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Newbie fish keeper, mistake #47638.

Karen B.

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I think I take care of my aquarium pretty well. I used to do 30% WC once a week for my 20 gallons even if my nitrates would only raise up to 5ppm. Now I do it every 2 weeks. In between, I use my eheim vacuum (the vacuum, not the syphon) to clean the substrate at least once, and sometimes to spot clean if needed. 

pH 7.6. 0/0/10 aqueon quietflow 20 filter. 
12 White Cloud Mountain Minnows

I woke up this morning and my water wasn’t as clear as usual. As if I had just disturbed the substrate or something. Then I looked around and noticed a bunch of floating particulates- as if I had just fed a ton of Brine Shrimp.

I couldn’t find where they came from - yesterday I didn’t even feed my fish. I washed my pre-sponge filter, cleaned my filter, changed the carbon media and stuffed a bunch of filter moss around the cartridge. I removed all the décor, vacuumed the substrate, and rince my decor/fake plants in dechlorinated water. 
I also did a 10% WC, brushed few decor in the aquarium water.

Now that we established I probably did everything wrong (I remember ready somewhere never to do a WC and clean your filter on the same day.), I was wondering what to do to make sure my cycle do not crash. I added 2 cap full of Seachem Stanility and was thinking about treating the tank as if it was brand new/uncycled and follow stability protocols for a new tank.

I also added some API stress coat to reduce the stress on the fish.  Anything else I should have done?

Is it ok to mix Stability and API stress coat?

Despite running for an hour including being stuffed with filter wool, the water isn’t still as clear as it usually is...

Thank you very much!


Edited by Karen B.
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Bacteria bloom maybe?  Somebody smarter than me will chime in but if I had to guess (which is what I’m doing) that would be it.  I would also slow down on changing a bunch of stuff if your parameters are good.  Hopefully someone more experienced will jump in.

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What does this mean: "I washed my pre-sponge filter"? What is your process for this?

I ask this, as you should only be squeezing out your filter sponge in the water you pull out from your tank. 

Rinsing out / cleaning your filter and doing a water change on the same day has nothing to do with it. I do this every week when I water change, and I never have any issues - at all.

Tell us more about your aquarium: how long has it been set up? What type of filter?

Edited by Jeff
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@Dandy Pearl @Jeff

Thank you both for replying. So I read the article. It was definitely small floating particules like dust in my water. But it’s not from food, not from bad water quality, I syphon/vacuum at least once or twice a week. I think it may be because of the turtle calcium block I used - it dissolved near my air stone so I think that is what cause the cloudiness. As for the biggest residue that looked like « brine shrimp », mea culpea there. I skipped maintaining my filter so when I lifted the cartridge, it sent tons of gunk in. 

As for the filter, sorry english is not my main language and sometimes I do not pick the right words. Yes I did mean that I squeezes my pre filter in my « dirty » aquarium filter!


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