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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi everyone..i started a freshwater tank in january and since then it has been nothing but trouble, i can keep it looking normal for the life of me..im sure its something very simple but this is my first tank and im totally lost...(the people at pets mart have been no help..surprising?)...my tank water is very foggy and has been for about a month and a half now..i have vaccuumed the gravel, done water changes, changed the filter cartridges..and so far nothing has worked...there is no algae in the water its just pure cloudiness...you can't even see through the water, you can only see the fish if they come right up to the glass...i have mardel 5 in 1 test strips and have been checking the water regularly and it says my nitrate is at 80...i thought vaccuuming would bring it down but so far nothing has changed..and im very worried about my fish..none have died..but i need some help fast before they do...i have 4 tiger barbs, a catfish and an eel..(not to mention the forever multiplying snails that have been taking over my tank)...if anyone could help me out i would really appreciate it ..i would love to enjoy my tank (if only i could see the fish:freak: )...(i have a tetra whisper power filter, and i put stress zyme into the tank about every 2 weeks...) if there is anything else you need to know to help better answer my questions just let me know!....p.s. the water in the tank seems to evaporate rediculously fast...within a few days my tank water goes down about an inch and i have to top it off with new water..is this normal? i constantly have to push my heater down further so it doesnt break because the water goes down so fast...should this be happening to often and so quickly? PLEASE HELP..i need some veteran advice here!
 

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Welcome to TRT ! I'm not familar with freshwater tanks but some of our members are hopefully they will be able to help you out
 

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I would be concerned with you nitrates being that high. How often are you doing water changes and how big are they?? Are you using tap water? If so are you dechlorinating it first? You might want to pull the filter off and give a good soak in a water/vinegar solution. Our goldfish tank was having an issue with cloudy water as well. It went away when we started using RO/DI water on the tank and doing bigger weekly water changes.
 

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Your nitrate is way to high(80) 40 is high enough. Do a 20% water change every 2 weeks, more if needed. ammonia nitrite close to zero as possible. What probably is the problem is the PH. If the PH is out of "whack" you can get bacterial or fungal blooms. Check PH. Also maintain a decent tempurature. Remember if you change one thing likley to raise another like PH and ammonia.
 

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I agree with the above post. However I would go ahead and do a larger water change. How big is your tank? How often are you feeding your fish? I would cut back on the feedings for awhile. Only vaume half of the gravel at one water change. You dint want to kill of what bacteria you have established. I would maybe also try one of those cycle products. do a test on all of you water readings find out what is out of wack and get mechanical media to help you get it under control. Since you cant see through your tank make sure something hasn't died in there. That could help pollute your tank as well.
 

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I agree with the others, but I also agree that a larger water change would suffice. I would also do at least weekly water changes until water clears since you don't know why its cloudy. Freshwater fish are slightly more hardy than saltwater and can handle larger water changes. If you use RO/DI water be sure to treat it with RO right or some other product to add back in the essential stuff you need. If you use tap water a good water conditioner...like someone previously mentioned. What is your ph? What temp? Nitrates are a little too high. Do you have plants or just fish? (Plants will help lower nitrates, but need a lot of light. They probably won't be getting enough light with your cloudy water).

I don't know much about your type of freshwater fish, but could any of them be excreting something which is polluting the water. I am mainly thinking of the eel. (But I don't know much about eels).

Keep us posted!
Kristy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the replys everyone!, and thank you for the warm welcome, glad to be a member of the site now!...ok well i have a 30 gallon tank and i feed them once in the morning and once at night ( tetra color trop. flakes) and usually feed them anitbacterial food for a day or two after i do a water change, because atleast one of my tiger barbs always seems to get ick after a change...i do about a 20 to 25% water change atleast once every two weeks...and i use tap water ( that according to my testing strips is very hard, but i dont think that really matters right?) i always let it sit at room temp for about 12 hours and put drops of instant dechlor in it. My have a heater in the tank and according to my temp strip on the side of the tank is currently at 84 degrees. I dont think any of the fish are extracting anything and they seem to all be healthy for the most part...none are dead and decomposing i am sure of that...eel is acting completely normal, catfish hides in the rocks all day as usual, all are eating normal and barbs are usually just hovering in the top corners and sides of the tank ( sometimes straight up and down, look like difficulty breathing sometimes...stressed?) the barbs are the ones i am worried about the most...just did a test strip right now and it reads:nitrate-80, nitrite-between 0 and 0.5, total hardness-250, total alkalinity/buffering-0 (says add buffer up, ph-6.4(says add ph plus)...i do have one live plant in the tank, had more but barbs ate it down to the stem so i pulled it out......hope i answered all the questions and this gives you a better idea of what going on with my tank...and remember i have never had a tank before, but i am desperatly trying to learn.. so mostly all of this is like another language to me, No one has really ever even completely explained what all of the readings on the test strips are or what the mean for my tank, if you have any ideas or advice for me can you please explain it completely and explain exactly what it is because all of this is new two me..thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
p.s. does any one have comments on the water evaporating so quickly every week?..(posted in my original questions) is this normal? does everyones tank water level go down so quickly that they are constantly topping it off wiht new water..i thought this wasnt good to be adding new water so often..(stresses out the fish with temp difference and such)......anyone have a any comments about their tank, on this issue?
 

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Okay you are feeding too much. Temp is high, I run my fresh at 78. They make a clarifier for freshwater tanks and works great. Follow instructions exactly or it will make it worse. I don't like the strips. Get a liquid test kit not only is it more accurate but it explains what the test is for and how to make corrections if needed. I feed my fish every other day and only what they can consume in less than 5 minutes. If you are feeding twice a day not of the food will be eaten and it is polluting the tank. You can do a fifty percent water change no problem. Good luck!
 

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Saltwater Mom
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It's your high temp. The evaporation itself isn't a problem normal I lose about 2 gallons a week in my 55's.
 

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Saltwater Mom
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Most freshwater tanks lighting wont create too much heat. Usually the canopies are closed so hot air cant escape. I just drop ice in mine to cool if it gets too hot but I keep a fan nearbye so not so bad anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i do have a tank cover (hood) with light ontop of it, my tank is up against my bedroom wall there is nothing on either side of it, so i dont know what could be making the temp so high, and i dont understand how to change the temp because my heater doesnt have a way to adjust the temp, it just automatically heats it and shuts off when it doesnt need heating, it goes off and on all day...are there heaters that you set on a certain temperature...?? if so..whats a good one to purchase? ok i didnt know i was feeding them too much, i will just feed them once a day from now on,..will they be able to adjust to that with no problem? so topping it off with water every week because of the evaporation is ok to do then 9 wont affect them)?, and how does a liquid test kit work?
 

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Saltwater Mom
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Yes but it's not the heater that's making it hot unless you have it high. I don't run my heater at all during the summer it's not necessary. Turn the heater off and you can use ice cubes to bring temp down. Running a small fan over the back of the tank should help keep it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
so you think i should just unplug the heat for the rest of the month
 

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Saltwater Mom
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submersibles go all the way under water. Your heater is fine just not needed right now.
 
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