Why Is My Fish Tank Water Cloudy? 3 Ways To Eliminate Cloudy Aquarium Water

Milky tank water is so annoying that it distracts you from enjoying your picturesque aquarium. Indeed, not every environment has crystal-clear water, so a light tint to the tank is not necessarily an infuriating thing.

However, noticeably cloudy or ‘tinted’ water can be a sign of underlying problems in your fish tank. The water’s color tends to hint at a certain issue even when you haven’t tested its quality yet.

Why is my fish tank water cloudy? Cloudy water is posed by three major factors: unclean substrates, dissolved constituents, and bacterial blossoms.

The following article will give you the cause as well as the solution to this problem. Let’s read on to know more details!


Why Is My Fish Tank Water Cloudy

It’s pretty easy to identify the problem occurring inside your aquarium. The cloudiness it is experiencing may be a result of one of the three things below.

Dirty Substrates


New substrates are usually extremely dusty

If it’s a brand-new tank setup, one potential contributor to the cloudy aquarium water can be the substrate your fish is living on.

In freshwater tanks, though substrates are mostly epoxy coated, the keepers need to rinse them thoroughly.

New sand and gravel, particularly ones for marine aquascapes, can contain a lot of dust. If you don’t rinse the substrate before adding your creatures into the tank, it’ll cause milky water.

The best practice is to wash the new sand and gravel vigorously in small quantities in a bucket using tap water until you see the water gets clear.

This thorough rinsing will prevent a combination of water and dust from coating your aquarium glass and adding cloudiness to its appearance.

So please remember to prewash the substrate before putting it into the tank.

Dissolved Constituents

Why is fish tank cloudy? If the water still gets murky while your sand and gravel are clean, the issue is more likely owing to a high level of dissolved constituents, such as silicates, phosphates, and heavy metals.

In this case, you should test the aquarium water quality with a simple tank testing kit. Usually, you’ll find the water features relatively high pH levels.

A typical solution to this problem is to dose the tank water with a pH buffer or tap water conditioner.

Bacterial Bloom

If you still witness a fish tank cloudy after water change, then there’s a high possibility of a bacterial bloom hurting your aquarium environment.

New aquariums tend to suffer cloudiness more often than used ones since nitrogen-converting bacteria will colonize nitrites and oxidize ammonia.

This bacteria blossom can also happen to an established tank setup if there’s a sudden rise in nutrients.

The overly increased nutrients may spark heterotrophic bacteria growth. These bacteria will decay fish waste, decomposing unconsumed food and plant debris into ammonia. That’s the reason your fish tank water shows a milky color.

How To Deal With Cloudy Fish Tank Water

Once you discover something wrong is occurring in the tank, it’s time to think about the solutions to get rid of it.

The good news is that cloudiness is not difficult to fix. In fact, we know some very straightforward tips to treat milky water, which we’ll discuss right below.

Avoid Overfeeding


Avoiding providing excess nutrients will help with fixing cloudiness

Concerning how to stop cloudy water in fish tank, what you should do in the first stage is avoid overfeeding.

Feeding your fish with excess nutrients can cloud the water because uneaten food will decompose. Redundant waste gives off nitrites and ammonia. Particularly, species like bettas can incur constipation if you overfeed them.

It’s advisable to feed your creatures only a decent amount every couple of minutes - add in food little yet often. A surprising fact is that you don’t even need to feed the fish one day a week.

In so doing, you’ll improve your fish’s digestive system, keep their stomach healthy, and prevent digestive disorders.

Avoid Overcrowding


You’d better not overstock the tank to prevent cloudy tank water

The more fish, the more waste. We all know that waste is a beneficial food source for microbes and the main contributor to milky water.

The overly large population in an aquarium will also trigger an increase in harmful nitrites and ammonia.

What’s more, overstocking can result in your fish being crammed together. If the tank is small, it will cause aggressive attitudes among territorial species.

Also, your creatures may suffer from stress if they lack personal space. With all that being said, keeping too much fish together will lead to severe health issues and disease outbreaks.

When it comes to how to clear a cloudy fish tank, you can relocate some fish species to another aquarium, carry out a complete water change, and vacuum the new substrate thoroughly.

We recommend buying the largest fish tank your budget can afford. A larger aquarium can handle more waste before it appears to harm your plants and creatures.

Via You Tube

Seed Your Aquarium

One way to prevent cloudy water and bacterial bloom in a new aquascape setup is to seed your tank.

Seeding actually involves moving some plants, decorations, or substrate from an established, mature aquarium to a new one.

Those items with beneficial nitrifying bacteria are exceedingly crucial to jump-start a new aquarium cycling process.

Therefore, seeding helps shorten the normal cycling period by half, hence decreasing the likelihood of the tank water becoming ugly milky.

Key Takeaway

If you discover a different tank watercolor, it’s high time you took some detective steps to rectify the culprit of the issue.

We hope you’re now well-informed of how to deal with cloudiness in your aquarium, instead of questioning ‘why is my fish tank water cloudy?’ like before you read this post.

Hopefully, the useful information in the article has given you the right answer.

Thank you for reading!

Related keywords: why is my fish tank cloudy, why is my aquarium water cloudy, how to fix cloudy turtle tank, why is my turtle tank cloudy, how to fix cloudy turtle tank water, why is my fish tank cloudy after water change, why is my aquarium cloudy, how to get rid of cloudy aquarium water

Leave a Comment