Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is my water cloudy? At a Glance: Cloudy water is caused by:
  • Build up of ammonia and nitrites
  • “New Tank Syndrome”
  • Overfeeding
  • Poor filtration
  • Too many fish
  • No water changes
How to fix cloudy water:
  • Ammonia Reducers
  • Water changes
  • New filtration
  • Upgrade aquarium size
  • Testing your aquarium water frequently

    Cloudy water can come from a number of things.
    First, and most commonly is overfeeding your fish. Any food that is not eaten lands on the bottom and decomposes. The decomposition of the uneaten food will produce ammonia and nitrites which are deadly to fish. To avoid uneaten food from decaying remember to only feed your fish no more than what they can eat in one to two minutes.
    Food is not the only thing that causes cloudiness in your water. The number of fish in your aquarium will cause cloudiness if your tank is overstocked with fish. A general rule is to have no more than one inch of fish per gallon of water in your aquarium (remember your fish will grow). Some fish produce more waste than others so make sure to check out our Fish Index before purchasing your fish.
    Another cause for a cloudy tank can be due to what we call “new tank syndrome”. New tank syndrome is when your aquarium has not yet completed its nitrogen cycle. Until your nitrogen cycle is complete your tank will go through normal biological cycles that will increase ammonia and nitrite at alarming rates. If your ammonia is at a dangerous level a water change of 50% or more can help to slow the cycle down or restart it. Remember to change your aquarium filter about twice a month to help keep fish waste down. With a new aquarium we recommend testing your water quality often to prevent the wrath of “new tank syndrome”
At a glance: Green water is caused by:
  • Direct sunlight
  • Aquarium light on too long
  • Too many watts
  • The light is the wrong degrees Kelvin
  • Overfeeding
  • Poor filtration
  • Too many fish
How to fix green water:
  • 50% Water changes every other day
  • Ammonia and nitrite reducers
  • Reduce feeding
  • Reduce light time
  • Avoid natural sunlight
  • Change filter
    The green water is actually an algae bloom.  Green water is not harmful to your fish but what caused it can be.  Most of the time your aquarium water will turn green because the aquarium is getting the wrong kind of light. Aquariums should never be placed in direct sunlight. Keep your aquarium in the darkest location of the room if possible.
    Your aquarium light is on for too long. For most aquariums we recommend the light stays on 8-12 hours. If you have an algae bloom, cut back on your light time. The length of time your light is on is not the only factor in your lighting. Every light is measured in degrees kelvin and watts (read more about lighting).
    Too many fish in your aquarium can cause an increase in ammonia, nitrite which in turn produces nitrate. Nitrate is fish waste that can be easily consumed by algae.  The green water is not harmful to your fish but the nitrate can be at high levels. To fix the problem do a 50% water change. When doing a water change remember to dig through the gravel for fish waste.
    Repeat this process every other day until the algae bloom as subsided. Water changes alone will not fix the problem for good. Reduce feeding and make sure you only have 1 inch of fish per gallon. Fish should feed no longer than two minutes.
At a glance: Why does my aquarium water smell bad?
  • Poor water quality (high ammonia/nitrite)
How do I fix smelly aquarium water?
  • Test water quality frequently
  • Water changes
  • Correct amount of fish
Aquarium water is supposed to be somewhat odorless. If the water smells bad, test your water for high ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Bad smells are generally from one of these being too high. As for most water issues you would do a 50% water change.  Repeat water changes every other day until the water tests read that the water is safe. Remember if your aquarium has too much ammonia, nitrite or nitrate this means you should reduce feeding. Your aquarium should only have one inch of fish per gallon.
    If your aquarium is experiencing no visible problems, do a water change of 25% every two to four weeks after your aquarium has completed its nitrogen cycle. When doing a water change remember to stir deep into the substrate to siphon out fish waste and uneaten food. When you add water back into your aquarium remember to put dechlorinator in your water. The new water should be the same temperature as the water in the tank.
    There is no need to do more water changes than this unless you have a problem with your water. Doing too many water changes can reduce the amount of beneficial bacteria in your tank to an unsafe level.
At a glance: For most aquarium fish:
  • Feed no more than your fish can eat in two minutes or less
  • Feed twice daily
  • Very dependant on fish
This depends on a lot of factors but for most aquarium fish two times daily is sufficient. Everyone loves to watch their fish eat but it's important not to overfeed your fish. Overfeeding your fish is the easiest way to kill your fish. When feeding, drop food into the aquarium slowly so that not all of the food goes to the bottom. Continue to drop food in for two minutes. If you have bottom feeding fish that are not getting enough food you can change the style of food you are using from something that floats like flakes to something that will drop a little quicker so that everyone can get food. It is very easy to overfeed your fish and very hard to underfeed your fish (for common aquarium fish).