Why Does Aquarium Glass Becomes Cloudy? (How To Fix It?)

Image of cloudy aquarium glass

No matter how thick or strong the aquarium glass is, it gets dirty from time to time. But why does the aquarium glass becomes cloudy?

Aquarium glass becomes cloudy due to green algae growth, bacteria and residue build-up, poor lighting, dirty filters, low dissolved oxygen levels, decaying plant and animal matter, etc. To eliminate the aquarium glass cloudiness, you should clean the aquarium regularly and improve the water quality.

Let’s now understand what causes the aquarium glass to become cloudy.

3 Main Reasons Why Aquarium Glass Becomes Cloudy

Given below are the three main reasons that make aquarium glass cloudy.

1. Green algae growth.

This is one of the main reasons for the aquarium glass and water to become hazy.

Additionally, algae also deplete the oxygen levels of the water and affect aquatic pets.

Here are the reasons that accelerate green algae bloom:

  • Fish waste: Feeding your fish too often can make them overweight. As their body weight increases, they start producing a lot of waste. The urine waste contains urea, which turns the water murky and triggers the algae to produce toxins that can be hazardous to the fish.
  • Lighting conditions: This is another reason that can lead to algae bloom. Too much light can stimulate algae growth. On the other hand, low light conditions can also result in an algae bloom.
  • Extra nutrients: Overfeeding can increase the amount of food available to algae, which accelerates the algae bloom. In addition, fish food contains nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates that promote algae growth. These nutrients get converted into ammonia by the decomposing bacteria. Ammonia is toxic for the fish, and a high concentration of it can make the fish sluggish and be fatal to them.

2. Gravel residue.

If the aquarium gravel is not cleaned correctly, it can cause cloudiness.

Therefore, it’s essential to rinse the gravel until all the residue is washed away and the water becomes clear.

3. Bacteria build-up.

Another common reason behind cloudy aquarium glass is bacterial growth.

When the filter doesn’t work correctly, it allows the build-up of debris such as excess food waste or decaying plant and animal matter, making the aquarium glass and water cloudy.

Okay! Now you know the reasons that make the aquarium glass and water hazy.

So, let’s now understand how to fix a cloudy aquarium glass.

Recommended Further Reading:

How To Fix Cloudy Aquarium Glass?

New aquarists are always worried about cloudy aquarium glass and murky water.

Given below are some of the solutions you can try to fix cloudy aquarium glass:

  • Change the water: To reduce algae growth on the surface of the glass, change half of the water once a week. This will ensure the removal of murky water while retaining the beneficial bacteria required to clean the excess waste deposited in the aquarium.
  • Clean the glass: Scrub off the algae attached to the glass surface along with the limescale resulting from high mineral deposits in the aquarium water. This helps keep the aquarium glass crystal clear.
  • Clean the filter media: You should clean the filter media to avoid clogging of the debris. Also, ensure that the filter has enough space between each piece of media. Don’t overdo it as you need to maintain the essential bacteria.
  • Add live plants: Adding live plants help reduce the need for frequent cleaning. They provide a natural filtration system and absorb harmful chemicals from the water. However, if you are a beginner aquarist, add the live plants once your aquarium has finished its nitrogen cycle.
  • Avoid overfeeding: Another common mistake is overfeeding the fish, which causes excessive nitrates that lead to algae bloom. In this situation, you can consider reducing the frequency of feeding. Excess food will make your fish overweight and will result in a lot of waste. In addition, fish waste will add urea and can be dangerous to the health of your aquarium.
  • Avoid overstocking: Adding too many fish to your aquarium can cause overcrowding. It will also increase the amount of waste released into the water due to increased occupants.
  • Use proper lighting: Too much or too little lighting can stimulate algae bloom. It’s necessary to use appropriate light intensity depending upon the size of the tank. In general, 20 to 40 lumen per liter is enough and can be changed based on the size of the aquarium.
  • Test the aquarium water: Test your aquarium water for ammonia and nitrite levels if you observe cloudy aquarium glass or water. If the levels are zero, then there is no reason to panic. However, testing water at regular intervals will help you understand its quality and make the required changes.

It’s vital to practice the above tips to ensure a clean and clear aquarium.

However, it’s also essential to understand the effects of cloudy water on your aquatic pets.

So, will cloudy water hurt your fish?

Related Further Reading:

Will Cloudy Water Hurt The Fish?

Water quality is critical for the development of fish. It provides them with the nutrients required for proper growth.

Moreover, water contains dissolved oxygen.

A drop in the oxygen level can stress the tank inhabitants and affect their immune systems.

Water also contains essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids required by fish.

These elements play a crucial role in maintaining the overall well-being of the fish.

However, when these elements deplete, fish can’t perform their daily activities properly.

As a result, they become weak and sick.

Cloudy water affects the physical condition of the fish and makes them lazy.

When fish gets stressed, they tend to hide behind the filter or ornaments inside the aquarium.

This results in lower activity levels and poor appetite. Eventually, the fish lose weight, which can be fatal for them.

So let’s now understand what measures you can take to prevent the aquarium glass from getting cloudy.

How To Prevent Aquarium Glass From Getting Cloudy?

Cloudy aquarium glass and water are not good signs. They indicate that something is wrong with the aquarium setup.

So you should immediately take measures to prevent further damage.

Here are the various steps you can take to prevent cloudy aquarium glass.

1. New aquarium.

After a new aquarium is set up, it will go through a phase where the glass and water will become murky.

This is because there’s virtually no life form in the aquarium.

Therefore, different types of microscopic organisms will start to colonize the aquarium.

They will utilize the nutrients and minerals available in the water to accelerate their colony, thereby making the aquarium glass and water cloudy.

So, you must try preventive measures for a new aquarium rather than taking action after the aquarium water becomes cloudy.

However, the best approach for a new aquarium is to allow nature to take its course rather than trying to fix things by yourself.

Once the beneficial bacteria build-up starts, they will surpass and eliminate the bacteria that cause cloudy water.

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2. Seasoned Aquarium.

For a seasoned aquarium setup, it’s critical to keep a continuous watch on the different aquarium parameters and visible changes inside the aquarium.

  1. Keep an eye out for any signs of algae bloom. If you notice it, immediately remove all plants and debris from the aquarium. Clean the gravel with a soft brush and rinse it thoroughly. Then add the clean gravel to the aquarium and let the aquarium settle down again. Repeat this process until there are no traces of algae left.
  2. Avoid adding too many live rocks to the aquarium. Live rocks provide excellent habitat for many species of invertebrates, including snails, worms, shrimp, etc. However, if you don’t know what organisms inhabit your tank, avoid using live rocks altogether. Instead, use artificial coral reef kits. These kits contain pre-made corals that look very realistic compared to real ones.
  3. Don’t overfeed the fish. Overfeeding causes excessive growth of algae and other forms of aquatic vegetation. As a result, these unwanted organisms will clog up the filters and eventually lead to cloudy aquarium glass and water.
  4. Try to reduce the amount of waste produced by your fish. Fish excretes wastes into the water via urine and defecation. Therefore, always clean the filter regularly to avoid the accumulation of waste on the glass and water.
  5. Avoid overcrowding the aquarium. Overcrowding can reduce the oxygen levels of the water and contribute toward cloudy aquarium glass and water. So, make sure you have enough space for all the aquatic pets.
  6. Use proper filtration methods. The most common method used today is the “canister” type filtering system. In this case, the air pump circulates filtered water through the aquarium while simultaneously removing impurities present in the water. Another popular option is the “under gravel” style filtering system, where the water passes through the substrate before being pumped back into the aquarium.

An aquarist must understand how to set up an aquarium.

Doing things without proper research and planning will impact the aquarium’s health and create undesirable conditions like cloudy glass and water.

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