Slightly Cloudy Water

FFFishy

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I've been trying to resolve slightly cloudy water for a few weeks. This is a new build, running for only 9 weeks. 210 total gallons. No corals yet. Started with dry rock (CaribSea) wet sand (CaribSea) and Fritz Turbo Start. Inhabitants: 1 One-Spot Foxface, 3 Fijian Anthias, approximately 24 snails. Parameters:
Hanna Alk = 9.3
Hanna P04 = 0
Nyos N03 = 0
RS Calc = 400
RS Mag = 1300

Flow between tank and sump is about 1,600 GPH. I've tried running at 2,000 GPH, but no change in the cloudiness. Filtration includes two Clarisea 5000 systems (200 micron media) and a Lifereef Skimmer. I've added 100 micron felt media to try to catch smaller particles. As an experiment, I've put 4 gallons of tank water into a white bucket. After sitting undisturbed for 6 hours, there is a yellow-ish dust on the bottom of the bucket that settled out of the water.

I've guessed that this might be some sort of bacteria. It's more prevalent later in the day after the lights (4x Radion G4 Pro's at 50%) have been on. I left the lights off for 24 hours and the cloudiness was reduced, but not completely eliminated.

Yesterday, I tried adding Seachem Clarity according to their instructions. Caught a bunch of gunk in the Clarisea systems and in the 100 micron felt media. After 4-5 hours, the water was noticeably clearer (significant difference). But, after having the lights on for 4 hours today, the same level of cloudiness has returned.

The cloudy water is most noticeable when viewing from either end of the tank, not nearly as noticeable when viewed from front. The tank is 78 inches long by 24 inches front-to-back. It's constructed of high-clarity 3/4" glass. During the setup process, the tank was perfectly clear, so this is not related to the glass.

I'm considering adding a UV system. That would involve significant plumbing modifications that I'd really like to avoid.

When looking at the attached 'end view' photos, water seems clear in the foreground, but the cloudiness becomes noticeable as you look towards the center of the tank.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
---Frank

Left End.jpg


Right End.jpg


Front.jpg
 
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ca1ore

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Usually within a handful of posts somebody will suggest bacterial bloom …. which it almost never is. My guess is some kind of suspended particles that are small enough to make it through the socks. May also be high flow kicking stuff out of the sand. Agree to just wait it out.
 

Cmack59

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We have been seeing the same thing even though our tank is 3 years old - weekend before last we changed out all but 10% of our live rock with dry rock because of severe hair algae - we tried everything to get rid of it - this is our last try if it comes back like that again my DH is going to give-up - we are on a well I wonder if that is the problem for both the constant cloudiness and the horrible hair algae - we do have an extensive water treatment system for the whole house which then goes through the RO and that goes into a brand new water softener salt bin about 55 gallons worth - below are the pics from our rebuild and we did get a reef cleaner crew

6F51E0F0-7188-42DB-8464-918D4DAAE00B.jpeg D0ACD3C9-E65C-4EE1-98FE-277209684530.jpeg E4B4EE8E-05DD-451A-9F19-23C46DE009E2.jpeg 6ED47FA2-69E6-4806-867A-E8B202F30491.jpeg ABCE77FF-B75F-4CCF-9A67-6476E4E8F69B.jpeg
 

GaryE

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We have been seeing the same thing even though our tank is 3 years old - weekend before last we changed out all but 10% of our live rock with dry rock because of severe hair algae - we tried everything to get rid of it - this is our last try if it comes back like that again my DH is going to give-up - we are on a well I wonder if that is the problem for both the constant cloudiness and the horrible hair algae - we do have an extensive water treatment system for the whole house which then goes through the RO and that goes into a brand new water softener salt bin about 55 gallons worth - below are the pics from our rebuild and we did get a reef cleaner crew

I wouldn't use softened water in my tank. I am also on a well. I run my water thru a whole house sediment filter then into a 6 stage RO/DI filter for my tank.

Do you know what the TDS of the water is that's going into your tank?
 

Victor_C3

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I too have been having issues with cloudy water, but I attribute that to my system being 4 months old and not having done a water change in at least a month. In my case, I think it’s a combination of silt from me messing around with my sand bed and a huge pile of live rock in my sump and bacteria of one sort or another.

It seems to clear right up after I do a 10-15% water change, but I haven’t done one of those in about 5-6 weeks.

I also don’t run a skimmer, filter socks, or any sort of mechanical filtration.

Just a thought, but are you running an RO/DI system? Absolutely pure water as a starting point makes many issues in reefing either go away or easier to deal with.
 
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FFFishy

FFFishy

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I too have been having issues with cloudy water, but I attribute that to my system being 4 months old and not having done a water change in at least a month. In my case, I think it’s a combination of silt from me messing around with my sand bed and a huge pile of live rock in my sump and bacteria of one sort or another.

It seems to clear right up after I do a 10-15% water change, but I haven’t done one of those in about 5-6 weeks.

I also don’t run a skimmer, filter socks, or any sort of mechanical filtration.

Just a thought, but are you running an RO/DI system? Absolutely pure water as a starting point makes many issues in reefing either go away or easier to deal with.
Yes . . . running a SpectraPure RO/DI System for three tanks -- two tanks are very clear and only one is slightly cloudy.
 

vetteguy53081

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I recommend use of ChemiPure Blue in your sump. It will polish your water and also keep Phos/nitrate in check
 

Lizdoesreef

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It's gotta be a bacteria bloom!! U probably added fish before it was completely cycled...which throws off the balance. Time will reduce it. When adding too much fish at once, or removing live Rock for example....can set off these blooms even in an established tank
 
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Cmack59

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I wouldn't use softened water in my tank. I am also on a well. I run my water thru a whole house sediment filter then into a 6 stage RO/DI filter for my tank.

Do you know what the TDS of the water is that's going into your tank?
What is a TDS?
 

Cmack59

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I too have been having issues with cloudy water, but I attribute that to my system being 4 months old and not having done a water change in at least a month. In my case, I think it’s a combination of silt from me messing around with my sand bed and a huge pile of live rock in my sump and bacteria of one sort or another.

It seems to clear right up after I do a 10-15% water change, but I haven’t done one of those in about 5-6 weeks.

I also don’t run a skimmer, filter socks, or any sort of mechanical filtration.

Just a thought, but are you running an RO/DI system? Absolutely pure water as a starting point makes many issues in reefing either go away or easier to deal with.
We do have an RO system so I don’t think that is the problem but we do have an iron filter and water softener before the RO
 

Victor_C3

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We do have an RO system so I don’t think that is the problem but we do have an iron filter and water softener before the RO
Here is a thread from 5 years ago on reef central about why you might want to consider an RO/DI system despite the fact you have an RO system and a water softener.


Honestly, all I know about the topic is that I don’t know anything about it and that I should refer you somewhere else.
 
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FFFishy

FFFishy

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I am running some Red Sea Carbon. I'll avoid adding / changing anything else for a few weeks.
 
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HB AL

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You say its gets worse after lights have been on for a while, that could possibly point to suspended algae bloom in the water. As I already said if that's the case and carbon and a uv dont take care of it within a couple days at most then it's something else causing it. Plumbing a uv filter doesnt need to be difficult, you could pick up a return pump, a hose to reach the display and just have the water go through the uv and flow into the tank via the new hose and see what happens in a couple days, without having to plumb it to your current piping and the current sump pump. That's the way I have one set up and it works great and the pump for the uv can be a smaller pump just for the uv, also add the carbon 1st before the uv and see if that alone will work. It really doesnt have to be a full blown project.
 
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FFFishy

FFFishy

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You say its gets worse after lights have been on for a while, that could possibly point to suspended algae bloom in the water. As I already said if that's the case and carbon and a uv dont take care of it within a couple days at most then it's something else causing it. Plumbing a uv filter doesnt need to be difficult, you could pick up a return pump, a hose to reach the display and just have the water go through the uv and flow into the tank via the new hose and see what happens in a couple days, without having to plumb it to your current piping and the current sump pump. That's the way I have one set up and it works great and the pump for the uv can be a smaller pump just for the uv, also add the carbon 1st before the uv and see if that alone will work. It really doesnt have to be a full blown project.
I'm giving carbon a try right now. Next step would be UV. Very good point about a simple, temporary UV setup. No real need to modify my plumbing to try that.
Thanks!
 

HB AL

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I'm giving carbon a try right now. Next step would be UV. Very good point about a simple, temporary UV setup. No real need to modify my plumbing to try that.
Thanks!
No problem, I originally had my uv setup like that 4 years ago when I added it, but then I figured an extra return pump wouldn't hurt if the main one went down, I could use a pump with a slower gph, and the separate hose was actually convenient since I could have the outflow into the dt in a different location. 4+ years later and it's still setup like it was when I first did it. You also dont need to buy the most oversized expensive uv they make, a simple one for just water clarity works just fine. People that say that uv filters accomplish nothing are flat out wrong. Not only will it keep your water clear it also does kill parasites which is a bonus. Good luck and hopefully between the carbon and or the uv filter your tank will always be clear.
 

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