Do you stare at your cloudy aquarium water in disgust? Figuring out what causes the water to become cloudy can be mind-boggling for many aquarium owners. However, this is not a hopeless case because it can be solved and prevented. In this article, you will learn how to clear cloudy aquarium water and how to prevent it from becoming cloudy again.
Common Causes of a Cloudy Aquarium Water
In dealing with cloudy water in your aquarium, you should first determine its cause before finding a solution. Here are some of the reasons why your aquarium gets cloudy water:
Unwashed Gravel and Sand Substrates
If the water in your aquarium gets cloudy immediately after you have filled it with water, it is due to unwashed or insufficiently washed gravel and sand substrates. They contain fine specks created when rubbed together. These dust-like pieces are very small that you won’t even notice them at first.
But, when added to water, they separate from the larger pieces of the substrate and float around your aquarium, causing the water to be cloudy. How to clear cloudy aquarium water with this involves draining the tank and rinsing the gravel until the water runs clear.
If washing the gravel in your aquarium doesn’t solve the problem, the cloudy water can be caused by a high level of dissolved constituents such as phosphates, silicates, or other heavy metals. Treating the water with conditioners will help. It is also advised that you use RO (reverse osmosis) water. You can inquire from your local fish shop if they sell units capable of making RO water.
That cloudy water could be millions of tiny bacteria, swirling around your tank. A single bacterium is invisible on its own; however, more bacteria are visible. If cloudy water appears days, weeks, or even months later in your aquarium, it is usually due to bacterial bloom. As your new aquarium has an initial break-in cycle, it is common for the water to become cloudy or at least a little hazy.
It takes several weeks to several months to establish bacterial colonies that can clear waste from the water. On how to clear cloudy aquarium water with this bacterial bloom, is simple. That cloudiness will resolve itself over time. In a cycling tank, this bacterial bloom will disappear on its own a week later.
How to Clear a Cloudy Aquarium Water
Do Not Overfeed Your Fish
Overfeeding your fish will not only produce more fish poop but create more uneaten fish food rotting at the bottom of the tank. By nature, fish don’t always eat every day, and some predatory fish may only eat once or twice a week. In an aquarium setting, there are few nitrifying bacteria to break down the resulting waste or uneaten food. Cloudy water bacteria take this advantage and continue to multiply.
Don’t Put Too Many Fish Inside Your Tank
If there are more fish in your aquarium, it means mean more waste and more food for the microbes that will cause cloudy water. Too many fish in your aquarium may also cause a rise in harmful ammonia and nitrites—a severely overstocked aquarium results in excess waste. The general rule is not to exceed one inch of fish per two gallons of aquarium water. It’s one effective measure of how to clear cloudy aquarium water.
Add Activated Carbon Media to the Filter
Adding activated carbon media or pads to the filter of your aquarium will help clear the water. They also absorb nutrients that feed the bacteria bloom.
Seed Your Aquarium
Adding a few handfuls of gravel from another healthy, well-established aquarium, will seed the beneficial bacteria and speed up the clearing process. Aquatic stores keep filter cartridges and wheels floating in stocked aquariums to seed them with bacteria. Then, they send these items home with new setups to help get the biological balance going. Adding gravel from an established tank will have the same effect as this.
Test Your Aquarium Water
Has your aquarium water tested for ammonia and nitrite as soon as the water begins to get cloudy? There’s no cause for concern if the levels will be zero, which happens in most situations.
Do Not Perform Large Water Changes
While your intentions may be good, large water changes can severely affect the balance inside an aquarium that leads to a further deterioration of the water quality.
Cloudy aquarium water won’t pose any significant threat, but it can affect your aquarium’s appearance. It may also point to additional problems such as poor water quality. Even fishkeeping hobbyists are not exempted from encountering this problem. By understanding its possible causes, you’ll find the best solution on how to clear cloudy aquarium water.
Remember to be patient. Your aquarium will need time to recover after you have created favorable conditions. Know more about aquarium care.