the bottom basket i have 3 layers of green in each section.next basket has another 3 layers of green foam,next basket had ceramic rings,topped off with 1 layer of foam in each section.top section has 2 layers of green foam and 1 layer of fine foam.

i have slowly added this foam as replacement for original fluval stuff,obviously to maintain the bacteria stocks..

i cant work out how to link the pics,but if you go to www.swallowaquatics.co.uk .then go to the pond section,then filters,then media you will see "profile foam packs"..that will let you get a visual on my stuff..i bought mine seperately at swallows but the packs look good value..hope this helps ya Gary.....will save you loads of dosh in the long run.

the course/medium grades will be ideal in the upright section...medium in the bottom baskets and the fine on top basket.

of course it depends on the amount of detrius it has too collect,but this has done my tank a treat....

i clean the filter,by cleaning the upright section and bottom basket foam in tank water...just a good rinse out of these sections lift the flow back up nicely and i leave the rest alone.then next time..screens again and rinse the other baskets foam..thus maintaining the bacteria stocks...i have used the same method in my 205 aswell....

hopefully you can see the foams on swallows website.....and then see how much they cost, compared to the bagged stuff that is designed to fit in the filter and recommended to change monthly.....1 months replacement value pack = roughly a 1 off cost of the foam 3 pack.

all you have to do is cut them to size,nice and snug fit to stop stuff coming up the sides of the baskets and you have a long time filter solution....

hope that helps you fella,let me know if you have any probs.....

ady :)
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Gary fergusson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:56 am

Hi Ady. Thanks for the reply, just trying to get my head around it!! I actually have a 205, so it's a single sponge upright and 3 basket sections. So am I assuming that the green egg shaped foam would be upright between the sponge and baskets? Just thinking it will be a quite a tight squeeze. At the moment I have filter wool in the bottom basket and ceramic rings in the other 2. I change the wool every couple of weeks. So would you replace the filter wool with the green foam and then another couple of layers between each other sections? Sorry for the questions but all the filter stuff gets me a bit confused! And I've always thought my water could be clearer so any help in achieving this would be great :P
Thanks
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby ady » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:20 pm

Hi gary,
The green foam is ideal in the upright screens.
I would suggest that you place the wool in the top basket.
I believe its used to catch the finer particles,so needs to be used
Where it it doesnt get clogged easily.reducing the maitenance of it.
Admittedly i have never used it and hope others that have can confirm
Or deny this .
I would have green in upright first section,both sides of the frame,
Cut just abit longer to help them stay in tightly.
Bottom basket,fill it with green foam(like mine).i do this to limit
And crud missed by first screens going further thru filter and clogging
Up the ceramic rings.
Middle basket,ceramic rings topped of with either green/fine foam or wool.
Top basket,ceramic rings topped off with wool.
This should maximise removal of big particles(in the screen/bottom basket).
Allowing the fine foam/wool to deal with the smaller bits.and help clear your water.

I might get some wool to replace the foam in my top basket
To clear the tiny particles and compare it to fine foam filtering.
When doing a clean,just give the screens and bottom basket
A wash out in tank water and the flow picks right back up,
As these will be the most caked in crud. :)
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Re: cloudy tank

Postby Gary fergusson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:00 pm

Cheers! I'll get some ordered and have a play around on my next cleaning session.
Gary
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