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White Cloudy Water...what's wrong?

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: archive: White Cloudy Water...what's wrong?


Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 06:33 pm
Ok, I'm asking this qustion for my mom who doesn't have internet access. She has a 20 gallon freshwater tank, it's been up and running for 5+ years. Right now it has 1 Chiclid (not sure what type) who is hue 7-8", and 2 Blue Gouramis 3". I don't know her water test levels becuase she doesn't test the water (I'm making her start ASAP). She does a 1/3 - 1/2 water change every 2-3 weeks and adds StressCoat as a dechlorinator. The problem is, her water always turns milky white after one day! It's pretty cloudy white throughout, and the top of the water has a white oil slick on it. What could be causing this? She has 2 filters, one that hangs on the back and one underground. Both are fairly new. She has a powerhead for the UGF and an addition airstone for aeration. She does not overfeed. The tank gets maybe an hour of sunlight a day and she leaves the overhead tank light on 24-7. I have told her to only leave the light on for 10 hours max, which she will start doing now.
Any ideas?



Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 06:51 pm
hey tina..way to go telling you mom to kill the lights..7-10 hr.days max...all that light can cause those types of algea blooms she is seeing..further,some live food feeding can cause cloudy water and the film on the water too. tell her to soak up the film with a paper towel..



Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 11:50 pm
Sounds like the Stresscoat might be causing your problem.





Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 11:58 pm
Hey everyone!
I checked with her and she has never fed them live food. She only feeds dry flake and sometimes shrimp pellets. I use StressCoat in my tank and have never got oilslicks. Should I expect them?
Now for the really bad news:
The poor Chiclid died this afternoon. He had been living in that small tank for 2 years. My mom saved him from a friend who had had him for 5 years before that and didn't want him anymore, He was going to dump him! So my mom saved him. We all knew the tank was too small, but at least he found a home. My mom didn't have the money to buy a whole new tank. It was just so sudden!! He was fine this morning, eating and swimming about, and then she came home and he was dead, Very, very sad.
I'm sorry I don't have too many details for you guys. I've only had my own tank for 2 months But now I am so obsessed in it, that all I do is read fish books and Badmans all day!! So now i just have to whip my mom into shape.
By the way, someone suggested to me that it may be her substrate gravel. But she just has the everyday, normal, generic stuff you get at PetSmart. That's what I have in my tank too and it hasn't caused any problems. Plus she's had that gravel for over 10 years!! It was transfered from her old tank.
Any other ideas?



Friday, August 24, 2001 - 01:51 am
tina girl..oh so sad for your mom...and say what the cichlid up and died?...humm you know it's real important to have the right fish in the right size tank with the right food and the right tankmates and the right water perameters etc ..etc.. not so simple..I am sorry.. but you know you will probably end up being a good fish keeper because you care and want to learn through your mistakes..maybe if you give us some more info on it..and hey MKS..stress coat..well I do not use that product as it only rids chlorine..I have not heard of any problems with stress coat and cloudy water perhaps you could enlighten us with your experience with it...



Friday, August 24, 2001 - 07:34 am
Tina the way I figure the Cichlid was at least 7 years old if your mom had him for two and the person she got him from had him for 5. I know angels average about 10 years life, so 7+ is a pretty good lifespan for most cichlid. It may have just been old age and really nothing in the tank that did him in. Higher water temps(fish more active) can also have a small impact on reducing life spans.



Saturday, August 25, 2001 - 12:20 am
I have no personal experience with the product Stress-Coat, but if you go to and look in the "Technical Tinkering" forum, there is a post called Stress-coat, all the stress you need in a bottle. Some people have apparently experienced oil-slicks.



Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 12:23 am
There are some out there who vote down Stress Coat for one reason or another. I have kept fish for more years than I care to mention, and have never used anything but the Stress Coat. It has done a wonderful job in keeping my fish and tanks healthy and happy, and if it would have something to do with the cloudiness and/or oil slicks, I would tend to believe that it is more a chemical reaction to the water supplies than the product itself.



Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 07:16 pm
Just to add my two cents. I believe the "oil slick" on top of the water is actually protein. Usually it is a sign of either over-feeding or a sign that there is too much organic waste in the water(time ot do a water change and/or cut back on feeding). Generally adding more surface agitation will help break up the protein and get rid of the slick. The oil slick is generally not harmful.
I know a lot of people say they don't "over feed" but even if the fish eat all the food, it still doesn't mean you're not over feeding. If any food at all hits the bottom before the fish eat it (unless its sinking food) then you're probably feeding too much. Either that, or your filters/pumps are creating a large amount of current. Also, even if the fish eat all the food, consider the frequency of feeding. I've had some people that were absolutely furious because I said they were over-feeding their fish. While there fish were eating all the food, they were still being fed several times a day, which isn't necessary with most fish. Generally one feeding a day is more than enough.
Also, I've never used stress coat, except when I got free samples of a similar product with a filter I purchased. During the short amount of time I used it, I saw no difference between the stress coat like product, and plain old dechlor.
Finally, I feel that undergravel filters do more harm then good. WHen used with a reverse flow, they do a very good job, but generally, people do not use a reverse flow pump, and end up sucking a large amount of fish wastes and other detritus down into the gravel, where a nice layer of toxic "crap" forms. Be sure to keep the gravel fairly clean, and if avoidable, don't use an undergravel filter. I'd like to go more in depth about my opinions, but I have to leave now.



Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 10:52 am
Well, my mom broke the tank down completely, cleaned everything thoroughly, and has set it back up again. The oil slick is gone but the water still has a white haze. It's not as opaque as it was before, but still cloudy. The 2 Blue Gouramis are fine, but probably very confused at this point. My mom got a new filter cartridge for the back hanging filter. So now she has to cycle the whole tank again. But why is it staying white?


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