(Resolved) Cloudy water in established aquarium

AMurry24537

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Hey friends, I suddenly have cloudy water in my axolotl's aquarium and I'm a little baffled as to why. Here's the situation:

I have a single axolotl in a 20 gallon long. Last night (10-ish hours ago) I did a 50% water change as part of weekly cleaning. I also replaced one of two sponges on his sponge filter (it's double-sponged so that you can replace one while having the other one still produce bacteria) and let the new one take in some of the dirty tank water to rinse it out and hopefully get the bacteria going. The water in this area is very hard, so I use a generous amount of Seachem's Neutral Regulator, which removes chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals, detoxifies ammonia, and is supposed to help drop the pH down to around 7.0. It says you can use more than the standard dosage if the ph remains high.

I keep the barebottom tank in a darker area of my room with no hood lights and no exposure to direct sunlight. He has two hides and a few mossballs. I am currently working on adding more live plants, but those are still in quarantine for the moment.

Last night, the temperature in my room (and therefore in his tank) dropped, so he went from about 63 to 57 degrees F. Because of the temperature drop, he did poop in his tank, which I cleaned up as soon as I woke up.

At the same time, I noticed that the water looked cloudy. I thought that maybe there was some chlorine that hadn't gone away yet when I added the new water and that maybe my cycle had crashed, so I checked my ammonia levels (I use API's Freshwater test kit) and it was 0. I haven't checked the nitrites or nitrates yet because again, I did a 50% water change less than 10 hours ago, so if it was a problem with the cycle, I figured it would show up in the ammonia reading (especially with his recent poop), and so I feel like I've pretty much ruled out a crashed cycle. I did also test the ph however, which was higher than I would like (8.0) despite the treatment, but that's fairly normal, considering how hard the water is around here.

Frankly, I don't know what's going on. I've had my guy for almost two years and never encountered a problem like this.

For the moment, I plan to do a 25% water change after letting my treated water sit for a couple hours, just to be safe. Does anyone have any other suggestions or ideas of what's going on?

Update: I just did the 25% water change after returning home. The water looks no different as far as I can tell, but I'm planning to do another 25% in a few hours anyway. I also wanted to add that I have not fed him since before the first water change.
 
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xxianxx

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Looks like your cycles blown, get the water tested so you can see for certain. I would remove the axolotl to a tub with 100% daily water changes till the tanks sorted.
 

AMurry24537

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Looks like your cycles blown, get the water tested so you can see for certain. I would remove the axolotl to a tub with 100% daily water changes till the tanks sorted.
Thank you for your reply, but as noted above, the readings do not indicate a crashed cycle. If the cycle had crashed, the ammonia would have shot up. After I did two 25% water changes (waiting about 5 hours in between) the other day, I then waited about 10 hours before testing the water again (to ensure that the water changes would not skew the results). As expected, ammonia is at 0, nitrites are at 0, and nitrates are at 20. The tank is still a little cloudy, but better than before. I currently believe it to be a combination of debris on the surface of the glass, nitrates being a little higher before the water changes, and the extreme hardness of my water leaving behind particles, even after being mostly softened. The effects of these were likely heightened by the temperature change.
 

xxianxx

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That will teach me to read a post more carefully lol. The tank appears to have a bacterial bloom, this is normally associated with a crashed cycle. There are two things i would try and rule out, firstly is your tap water cloudy , secondly try using a different test kit, see if you replicate the first kits results. Other than that im clueless.
 

cro117

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you can have a partially crashed cycle from cleaning a bit too much at one time, i don't even really count it as a crashed cycle as often it wont even affect your levels. you still have bacteria in the tank cleaning the ammonia, you just had less in the filter then usual, which causes slightly more ammonia in the water which will cause displaced bacteria to bloom. the same thing can happen if you use too much stress coat, but generally its harmless and will clear up in a few days if left alone.

im inexperienced with caudata care, so i don't know if bacterial blooms with cause irritation to the skin or anything, so you may want to consider removing him for a few days into a container you can do daily water changed in. if it where fish or dwarf african frogs, i'd just leave them in the tank and observe ammonia levels for the next few days. either way, i'd suggest just leaving the tank alone and let the bacteria settle down on their own.
 
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    Hello guys! I was wondering about nitrates in an axolotl tank. If there are 0 nitrates, will that harm the axolotl?
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  • AMurry24537:
    0 nitrates doesn't sound dangerous, but it does sound very unlikely if the tank is fully cycled. Are you positive you're performing the test correctly? If you're using the API one, that is by far the trickiest test to do right. If the reading is correct, I would guess that either your tank is not cycled, you just did like a 100% water change, or that you have plants sucking up the nitrates, but even those shouldn't leave you with 0.
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    Post a picture of the dent (in the "Sick Axolotl" thread) please
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  • AMurry24537:
    Hmm, I don't know much about those filters, and I'm having trouble picturing what you mean, but could it be simply that your filtration media is arranged in a different way? Or maybe you're losing water content to evaporation? Just throwing out ideas. 😁 Again, I don't really know much about that kind of filter
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    JasPinturas: When I noticed his little fingers were split, after I used the net +1
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