32 answers

Fish Tank with Green Cloudy Water! Help!


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!


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


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

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!


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.

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.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.