Cloudy Fish Tank Water In Established Tank

Cloudy Fish Tank Water In Established Tank

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Aquariums are beautiful until the water turns in color. Buying and setting up a fish tank is an achievement. What you have been seeing on TV is now actualized. However, the peace and natural feeling in your living won’t last for long before you notice the water turning grey. You have always heard of aquariums being hectic but your tank is beautiful and you can’t understand why some people cannot follow instructions for proper installation.

Cloudy Fish Tank Water
Cloudy Fish Tank Water

You will be looking forward to coming home to a beautiful view until one day you notice a difference in color. You are likely to ignore it the first time assuming it is a reflection or you are just too tired to see properly. The next morning will be a shock. It will necessitate you to call the local store for a consultation. They will probably explain the “new tank syndrome” analogy and sell you some chemicals as quick fixes. It will work, but only for a few days. You can go on to online forums and someone may suggest a water change. Again, it is only a solution for a few hours before you notice the cloudiness, probably more this time.

Cloudy fish tank water in an established tank can be frustrating, especially if you had all the big expectations of enhancing the look of your home. Some people give up after a few failed attempts. Instead of selling your tank at disposal price, find out the cause and how to fix it.

Why the cloud?

The greyish-whitish water is the biggest complaint with aquarium owners. To many, it appears and disappears mysteriously, sometimes overnight sometimes after a few days. It is common with new and established tanks. The cloudiness can be thin to ignore but it will advance to a thick mist to blur vision. While it is almost obvious for any new fish tank, you have control by what you include and exclude in the water.

The primary cause of cloudiness is microscopic life in water. The bacteria, single-celled animals, and multicellular animals generate essential food for growing fish. While this is crucial for their growth, it is not good for display. The cloud color may not be exactly the same because the type of food and environment differs in fish tanks. Usually, people add chlorine remover in fish tanks in an attempt to make the water as natural as possible for fish.

The essence of chlorine in water is to neutralize any microscopic life in water. Removing it is allowing the microscopic life to develop once again thus the cloudiness.

Besides, fish excrete regularly thus compromising on the purity of the water. Also, excess food in a fish tank is an impurity. Adding food in a fish tank is also a way of feeding the microscopic life. The fact that you have neutralized the chlorine effect and the bacteria are feeding, the life will multiply hence thickening of the cloudy substance.

The microscopic life will grow to maturity and die. Some will be born and the cycle continues. Changing the water or other quick fixes only clears the water instead of addressing the primary issue, life in the water. Toxic circumstances like the death of a fish can affect microscopic life; otherwise, life will sustain.

How to get rid of cloudy fish tank water

Fixing the cloudy issue

The best solution to fish water tank cloudy is ignoring it. Don’t do anything. Let the microscopic life go through the full cycle to complete. It will be an unpleasant look and you might be doubting the cycle every day but be sure after a week, the cloud will be gone.

Typically, the cloudiness occurs after 2 to 3 days of setting up but can occur also in an established tank. The natural cycle will go on for the next 7 days and you will experience the beauty of an aquarium once again. During this period, only feed the fish a little bit. It should be your first step in dealing with cloudiness. It is the easiest process.

Here are some steps to deal with the new tank syndrome

Be patient

When dealing with aquariums, patience is key. You need to understand that you are taking fish out of their natural habitat to a glass box. Fish has to adapt to the new environment. Just like any living organism, nothing is constant; it is a cycle of events and adaptation that requires patience. In the case of cloudy water, you have to take time and think of anything that might be amiss with your fish tank. Do not rush to throwing in chemicals or changing water as quick fixes. In fact, changing water might only be restarting the cycle.


You can kick-start the life process by buying pre-packaged bacteria or gravel with pre-seeded bacteria to help with the flow of the natural process. Local aquarium stores also sell prepackaged bacteria cultures, which you simply add to your tank to help the fish adapt to the glass box as their new environment. If you can, add live plants to act as filters and cover the microscopic life.

Filter maintenance

A filter is the life support machine of an aquarium. You need to take good care of the filter; regularly clean the filter as per the manufacturer’s instruction. Most people prioritize changing the water and forget cleaning the filter. It is the best way to deal with cloudy fish tank water in an established tank.

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