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Milky Water - concerned?


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I love this forum, everyone post so fast and has been super helpful for this first newbie beginner!!

Gallon 5.5, 1 fish. Betta. 

Friday - I got some new plants in my tank decided to change the water, clean the gravel. moved around the gravel in clean water. use the chemicals for clear water from tetra along with aqua safe for tap water.

with in a couple of hours got milky water of bacteria bloom. 

tested the water, everything looks fine. "used those tetra strips" everything seemed very fine. One of my anubis bulb started melting, the bottom leaves not the top lily ones. 

Today- I poured out some water 1/3 of the fish tank and just letting it run.  (it looks some clearer than it was.) but still worried. I love my little betta fish.




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On 7/25/2023 at 5:58 AM, mynameisnobody said:

Let it rest, it needs time and it’ll reset for you. If you have another seeded filter, you can give a squeeze inside that aquarium. If not, patience is key. 

I think squeezing filter works but whenever I do that it makes me read at least 0.5 ppm ammonia 🤷🏻‍♂️ So I would personally only squeeze filter if there was no fish and when I am doing a fishless cycle

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On 7/25/2023 at 1:25 PM, mynameisnobody said:

@Lennie I would check the expiration date on those strips. They may have been compromised in some fashion. 

No man, I use Sera Liquid test kits for ammonia/nitrite. When you squeeze filter, you basically introduce big amount of detrius to the tank if your filter is dirty enough ( which I keep them dirty before squeezing to cycle). So when your tank can't already handle the existing bioload, you add more detrius and ammonia source to that tank even more.


When I fishless cycle this way, it helps me to jumpstart cycling progress even. Without letting fishfood decaying for a couple days to release ammonia

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On 7/25/2023 at 1:55 PM, mynameisnobody said:

@Lennie No I mean what was the size of the tank that you squeezed your sponge into that caused an ammonia spike? 

I squeeze the filters in that tub whenever I start cycling new sponges there, that's why I mentioned that tank. So yea 130 Liters

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with closer inspection, I did notice a few things about my fish tank.

-I saw the sponge was extremely heavy, had a bad odor AND just was ugly overall.

Nano sponge filter from Amazon, a pack of 3- 

-I ended up changing the sponge filter in the hanging filter, Fluval AquaClear 30.


I noticed in the corner where the sponge is. (its a little clearer than it was) I also saw some bubbles on the sponge, where its clearer. the previous one wasn't doing it. As well, i cleaned the complete tank, wipe everything down... and just put the old materials in and didn't think about changing it. 

i'll keep you posted, any other ideas?

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an update on this.


did a complete water change, trimmed every plant in my aquascape. I had a feeling this was not normal for bacteria bloom to settle with in 2 weeks and heavy milky water conditions. 

the water is back to normal, crystal clear. 

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