11 weeks of cloudy water during cycle. Wait to turn lights on?

Jorda320

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Hi everyone,

I sent up a new 75 gallon sumpless tank. This was in the first few days of December and used dry sand and dry marco rock in a negative space style aquascape similar to what was seen on BRS and tidal gardens (only not as nice as there's look). I use RODI water and the HW brand salt. I know that the cycle does not need to be at 1.025 however I figured I might as well get everything used to that so I cycled the tank at 1.025 salinity and I seeded with bright well XLM and used the ammonia drops. I have salifert brand ammonia and nitrate test kits and it did take about 3 weeks for ammonia to go into the undetectable range. Nitrates usually peak somewhere around 10 and since I don't have any coral in this tank I'm not too concerned with getting that number down right now.

After a month I put in two clownfish and about a month later I put in five small mollies which I acclimated to saltwater and a few turbo snails as I had some algae growing on the glass just from the room light. Ammonia is still zero and nitrates are around 10. I have orphek LED bars however I have not turned them on yet. I have a tunze 9012 skimmer and a tunze comline filter that I use filter floss with. I changed the floss out about every week or maybe two times a week, again nitrates are around 10.

So, as the title suggests my water has been cloudy since day one. I feed twice a day of frozen mysis shrimp and I put either an algae wafer or maybe a two square inch piece of nori on a rock every two or three days. The snails are usually on the glass so I feel they have enough to eat. Nothing's died in my tank so I really can't figure out why the water has been this cloudy this long. I've had cloudy water before but 11 weeks seems a bit long to me.I can see through the 18-in front to back but if I look through the tank long ways over the 48-in I cannot see the other side.

I'm imagining this is just a bacterial bloom but this is also the reason I haven't turned my lights on yet. I have done 10 gallon water changes (two five gallon buckets) every Saturday, although I believe I did miss one Saturday. Any suggestions or should I just leave it alone to play out? I know a UV would fix the cloudy water but I'm worried about the cause of this
 
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Jorda320

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Bumping a 4 minute old thread :oops:

no reason to turn the lights on if no corals, I would leave them off.

Look into why it’s still cloudy tho, as it’s been a long time...did you rinse your sand, are you making your salt water correctly?
I imagine that bump was a mistake.

As far as the sand goes it was new dry sand from BRS. 40 lb bag. I did not rinse it but I did put the sand in the tank first, I use a pump with a bit of tubing to pump the water into the tank and I sort of use my hand to prevent the water from stirring the sand too much. The water was minimally cloudy at first when the sand was added but clouded up over a few days.

As far as the salt water goes I have a 20 gallon bucket from Lowe's, it is the kind that has the rope handles that you would fill with ice and put drinks in. I use that to mix the salt. And I use that same pump, but without the tubing, to mix the salt for maybe an hour maybe half an hour. I wait until the salt mix is not cloudy and I can't see any salt on the bottom of the bucket before I pump it. I don't know how correct that is but that's what I've been doing.

I don't dose anything or put any additives in because I have no coral right now however I do intend to put the lights on eventually and add some bigger Coral just to see how they do. I have two frags of Duncan's in a 10-gallon tank in my basement waiting to go. I can be patient can't wait this out but I am more curious as to why this is dragging on
 

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Most salt take 24 hours to be clear, I use Tropic Marin and that takes around 8 hours, saying that it shouldnt be what is causing this cloudiness as it will carry on mixing in the tank, not good to do that if fish and corals are in there tho.
What I meant by mixing the salt was, are you adding the salt last? That is important with most salts. And also slowly.

The sand should have settled by now, unless the flow is strong and kicking it up, unrinsed sand will make the water go cloudy for a long time, to see if it’s that you could try turning the flow down and use very low micron filter socks or filter felt if you don’t use sock, or add the felt to the sock to help filter out the very fine particles.
I have a feeling it could be the sand, as a bacterial bloom from day one and lasting this long is probably unlikely.

Think your best bet is a process of elimination to see what is causing this.
 
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Jorda320

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Most salt take 24 hours to be clear, I use Tropic Marin and that takes around 8 hours, saying that it shouldnt be what is causing this cloudiness as it will carry on mixing in the tank, not good to do that if fish and corals are in there tho.
What I meant by mixing the salt was, are you adding the salt last? That is important with most salts. And also slowly.

The sand should have settled by now, unless the flow is strong and kicking it up, unrinsed sand will make the water go cloudy for a long time, to see if it’s that you could try turning the flow down and use very low micron filter socks or filter felt if you don’t use sock, or add the felt to the sock to help filter out the very fine particles.
I have a feeling it could be the sand, as a bacterial bloom from day one and lasting this long is probably unlikely.

Think your best bet is a process of elimination to see what is causing this.
I do fill up the 20 gallon bucket halfway with RODI water and then use a measuring cup to add the salt. Only in rare occurrences where I have the salinity too high do I add a few cups of water to the mix to lower the salinity. Since December I don't think I've had to do that. On previous tanks yes but not this tank.

The flow and sand may be a more realistic cause. In this tank I have 2 740gph tunze nanostream power heads aimed at each other. Since I don't have any other power heads Im thinking maybe making amore circular flow pattern with one pump near the back side and another pump near the front of the opposite side?
 

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I do fill up the 20 gallon bucket halfway with RODI water and then use a measuring cup to add the salt. Only in rare occurrences where I have the salinity too high do I add a few cups of water to the mix to lower the salinity. Since December I don't think I've had to do that. On previous tanks yes but not this tank.

The flow and sand may be a more realistic cause. In this tank I have 2 740gph tunze nanostream power heads aimed at each other. Since I don't have any other power heads Im thinking maybe making amore circular flow pattern with one pump near the back side and another pump near the front of the opposite side?
I know sand, especially when it is very fine, can take awhile to settle. They could also be micro bubbles from a pump or piece of equipment. You should add picks :)
 
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Jorda320

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I get off work in 2 hours and can add a picture then. Sorry I don't have one right now.
Sorry let me clarify. I get off work in 2 hours and I have about an hour commute so pictures probably won't come until later tonight. Just so you don't think I forgot
 
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Reef.

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I do fill up the 20 gallon bucket halfway with RODI water and then use a measuring cup to add the salt. Only in rare occurrences where I have the salinity too high do I add a few cups of water to the mix to lower the salinity. Since December I don't think I've had to do that. On previous tanks yes but not this tank.

The flow and sand may be a more realistic cause. In this tank I have 2 740gph tunze nanostream power heads aimed at each other. Since I don't have any other power heads Im thinking maybe making amore circular flow pattern with one pump near the back side and another pump near the front of the opposite side?
Yeah I do t think it’s the salt but best to cover all bases, I would put the full amount of water in the tub then add the salt, adding a little extra salt or water to correct the salinity is not a problem, you do t really want to be adding most of the salt to only half the amount of water tho.

sounds as if it could be the pumps, you could aim them up for a bit to see, or even turn one off for now.
When I rinsed my salt it took nearly an hour to get rid of all the fine, and even then any movement in the sand would still kick stuff up into the water column for a while after setting the tank up.
 
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Jorda320

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Need pics , hard to believe bacterial bloom for 11 weeks lol
I really don't know if it is bacteria or not. None of the fish are snails seem to be in any sort of distress and other than the cloudiness the tank seems to be doing very well. I'm just waiting until this clears up before I think about turning the lights on. I don't want to make anything worse
 

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i'm in the same boat with my new 200 gallon build. Started January 4th...still cloudy.
two tangs, two clowns, two wrasse, two gobies, flame hawk, three chromis, one purple psudo
 
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Jorda320

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Sorry for the late reply, late day again. I took pictures with just ambient light, I know the glare makes this a bit difficult.The first picture is looking through the tank lengthwise. You can see the main rock structure but not the end of the tank 4 ft away. I also took a picture shining a flashlight through the tank just so you can see the cloudiness a little better. As far as a HOV filter I do have a tunze com line in tank filter. It's a little smaller than the 9012 skimmer and is placed at the opposite corner of the tank. Right now I just have some marine pure blocks in there and about a handful worth of filter floss. And as I said before the fish do seem completely fine. I've had no die offs no unusual behavior no gasping for breath, just a cloudy tank
 

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not rinsing was probably the biggest mistake. I'd do a water change and put a crap load of polyfil in that filter. change out the polyfil every few hours or so. I didn't rinse my rock and had to do that except I would have killed to have your visibility. literally couldn't see an inch into my tank. actually i had to do like 3 water changes, but you might not even have to do one if you change the polyfil a few times. it's really not as bad as you made it out to be.
 
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Jorda320

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not rinsing was probably the biggest mistake. I'd do a water change and put a crap load of polyfil in that filter. change out the polyfil every few hours or so. I didn't rinse my rock and had to do that except I would have killed to have your visibility. literally couldn't see an inch into my tank. actually i had to do like 3 water changes, but you might not even have to do one if you change the polyfil a few times. it's really not as bad as you made it out to be.
Sorry, didn't mean to exaggerate. My concern was that this cloudiness was persistent since the beginning of December. I was more concerned if this was bacterial that turning the lights on might lead to some sort of undesired explosion of some sort of growth whether bacterial or algae. Regardless, I'm glad that this is something that could be fixed.
 
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Jorda320

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I'll do what I can to get on those water changes and keep up with the filter floss. If anything changes I'll be sure to post an update. I appreciate all the input from everyone. Thank you very much
 

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