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Murky Water


RyanU
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Can anyone help determine what is wrong. After a water change my water is clear for about a day then it starts to turn into like a brackish color. Water parameters are stable ammonia and nitrite are 0 nitrate are right around 20. I have plants and drift wood. The drift wood has been in the tank for over a month. I boiled it and soaked it for two weeks to remove as many tannins as possible before putting it in the tank.I even tried adding carbon to my filter to catch the tannins but that didn't seem to help. I was and still may be dealing with brown algea. I can see some on the substrate and some on the decorations that are in the tank. When I do a water change I make sure to vacuum the gravel to get out as much waste and mulm as possible and scrub the inside of the glass. I rinse all the filter media(course sponge, filter floss, and bio rings) and last change i cleaned the down tube and filter box. Is there anything else I should be doing to try and get rid of the murkyness.

 

TIA

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34 minutes ago, RyanU said:

When I do a water change I make sure to vacuum the gravel to get out as much waste and mulm as possible and scrub the inside of the glass. I rinse all the filter media(course sponge, filter floss, and bio rings) and last change i cleaned the down tube and filter box.

Sounds like a bacteria bloom since your cleaning regime is probably killing off a ton of it.  Never ever rinse the bio rings!  Try and do only a partial vac. Are you cleaning with chlorinated tap water?

Edited by KBOzzie59
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1 minute ago, RyanU said:

The water color is almost brown not a hazy white. 

If its brown like a tea color it is tannins. Do you know what type of driftwood it is you have? Malaysian driftwood from my experience has always leached more tannins than most, it will slow down, but will never stop. as the wood breaks down and decomposes it will leach tannins.

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Be careful grabbing unidentified wood for your tanks.  Some are toxic to fish.

https://injaf.org/articles-guides/general-guides/guide-to-aquarium-wood/

Unsafe woods for use in an aquarium

  • Cedar (avoid anything evergreen/coniferous)
  • Cypress
  • Grape vine – this rots very quickly
  • Horse chestnut
  • Lilac – this is poisonous
  • Ivy – this is poisonous
  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Walnut
  • Yew – this is toxic

You’ll note that yew and pine are safe in the form of bogwood, unfortunately it will take longer than your lifetime for you to replicate the conditions that has made them safe, so please avoid them when collecting wood yourself.

Edited by KBOzzie59
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54 minutes ago, RyanU said:

I do not have a picture of the tank with me. I can get one tonight when I get home. How long can I expect tannins to be released from the wood. 

I'd agree with the "about forever" estimate for a lot of woods...I soaked mine in boiling water with lots of rounds of water changes for weeks before adding it to the tank and it leaches a LOT of tannins still after months of being in the tank.  A smaller piece that I boiled for over 4 hours turned my son's smaller tank brown in a matter of hours after each water change.  Some of them just have a lot of color to leach out. 

 

The best remedy (the only one I know of besides super frequent water changes or removing the wood) I've used is Purigen.  I have 2 of the bags rated for up to 100 gallons in my HOB for my 95 gallon and they last about a week and a half before they're super brown.  They do keep the water very clear until they start to get saturated, and then when I replace them with the newly regenerated bags, we all go "Ohhhh the water looks so GOOD" for about about 5 days and then they slowly absorb less and less as time goes on.  There are enough tannins that my blue background looks greenish by the end of two weeks--and it's not algae...it's just the water color.

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In one video a while back Cory recommended using a white container (like a sour cream container) to observe the water.  Scoop out water - if you don’t see anything, it’s probably white particles and so bacterial.  If it’s green, then algae.  I suppose brown would be tannins or diatom algae.  I was able to do that and confirm an algae bloom, which a UV sterilizer took care of.  Just a thought.

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If you don;t like the tea colored water then @KaitieGs advice with the Seachem Purigen in a bag added to the filter is your best bet. I don't advise boiling the wood as it damages the wood's surface structure and it will rot sooner  than it normally would after many decades, longer than most keep their tanks. I pre-soak all the wood that goes in my tanks for several months, but I'm also not adverse to a little tea color as the tannin is beneficial to plants, and livestock. Some of the wood in my 75 gallon tank is now close to 30 years old, and has seen several tanks.

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Update on the murky water. The purigen took out the tannins within 24 hours. Thank you for the advice on that. 

 

If has now been 48 hours and I still have this white haze. What could be the problem. I ran all my water tests this morning

Ammonia 0

Nitrite 0

Nitrate between 20 and 40

Ph 7.0 to 7.2

I also replaced my fine filter floss this morning. How long on average does it take for all the particulates to filter out. Is it possible my filter can't handle the tank. (Tank was a starter kit they included the filter) I modified the filter by replacing the cartridge and adding coarse foam, filter floss, bio rings and purigen for that tannins

 

20210515_080234.jpg

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Just wanted to add that you can try giving the glass a good scrub with a Magic Eraser. Bio film can grow on it and create a cloudy look (happens in my 29 gallon often). But yeah, that looks like a bacterial bloom to me. It should clear up within a week, I'd think. Depends on how long it takes the bacterial colony to stabilize.

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