Questions and Answers
A few causes for this problem include poor water quality, high fish load for the filtration capacity and dust from rocks, gavel or ornaments that weren’t properly rinsed. Follow these steps for clearer water:
Test the ammonia and nitrate levels (if you have a test kit). If levels are fine, you know it’s not a poor water quality problem.
Follow with a 25% water change.
Reduce feeding until water becomes clear again. The recommended option would be to feed once a week.
Add zeolite filter media. Purchase a mesh bag of zeolite. Place the bag in the bottom of the aquarium. Zeolite is very good at absorbing impurities and is the most important thing you can do to prevent cloudy water.
If the problem still persists, upgrade to a better filter or add a second one.
If the problem is caused by adding dusty gravel or rocks, this won’t affect water quality, but cloudy water can last a long time. Zeolite filter media will speed up the clearing.
An algae outbreak caused by free floating algae spores, an overdose of light is a primary cause, especially sunlight but leaving the aquarium lights on too long can also cause the bloom too.
First step in controlling this problem is to block sunlight and reduce lighting. In fact, keeping the lights out during the entire treatment period is really going to help.
Reduce feeding to once per week. Food adds nutrients into the water which the algae spores thrive on.
A month’s worth of weekly 25% water changes will help keep it under control and reset the aquarium back to its clear state.
A UV sterilizer is the best way to eliminate green water. This piece of equipment zaps water that runs through with UV light killing free floating cells, clearing the water.
Common sense would say to sterilize the environment preventing illness from spreading. Truth is however this could cause everything to get worse. Inside the aquarium, across all surfaces live micro bacteria that help to regular the natural ecosystem in the aquarium.
Good bacteria keeps ammonia and nitrate levels under control, sustaining the cycle of life. Cleaning everything kills this bacteria essentially shocking your ecosystem. Anyone who cleans out everything when fish are sick can be certain that he will lose his entire livestock.
Once a very popular form of filtration, today they seem to be completely obsolete. New technology especially from canister filters can circulate and aerate water via long probes that insert into the water to offer the same level of circulation that under gravel filters have. Also over time, detritus can sink through the plate and prove difficult to siphon out. An easy ammonia spike and algae bloom is the result of trapped detritus and food particles.