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Why Is My Fish Tank Cloudy | Clear Water Guide

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I own a big rectangular fish tank and have 4 pairs of fish in it. I remember when I first got it and how the tank used to get cloudy. That even happened to kill my fish and I couldn’t figure out why. Then, I saw that there are a few things that are done in a pattern and that is why my fish tank gets cloudy and kills my fish.

So, according to what I went through, here are a few traceable reasons which will answer your question of why is my fish tank cloudy. Take a look: 


Reasons Why Is My Fish Tank Cloudy

1. Too Much Food

This is one very regular and usual reason that is responsible for your question of why is my fish tank cloudy. So, the most basic pattern is that we do not tend to understand the actual amount of food requirements. This is why we overstuff the tank with fish food which results in leaving the tank cloudy. The leftover food dissolves with water and becomes a reason for bacterial colonies. hence, needs to be taken care of to prevent fish from dying.

2. Too Many Fish

Make sure that you analyze the number of fish that should be in a particular size of the aquarium. Considering, fish in larger quantities are also hugely responsible for leaving your fish tank cloudy. The reason for this is that even the fish excrements contain nutrients that can destroy the fragile balance in your tank. Bacterial colonies gather their food in a relatively small room and thus cause the water to become cloudy.

3. Watch Out The Plant Debris

People usually like decorating their aquarium with living aquatic plants. Although there is no such issue with it, neither there is any sort of disadvantage in itself. But, plant debris can also be considered nutrients for bacterial colonies. So, make sure that there are a limited amount of plants and also take the help of a professional. They can tell you which plant would be the best for your aquarium and your fish.

4. Too Much Light

Too much aquarium lighting contributes to bacterial bloom. This is because many bacterial colonies reach directly to the light as a source of energy. A strong and consistent source of energy can provide them with an unnatural amount of energy to reproduce. Hence, this is rather suggested to reduce the light of your tank.

5. Defective Tank Filtration System

The fish tank filtration system is one major reason that is responsible for your doubt of why is my fish tank cloudy. Well, the reason your fish tank gets cloudy also involves a defected filtration system. So, make sure you are getting a regular check of your fish tank and keep replacing them when needed. This will help you reduce the probability of getting your fish tank cloudy.

There are a few other things that you can do to keep your fish tank from being cloudy. Let's take a quick tour of those amazing ideas:

First of all, wait for the tank to become established and add a bacteria starter that will help to process the waste. Then do a partial water change of at least 10-20%. It is always suggested to test the fish tank water regularly. This weekly water change helps in taking any remedial action when necessary. But in case you still have a question of why is my fish tank cloudy after water change, then take a look at another point.

6. Use Bacteria To Clean Your Fish Tank

You might be amazed to know that we can use bacteria to clean the tank that too in the most cost-effective way. There are several other benefits such as the breakdown of waste matter etc, that can be unleashed by using bacteria for fish tank cleaning.

An unattended waste matter breakdown can affect the health of the fish occupying in the tank. Another additional benefit of using bacteria for aquarium cleaning is that it keeps the chemical balance neutral. Hence, you need not worry about the health of your fish.

Although, you also need to take huge concern in not placing a bacteria that is suffering from pinning algae as that can make the situation even worse. This is because one of the main reasons why is my fish tank cloudy is algae.

If you are concerned about the time it will take to clean your fish tank, then it can extend up to 6 weeks. Though, it depends on the size of tank and living organisms occupying the tank.

There may be times when you might need to adjust the temperature and ph level of the tank for bacteria to operate efficiently. Make sure that you are purchasing from a credible store that has a laboratory. After all, you cannot know if the bacteria are dead or alive unless you get is checked. Furthermore, you never know the other nasty damages it would cause your fish. Hence, you ought to be very careful when purchasing bacteria. Make sure you get quality bacteria. 

7. Use Salt Water To Clean Your Fish Tank

Using Saltwater to clean your fish tank is another efficient way of doing so. This can make your fish tank look crystal clear. This may take a few days to process completely. Here are a few steps that you need to follow for cloudy water in fish tank solution.

  • Change 30% of the tank water with salt water. Saltwater is the same temperature and salinity as your aquarium's water.
  • Now, change and replace all filter pad material. Then, replace any activated carbon you may be using in your aquarium.
  • Make sure to reduce the amount of fish food you add to the tank.

In case, even this doesn’t work out for your cloudy fish tank, try any readily available marine tank clarifiers. You can easily find these at any aquarium equipment store. Make sure to follow the mentioned instructions when installing it to your cloudy water in fish tank solution.

8. Know your Fish Well

Fist and foremost thing that you need to know about is your fish. Different fish has different food habits, temperature requirement, etc. For example, Barb, danios, gouramis and other livebearers are the most common types of hardy fish. They are known for their ability to bear high nitrites and ammonia levels accumulated in the tank. But these are quite hazardous for other fish in the tank.

Pro Tip

You need to keep your fish tank from being cloudy to avoid any diseases to grow in there. Never skip a scheduled cleaning. Make sure to look for fish that are sluggish or dead every day.

How many fish to start with?

Speaking of the number of fish you should start with according to most of the cases, it is always a better idea to start with a single fish. For most of the cases, this number has always been taken the perfect one. Once the fish finds it compatible enough in the tank one can gradually increase the number. Furthermore, calculation states a single fish using another single fish of each hardy fish; means four fish in the beginning.

Feeding can wait until acquainted

Never start feeding on the very first minute you put your fish in the tank. You need to wait until it has got acquainted with the environment of the tank. Although It is important to note that the first ever feed to the fish must be after an hour or two after its introduction to the new tank.
Make sure to purchase the specific fish food when buying fish for your tank. Enquire well about the food that you should feed your fish as It varies with the type of fish one may have. And most importantly, feed your fish with little amount of food. This is because uneaten accumulated food may turn into dangerous chemicals.
Uneaten food usually rots up and becomes debris. Debris is a type of algae that consequently generates fatal and toxic chemicals like ammonia. In fact, nitrites and nitrates are also formed due to the accumulation of such debris. Therefore, this is highly suggested to feed a little amount of food.

Fish Diseases you must know about

No matter where the fish has been raised, as even wild or domesticated carry parasites and bacteria. Although, in normal water conditions, these are almost harmless. Considering, this is the same way humans carry millions of bacteria around without getting sick. There are certain combination of factors when these bacteria can become harmful:

  • Fish immunity lowers when they are under stress quite similar to humans.
  • Reduced water conditions, especially those that occur very fast without giving the fish time to acclimatize.
  • They also get injuries like scratches, bites or cuts.

Recycling water, again and again, can result in the spreading of parasites very quickly from one fish to another. Eventually, all fish may die if there is no intervention. Hence, you need to keep your fish tank from being cloudy to avoid any diseases to grow in there. Never skip a scheduled cleaning. Make sure to look for fish that are sluggish or dead every day.

Video Introduction


So, did you get an idea for your main question- why is my fish tank cloudy? Make sure that you are taking provided measures. They will help you big time to keep your fish tank from being cloudy. These above-mentioned are the ultimate solution to avoiding any misfortunate for your cloudy fish tank.

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