Owning fish gives you the responsibility of ensuring they are not hurt and are safe at all times. Fishes are very delicate, and raising them is considerably different from raising other pets. One of the questions fish owners most frequently ask is, “will cloudy water from sand hurt fish?”
So will cloudy water from sand hurt fish? Cloudy water from sand is not dangerous to fish, except you are using synthetic or human-made sand. After all, even in natural habitats like rivers and lakes, the water gets turbid sometimes and fish that inhabit it are perfectly fine.
If you use sand as a substrate for your fish, you would have noticed that sometimes, the water in the aquarium turns cloudy, especially when you increase the sand already in the aquarium. At other times, the water could turn cloudy even if you do not add any more sand to what you already have in your fish tank.
Causes Of Cloudiness In Fish Tanks
There are various reasons why your aquarium water could turn murky, but luckily enough, there are also multiple solutions to this problem. Aside from cloudiness caused by sand, there are also other causes of cloudiness in a fish tank. These types of cloudiness may not be suitable for your fish.
Common causes of cloudiness in fish tanks include:
1. Dirty Or Inadequately Washed Sand Substrate
This is one of the most common reasons for cloudy water in an aquarium. Dirty substrates, particularly sand, tend to make aquarium water cloudy. This is especially true of new aquariums, and so it is advisable that you wash the sand that you’re going to use as a substrate very well before using it in your aquarium.
To clean your sand substrate properly for your new aquarium, mix up the sand particles, and run a hose through the sand until the water is clear.
Alternatively, you can get a well-rated water conditioner that helps remove chemicals that are harmful to fish.
2. Overfeeding Your Fish
This is another common cause of cloudiness in aquarium water. If you stuff your fish, there is a tendency that they would not finish all you give them. The remaining food will drop to the bottom of the tank from where bacteria will decompose it. These large amounts of bacteria can cause cloudiness in the tank.
Unfortunately, this is not the beneficial bacteria that all aquariums need. This type of cloudiness is not right for your fish.
If you are a new aquarium owner, you will have to take extra care not to overfeed your fish as new aquarium owners tend to get carried away when feeding their fishes.
Learn to ration the food you give your fish as overfeeding them not only causes the aquarium water to turn cloudy but it can also make them bloated, a phenomenon which causes them discomfort.
3. Poor Water Quality
The quality of water in your tank also directly affects its cloudiness. Water which is not very pure would have an unclear or a cloudy look. This unclear look is due to a high amount of dissolved particles in it. These suspended particles could be dissolved minerals, silicates, or heavy metals.
Also, if you use natural water like spring water, you should be aware that the water’s look can change depending on the season. Such water may be good or bad for your fish, depending on whether it is alkaline or acidic. Fishes that live in acidic water would prefer water that is acidic, while those that thrive in alkaline water would suffer and vice versa.
4. Excess Light
The result of too much light in an aquarium shows up in the water as it becomes greenish in colour. This greenish colour is due to the overgrowth of algae that occurs as a result of the excess light.
A simple solution to this is to reduce the amount of time that you leave the light on in your tank.
Alternatively, you get some decent fluorescent and LED lightings. These LED lights are also great for allowing your aquarium plants to thrive. Live plants help to get rid of cloudy water in the tank. The plants achieve this by using up the nutrients in the water and effectively compete with the algae present in the tank, keeping their growth to the barest minimum.
How To Get Rid Of Cloudy Water In An Aquarium.
For your peace of mind, you might decide that you want to get rid of the cloudiness in your aquarium. This is especially true if you are not sure of the reason for the cloudiness. The following are ways in which you can get rid of cloudiness in your fish tank:
1. Change A Large Portion Of The Water In Your Aquarium
This is probably the most effective solution to cloudy water in a tank. Usually, when changing water from your aquarium, you’re supposed to change about 5 to 10% ideally. However, this time around, you would need to change up to 50% of the water.
However, you should remember that changing a large portion of water from your aquarium at once is bound to affect the conditions in the tank. Where possible, when you are changing the water in your tank, you should try as much as possible to replicate the condition of the water that was in the tank before.
These conditions include water pH, temperature, salinity level (for saltwater aquariums), among others.
2. Make Use Of A Water Clarifier
Water clarifiers can get rid of the cloudiness in your fish tank in a matter of mere hours. They work by binding the particles causing the cloudiness in the water together.
If you get a good water clarifier you’ll also notice that it clumps floating particles into large clusters that can be easily removed by an aquarium filter.
Once the particles are bound together, they can easily settle and be picked up by the filtration unit.
3. Clean Your Sand Substrate Very Thoroughly Before Using It
Since cloudy water from sand most often occurs in new aquariums, it will be best if you washed the sand you want to use as a substrate very well before introducing it into your aquarium. Also, it is best to find out if the sand that you are purchasing is synthetic or not as synthetic sand tends to cloud more quickly and it is not suitable for your fish.
4. Clean Up Your Aquarium At Regular Intervals
Having a clean aquarium is vital to your fish’s continued survival as it helps to keep the number of dangerous microorganisms minimal. Also, cleaning your aquarium regularly would save you from having to carry out a substantial water change.
Ideally, you should look to change at least 5-10% of the aquarium water weekly or bi-weekly.
If you are able to consistently maintain your aquarium, you should have no problems with cloudy water. Always remember that when changing the water in your aquarium, you should use clean water with characteristics that are very similar to that of the water remaining in the tank before so that conditions can remain optimal in the tank.
Although cloudy water from sand is not dangerous to most fish, the dust in it might irritate the slime coat and gills of some sensitive fish. This is especially true of dust from synthetic or human-made sand. It is possible for you to misdiagnose the cause of the cloudiness in your fish tank.
So a bit of extra research into the different reasons of cloudiness in the fish tank will help, so that you can know what is causing it. This way, you can figure out the real cause of the problem and help return conditions to normal in your fish tank.