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Re: cloudy water

Jeff Malmquist has a problem with cloudy water-

Jeff, Your situation sounds enough like mine for me to add my own 
take on things. My tank had been running for about 3 years, heavily 
planted, CO2 injected, goodly fish load, rich substrate. After years 
of crystal clear water, it suddenly became hazy, slowly reaching 
pea-soup status over several weeks, in spite of water changes 
galore and covering the tank for 5 days to darken it. It was 
suggested to me (by Robert T Ricketts, on this list--thanks again!) 
that my substrate was deteriorating and I needed to do some deep 

Sure enough, some very nasty-smelling gunk was lurking down 
there, especially under the crypts which had been in the same 
location for the whole 3 years. I did much cleaning and much water 
changing, and -- voila!, the water began to clear. Each time I go in 
and do more deep vacuuming, the water clouds temporarily as the 
substrate material is exposed to the water, and then clears after 
several days. 

I had no idea that this could happen. I thought all that black stuff 
under the gravel was great fertilizer for the plants. But it seems that 
there must be a periodic renewal, especially around the plants 
which create a large root mat, such as crypts and swords. I 
suspect that this is your problem as well, and I hope this works for 
you as it has for me.

Thank goodness I did not lose any fish or plants throughout this 
whole ordeal. 

Cathy Hartland (whose aquaria have more water in them than the 
local lakes here in Maryland)