Cloudy water in an aquarium

Why is the water in my aquarium cloudy? What should I do if the water in my aquarium is cloudy? Water is the main element of your aquarium. Fish, plants or accessories introduced into the tank directly impact the characteristics of the water and can cause cloudy water. It is therefore necessary to regularly check the quality of the water as well as maintain your aquarium to prevent the water from becoming cloudy or white. Cloudy water is also a common problem when starting the aquarium. Is the water in your aquarium cloudy? Find out the reasons and solutions for cloudy aquarium water.

Find out if the water in your aquarium is cloudy

To check if the water in your aquarium is cloudy, simply analyse the quality of the water in the tank and its transparency. Poor health of your fish as well as dirty equipment can be a sign of unsafe water. Aquarists are used to this frequent problem and know how to detect it at a glance. But for a beginner aquarist, knowing whether the water in his aquarium is cloudy is more complex. Because you have to look through your aquarium, analyze the color of the water and find out the reasons for the problem.

Certain factors can also affect the clarity of the water such as equipment, accessories and plants. Finally, a yellow or green color is indicative of muddy or muddy water, not cloudy water. It is important to analyze your filtration system and make sure to remove algae from your aquarium.

The water is considered cloudy when it turns a whitish color or when the bottom of the aquarium is no longer or very poorly visible. Visual effects caused by lighting must be taken into consideration. Cloudy water can affect any type of installation:

Cloudy water after a new aquarium is put in.
Cloudy water in an aquarium after a first cycle of operation.
Cloudy water in an aquarium that has been in place for months.

Main reasons for cloudy water

Cloudy water in an aquarium is mainly caused by poor water filtration or overfeeding of fish. However, you should also consider the stage of your aquarium project regarding water darkening analysis. Indeed, an aquarium that has just been launched can impact the clarity of the water. The nitrogen cycle affects the bacterial bloom that can make your aquarium water temporarily cloudy. If you can no longer see through your aquarium, here are the main reasons for cloudy water and how to prevent your water from becoming cloudy.

Cloudy aquarium water at launch

When setting up a new aquarium, cloudy water is common. In the case of cloudy water after your aquarium is set up, this is normal and can last for a few days. This is because after preparing your aquarium, you fill it with a large amount of raw tap water. Then you introduce your gravel for the soil and various plants. The fact that the water is constantly moving and in contact with new elements affects its balance and causes the water to become cloudy. Above all, be sure to rinse the gravel or sand thoroughly before placing it at the bottom of the aquarium. The same applies to the various accessories.

If you have just launched your aquarium and filled it with water, do not panic. Once the installation of your aquarium is completed and the plants and other accessories introduced, you will be able to activate the various filters to remove these suspended matters. After 12 hours to 24 hours of filtration, you should have a much less fuzzy water. Also, you will have a rise in nitrites a few days after setting up the aquarium, which can affect the transparency of the water. Indeed, it will be necessary to change a large quantity of water in the aquarium until the water stabilizes. Be careful to wait at least 3 weeks before introducing your different fish.

However, if the problem persists, it may be directly related to the tap water. Some probable causes can be noted: unbalanced water, bad cleaning of the accessories before introduction, very hard water, … He should think about analyzing the cloudy water in the aquarium to evaluate its pH in particular.

Cloudy aquarium water after introduction

Once the aquarium is up and running, the problem of cloudy water should be much rarer or even non-existent. This is because the filters constantly clean the water and your plants or air pump ensure that the water is sufficiently oxygenated. If you encounter cloudy water, there are two possible explanations:

Cloudy water is caused by a proliferation of bacteria in the aquarium. This situation is normal because a few weeks after the start of your aquarium, the nitrogen cycle will promote the proliferation of bacteria. This is a necessary step in aquarium keeping.
Cloudy water can be caused by the aquatic environment. In this case, there are many reasons: imbalance of the water, very hard water, degradation of plants, luminosity and UV rays, …

Scrambled water after introduction of fish
Finally, if you have been running your aquarium for many weeks and your fish have been introduced, the cloudy water can become a threat to your wildlife. Indeed, the reason for this disorder can be diverse but it is essential to intervene to ensure the good health of the fish and plants. If your fish tend to swim and if your plants break up or if you see algae appear, these are symptoms of poor maintenance. Both saltwater and freshwater aquariums can suffer from cloudy or white water. It’s important to know what to do and take the right steps to regulate the water balance.

The water in your aquarium is cloudy, find out the probable causes. Here are a few ideas to study in order to find a transparent water that is suitable for your aquarium:

Overpopulation of fish or overfeeding.
Brightness and lighting favouring the appearance of algae.
Poor maintenance or operation of the water filter.
Poor maintenance or operation of the air pump.
It is therefore necessary to introduce a number of fish limited to the size of your aquarium but also to maintain the tank and the plants. For example by regularly changing part of the aquarium water with tap water. Once the reason for the cloudy or unsuitable water is known, the problem will have to be solved. You can ask for help on our aquarium forum for personal advice. An alternative is to go to a pet store for information. It is also important to make sure you clean your aquarium to keep your aquarium water clean and clear.

Green water in the aquarium

Some marine or freshwater aquarium owners have green water in the aquarium. Unlike cloudy water, it is relatively easy to know the cause of an all-green aquarium. An aquarium with green water is caused by the presence of algae, micro-algae or phytoplankton in high quantities. In addition to being unattractive, this problem of green water in the tank can impact the health of the fish and unbalance the water. This green water with algae is very often due to poor filtration or an aquarium placed in full sunlight. Indeed, the UV rays of the sun, as well as an unsuitable lighting system, promote the proliferation of algae. In addition to regular water changes, you will have to take care to light the aquarium less and buy a more powerful filtration system.

Solutions for an aquarium with cloudy water

To keep the water in the aquarium clean, there are solutions for every situation. It takes time to make your water clear, so be patient and let the filtration do its job. However, you can use certain products to reduce water turbidity. Here are a few possible solutions to get clearer water:

Add a coagulant product or additive to remove particles.
Balance the water with pH correctors, for example to modify the hardness of the water.
Install a filtration system adapted to the aquarium environment (carbon filter, …) or a water purifier.
Insert bacteria in the aquarium to clean certain organic substances.
Be aware that the coloration of the water requires a follow-up because the survival of your fish can be engaged. It is then necessary to follow the behaviour of your aquarium fish and clarify the water. Some fish owners also note an aquarium with white or brown water. White aquarium water is usually caused by dead bacteria. Brown water is caused by the addition of wood to the tank which releases tannin.