Cloudy 55 gallon tank...


Reefing newb
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I am new to this hobby and this forum and in need of some help... I have a 55 gallon tank with an emperor 400, an air pump good for up to 93 gallons (petco brand), and a powerhead type thing that oxygenates and stirs the water a little bit. I also have a in tank heater. It is set up like this, the powerhead oxygenator on the top left side of the tank (back) it is pushing across the tank, and on the other side of have the heater next to the intake for the emperor filter, and the pumice stones for my air pump towards the bottom of the tank on the far right back side, I have 55-60 lbs of live rock, 60 lbs of fine substrate (has been settled for quite some time). While I was at the pet store the guy recommended that I purchase some bacteria stuff from Instant Ocean which I did. The bottle instructed me that it was sufficient for up to 70 gallons and to shake it well and use the entire bottle because if it was a little bit too much it wouldn't harm my tank. I did this about 24 hours ago. So I did that as it said and my tank is now very cloudy... I can't see the back of the tank and it is only about 12-14 inches to the back. I can sort of make out some of my rocks in there. Today I did two water changes hoping that would help clear it up but it hasn't done a whole lot. Each water change I did was about 10 gallons worth for a total of 20 gallons. I wouldn't be to concerned normally but I have two gobie bottom feeder fish and a flame dwarf angelfish in there and they were kind of spendy so I don't want them to die right away. I have tested the water and the temperature is acceptable... a little towards the warm side about 80... I'm trying to get that cooled down but it's tough right now (hot outside and inside), and according to the test strips the ph, alkalinity, nitrite and nitrates are all either acceptable, perfect or okay. I also have ammu chips to take care of any ammonia in the tank. I know the dropper test kits work better than the strips but I'm colorblind and the strips are easier to read. Any help is much appreciated... sorry if this is hard to follow so any confusions just ask and I will try to clear it up. Thanks!!
A few minutes after I posted the first thread I noticed one of my gobie bottom feeders up in the top part of the tank swimming up towards the surface then darting down a few inches and back n forth... not sure if this is good or not... I was just glad I could finally see him and that he was alive. The pet store guy didn't mention anything about this bacteria stuff making my tank cloudy and said it would be fine to add a couple of fish at this point but I'm starting to question if he might work on commission. Haha
I thought when he was doing that darting up to the top that he was on his way to an early grave but he isnt doing that anymore... I can't understand how I could be short on oxygen because I have two sources of oxygen both of which the manufacture says is good for 90 gallon each... The air pumps are cheap so I could invest in another pump if that is the case... When I did the last water change I didn't have the bubbler in the water prior to adding the water to the tank I figured it would get oxygenated quickly but maybe it takes awhile for the water to get adequete oxygen in it... Any help about this fish issue or the cloudiness is much appreciated.
Hello and welcome to the site...sounds like your saltwater tank is set up like a freshwater set up. You should remove the air pump...those micro bubbles aren't good for the livestock. You should also remove that filter out the emperor 400, it's only gonna cause nitrate problems. How long had the tank been set up before you added fish, and what else do you have living in there? You're correct about the test strips, they aren't reliable at all. don't need to add anything to your tank, your water changes will take care of the chemical balance for you. :)
What you added sounds like Bio-Spira, its just a mix of live bacteria, not a chemical. Instant Ocean has a warranty with it or some guarantee that it makes your tank fish ready instantly. I have used it before and it does work well (though mine was an emergency dosing). I wouldve suggested not adding fish to your tank until at least 2 weeks or longer.

Would answer more questions but am short on time.
Smitty, you say I should remove the micro bubbler thing? I was going to use that as my primary source of oxygen being that my maxijet 900 has stopped introducing air into the tank... I'm not sure why it has stopped but it doesn't make me too thrilled considering that is the third piece of equipment that has failed me in 3 weeks of this.
Btw if anyone knows why that maxijet may have stopped pulling oxygen into the tank I would be glad to know.
As far as removing the filter from my emperor... are you talking about the blue filter with the carbon in it? If I did that wouldn't I begin to have problems with the ammonia or something else? What would I put in place of that? Right now I also have ammu chips in the emperor... Any advice is much appreciated.... BTW I am having a bit of a nitrate issue it is up around 20ppm and I eventually want corals so I know I need to get that down below 2ppm. I know its ok for fish to be at 20 but not corals so any advice on how to get that lowered would be awesome!! I would like to try to stay on a budget if that's possible haha.
The bubbler is made for freshwater tanks. In SW tanks it will end up messing with your pH levels and you'll see really bad salt creep where the bubbles come out.
I'm confused when you say the maxijet has stopped pulling air into the tank. The pump should be fully submerged and not "pulling" any air into the tank, it should only be creating water flow in your tank and rippling the surface of the water. That rippling is your oxygen/gas exchange. If you have the pump in a place where it's actually pulling air in, chances are that you might be burning the pumps out.
For the filter, you don't need to put anything in place of it, the live rock you have in your tank is your actual filter. For your nitrates, the most effective way to get rid of them is water changes.
the maxi jet has a hose that comes out of the exit part of the pump.... where the water shoots out of the pump there is a hole and a hose fits in there and that hose is supposed to the open end out of the water to pull more air into the tank... I think... Well at least it was doing that before.
So I dont need even the ammu chips in the emperor? Is my emperor essentially a waste? If I dont have ammu chips or the blue filter with carbon then there is nothing in the emereror at all and its basically pulling water out then running it by the bio wheel and thats it... its my understanding that the bio wheel is just like the live rock... another place for bacteria to grow that break down ammonia and nitrites.
If you could post some pictures of your set up that would be of great help. Being able to look at what you have and how it is set up would give the members a better idea of how to help you out with your issues. Just trying to help out as well.