Regardless of the level of knowledge you have when it comes to aquariums and fish keeping, you will, at some point, notice cloudy water in your aquarium. You can get to the point where the tank is so murky that you can’t even see the fish through it, either due to a fish having tummy problems, or even the filter breaking unexpectedly. If you’re checking in on your fish and see a very cloudy aquarium, then relax, it’s not really the end of the world. What you will have to do instead is figure out the underlying problem and go for a good tank cleaning to make sure your fish can breathe properly. This article should give you a pretty good idea of why an aquarium gets cloudy and how to make sure you get the issue fixed.
The water being cloudy, although bad for your fish, is usually a sign of a deeper problem inside the tank. So, the first thing you will have to do is figure out the exact cause of the water getting cloudy, and the actual color of the water will usually be very helpful in getting to the root of the problem. You won’t have to get into too much detail when it comes to the color itself; just figure out the hue. The root cause will be different when dealing with brown, green, and white-colored water. As soon as you understand the source, you can go ahead and actually deal with the problem.
You might be surprised to know, but white, cloudy aquarium water should be left as it is. It will just mean that your tank will have to stabilize, most of the time. Furthermore, cloudy water can be caused by bacteria blooming, which usually happens when you make too many changes to the water. When this happens, the tank will go through its own cycles and the unneeded bacteria, along with other unnecessary nutrients, will reach a state of balance, which will make the cloudiness disappear. However, there are some other issues that might cause the water in the tank to turn white. The easiest way to find the exact cause of the water turning white is to test it and see what nutrients and chemicals are outside the normal levels. A conditioner can also help fix this issue.
You might also like my articles on what it means when you have fish at the top of the tank, bubbles in the fish tank, or green water inside the aquarium.
One exception to this easy fix is when you’ve just recently added new gravel to the water. If your aquarium gets cloudy right after adding new gravel, then it will usually mean that you didn’t rinse the gravel enough. If this is the case, then you will usually have to get everything out and do a thorough cleaning of everything, followed by a complete change of the water.
This is one of the easiest-to-understand problems you will face as an aquarium owner. In most cases, if the water in your aquarium is getting green, then you’re dealing with an abundance of algae. The harder part is not getting rid of it, but making it so that the algae won’t come back. Blooming algae is usually a sign that there is another issue inside the tank. The first thing you need to try is adjusting the light intensity. Just like any other plant, algae will strive on sunlight. This is why too much exposure to either natural sunlight or even your tank lamp, could encourage their development. Aside from this, you will also have to run full testing of the water as soon as possible, because algae growth could also be a sign of chemicals getting outside of their normal limits. You can do this with a simple water testing kit. If you notice multiple tests coming way outside normal ranges, then you should make sure you always remove dead creatures and plants from it and clean it thoroughly.
When it comes to yellow water, things are pretty simple: It’s all about the dirtiness of your tank. When dealing with brown or yellow water, then the usual culprit is a filter not doing its job properly. The first thing you need to do in this case is a deep cleaning of the aquarium. And when I say deep, I`m talking about the removal of all accessories, items, and even gravel, for a thorough scrubbing. Then get onto examining the water filter after removing it carefully. There are models that enable you to replace just some of the pieces with a simple system of swapping them in and out. If you have a filter that doesn’t have replaceable pieces, then you will have to get a new one. You should also keep in mind that with new fish added to the tank, the filter should be changed to a more powerful one that is able to accommodate the whole ecosystem. At the same time, you should try to avoid an overcrowded tank, because no filtration in the world can deal with too many fish in the same place. If you notice your fish have become too big for this particular tank or just recently had babies, then you should consider upgrading the space to make sure they have enough room to swim.
It isn’t all that complicated to figure out what is causing your aquarium to change color and become cloudy. It only takes a proper testing kit and some cleaning to have your tank clean again, most of the time. Even if the water looks clean, remember that there are some problems that won’t cause the water to change its clarity levels or color. This is why it is vital to perform testing of the nutrient levels and pH as frequently as possible, even if there doesn’t seem to be a problem.