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Tank Cloudy Conundrum


Naulafein
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Alright guys, so I’m trying to help a customer who comes to my store with a tank cloudiness problem. Her tank has been cloudy for almost 3 months now (white haze cloudy). At the start I told her it was just a bacterial bloom for a new tank and it would go away in 2 days, it did not. A week passed and we did a water change (0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 20 Nitrates, Ph 7.6). She’s got guppies, they’re active, they eat, she doesn’t over feed, she even does a fast day. Tank is still cloudy. Water change, still cloudy, test water still cloudy. Add in intake sponge, still cloudy, replace the cartridge with sponge, still cloudy, use water purifier, still cloudy, use filter floss still cloudy, water changes, still cloudy, let it sit for 2 weeks, still cloudy.  Every time we change water it’s cloudy, we test the water it’s perfectly fine. The fish are active and healthy, everything is fine except it’s white cloudy. My only thought now is maybe there’s somehow excess calcium in the water? Maybe her tap has ridiculous amounts of calcium? Gonna test hardness tomorrow but does anyone have thoughts otherwise? It’s a 10 gallon with guppies (I think 4 or 5), intake sponge on filter, sponge in filter with floss, water changes weekly, it’s a healthy tank as far as I can tell. What am I missing? 
 

BTW part of my confusion is I have the same tap, my water is crystal clear, my water even tests the same as hers. I feel like I’m missing something but every time I’m researching it always goes back to bacterial bloom but that doesn’t seem to make sense. 

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5 minutes ago, Naulafein said:

Alright guys, so I’m trying to help a customer who comes to my store with a tank cloudiness problem. Her tank has been cloudy for almost 3 months now (white haze cloudy). At the start I told her it was just a bacterial bloom for a new tank and it would go away in 2 days, it did not. A week passed and we did a water change (0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 20 Nitrates, Ph 7.6). She’s got guppies, they’re active, they eat, she doesn’t over feed, she even does a fast day. Tank is still cloudy. Water change, still cloudy, test water still cloudy. Add in intake sponge, still cloudy, replace the cartridge with sponge, still cloudy, use water purifier, still cloudy, use filter floss still cloudy, water changes, still cloudy. Every time we change water it’s cloudy, we test the water it’s perfectly fine. The fish are active and healthy, everything is fine except it’s white cloudy. My only thought now is maybe there’s somehow excess calcium in the water? Maybe her tap has ridiculous amounts of calcium? Gonna test hardness tomorrow but does anyone have thoughts otherwise? It’s a 10 gallon with guppies (I think 4 or 5), intake sponge on filter, sponge in filter with floss, water changes weekly, it’s a healthy tank as far as I can tell. What am I missing? 
 

BTW part of my confusion is I have the same tap, my water is crystal clear, my water even tests the same as hers. I feel like I’m missing something but every time I’m researching it always goes back to bacterial bloom but that doesn’t seem to make sense. 

Sounds like you're covering your bases. Here's a few questions (though hopefully others have more helpful insights) . . .

(1) If she runs tap water into a pail, is it cloudy? After a rest? (1-24 hrs) -- If not, then there's something going on once water treatment hits it, or once it hits her aquarium. If not, try adding tap water treatment to the bucket. Does it become cloudy? Try a different brand of treatment. Is there a change? 

(2) Is there a water softener attached to her water system? -- If so, can it be bypassed? 

(3) Is there a way to check the external house water? -- A water line that would not touch any other system in the home could possibly rule out a cause between the city source and the tank.

(4) Does cold water and hot water yield the same result? -- Could there be something going on with an old (or new) water heater?

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10 minutes ago, Fish Folk said:

Sounds like you're covering your bases. Here's a few questions (though hopefully others have more helpful insights) . . .

(1) If she runs tap water into a pail, is it cloudy? After a rest? (1-24 hrs) -- If not, then there's something going on once water treatment hits it, or once it hits her aquarium. If not, try adding tap water treatment to the bucket. Does it become cloudy? Try a different brand of treatment. Is there a change? 

(2) Is there a water softener attached to her water system? -- If so, can it be bypassed? 

(3) Is there a way to check the external house water? -- A water line that would not touch any other system in the home could possibly rule out a cause between the city source and the tank.

(4) Does cold water and hot water yield the same result? -- Could there be something going on with an old (or new) water heater?

I know that there is no softener, hot cold also doesn’t seem to affect it because I told her to let it sit in the bucket for a day or two for one of the water changes. Not sure about water cloudy out of the tap, we both have city water and mine is fine out of tap but maybe something is going wrong with the water I guess getting to her house? We both use Seachem Prime as well for conditioning, that’s part of my confusion because I’ve guided her to do things I do with my tanks to have nice clear water but none of it works but we should have the same water so what the heck? I’m stumped

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I think Fish Folk is on the right track, may be something in the home plumbing that could be causing the issue.

It is a 10 gallon tank, is it possible to bring water from another source(possibly yours) and do a couple 30-40% water changes over a few days to see if that makes a difference?

You say they are doing weekly water changes, do you know how big? Maybe there is a mis-understanding and they are changing almost all the water in the tank?

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7 hours ago, awymorePDX said:

I think Fish Folk is on the right track, may be something in the home plumbing that could be causing the issue.

It is a 10 gallon tank, is it possible to bring water from another source(possibly yours) and do a couple 30-40% water changes over a few days to see if that makes a difference?

You say they are doing weekly water changes, do you know how big? Maybe there is a mis-understanding and they are changing almost all the water in the tank?

Water changes are around 20% (2 gallons or so with gravel vacuum), she’s also tried a couple larger changes closer to 40-50% but not the whole tank. If it’s a source in the plumbing that would mean she would need to always get water elsewhere which would be a real bummer. I can help with that but I can’t imagine she’d be happy having to drive out and get water any time she wants to do a WC

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14 hours ago, RyanU said:

I know you said you checked all the water parameters. Did you check phosphate level? Could be high phosphates always giving the bacteria in the water food so they don't move else where. Just a thought

Have not tested phosphate, I tested the tap water and that made me more confused. We live in an area with really hard water, my tap is 7.8, she also uses city tap but hers is 6.0 but her tank is 7.8 so something odd is happening with her tap and the transition to the tank

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13 hours ago, Tanked said:

Is the customer's water cloudy straight from the tap?  It may be worthwhile to do a one time water change with bottled water.  If it turns cloudy, the problem is in the aquarium.  Try placing a healthy sample of the substrate in a separate jar with your water or RO water.

Tap water isn’t cloudy but what’s weird is that it’s 6.0 ph but her tank ph is 7.8. We both use city tap, mine is 7.8ish but hers is not and somehow when it goes in the tank it spikes but she has no coral or anything in it, just basic gravel and plastic decor. 

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