32 answers

Fish Tank with Green Cloudy Water! Help!

Hi,

We have a fish tank with only 3 fish, 2 Betas and a pleicostamous.

The water has been cloudy green for sometime. My poor husband has done everything he can to rectify it - low and progressive and high percentage water changes, removing everything in there except for the fish tank gravel in the bottom, changing the filter etc.

He has taken water samples to the pet store and they always test normal.

He did an almost total water change in desperation and it clouded right back up again.
He is so frustrated he has decided to get rid of it.

Does anybody have any other suggestions or had this happen to them?
I think the kids will miss it and be upset. Even though it is really difficult to see the fish - we still like having it!

Thanks,
S.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Try this website: http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/
Scroll down to the information on Green Water and methods to get rid of it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We had the same problems,seemed like we were constantly cleaning it!! We finally (out of frustration) gave it away to one of my daughters friends BUT.....
I just found out from my mom in law that all tanks need live plants in them. It will stop that problem even if you have a pocosusmus(sucker fish). I don't recall the name of the plant she used but she already had the plant in an outside water garden,she said her local pet store also sold this plant in bunches....Good Luck hope it works for you...Lisa

Hey S.,
You do have to clean the rocks too. The rocks are the "sponges" of the poop and the bacterias. And you should try using the Beta Water, it comes in a normal looking water bottle and it is supposed to have a lot of good things in it. And if that doesn't work you could try getting a new tank maybe the tank had something in it that is reacting with the water and the fish. Good luck!

More Answers

S.,

My husband is an aquarium buff, so I asked him if he had any advice for you. ~N.

Hi,
I have raised fish for years and have a few tips. First I would get a live bacteria culture to seed your filter with. You should be able to buy this at a fish store. It typically takes six full weeks to cycle a new fish tank, if your husband is doing complete water changes and changing out the fillter or cleaning it with tap water this would put him back to the beginning each time. Cycling the fish tank means allowing your beneficial bacteria to colonize on your substrate and filter media, these bacteria will become imbalanced during the cycling period clouding the water, you just have to ride it out. The before mentioned bacteria culture significantly speeds the process up. Continue doing weekly water changes, no more than 50%,maybe twice a week if the fish are stressed. As for the green color reduce the light until your tank stabilizes, and buy a plant to compete with the algae. Anacharis is my favorite because it grows fast and can float or be anchored with a rock.
Good luck,
Chris G

1 mom found this helpful

Try this website: http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/
Scroll down to the information on Green Water and methods to get rid of it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Fish tanks are alot of work! I got rid of my 55gl. It took 1/2 day every six weeks just to clean. When you clean, you clean everything!!! Even the gravel. Everything in the tank must be cleaned of fungus. When you change the filter, you have to clean the other parts to it to get rid of the fungus. Also, do not use tap water. Use only PURIFIED water. 1 it will keep your fish healther and the tank cleaner longer. 2 get a sucker fish, catfish something that is known to eat fungus! They will help keep the tank from going green so quickly. If you have an under the graver filter, they work better and with purified water you can keep your tank cleaner for up to six months (fresh water)If I were to ever get another tank it would have the under the gravel filter and I would only use purified water. You need to get rid of the Betas! Put then in bowles by them selfs! They are very mean fish! I am suprised they haven't killed each other and the other fish off. Reason why you never see Betas with other fish in the pet stores. It sounds like you are like most people, they get an aquarium with out knowing anything about them. I was the same way! I learned from a friend whos had aquariums almost all his life. If you ever go salt water, that's a nightmare in its self. There are some good web sight about aquariums that can help you learn what you need to know.

Hi S.,

Are you using tap water? You might try going to the store and buying RODI water (reverse osmosis deionized water). We keep salt water fish and corals and we have to use RODI water. Algea can also be a result of over feeding without enough filtration to pull out the excess and the fish waste. You may have to scrape the inside of the glass every day until you get it under control. Also...Make sure to decrease the lighting in the tank for a while!

Hope this helps!

D.

Hi S.,

Is the fish tank place at a warm spot? I found that my fish tank turn green easily if it get direct sunlight. I now moved the fish take to my kid's room, with no direct sunlight, the water stays clear for 2 months..... however, we have only 1 beta fish.

Hope this help.

Hi S.,
My husband works with ponds. He recommends Algae Fix. There are a couple of reasons why your tank is having problems.

The fish food might be part of the problem. If they are overfed the food itself becomes waste and gives the algae what it needs to thrive.

Do you have live plants in your fish tank? They will compete with the algae for food, and can actually starve the algae out.

Do you have an undergravel water filtration system that runs by air? That will cause the fish waste to be removed which will cut down on the fertilyzer being manufactured which causes the algae to proliferate. There is a H.O.T. Magnum Canister filter you can get from Doctors Foster & Smith online. Item #AFG321033 It processes 250 gallons per hour which means it will really get the waste out and keep the water polished. Bio wheels are great they put bacteria in the water that converts the waste. The start out pure white, but as the water processes through they become dark. That is what you want, it means the bio culture is becoming establishe.
Hope this helps.
D.

We were able to keep our tank clean by draining it completely and cleaning everything including boiling the gravel. If he has drained it almost entirely your problem may be in the gravel. Not a fun job I admit but it worked for us many times.

Sounds like it might be alge. There are alge killers that are safe for fish, just check at the fish store.

Hi we had the same problem. All you need to do is go to a good fish store and ask them to rent... Oh darn can't remember the name but basically it is a pump thingy that pumps the water through a super high power light that kills the algea. It works in a few days but should keep in 3 days after clear. It works like a charm and has made our fishtank like new again. Stay away from chems.
good luck
R.

Hi S.!
Sun will cause the green to grow faster! Make sure it is not in direct sunlight, and maybe try to cover the back of the tank with a picture or darker background. Also, is your pleco big enough? Pleco, Plecostamous (not sure how to spell that) Also, as gross as it is, you should Rinse out the gravel (no soap) once in a while. I used to do this once a month or so. So much gross stuff in there.
I have worked in pet stores for years and I have 4 kids. You could also try an stronger filter, or an under gravel filter, but that might be a bigger cost investment. Good Luck!
Fom C. in Petaluma

I had a fish for some time, his water would mucky often. I found out, he was moving the rocks all the time with his mouth. They sell filters you can put in their tank to keep it clean.

Hey S., We had the same problem with our fish tank and my husband suggest that you try "Jungle" Clear Water solution available at Wal;Mart it's a white bottle 2 oz. and it says on the front removes odors and cloudiness. If not Wal-Mart Good luck,M. B

It could be the tank or the food you feed the fish. I know for me with my Betas every week the tank was turning Green. Someone told me to switch the food and it stoped turning green. We had two small tanks.

Also, if you are interested in staying home with your children and not having to deal with selling, stocking, or parties. It is possible pray about it. Check out my web site http://themomteam.com/T.

Hey there,

I am a fish tank fanatic. I have a few of them. This problem is VERY common. What size is your tank, filter, and now many inches of gravel do you have in the bottom of the tank??? What you have is called and Algae bloom. Do you have a light in your tank? If so, how often is it on? And is the tank near an light source like a window?

Normally, this happens because the tank is by a window or because the light is on way too much. You will need an algae treatment and then wait and let the tank cycle. If you dont let the tank cycle for a few weeks you will never have a clear tank. My 55 gallon aquarium I have four 8 inch fancy goldfish and a pleco. I change the water at 25% MAYBE once every 3-4 months. I usually just rince the filter cartridge every month or so. I have a crystal clear tank. Thats the other reason for the cloudiness, do not change your filter cartridges but every 6 months. Just rinse them out once in a while.

Get back to me when you can with my questions and I bet I can pinpoint your problem. :)

I would remove the placostimas! beta' do best in non- clorinated water, with a pinch of sea salt, a water plant with roots are great as they like the roots. It also is a natura filter.
keep away from lots of heavy sunlight, but sunlight is good for them.
Betas don't require a filteration system, just some bubbles are nice , but not required.

the Beta bowels don't usuall have this problem

I personally wouldn't have gravel in my beta tanks just some colorful marbles or glass beads. The gravel acts as a system for building an eco system, but for Beta's they will do fine in just fresh water. Sounds as if the tank is trying to for its bacteria and this does happen which brings the amonia levels up and causes clouding.
It is really hard to say if one does not know exactly what kind of tan or bowl or system you are using for your Beta's?

To me Beta' tanks are different from regular Fresh aquarium tanks.???
Beta's do NOT form alot of ammonia as gold fish or other tropical fish do, but constant water changes with rock will cause the ammonia levels to rise due to forming bactering that is needed for the tank. Until that bactera reached its eco symtem level it will continue to do this process.

too much water change will cause your tank to go into micro eco changes. Only do partial water changes, if you have excessing light from out side on your tank it will cause that to happen.

(Other Freshwater tanks)not Beta's
If you have too much allegy, you can get some allegy tablets that are like alki-seltser, they work good! they will help clear the allegie.

I have read on here where everyone is saying to move your tank, that is not necessarly the case, oxygenate the tank and get the allegy tablets, as they remove oxygen from the tank which makes the allegy grow.

For Regualr Fresh water tanks
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER completly remove all the water from your tank or even more then a 1/3 of your water change, or take everything out and wash it, your tank needs the good bacteria or it will continue to try and produce it , which sound as if what it maybe doing.
Putting a dark paper or towel on the back of the tank or even aluminin foil will break some of the light from penitrating.

Also to help to clear your water there is drops called, ??? they are red drops most fish stores have them. don't know how your filter is in your tank? but good filteration is important.
Also depending on the size of your tank et the little filter bags and get some Ammo-carb and drop it in the bottom of the tank it helps to break amonia and keeps the water clear.

it is cheep and helps alot!!!! Imporves the water quality. Allow 24 hrs of circulate through the tank

sounds as if your not allowing your tak to complete it's eco cycle?
how long have you had your tank?
I have lots of tanks, the one that gets cloudy sometime and green is the tank near the window.
hope this helps,

please let me know how this works..
I am sure this will clear your problem!

you can get algae control at walmart for $3.99. I bought a small bottle because that's all i could afford at the time. You can get a bigger bottle for $5.99. 1 cap full for 2 gallons of water. It's made by tetra and safe. I hope this helps. M. Petersen

I think you have algae-go get an algae eating fish

Ours did the same thing cuz we left the light on to long. If you dont have a light maybe you can get it out of the sun. I hope this helps you.

Hi S., I use to have the same problem. Go to any pet store and get a bottle of Acurel F. It's a small 1.06 oz bottle of a brown liquid that clears up the water within minutes and last a long time. It's only a couple of dollars. Hope this helps!

Hi S.! Don't know if this will help or not - We have had the same fish tank for 22 years now with no problems at all. Until recently that is. We had to get a whole new light unit for the top of our tank, and since then, we've had trouble with cloudy green water. I keep the light off for long lengths of time just to help keep the water clear. The next time we're at the pet store, we're going to buy a different bulb - the light is the only thing we've done different and are hoping that wll solve our problem. We want to keep the light on to enjoy our fish!! Good luck! P.~

Is it in front of a window? If so I would try moving it away from the window. To much natural light could be the cause of the algae growth.

Hi S.,
Is the sun shining on your fish tank. That can cause algee to grow and turn the fish tank green. If that is the case try moving it out of the sun.
D.

I love this site, I had no idea so many people still kept aquariums. I worked off and on in aquarium stores for about four years. It sounds like an algea bloom and is very common. Cut down on the exposure to light. You could use foil or newspaper or the cute aquariumm backing they sell at the stores to cover the sides most exposed to direct sunlight. Be sure to turn off the light in the early evening, fish need a regular day/night cycle as we do. Doing severe water changes is alot of work for you and hard on your fish. Change about 1/3 of the water every couple of weeks if you have a back filter. Be sure to rinse your back filter pad weekly as well.

Green algae blooms are not a product of poor water chemistry. You should have success as other people have mentioned with an inexpensive chemical made specifically to rid your tank of algae. I'd suggest a brand, but it has been a long time since I worked in a store. Most of them work equally well. It is not a good idea to upset the workings of your aquarium by removing and/or boiling the gravel. The gravel bed functions to help keep your aquarium clean. If your tank has been up more than a few months it has cycled. If you scrub, take out, or boil the gravel you will have to re-cycle your tank which is very hard on the fish. Algae blooms will sometimes clear themselves up given a few weeks. Don't be afraid to use a chemical product, if used correctly, it will not hurt your fish.

Much of the advice given has been great. Live plants are a great idea. Your pleco will probably munch on them, esp. if he is good sized. A couple good choices are any type of Nubius, java moss, chryptocariun (sp?). My pronunciation my be off but close enough for you to look them up or ask the fish store guy. Stay away from bacopa, anachris (usually full of snails and dies making a mess), and banana plants. If you have a heater, you can switch to an algae eating fish called an ottocinclus. There peaceful, small (1 1/2 in)and they don't eat plants. Never buy a chinese algae eater, they are aggressive. Getting a little catfish might be fun for your kids, too. They live a long time and are always busy bobbing about the bottom of the aquarium.

Don't give up yet. Enjoy those fish. Remember not to overfeed your betas. They eat very little and usually every other day. If you ever have questions, I'd be happy to help if I can.

-C. (a former aquarium enthusiast)

Hey S.,
You do have to clean the rocks too. The rocks are the "sponges" of the poop and the bacterias. And you should try using the Beta Water, it comes in a normal looking water bottle and it is supposed to have a lot of good things in it. And if that doesn't work you could try getting a new tank maybe the tank had something in it that is reacting with the water and the fish. Good luck!

We had the same problems,seemed like we were constantly cleaning it!! We finally (out of frustration) gave it away to one of my daughters friends BUT.....
I just found out from my mom in law that all tanks need live plants in them. It will stop that problem even if you have a pocosusmus(sucker fish). I don't recall the name of the plant she used but she already had the plant in an outside water garden,she said her local pet store also sold this plant in bunches....Good Luck hope it works for you...Lisa

From what you have described, the first problem may be that the tank is getting too much sunlight. You'll need to move it to a location that doesn't get any sunlight; then, clean the tank thoroughly (wash all the gravel, plants, rocks, etc). Make sure your filter (sponge, bio beads) are also cleaned. Take care!

This is a specialty of mine. I'm very qualified to help you out. what you guys have done was with the best intentions,and avery common mistake;you made your tanktoo clean.There is a process that a fish tank needs to go through in order to keep itself clean and getting dirty is thestart of that process.You need to help it get dirty, and remove any filters that have carbon or any other purifying element. You can also get some "dirty" water from your local fish store to help seed your tank with the necesary nutrient rich waters. It sounds like your pet store is short on useful and acurate info though if they say your water is "normal". Please send me an e mail if I can give you more info and a lot more details. I dont want to overload you though... ____@____.com

hi - there are certain plants that you need to have in the water to absorb the alge - ask at fish store -sorry can't remember name. ** Have you ever thought of home based buz? All you need is a computer & a phone - travel agent. really easy to learn, take some simple test online to get your certification & start booking. you earn commission & lots on cruises. Think about companys that give away trips, large groups that want to vacation together or just friends & family that don't have time to explore it & book it! send me email if interested, just a thought. S.

You might have the fish tested or ask the store about those particular ones. I have heard of some being a carrier of something that actually makes the water turn green.

http://www.fishforums.com/forum/

this website has lots of good info, good luck

HI S. :)
We have both an 80 gallon freshwater tank, and a 10 gallon freshwater tank that we keep in my 5 year old son's room...is your tank kept in a place where it is hit by direct sunlight? that could be affecting the quality of the water...another suggestion, add live freshwater plants...they will help filter the water and keep it clear...another trick, to help keep the tank cleaner for longer periods of time? Add a couple of snails - they do the same work as the plecko and save you some time and effort :)
Hope this helps.

I understand! My tank of 7 fish is also green and cloudy lately. I have just vaccuumed the bottom and changed 1/3 of water; usu. it will lighten up, but not very noticeable this time! i am planning to do this again, but it is just not fun. Hearing what you have gone through, i wonder if it would help at all. Before, it was the green algae that makes the water green, since my tank is somewhat close to window to receive indirect light. Now, it is not terrible with green algae, not on the glass, so i don't know what makes the water green. Maybe the Spring/ Summer light is getting stronger to start the algae growing, or do you think it is the water? When the algae starts, I turn off the tank light to minimize the lighting. Let me know if you have found a solution!

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