Why Is My Aquarium Water Cloudy?

A fish tank is certainly a lively and scenic addition to your home’s décor, and if you’re new to owning an aquarium, there is quite a bit of upkeep to take note of to ensure your fish are healthy, the tank stays clean, and your investment is protected. Consequently, the most common problem that are seen in new fish tanks is water cloudiness, but why does this happen? There are quite a few solutions to try to achieve clean and clear water. Make sure to arm yourself with the best practices to minimize your workload and to not cause other problems.

Causes of Cloudy Aquarium Water

There are a few different ways in which your fish tank can cloud up or become cloudy and contaminated. If the water is a white/grayish color, it’s likely that there is an issue with either gravel residue, dissolved constituents, or bacterial blossom.

  • Gravel residue usually subside within 1-2 hours after pouring gravel refilling a tank unless rocks are insufficiently washed.
  • Dissolved constituents result from unfiltered water and high levels of phosphates, silicates, or heavy metals. 
  • Bacterial Blossom can sometimes take a while to appear and results from a sudden increase in the number of bacterial colonies in the water. The bacteria grows so rapidly that they collectively become visible and make the water murky or cloudy.

In the case that your water is excessively green, typically it’s more obvious to see and easier to treat. The causes of green water all are due to algae growth, and algae growth is perpetuated by an excess of light, nutrients, phosphates, or nitrates. The greenness is more related to just maintaining the right levels.

  • Excess light causes algae to grow faster than most tank filters can keep up with, so keep your fish tank out of direct sunlight and in a room where lights are turned off and on regularly.
  • Phosphates result from decaying matter such as fish waste or uneaten fish food, and sometimes from the water itself.
  • Nitrates result only from fish waste and can rise due to a poorly maintained water filter.

How to Clear Cloudy Aquarium Water:

  1. Drain your fish tank and thoroughly wash out the gravel in the bottom of the tank, let dry, and refill the tank with fresh water.
  2. To reduce and eliminate dissolved constituents, consider treating the water with conditioners, or use a reverse osmosis filter – which would have many other benefits besides just filtering out contaminants.
  3. Bacterial Blossom can be treated with some simple tank maintenance, like vacuuming out the gravel regularly, removing debris, and performing partial water changes.
  4. Keep your fish tank out of direct sunlight/excessive light to stop the growth of algae. Besides algae growth, your fish tank water could overheat and endanger your fish if kept in too sunny of a location.
  5. A water filter such as a reverse osmosis system should combat and eliminate nitrates and phosphates.

If you’re in need of assistance with your fish tank’s water or any other water filtration issue, our Culligan Water specialists have solutions for you. We can provide the best and most comprehensive products that will have your aquarium clearer than ever. Give us a call to get started with a whole-house water system today. 

Works Cited:

https://www.thesprucepets.com/cloudy-aquarium-water-1378803

https://www.thesprucepets.com/bacterial-bloom-1380092

https://www.aqueon.com/articles/how-to-fix-cloudy-tank-water-for-a-new-fish-tank

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