why is the water in my fish tank so cloudy?


danilhastings asked:

i bought the tank last week and the first few days it was crystal clear now its very cloudy. im not sure how big the tank is but i bought the tank and got 7 fish so im sure its not over populated or the person at the pet shop would have said something. im not sure what type of fish they are either but they are white and black and pretty small (like 1 inch long)
at first i thought it was the filter because when i poke the rocks with the net bits of food and poop come out of it. i went back to the pet shop and the girl said that the filter is fine but i might be overfeeding. she said to empty a quarter of the tanks water every 2 days and replace it with clean water.
i went home emptied the tank and put new water in and fed the fish less but it got cloudy even when i changed the water every 2 days and its still very coudy whats wrong??
the water also gets hot sometimes. if i open the top to feed them and i can feel heat coming from the water. i dont put the light on during the day and the weather is always cold.
the fish are like some of the fancy goldfish but
some are black and some are white and there is 1 that is bron and gold (proper gold like a ring not orange)

they look most like Red Ryukin Goldfish except they arent red or orange
the tank is only 10 gallons and is sais the fish need a 30gallon tank, do i have a problem???
the pet shop had roughly a 30gallon tank (judging by the size of mine) and they had well over 100 of this type of fish in it it was PACKED full of them so i dont think a 30 gallon tank for 7 fish is a big deal for my tank

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well u need to make sure that u always clean the water in the tank and also have a filte.. that is always going to make sure the water stays nice and clear.. =]

Cara W

Get a product call Clear Water, it removes odors and cloudniness.The couldiness is caused from decay, fish waste, overfeeding. My tank did that when I first set it up.

Debbie F

you might try less fish, or get one of those ‘sucker’ fish that suck the algea off the aquarium. we use these tablets that you put in the water and they disolve and are supposed to help the tank get clean. not sure what they’re called tho! sry!


it sounds like you also need to get a water dechlorinator. Are rinsing out the filter before you let it run?


I had this problem years ago with my 45 gallon tank. I was told everything was OK…but what it turned out to be was….I had bought ‘carbon’ for my Fluval filter in a big jug to save money. What had happened is that, true it was ‘carbon’…it just wasn’t ACTIVATED carbon. Once I change it to activated carbon…in about 6 hours the water became crystal clear and I never had that problem at all.

As far as overfeeding the fish…you will always have poop and food in the gravel at the bottom…that’s what catfish or pleckos are for…They are bottom feeders and will clean the gravel.


I noticed that fish flakes (the food) causes water to become cloudy very fast. I bought pellets for them, which are pretty small and no harder for a fish to eat. they dont make your water cloudy unless you feed ALOT of them, and for only 7 fish a pinch of them should do.
good luck


The cloudiness is likely a bacterial bloom. This is normal during the cycling stage as the good bacteria colonize the tank. They will eventually reside mostly in the filter and not in the water column. It usually takes around 2 weeks for the problem to clear itself up. In the mean time, monitor ammonia and nitrite levels and do partial water changes whenever the readings are above 0 (you may need to change water more than once a day). 7 fish is a lot to add at one time, so be very aware of the ammonia/nitrite levels, these will remain high until the nitrifying bacteria catch up to the added waste.

It is very important to figure out what kind of fish you have and what size tank you have. This way you will know how best to care for your fish (how big they’ll get, water temperature, food, temperment, etc). You can go back to your pet shop and find out what kind of you have. To find the size of your tank, measure the width, height and depth in inches with a tape measure, multiply those numbers together and divide by 231 to get the number of gallons. Also, whenever you add water, make sure it is the same temperature as the tank water and make sure to add dechlorinator.


I am sorry your first fish keeping experience has been problematic. Do not give any more business to whomever sold you the tank and 7 fish. Their primary goal is $$$, not promoting the hobby of fun and responsible fish keeping. Seek out tropical fish clubs and independent fish dealers. Talk with the staff at these smaller shops. It will soon become evident which ones have good advice and quality livestock. There is also an excellent book that explains basic fish care and the nitrogen cycle in a way that makes easy to understand all this new information that beginners have to deal with all at once. SIMPLE GUIDE TO FRESHWATER AQUARIUMS by David E. Boruchowitz–TFH Publications-2001. It is on sale at wwwdrsfosterandsmith. Hang in there–It will all come together soon. Good luck!

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