poor quality water

One of the problems that new fish tank owners face is the issue of poor quality water. They often find that the water in their tanks becomes cloudy and discoloured, which makes the tank look grimy and can harm their fish.

Buying a new fish tank is an exciting opportunity to create a beautiful ornament for your home and a unique habitat for the fish you love to live and thrive.

If you're noticing that your tank has problems with poor quality water, then read on to learn why it's so bad for your tank and how you can fix it. 

Marine FishMarine Fish

Why Is Poor Quality Water Bad For Fish Tanks?

The quality of the water in your fish tank is essential for the well-being of your fish, as fish breathe by taking in water through their gills, and then processing it to remove the oxygen.

As such, if the water is full of dirt, grime and toxins, then it could harm or even kill your fish, as well as any living plants that you have in your fish tank.

Fish tanks are more than just habitats for your beloved pets; they're also a personal ornament that brightens your home.

If your fish tank is full of dirty, poor quality water, then you and your guests won't be able to see the beauty of your fish or the majestic setup that you have created for them. 

What Causes Poor Quality Water In Aquariums?

Poor quality, cloudy fish tank water has several causes. These include :


  • An unclean tank: If you don't clean your tank regularly, then old fish food, dirt, algae and general grime can build up in it. 

  • The filter isn't working: Most fish tanks include a filter, whether they're tropical fish tanks, marine fish tanks or saltwater fish tanks. If your filter isn't working effectively, then this could lead to poor quality water in your aquarium. 

  • Your tank is overcrowded: Fish need space to swim around and engage with their surroundings. If you've put too many fish into your tank, then the water will go cloudy with the extra waste they're producing and other issues. 

  • Your tank isn't large enough for the species you've chosen: It's not just the number of fish that affects the tank you need to choose- you also need to consider the type and size of the fish you're introducing into your aquarium. If you choose large species or too many fish that occupy the bottom of the tank, then you could also find your tank overcrowded and that you get problems with the quality of the water deteriorating as a result. 

  • The water isn't correct: Specific types of tanks, such as freshwater and marine tanks, require specific types of water. You'll need to buy solutions to modify ordinary water to make it right for your tank. 
Goldfish Inside The AquariumGoldfish Inside The Aquarium Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

How Can I Fix The Problem?

When you first notice that your fish tank has poor quality, dirty water in it, then the first thing you should do is clean your tank. 

Clean it thoroughly, paying attention not only to the obvious things, like the filter and the sides, but also the decorations that you've put into your tank. Clean the gravel at the bottom of the tank, remove any old food from the crevices and scrub any decorations and large rocks. 

If, after cleaning your tank, you notice that the water is getting dirty very quickly, then the problem isn't just cleanliness. Another one of the common problems fish owners face is a filter that isn't working correctly, either because it has fish food or algae growth caught in it, or it is just old. Check that the filter is working or consider buying a new one if the filter you're currently using is old and outdated. 

You should also research the types of fish you have in your tank, and make sure that you've got a large enough tank that you've fitted out correctly to suit the fish you've chosen.

Another trick is to change the quantities of the solutions you use in your water, but you should do this when the tank is empty so that you can ensure the safety of your fish. Consider rehoming your fish temporarily to a new tank, so that you can experiment and find out the issue before you bring them back to your tank.

You might also find that your local tap water is too hard or soft for your fish tank, in which case you should consider purifying it before you put it into your tank, or including a more robust filter in your aquarium. 

If you're proactive and work quickly to address the issue, then poor quality water won't cause lasting harm your fish or your tank. If the problem persists and you're unable to work out the cause, then reach out to me or consult your fish tank provider. 

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