Everyone is bound to run into this problem sooner or later, and usually it’s pretty quick after you get your first tank. When you first get started, it’s all so exciting. You get to select a tank and all its accouterments, and you then get to pick out the fish (the real exciting part), but even after doing all the proper acclimating to make sure your new fish are able to live safely in their new water, you wake up the next day to find that the tank is cloudy.
Your first instinct might be to call your local pet store and see what’s happening, or maybe you jump online (hi!) to figure it out. Thankfully, you’re here looking for a solution and you’re not about to throw in the towel! Before you jump to conclusions and waste your time and money on quick fixes, I’m going to tell you the one solution that will actually work, but first you have to know what the problem is.
What Is It?
The cloud that descends into your tank plagues many new fish owners, and the problem seems to appear (and sometimes disappear) overnight, seemingly without reason. But, there is a cause and it’s more than a cloud. The cloud is actually made up of bacteria and other microscopic life.
You have to be patient in order to avoid this cloud. Your fish tank is a tank full of life, from the microscopic organisms in the filter to the fish themselves. Ideally, you’ll get your tank and set it up with the filter and everything in it before ever even buying a fish. Once all the living things you can’t see have adapted to the tank (give them a few days) you can go get your fish.
Chances are, if you’re here, you’ve already experienced the clouding so there’s no way to avoid it (although now you know going forward). Luckily, there are some things you can do to get rid of bad bacteria, it just takes a bit of time.
- First off, you need to put lots of good bacteria in your tank—think plants. You can also purchase gravel that is seeded.
- Second, you need to always be maintaining and checking your tank. Keep the filter clean so it can do its job of filtering the water.
- Third, change the water regularly. For a tank that is lightly stocked, changing about 25% of the water each week is enough. Luckily, tools have been created to make this easy (like one that hooks up to your faucet).
With regular maintenance of your tank, you can avoid cloudiness altogether.