Freshwater tank help: Cloudy fog

Discussion in 'The Eutrophic Zone' started by kinetic, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Hey all,

    Not sure where a good forum is to ask this, so just thought I would post on BAR. I'm pretty sure there's enough of you guys who keep and know freshwater here too?

    The tank has this constant cloudy fog. I can see it rolling through the tank and it gets so bad sometimes I can't see into the tank more than an inch.

    Tank specs:
    • 2.5 Gallon
    • ZooMed 10 canister filter with a sponge filter, activated carbon and a couple ceramic rings (ball valve reduces flow quite a bit)
    • Betta fish
    • Petite anubis
    • Regular anubis (it has like marbley leaves)
    • Bare bottom
    • Simple LED light that isn't really meant for growing much anything, just looks nice
    • Duckweed
    • A red nerite snail and 2 tiny hitchhiker snails from my plants, too small to see what they are
    In the past, I saw this crazy fog too, and I removed a petite anubis plant that was floating around the tank. That plus a big water change cleared the water up a lot. So I figured the plant was just dying or dead.

    Then I added brand new plants from Albany Aquarium. They look pretty good. A few days later the whole tank got cloudy again.

    I removed all the plants, even most of the duckweed for 24 hours. Still cloudy this time. So it wasn't the plants.

    I've used the same ceramic rings for probably 5 - 6 months now. I always rinse them out in RO water or water changed water (never tap).

    The last thing I did today was: probably a 80% water change (RO water), removed the ceramic rings (added new ones in) and swapped out the carbon. I squeezed out and rinsed the big sponge in the canister filter in RO/DI water (had some just made for cycling my salty tank). Tank is A LOT clearer now, but it's still kind of foggy, and I bet by tomorrow it'll be totally fogged up again.

    What else could it be?! I guess I can turn off the canister filter completely, remove all the plants, and see what happens for a day. The betta and plants should live for 24 hours with any of that anyway right?

    Quick video:
  2. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

  3. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

  4. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    I’d get a hob filter just to see if it’s the filter doing the things, grab a cheap hob filter from pet store and see if it makes the difference.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I threw my last one away, should've kept it. But I had the same fog with that one too. Not sure what it could be. The lily pipes? Tubing? Duckweed?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. have you tried a UV Sterilizer?
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I haven't. Think it's bacteria in the water or something?
  8. SamHa

    SamHa Supporting Member

    I also strongly recommend UV Sterilizer! I had the same problem with my fresh water tank fo one year and whatever water change did not help. Aftet a week or two it would come back. But after using UV Sterilizer it never happened again!
    kinetic likes this.
  9. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Green water (bacterial bloom) is what you see there. A UV sterilizer will nuke it right away or you can simply do the waiting game.

    I had the same thing happen in my 90G altum tank years ago and just let it ride its course. No amount of water changes does much to it other than reset the chain (semi clear in the day turning into cloudiness where you couldn't see 4" into the tank by the end of the day). You can also use willow (acquire a branch and let it grow its roots out hydroponic style) to speed the process along.
    kinetic likes this.
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Eric: so this is some kind of bacterial bloom cycle? What does it bloom from and is there a way to kill the source of it? Does the willow absorb the cloudiness? Would a different plant work?

    Very interesting. Thank you guys!
  11. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Maybe I'll get a UV sterilizer just for future needs. Should I be running it 24/7 forever? Or just when it gets cloudy (which might not happen a lot?)

    Here's the smallest one I could find:

    It's only 3 watts, but the tank is only 2.5 gallons, and the pump is a 80gph that i restricted even lower with a ball valve (probably at like 20gph or something).
  12. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Yes, it's a bloom, fueled by bacteria and green algae. It's usually from light (typically too much) or an excess in organic matter (food, fish, etc.). You can shut down the light and only use it for viewing in the meantime. Anubias are hardy as hell and they can get by for at least a week just off ambient.

    The willow has some sort of organics in it which helps with the green water. It works really well and you just need a branch. It doesn't come into full effects until the roots are sprouted, which will be a test on most people's patience. I don't know of another that would work in its place.

    You can also add live daphnia if you can source it, but your betta would end up eating those. Daphnia will feed on the GW but they'd all be consumed by the betta before that happens. Depending on how aggressive your betta is, you can also try bamboo shrimps. They sift the water column similar to how anemone crabs comb the water column for plankton.

    Run the UV sterilizer 24/7 for a couple of weeks and that should do the trick.
  13. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    When I get green bloom sometime when I do something drastic in my FW planted tank (like digging around the substrate stirring craps up), I just let it be and it cleared up on its own in a week.
  14. another option is if you get microorganisms that filter out that stuff
  15. i have a UV sterilizer a mean green killing machine, i dunno if it will fit your tank's pretty long
  16. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Yeah this has been going on for a month now, so not sure if it's going to go away without any bigger changes. The tank is flanked on two sides by windows, and this room gets an incredible amount of natural light. Direct light hits the tank at least half the day (southern window and western window), so maybe that's why.

    I used to get a LOT of algae on the glass, and the tank water was really clear. Now the tank water is murky and there is never any algae on the glass. So a bacterial / algae bloom in the water does make sense in offsetting the usual algae growth.

    I'll get that tiny UV sterilizer and see if it'll work.

    Thanks all! You guys are the best.

    Thanks for the offer. My tank is pretty tiny, so I'll probably go with that micro one I posted above.
  17. it absolutely 100% is the natural sunlight that is stimulating this bloom
  18. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    OK that's good to know. Now I just need to figure out how to turn off the sun. Let's get some more eclipses yeah?

    Let's say, for some reason, the sun won't go away. Will the UV running 24/7 be effective? Or do I need to just move the tank to a dark corner of the house?
  19. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Any thoughts on where I can get a willow branch? I looked online, I see "weeping willow" trees...
  20. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    You can run it 24/7 and it'll go away if you can't move the tank out of the sunlight.

    The willow branch wasn't purchased online. It was from a buddy who had a willow tree grow in his backyard (lakefront property). You can find willows around the lakes around the area as well. You just need a small branch from one.

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