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I have compiled a list of ideas as to what causes the milky cloud.
> Cloudy water (milky white or gray) can be caused by several things.
> Overfeeding. A simple "sniff" would tell as the water will have
> a foul smell to it. Mature fish should only be fed every other day,
> or at a maximum, once per day.
> New tank syndrome. The tank is going through the natural process
> of cycling. The appearance of cloudy water is actually free floating
> bacteria attempting to colonize. This will clear up in about
> 10 - 14 days, depending on the speed of your cycle.
> A disturbance in the bacteria. This disturbance can be caused by
> adding to many fish to quickly, and a bacteria bloom results. Or
> by adding medications which killed the bacteria. Or cleaning the
> entire system, filters, substrate, glass, decorations thus removing
> bacteria and the system needs to start over.
> The mechanical filter has failed and needs cleaning. The
> mechanical filter strains particulate material from the water. If it
> has not been cleaned, then it becomes colonized by heterotrophic
> bacteria which break the dirt down, much like a compost heap. This
> process consumes oxygen that would otherwise be available to your
> nitrifying bacteria. This results in competition between the two
> types of bacteria for space to grow, and the nitrifying bacteria
> will lose the contest.
> Inadequate cleaning or washing of newly added substrate, often
> when using ground coral. Settling occurs within about a week.
> Inadequate filtration or circulation, therefor the bacteria cannot
> become established by settling and become free floating, causing the
> cloudy condition.
Hope this helps.
Dave in Dallas.