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My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

This is a discussion on My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I'm keeping a single axolotl in a ten gallon tank with aquarium sand for substrate and a moss ball, kept ...

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Old 22nd October 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

I'm keeping a single axolotl in a ten gallon tank with aquarium sand for substrate and a moss ball, kept at a constant 68 degrees. The tank cycled for a week before I added him (I was only given a week's notice that he needed a home). When I first got him (on October 7th), I had to lower the water level to about 4 inches because he'd been kept in very shallow water in his previous home and didn't know how to swim. The filter doesn't work unless the water level is high. Over the first week, I gradually raised the water level day by day, and now it's full and he's able to swim to the top with no problems. For the first two weeks, I did daily 20-50% water changes because of the incomplete cycle. This week, I've done two 20% water changes. I always promptly vacuum up any uneaten food or waste. I turn the filter on for 30 minutes to and hour every day because I saw the little guy swim straight into the intake one time and get stuck to it, so I don't trust leaving him alone with it on. The water is always cloudy, and I woke up the morning after a water change and the water was yellowish. When the filter is on, the water clears up somewhat, but it's never as clear as the pictures I see online. What do I do?



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Old 22nd October 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

Hi, I know that some people use a piece of coarse sponge, cut an X in the middle and place it over the intake for the filter (usually to prevent shrimps from getting sucked in). This might work for your concerns about your axolotl.

How often do you test your water and what do you use to test it? Cloudy or yellowish water can be a result of dissolved organic compounds in the water. It would be good if you could get your filter running full time, and test the water regularly. Even though you are keeping it as clean as you can by vacuuming up food and waste, you need to see where your tank water is in terms of the cycle. Ammonia and nitrites are harmful and you may need to keep up more frequent partial water changes if the test results show either in the water.



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Old 22nd October 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

I have a nitrite test kit (test tube and liquid, I think the brand is API?) and I'm saving up for an ammonia kit. The last time I tested nitrite (probably a week ago) the nitrite levels were very low, in the lowest bracket on the color chart. I'm sorry. I'm not home right now or I'd tell you the exact number.



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Old 23rd October 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

If you are finding any level of nitrite in your water, your tank has not completely cycled and you need to keep up with regular partial water changes. I was doing daily 20% water changes until my tank cycled and testing the water at least every two days.

That's good that you are planning to get more API liquid tests, I would suggest that you get the master kit as it will allow you to test for pH and nitrates as well as ammonia and nitrites.



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Old 23rd October 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

Thank you!



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Old 25th October 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

Update: I got my water tested at PETCO. They told me the chlorine, chloramine, nitrate, and nitrite were 0, but my pH was 8.2 and my ammonia was >0 but <5. I'm going to be doing 10-20% water changes every day for at least a week, until I can test again.



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Old 26th October 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

That's good that you had your water tested and plan to do daily partial water changes to keep the levels down. A high (or alkaline) pH level can make the ammonia in your tank more toxic. You are still in the first phase of cycling your water, so keep up the testing and the water changes.



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Old 5th November 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

What kind of filter do you have? I think carbon will keep your tank clear. Continue to test and water change until it's cycled though.



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Old 4th December 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

I'm not really sure if I have a carbon filter or not. It's an over the back filter an it has a replaceable filter inside the housing that appears to contain carbon particles. I can't keep it turned on 24/7 yet, because my little goof keeps swimming behind the intake mount and getting stuck (He isn't getting sucked in, he will swim out of his hide and intentionally swim between the tube and the tank wall. I know it's on purpose because if he misses he'll back up and try again. He only does it when it's on.) I leave it on when I'm home, but I'll afraid he'll hurt himself if left without adult supervision.

...Does anybody have any suggestions to keep him from getting himself stuck?



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Old 6th December 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My tank keeps getting cloudy, how do I fix it?

Hello Litolaxolotl!

Another hint I would give for this is to use a bubbler or air stone if you have a free socket, an air pump and an air stone handy. My water occasionally gets a slightly 'oily' look to it and this seems to solve this issue. If you want to stop him getting stuck behind your filter, you can either cut a clean, new pop sock/tight to fit over the inlet, or stuff a piece of filter where the axolotl would normally wedge himself (PolyFilter is good if you have it, because it naturally comes as a long rectangle and can be cut into smaller rectangles, although PolyFilter is really pricey). You could also use objects to block it off, for example, shower puffs (new, of course) or plants.

Hope this helps to solve the issue. Keep us updated!



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