A common problem that troubles even the most experienced fish breeder is a cloudy fish tank and how it can get that way. Solving the problem of a cloudy fish tank is also not entirely straightforward as it depends on a number of different factors such as what caused it to be cloudy as well as what color is the water in the fish tank.
What we will do in this article is to consider a new fish tank first and continue through the life cycle that it goes through.
When you first set up a brand new aquarium, you might get a cloudy fish tank immediately. When a tank is first set up the water may well seem cloudy immediately. This is generally because there are little bubbles of air which will usually disappear in a few hours.
A brand new aquarium has not had the time to properly go through a nitrogen cycle and thus is not prepared to cope with the waste produced by the aquatic life in the tank. At first you will notice the tank water turn a milky white which is an indication that the bacteria has begun to multiply. These bacteria multiply very quickly causing the milkiness of a cloudy fish tank. In this case, you will not need to do anything as it will fade away as the nitrogen cycle is stabilized and it does not harm the fish. A partial water change involving about less than a quarter of the tank water will help speed up the process. Just make sure that you do not feed the fish to much or you will encourage more bacterial blooms that will turn the water cloudy again.
A cloudy fish tank that looks brownish in color is generally caused by contamination from the aquarium ornaments. Before putting anything into the tank you need to ensure that it is friendly to your fish and that it is thoroughly washed. Never use detergent to wash anything that you will put into the tank. Certain ornaments especially if they are made from clay may deteriorate if soaked too long in water.
Driftwood or bogwood does tend to turn the water brown. This is due to the tannin that is releases into the water when it is first soaked. It will eventually sink to the bottom of the tank and can be vacuumed up, or partial water changes can also help. It is always a good idea to soak new wood for a day or to separately before adding it into the aquarium.
There are some of the way that you can solve a cloudy fish tank.
Firstly, do not over feed the fish. Your fish should be able to consume everything in under two minutes. Longer than this and the excess food will sink to the bottom and encourage bacterial growth which will eventually give you a cloudy fish tank.
Secondly, vacuum the gravel periodically. To help you with this task, you can have bottom feeders in your aquarium to consume left over food that sink to the bottom.
Thirdly, do not have too many fish in your tank. An old rule which you can follow is the inch to a gallon rule. An inch of a fish to a gallon of tank water. Also be wary of fish that breed too fast such as Guppy. There are also fish that produce more waste than others, goldfish being the biggest culprit here.
Lastly, never do large water changes. This upsets the nitrogen cycle of your aquarium. Always do partial water changes of never more than a quarter of the water in the tank.
In most cases, a cloudy fish tank can be easily solved and prevent with a good routine maintenance. Some thing as easy as weekly water changes can be effective to solve not only a cloudy fish tank but many other aquarium problems as well.