Habitat - Indoor :: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:40 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Most states and local health or environmental depts. require and or include testing for organic compounds in well water. Did they test the organic level in your well water ? Always good to know what one is starting out with.

Looked at last photo again // filter looks like a Fluval FX intake stem and strainer is it ? If so when was the last time you took motor off and cleaned the magnetic impeller assembly ? If you think flow is off it may be clogged or restricted ? This could have filter not working at peak levels. Look at page 16 for impeller maintenance in your manual if its a FX type filter . Very simple to do.
If a FX4 you should have 450 g/h flow rate and a FX6 is 563 g/h flow That's plenty flow if working correct. Those flow rates will look more like a garden hose when clear , if any less something is blocked. Even check the magnet on impeller for any cracks this too will reduce the flow. Do you hear any noise around motor ? Should be super quiet !


Doing a large / larger water change is a misconception kills off any good nitrifying bacteria and all new media is like starting all over again.
This only gives you "new tank syndrome" algae blooms again , it takes 6-8 weeks for a tank to cycle correctly. Doing several smaller 10-15% water changes are much better to help a cycle . Did you look at the stickies on media setup for turtles on this forum ? Also I stated earlier my media setup that's also proven. Then there's always a UV sterilizer properly sized to remove/kill it over night so your filter if setup with proper media to catch and remove the killed algae from the water column.

Also as a turtle grows one must adjust there regular maintenance to the size of a turtle being the load on a tank is different. What worked for a baby just won't work for an adult . Over my decades I found it cheaper and easier just to setup an adult finally home even for a baby never needing any upgrades. Make's it very easy to control the waters parameters too. Finding the correct media setup and adjust the maintenance to a turtles bio load is key. I would still check into impeller maintenance for the flow too . From photo you now show I do not see much of any flow for that filter. Krush is directly across from outlet and is swimming normally , angle for his feet. . With that filter's flow rate Krush should have his feet cut into the water deeply having a little trouble especially at the narrow part of the tank you have outlet pointed at , also a still photo would show agitation , your water is calm. Please check into the flow rate (impeller) and reposition inlet and outlet on opposite end's for a better flow / water movement. Having on same side give's the tank dead spots.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:27 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Will get the water tested for organic compounds soon. It involves a couple trips into town.
I have a Fluval FX5 and have never checked the motor. I think that is an excellent idea. Especially since i really have not changed the way I use filter media nor the means for cleaning the tank. Nothing at all changed, yet the water is suddenly and in a matter of a couple days, turns green, cloudy and will not clear up. When I first got Krush, it took me a while to get everything in my head re: how to set up media, clean the tank, etc. but I had it down pat.Never trouble after that til this Summer. The Fluval pump is the first and only I've had for about 7 years, so it may be due for a motor check. I'll do that and report back.
I've also talked to a well water specialist about installing a reverse osmosis tap in the kitchen, and it would improve the taste of our water and be better for Krush's tank, if that is the issue and not the pump.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:29 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

On second thought, could be the water, because of the difficulty in getting my wine to ferment, which was never a problem til around the time the tank went green and cloudy. First step though is the pump motor.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:32 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

With well water you will wonder why you never got a R/O system before. The difference is night and day ! Read up because they offer different type of membrane's for them. You may want to check what effect it will have on you fermenting too because it will remove some essential elements that you may need for that.

I check my FX6 impeller every 6 month's but at least once a year is ok too. Seven years , wow.... love to see a photo of that ?

NOTE: check the tube and the molded housing that goes to the impeller for blockage. You may be surprised on what you see? Use a hose to flush out anything and I use a q-tip too.


In my neighborhood I'm the turtle man and aquarium fixer. I correct problems some create mostly in one day , free , but I do take donations . Seen some impellers so ... I was amazed there was any flow. Another reason why I push cycling a tank !!! You filter / motor / impeller does not get clogged up with solid waste. A well cycled tank will break down solid waste ... to disolved waste so a good filter can do it's job well !! As a test I have gone 6 months without cleaning my FX6 but still done my water changes and most important had NO carbon in filter . The best carbon will get saturated and leach back toxins into the water colume after 6 weeks. My filter was still in great shape and could go longer. Thats what having a well cycled tank does for you. Being an old timer I keep my maintenance to the 1st of every month. That was just a test for me alone to see.


Really sounds like the organic level in well is high and impeller needs cleaning for the FX5's flow .

Does Canada require a UV sterlizer on your well as some states in the US do for organic matter. If so when the last time that bulb was changed , the best only last about a year then must change for safety ! Yes will still produce "light" but not have the sterlizing effect needed.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:45 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

I asked the water specialist, yesterday, about installing an RO system at the source of our water, and he said it would cost about $10,000. (Did I tell you that Ontario is an expensive place?) The kitchen sink tap would be only $1,000.

This is our second well. The first was contaminated by e-coli (19 years ago) caused by vegetation but when it was working alright, we never had a problem with iron. This well we have now, has a lot of iron so we have a softening system that uses salt. Before we had it, we couldn't get laundry, sinks, toilets, and ourselves clean. And as I said, the system served us well. (no pun intended)

I have shown your last post to my husband and he was at first worried about complications of checking the motor but then he figured he'd give it a try. (Krush is my turtle but he helps me with care of the environment) I will show him this post too. Thank you!

Carbon isn't the best when it comes to media, because it leaches stuff that bad bacteria feed on? I have always used it due to good recommendations. So perhaps I will not use it anymore depending on the results of our water test done by the Ministry of Well Water or whatever it's called. But they take two samples a couple days apart and they supply the bottles and they do the testing for free. Ontario doesn't have a regulation for UV sterilizers. Maybe other provinces do but not this one.

If I remember, when we clean up the impeller, I'll take a photo.

Thanks again! You're a life saver
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:48 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Have him watch several videos online. Truly very easy !! Just google for video to be more comfortable. If you don't have the manual.

Most video's only show cleaning the motor/impeller make sure to clean the housing and the area that leads to the impeller.


I have seen small media or pieces of some pass into that area slowing the flow but that was when some people do "not" use media bags for it. Also found small gravel and sand in some. For extra protection I would recommend any pad placed in the bottom center basket for extra protection to the motor/impeller before water goes into impeller area . Well not any pad those white polishing pads are great but they do clog up faster even thou the bottom basket in the center is the last stage of filtering and should be the cleanest water. A blue or black pad would work well , this is on an FX model filter being center bottom basket is the final stage of cleaning before going to impeller back into tank.

For all others out there in the world knowing your waters movement through "your" filter will help on the placement of media. Such as in the "FX" it goes down , up , down and then back up to the tank. Your flow in your filter may/will be different so your media placement will be different.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:32 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

We did get the motor cleaned and the impeller cleaned as well, but I forgot to take a photo; it was pretty messy looking and we found a small stone in there. We put it back together and it made noises but also, the impeller was wobbling; took it all apart again, put it back together and same thing. So we ordered just the new impeller because it seemed that was all we needed to do, and we just replaced it today.
Up until now, no change at all in the greenness or cloudiness of the water, but it's running so quietly now, we can barely hear it, and hopefully in a few days, we'll see a change for the better. I used the blue pads over top of the Biomax media in all the middle compartments and Purigen in the very top one, on top of the blue pads. But you say a blue pad beneath the Biomax in the bottom middle compartment would help keep things out of the motor? If so, we can do that next time we change or clean media.

Thanks again, for your help.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:10 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Hopefully you got a replacement impeller that gave you a new bushing for it also a new motor seal. What about the flow rate now? Still doing consistent water changes ? What were the results of testing the well water for organic level? When The house purifying system was down was it cleaned and flushed out ? What about the wine fermentation ? Any one from the state recommended another well or purifying system for it ? May have issues like the first well ? Is the newer well feeding from same water table ? Sorry for all the questions but need to know !

Recommendations should have corrected by now the greenness / cloudiness tank water unless the organic level now a days are just higher in the well. This is why in your "unique" case I recommended a UV sterilize to use over night when regular water changes / maintenance is done. If properly sized to your setup will "kill" the greenness/ cloudiness / algae bloom over night so your FX can remove it. If not it will just keep reproducing and never go away. It will not hurt Krush ! You can also run it 24/7 for extra super crystal water if you want but that will not be needed , over night if sized correctly will kill it so filter removes it out the water column until next water change will be good and repeat with each water change !

One that has it's own pump is easier to use (place it in / take it out ) and it will be matched for flow rate over the UV bulb to work more efficiently than matching an inline type to your system's flow rate. Gave you some links earlier to look at.


When I do maintenance for other's with problem's I use a Sun Sun cup-613 type. Yes it's a little over sized but in an hour or two while I do "full" ( 100% water change ) maintenance and training it kills any and all blooms. With 100% water changes some will get blooms so the sterilizer ! I only recommend a 100% water change when a problem exist ! 10-20% water changes are better to keep a cycled tank , that's if a cycle is maintained. It kills any germ / algae / pathogens in the water to end up with crystal clear water. Makes my work look even better , fast and easy for great results.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:47 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

It's taken me a while to get back to you on this green water problem because we tried many things since, and finally found out the cause. The hoses that lead to and from the pump were so clogged up with old turtle food that we flushed them out in the bathtub for several minutes before the water ran clear. Everything was put back together and the tank is now still clean after about a week and a half. I was happy because I priced a new pump and it would have been a burden to have to get a new one but we were prepared to do it for Krush. Then my husband said he would try looking at that last bit of the entire system that we hadn't yet checked, and crossed our fingers once again. Thank goodness!
It was a very stressful time for us too because we are caring for 2 Hermit Crabs, and while Krush was suffering in the green murky water, we were just getting used to caring for the aquarium for the crabs, which is an entirely new thing to us. My daughter left for University and entrusted the critters to us, after she earlier insisted she would find a place for them herself so we wouldn't have to do it. Well, we lost one, found it dead about a month ago and feared the worst for the other one since it hadn't been seen for several nights and we were afraid that it also had died, and of course we'd think we killed it by some sort of mess up on our part. But about the time we cleaned out those hoses for Krush's tank, the wee crab appeared and since, has been very active in his little tank.
Talk about stress-relief!
When you love critters though, you're going to have stress.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:33 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

:mrgreen: :msgreen:
Thanks!
We also put a background in for Krush to give him a little something new to look at!
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:07 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Info for you if you want to use ? The clogged tubes are a result of tank not holding a cycle not the cause , due to maintenance. Maintenance all line's , tubes everything and don't let that impeller go so long at least once or twice a year for that too. Modify the full maintenance . The numbers you gave us on ammonia "0" the nitrite "0" and the nitrate between 5-10 is the place to start. Those numbers are a tank not cycled or can not hold a cycle. A well cycled tank will be "0" across the board with proper bio load on the water supply. The cycle converts waste to get to the nitrate level and only can be reduced to "0" with the proper percentage of water changes to remove them. Each setup a little different and not always a 30-50% water change works , that will kill most cycle's and create blooms , then must start all over again. Doing smaller 10% 12% 15% water changes regularly until one find's what % works for there tank to achieve a cycle and then maintaining it works. Also as a turtle grows adjusting the filters media to the growing size and added bio load will help an adequate filter like your FX to hold the dissolved waste not sending it back into the tubes to the tank. On my FX6 all pads are out the compartment trays its filled with 90-95% bio media with only one white mechanical pad sometime a blue one pad on top to keep it clean. Tank hold a cycle and I can go several months between cleaning filter. All I do are my weekly water changes to remove the nitrates. We all just get in a rut doing maintenance the same way from the beginning . Adjust it and a cycled tank works easiest when they get larger with the added bio load or the build up will keep happening over time.

Your call , just info that works. No response needed if not interested in info. This info is also for others around the world following this thread that may have same problem and wants to try to achieve a cycled tank that make's maintenance easier .
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:22 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

No, no, I appreciate this information. There's a lot to taking care of Krush that I don't know about and will need to learn. I thank you, and this website for help.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:40 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

It's all about the turtle to me keeping a living captive animal a pet / friend / child , well. My Piggley is like a child to me. You will be / are a good parent for Krush ! I'm still a newbie on this forum and only keeping turtles 55 years , the learning never stops with all the new tec and products... One must now a days dig deep into things especially the "MSDS" on products for reptiles ! Also not all reptile products are even safe or adequate for aquatic turtles. Sometimes a one line statement will not help. I rather offer more info and let poster decide what they are going to do.

Over my time a few people said they will not change what a pet store told them about the turtle (a baby turtle) then. Most LPS workers are told what to sell , which has a high profit margin , never having a turtle themselves. Then a year later with several issues still say will not change. We over time have found the needs and requirement's change from baby to juveniles to adult in habitat's , diets , all. Just to keep our pets , friends , children happy and healthy. Glad you are one doing homework but it never stops. I had experienced a tragic loss in my time with turtles I raised from babies that were over 30 years old , I give lots of info so no one feel's the hurt I have to this day , it still hurts thinking about it and that was many years ago. There are time's the best we can do is not enough. Hope this help's some understand why I am me when it come to turtles. I love my Piggley as you with Krush !
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:11 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

I can relate to your sorrow for your turtles. I love my Krush and all of our pets. Even the ones left with me after their owners went off to college!! Countless critters have been cried over and buried with reverence. I appreciate this knowledge, believe me.

So now, once again, after the tank having been clear for a few days, it has gone downhill. Our water test came back normal from the health ministry.

We have decided to buy a new filter system. I don't think the flow rate is working very well. With the new impeller, no change. The Pet Store person said a new motor would be almost as expensive as a whole new system. I was set on the FX6 but saw this one on Amazon which was cheaper and had a better star rating. Fluval A214 FX4 Canister Filter, for tanks up to 250 gallons. I'm holding off on getting it though because I want to research that one, and compare it to the FX6 before I buy. Krush seems to be doing fine. But the water is too hazy for me to see him well and I imagine it is the same for him. If you have any knowledge of this other Fluval system, I would appreciate any advice. Thank you. The price difference is not a lot.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:47 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

This is a problem "unique" to you before a new pump which is not much cost lets check all ! Or even before a new filter. Give me the complete media setup you are using in the fx5. From water in , at each level , up flow media , to down flow media to exit. Color code of the media at each level and or bagged media you use. What baskets are you using white , red , both or none? Are you filling the top basket to the top , this is very important ? Tell me in detail what you think is the flow in an FX5 is from stop valve to stop valve.

When was the last time you checked all the pathway's molded in the casing?

When did you check to see if aquastop valves are working correctly?

The 4 is a little smaller than the 5 not much difference.

Still having trouble to get your wine to ferment ?

Can your husband video you breaking down the filter and show all in detail even bottom casing inside , also each basket top and bottom may see something you missed ?
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