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Natasha
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-10-2012

Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

I have a 55g fish tank and its been cloudy some time. I have tried completely changing the water and since that didn't work a few lets later emptying 25% water which didn't help. I currently have 2 Marineland Emperor Filter Systems. I went from feeding my fish from 3x a day to 1x a day and that didn't help. I have 4 small-medium kois, 2 cichlids, 2 small catfish and 2 plecos. I had my water tested and my didn't have any bacteria. Ph was good. Any suggestions?

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Respected Contributor
huachinango
Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎07-22-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

[ Edited ]

Hi and welcome!

 

There is no test for "bacteria" other than looking at a water sample under a microscope.  All tanks have bacteria. Some bacteria are necessary and beneficial (like the ones that break ammonia into harmless compounds) and others are dangerous (like the ones that aggressively destroy body tissues in the form of fin and tail rot).  Cloudy water usually indicates an over abundance of opportunistic though not harmful bacteria that are taking advantage of excess nutrient in the water. There is extra food, so bacteria proliferate to such an extent that the water appears cloudy because there are so many of them.

 

When you completely change the water, you effectively re-boot your aquarium so that it must start over in developing the beneficial bacteria and, you run the risk of repeating the nuisance "bacterial bloom" you have just seen. Feed less. Do weekly water changes of 25-50%, and be patient. It will take a few days to a week to sort itself out. 

 

In aquarium keeping good things take patience and time and disasters happen instantly.

 

Although your tank is above average in size, your stocking "plan" needs serious revision. A 55 gallon tank is not an adequate container for even a single koi. This is a fish that can and ought to grow to be more than two feet in length. Your tank is only 13" front to back.  Koi belong in ponds. Find a new home for them.  Likewise, your plecos are likely the typical sailfin variety and these, too, will reach up to 16" in length. I have no idea what species of cichlids or "small catfish" you have, but it is vitally important that you find out. Both Catfish and Cichlids are HUGE families whose members occupy every possible ecological niche freshwater has to offer.  Some are tiny (2") some are huge (3 feet or more).  Their requirements in terms of food (vegetarian or carnivore) and water (hard/soft, acidic/basic) also vary widely.  Getting your tank to cycle properly and clarify is important, but you have a biological disaster in the making.  Always consider the full adult size of the fish you buy and consider whether you have enough space.  In my view, four koi and two plecos need a pond of more than a thousand gallons.

 

Seriously: go to some public aquaria, conservatory or local parks and look at what koi and plecostomus become when they are adult (and this happens faster than you might think).  Then ask yourself if your 48" X 13" tank is truly adequate for these six fish.  It is true that juveniles of large fish can become stunted when kept in smaller tanks, but  this is not what you want, and the more likely scenario is to have all of these fish die prematurely (within a couple years or less) when they SHOULD live for many decades.

 

Good luck. Please ask follow-up questions. My aim is not to brow-beat you, but to help your fish and help you have an aquarium that you will enjoy for years to come!

 

Randy

 

“The oceans are the planet's last great living wilderness, man's only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”
― John L. Culliney
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Antares
Posts: 71
Topics: 8
Kudos: 7
Blog Posts: 0
Solutions: 2
Registered: ‎10-29-2012

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

Hi Natasha! Welcome to Pet Talk Place. It seems that your first post and inquiry was answered by huachinango. We have a lot of great people here such as him so don't hesitate to ask. We also encourage you to share your insights and ideas.

 

I would also give my commendations and kudos to huachinango for his informative reply to our new member, Natasha. We are really glad to see members who selflessly share their ideas and insights to those who need help.

 

Thank you for all your contributions to this forum. :cattongue:

 

"Ask not what your community can do for you - ask what you can do for your community."


"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams
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Respected Contributor
huachinango
Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎07-22-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

That's kind of you, Antares, but Natasha's situation is unfortunately very common. Small goldfish, koi, oscars, and many other fish are so appealing and cute as juveniles and when they are a mere couple of inches a 55 gallon tank looks huge.  Many people will buy them and put them in tanks far smaller than this. They are irresistible!

 

The good part is that nothing tragic has yet occurred, no death or disease as yet,  and this is a wonderful tank (in terms of its size) in which to create an aquatic paradise. There are many many options for this contributor in terms of stocking selections that can be made.  This is one of the tasks that this particular forum community enjoys most: suggesting possible fish for a tank.  Most people ask what they can put in a five or ten-gallon tank, so this project will be received with enthusiasm.

 

Natasha: I also forgot to mention that koi prefer very cool water temperatures (in the sixties), whereas most other fish available for sale at Petco (including the ones presently in your tank)  require water in the 74-82 degree range. Another reason these fish are not compatible. . . 

“The oceans are the planet's last great living wilderness, man's only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”
― John L. Culliney
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Super Contributor
lefty317
Posts: 662
Registered: ‎09-28-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

hi natasha, welcome from me as well.  first let me compliment you on your choice of filtration. a pair of emperors (even the smaller 280's wil provide great filtration and almost unlimited flexibility in your choice of media.  the bio wheels give the added benefit of great wet/dry biological filtration as well.  i have always been a fan of a filter at each end of the tank when lengths are 30" or better.  your cloudy water is probably a bacterial bloom which will subside over time.  as huach has said, we need more info.  the term "cichlids"  anrrows the fish down to something like 2400 species that may be found anywhere in the world.  a description, or better yet some pics would help us help you.

To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are. Any attempt at modesty is as much of an untruth as an exaggeration of ones ability.

Sherlock Holmes
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Respected Contributor
Darwin_Ahoy
Posts: 2,806
Registered: ‎06-23-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

Huach pretty much covered it, but I will also emphasize the incredible growth rate of koi. I have an 1800 gallon pond with 6 koi, and their growth rate is insane. I got them at about 4 inches about 2 months ago, and they are now about 8". My sterlets are showing similar growth, going from 4" to about 6" in about a month. These growth rates are actually a little conservative, and I won't be surprised if all of these fish are well over a foot each during the summer.
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Respected Contributor
huachinango
Posts: 5,409
Registered: ‎07-22-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

Well done, you "Koi and Sterlet whisperer" you!  I am happy all are well after the storm. You had mentioned the rampant "dumbness" of young sterlets when you first acquired them. So glad they are doing well!

“The oceans are the planet's last great living wilderness, man's only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”
― John L. Culliney
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Respected Contributor
Darwin_Ahoy
Posts: 2,806
Registered: ‎06-23-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

Yes, they're doing well. Still dumb, though. They manage to backflip their way out of their cage at the moment, with the raised water level from the snowstorm. In fact, this reminds me I need to go catch one out of the pond again so I can feed them tonight.

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Valued Contributor
The_Big_A
Posts: 2,078
Registered: ‎07-06-2012

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

The water temps don't mess with the fish?
"Whatever happens, happens. I just go with the flow." - Linsey Weenk
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Respected Contributor
Darwin_Ahoy
Posts: 2,806
Registered: ‎06-23-2011

Re: Cloudy 55g Fish Tank

These guys are from Russia. They'll do just fine.
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