One of our most frequently asked questions is answered below. There tends to be a spike (pun intended) in cloudy aquarium questions after the holiday season has passed and all of the new gift aquariums get set up. This might help if you’re a newbie!
I have a 90 gallon fresh water tank with a Fluval 405 canister filter. The tank is about 4-weeks old. I have been using Cycle to speed things along, but my water for the most part of 4-weeks has a white cloudiness to it. When I do water changes, the water clears up and then a day or 2 later it’s cloudy again. I have well water with a built in water softener and sediment filter. My main question is, do you recommend the use of resins in conjunction with carbon to battle this problem?
If the cloudiness is caused from particulates in the water, then yes a resin will help. If the cloud is from a bacterial bloom, which is highly likely, then resins will not solve your problem. Have you tested your water? Any ammonia or nitrite present? If either of those are showing levels above 0ppm, small weekly water changes of around 5% will help keep the toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite diluted, while still allowing you to cycle the tank. The trick is to keep the levels low enough to not lose fish, yet high enough to not to disrupt your nitrogen cycle and the beneficial bacteria that are trying to colonize. Large water changes can lengthen the amount of time it takes to finish your cycle, thus lengthening the time your tank stays cloudy. So if you can test the ammonia and nitrite levels, we can see where you are in your cycle.
For additional info on beginner aquarium basics and the nitrogen cycle view the following articles: