Aquarium and Pond Care with EcoBio-Block

Cloudy Aquarium Water

cloudy aquariumOne of the most common challenges of keeping an aquarium is cloudy water. Whether the cloudiness is green, white, or gray, a fish habitat that is short of crystal clear is not just an eyesore but also a serious health risk for its inhabitants. Why does the water turn cloudy and what can you do about it?

Grayish or dirty white water is often encountered when setting up a new tank. In most cases, a sand or gravel substrate that has not been diligently rinsed before setup will generate sufficient debris to fog the water. The only solution would be to re-rinse the substrate until all the debris is removed. An efficient mechanical filter will also help take care of minute floating particles.

Green water, which is oftentimes also thick and hazy, is caused by an “algae bloom” or the rapid growth of microscopic green algae. High and prolonged levels of bright light are the main causes of green algae growth and proliferation. If a tank gets direct sunlight or if the overhead lighting is left on for more than 10-12 hours a day, algae overgrowth becomes imminent. The simple solution is to locate the tank away from direct sunlight and attach a timer to the overhead lights so that the ideal light exposure cycles can be maintained.

Milky white water that sometimes gives off a rotten smell is caused by decay. Uneaten leftover food deteriorates and fouls up the water. An overstocked aquarium will render filtration systems and nitrifying bacteria inadequate to handle the bio-load. The result is pollution from rotting food and excess waste, making the water murky. In severe pollution situations, drastic water changes may be necessary.

Cloudy aquarium water caused by decaying food can be prevented by feeding only as much as the fish community can consume in three to five minutes. Leftover food should be scooped out.

Murky water caused by excess waste products can be prevented by maintaining a balanced tank with a population of fishes suitable for the size of the tank and the capacity of the filtration systems. This ensures that the filters and the colonies of beneficial bacteria can keep up with the bio-load of the community.

In effect, cloudy water can be minimized if adequate colonies of beneficial bacteria are present to break down the harmful ammonia and nitrites (from decaying food and excess waste matter) into less harmful nitrates. Experts have suggested adding gravel from established aquariums to supplement the insufficient bacterial colonies in a cloudy tank. One simple solution is to add an EcoBio-Stone product to the tank.

The EcoBio-Block Family Products are mineral-rich porous volcanic stones from Japan embedded with prolific bacteria (“bacillus subtilis natto”) that can actively multiply every half hour. The bacteria establish colonies quickly, degrading organic matter and nitrifying waste products, and keeping the aquarium clear, odor-free and healthy for years.

Cloudy aquarium water, which causes stress to the fish community, should never have to happen. Feed just the right amount of food, keep a population of fish suitable to the tank size and filtration system, and add a bacteria enhancing product like EcoBio-Block, and you are assured of crystal clear water and healthy fishes all the time.

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April 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM
  • March 11, 2010 at 10:05 PMjon hao

    Can real coral cause the water to be cloudy/milky in my fresh water set up?

  • March 11, 2010 at 10:51 PMAquarium Care

    You should never place real coral in freshwater aquariums.
    Coral is a marine organism. Because it is alive, it would die in fresh water. This would create too much organic waste matter and would make the water cloudy.

  • May 16, 2010 at 8:39 PMBetty Minton

    I have goldfish,I put easybalance in weekly as directions and my water is still cloudy. What do I need to do? I have Ick away blue,but my bottle got wet and I cannot read the directions,will this help clear the tank? Or what will help clear my tank?

  • May 16, 2010 at 9:45 PMAquarium Care

    Dear Ms. Minton,
    Ick Away is for treating the “Ick” disease. It will not clear your water. Water generally gets cloudy because you have too much organic waste. It’s also not good for your fish. EcoBio-Block was formulated specifically to breakdown the toxins in your tank which cause cloudy water and odors and which are bad for your fish, into safer by-products which clear up your water. EcoBio-Block products are easy to use, attractive and last for about 2 years. You simply rinse it off with chlorine-free water; soak overnight and place it in your tank. Beneficial bacteria living in the block start to multiply and disperse into the tank. It is the beneficial bacteria that changes ammonia, into nitrites and then into nitrates. EcoBio-Block also appears to encourage the microbes which break down the nitrates into harmless nitrogen gas which then dissipates into the air, leaving you with clear water. Because the bacteria do the work of clarifying the water and because the block is made of lava which slowly leaches necessary trace minerals back into your water, the need for water changes is drastically reduced.
    Let us know if you have any other questions.


  • May 19, 2010 at 1:20 PMKelsey W

    I have a small 2.5 gal freshwater aquarium. My water was allowed to circulate for 3 days before I got my fish (3 tiny neons- less 2 are just over a half inch in length, and 2, inch long white tip razboras). The lady at the aquarium assured me that I was not overcrowding my aquarium, but I now doubt that. My aquarium has been cloudy (yellowish) since about 4 hours after adding my fish. I thought maybe adding a bubbler would help, it hasn’t. I have rinsed all substrate and plants prior to adding, and don’t believe I’m overfeeding. I DO think I may have originally added too much water conditioner, but I’m not sure if that would have been the problem. Adding clean water hasn’t helped. Is there a store in Colorado Springs that would sell your EcoBio-block products? I’ve had a 10 gallon for years and never, ever, had cloudy water. This is both confusing to me, and quite disheartening as I despise watching my fish suffer in inadequate conditions.

  • May 19, 2010 at 8:33 PMAquarium Care

    Dear Kelsey,
    Cloudy water is due to too much organic waste. You may be overfeeding your fish, but I think you also may have too many fish for such a small aquarium. Also, because it’s a new tank, you are probably experiencing “new tank syndrome” which occurs when the natural ecological balance of the tank hasn’t stabilized yet. The water conditioner wouldn’t affect this conditon. EcoBio-Block would definitely help your situation.

    EcoBio-Block is presently only available online. We would recommend that you get the EcoBio-Stone S. Continue to change about 30% of your water every few days until the bacteria from the block build up sufficiently to handle the waste in the water and monitor your levels of ammonia and nitrites. Usually EcoBio-Block takes 2 to 6 weeks to start to work, but since you have such a small tank, it will probably work much faster. We send the product by priority mail, so you would get it in a couple of days. Be sure to use non-chlorinated water and rinse the block and soak it overnight when you receive it. If you should need to treat your fish for any illness, simply remove the block until the fish are well.

  • July 29, 2010 at 10:44 AMPatricia

    I had my oldest Red parrot fish lose its color and within 4 days, died. Now all of a sudden my water is cloudy, smells, my Parrots, Black Convict, and Firemouth fish, colors are fading too. Tank is 120 gallons with 2 Pink Kissing Gouramis-5-6″, 2 Silver Tip Sharkis-5″, 2 Silver Dollar-4″, 1 Electric Yellow-3″, 2 other cichlids-3″, 1 loach-small, 1 black spotted Catfish-6″, 1 Pocathamus-13″, 2 Red Parrot-3-4″, 1 Black Convict-3″, 2 Firemouth cichlids-2″. This is an established tank of 3-4 years. Most of the fish are 2-3 years old. I run two of the largest charcoal filter Emperor makes (400 I think) which I rinse weekly and replace every couple months. I add salt crystals monthly when the water level decreases and I add fresh water (both routines since start-up). I fear my fish, those that are fading fast in color, will die very soon. This has never happened before. Your thoughts please.

  • July 29, 2010 at 2:32 PMAquarium Care

    We assume this is what happening in your tank.
    When the water evaporates, the salt does not. Therefore, slowly but surely you have been making the tank that their freshwater fish are in into a salt water tank. You’ve been doing this for 3 – 4 years, so that means that you have added LOTS of salt during that time period. The fish can get used to it up to a point, and then they simply cannot deal with it – they lose their color and die.
    I’m pretty sure this is what is going on. You should take a water sample to the local fish store and ask them to test the salinity – and have them do a series of 30% water changes every other day using fresh water only and not adding any salt. And add EcoBio-Block products for healthy tank.

  • September 12, 2010 at 2:34 PMCin Val

    I bought a new tank for my crawfish and the water gets cloudy within a few hours. At first it was green and cloudy within 12 hrs. The next day its cloudy white with a weird odor and that time it turned that way in about 6 hrs so frustrating, and its not in the sun light either!! I changed the water, the filter is new along with everything else. It was a kit I bought last week we only had it for a few days and never stayed clear. I’ve changed the water three times and we’ve only had it for 4 days.
    I read a few articles and because its a band new tank it said it may be the gravel. So I cleaned the gravel with water for over an hour. We have water declorinator in there and a mineral pyramid. I am trying a process of elmination so I don’t know what it could be next. Help!!!

  • September 13, 2010 at 3:00 PMAquarium Care

    Can you tell us where you got the gravel from? If the gravel had green algae spores when you got them, green water algae will dominate very quickly. Just cleaning gravel will not eliminate them. You have to boil them for 15 minutes or soak them in chlorine water, rinse them very well after and then leave them out to dry and again dechlorinate to make sure no chlorine left in gravel.
    You then need to start the aquarium all over again. You have to go through the cycle until you have established the tank. EcoBio-Block products will speed up this cycling process and will keep the water clear, odor-free, and healthy after the end of cycling.

  • November 2, 2010 at 8:47 AMManash

    i am hacing a aquarium setup at my home . i want to keep my aquarium clean and purified but how? my aquarium size in 3ft*2ft*1ft

  • November 2, 2010 at 9:46 AMAquarium Care

    You should initially do partial water changes of about 20% every week or every other week, according to the conditions in your tank. You will also have to scrape the sides of the tank occasionally and vacuum the gravel about once a month. Check your fishes’ condition when you feed them to see if they look or act strangely, it may be an indication that they are ill. You will have to remove the fish then for treatment because it will affect water conditions.
    For a new fish tank, you can speed up the nitrogen cycle. This can be accomplished easily and quickly with the EcoBio-Stone L for a tank of your size. The great thing about EcoBio-Block Family Products is it will allow you to decrease the frequency of water changes and eliminate odors because the blocks keep a high level of beneficial bacteria living in your tank and breaking down the organic waste into safer materials which will keep your water clear and healthy.

  • March 11, 2011 at 4:28 PMMegan

    I have a 25 gallon fish tank with what was greenish water but is now white and murky. I did I partial water change when I first noticed my tank was greenish then it turned white and murky. I’ve had my tank set up for seven months and I have 3 black skirt tetras, 1 angelfish, 2 corys, 1 pictus catfish and a female betta. I’ve checked my water and there isn’t a problem there but I recently added a piece of driftwood from my pet store. The driftwood had been soaking in a tank with some live plants and the water was clear. She said it should be fine in my tank. I’ve read about tannins being leached into the aquarium and lowering my pH but that hasn’t happened. I just siphoned my tank last week and got the usual waste so my question is what is turning my water this color?

  • March 11, 2011 at 10:02 PMAquarium Care

    Hi Megan,
    Your tank is experiencing bacterial bloom, which comes from an excess of organic waste. Be careful not to overfeed your fish (just give them the amount of food that they can eat in 1 minute. You can start by not feeding them for a couple of days (it won’t hurt them). Change about 25% of the water once a week and that should help. Watch for ammonia spikes, if it gets too high change more water. Of course, the best thing to do is to get an EcoBio-Block M, which will disperse the beneficial bacteria your tank needs to keep the water clear, clean and odor-free on a regular basis, keeping levels high and organic waste under control.

  • May 24, 2011 at 2:21 AMkatie

    i have a 10 gallon tank and have about 6 mollies in it. well they had babies and the tank was fine, but here recently it started turning green, because the babies i let it go for a while and then yesterday it was smelling wierd, so i cleaned the sides and changed the water, like a 50% water change, and it was fine at first, but then i woke up this morning and the water is cloudy and the fish are all at the top, like they cant breathe or something, and i dont know what i can do about it, help!

  • May 24, 2011 at 8:59 AMAquarium Care

    Changing 50% of the water at one time is a bad idea, and the fish are up at the top because you probably did not put in the right additive to neutralize chlorine/chloramines in the new water. At this point in time the only thing to do is to aerate the water very heavily, and stop feeding. If the fish do make it you needs to find out what his tap water has in it, and get the water conditioner to treat it.

  • December 20, 2011 at 2:13 PMKristin

    I recently upgraded my 10 gallon fish tank to a 60 gallon fresh water tank. When I set up the new tank I added tap water and treated it with a conditioner and EZ Balance. I ran the filters/heaters for 2 days. The water was at the right temperature and clear. I added the fish from my old tank and within 6 hours or so the water was cloudy. I added some tannen drops to “clear” the water – it didn’t help. Since, two of my fish have died… is this just a normal thing with a “new” tank? The fish seem to be swimming and enjoying the new tank. I am worried about the color. What do you think? Thanks for your help!

  • December 20, 2011 at 3:00 PMAquarium Care

    Your tank is experiencing new tank syndrome. Every tank has to go through a new aquarium cycle.
    Keep checking ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels using a liquid-type water testing kit. Ammonia and nitrite are very toxic to fish.
    Feed fish regularly once or twice a day, but only very little at a time. Uneaten food will worsen the water quality. Change 20% of the tank water once a week.
    The ammonia level will rise at first and then will start to decrease, at which point the nitrite level will begin to rise. Water often gets cloudy around this time. The nitrite level will eventually decrease, as the nitrate level rises. When nitrate has gone down, the cycle has finished.
    Do not add any new fish into the tank until ammonia and nitrate levels are at zero.
    This usually takes 1-3 months.
    EcoBio-Block products will speed up this process and will keep the water clear and healthy after the cycle has finished.

  • December 20, 2011 at 7:33 PMKristin

    Thank you.

  • February 15, 2012 at 4:26 PMJena

    I have a 70 gallon tank and I moved about a year ago. My tank was well established at my last house and was always crystal clear. Moving, I disassembled the tank and put everything back together clean. Now, after a few months in my new house the tank turned hazy gray/white. I have cleaned the rocks in the tank, changed filters, and reduced the amount of food. Nothing seems to help. I have two filters on the tank, under the rocks and a top filter. There is an amazing amount of snails in my tank which have always been in there. I also have a variety of cichlids and when the water first turned gray/white there were 4 fish in the tank and after months of gray/white water no fish have died. Any thoughts or help on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • February 15, 2012 at 5:48 PMAquarium Care

    It sounds like you are having a bacterial bloom, which means you have too much organic waste. It’s one of the reasons that your snails are multiplying. There is a lot of food for them and they are thriving. Also, when you moved and change your filter, you got rid of the beneficial bacteria which break down the organic waste into safer by products and clear your water. If you use EcoBio-Block, you will quickly replenish the beneficial bacteria and your water will clear up again. It normally takes 2 to 6 weeks for the water to clear (it clears suddenly, not gradually). You should do about a 25% water change weekly until you have sufficient beneficial bacteria to take care of the waste problem in your tank. Don’t overfeed your fish. Only give them the amount of fish food that they can eat in about 2 minute. And, you should probably dispose of some of your snails. They eat waste, but they also make it. If you float a lettuce leaf on top of the water overnight, they will be attracted to it and you can pick them up and get rid of them easily.
    After your water clears up, you can reduce water changes to monthly or bi-monthly, just monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels and don’t forget to vacuum. EcoBio-Block does best near an air source.

    Good luck, let us know if you have any other questions.

  • March 19, 2012 at 4:37 AMnavi

    my fish tank’s water turned white and milky….wat is the palm and wat should i do to clear it up??

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:51 AMAquarium Care

    First you should reduce the amount of fish food you give your fish.They only need as much as they can eat in 1 minute. Then vacuum the gravel and change about 1/4 of the water weekly. If you have too many fish (rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish, 10 gallons per inch of goldfish)
    If you use EcoBio-Block, the beneficial bacteria which multiply in the block and disperse regularly into the water will breakdown the organic waste and clear your tank.

  • September 16, 2012 at 12:21 AMShandi

    Hi, I was wondering if you get from your house that goes through a water softerner does it harm the water? Should I use hose water instead?

  • September 18, 2012 at 10:16 AMAquarium Care

    The problem with water softeners is that they change the composition of your water. You could check with the manufacturer to see if their product is suitable in aquariums. The problem with hose water can be the hose, especially if it is an old one, because it can leak chemicals from the hose into the water. You could take water directly from the spigot, but the water will be hard. The best thing to do is to keep fish that do well in hard water. This will be the easiest thing to do in the long run.

  • October 7, 2012 at 7:07 AMCarolyn

    I’m New to fish, I have one of my old horse troughs set up as a water feature, with intentions to have some fish.

    I am on bore water, it is very acidic. I have plants for oxygen, & I have sorted out my ph levels …. we are now alkaline, around 7.2 – 7.3.

    I bought guppies yesterday …. I think I have 13 of the dear little critters …. they are still all alive I think … YAY !!

    BUT my water has clouded up. I feel it’s because the biology has changed. There seems to be green algae growing in front of my eyes !!

    Along with the guppies I put a “starter” stuff in. I feel it is named “quick start”. It gets the bacteria / enzymes etc., going.

    I have had the water in the trough for about 3 months, I have played about with water changes …. for the most part I have managed to keep the water clear …. OR at worst, the water has been “just” cloudy.

    Since I have put the fish & starter stuff in ….. in 24 hrs I have gone from clear water to very very cloudy.

    This is an outside pond/ tank. The container is a cast iron bathtub. It has healthy plants, a solar powered pumnp delivers some oxygen during the day.

    I think the water will clear … I think I am panicking a little ???


  • October 7, 2012 at 10:07 AMAquarium Care

    You tank is cycling. Have you checked the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? Be careful not to overfeed. They only need about as much as they can eat in 1 minute. The water will normally be cloudy for several months, so you are probably okay. If you get EcoBio-Block your water will clear faster and stay clear for about 2 years because the bacteria colonies keep multiplying keeping good bacteria levels high.
    Some algae in your tank is normal and natural, but you need to keep your tank out of direct sunlight if possible or you may start getting green water which is difficult to get rid of. EcoBio-Block reduces the likelihood of getting algae because it uses up the nutrients that algae feed on.

  • November 17, 2012 at 1:57 PMAngela

    I have had a 29 gallon tank set up for 5 months now and it has never been clear. It always has a hazy look kind of cloudy. I just brought my water to be tested at Petsmart and they said everything was fine. I have always left the light on the tank and they said that is the problem.
    Do you think that could be it?

  • November 18, 2012 at 1:07 AMRon

    I set up a new 10 gallon tank (previously had 5 gallon) for my two goldfish (non fancy versions) and two African Dwarf Frogs. Yes, the 10 gallon came with a filter and heater and are used. I also added a little bit of Aquarium Salt per instructions of petstore owner. I use my well water. The first two weeks the tank was crystal clear. The last couple of days it is now a milky, gray, cloudy color. My fish and frogs appear to be fine at this point. Is it cycling or is it bacterial bloom or what? Yesterday I exchanged to gallons to see if that would help. Still the same color. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed! Thanks!

  • November 18, 2012 at 1:09 AMRon

    I meant to type “TWO” gallons of water were replaced.

  • November 18, 2012 at 2:49 PMAquarium Care

    Your tank is going through new tank syndrome. Sometimes it can take 6 months for the tank to go through until it clears up. With EcoBio-Block, you can usually complete new tank syndrome in about 2 to 6 weeks and afterwards, it will reduce the need for water changes. The light has nothing to do with the cloudiness. However, it can encourage algae, so the best thing to do is to turn off the light for about 12 hours at night.

  • November 18, 2012 at 2:54 PMAquarium Care

    Your tank is going through new tank syndrome (cycling). Until you build up enough beneficial bacteria to breakdown the organic waste in your tank, you will have cloudy water. This is natural and normally takes several weeks, sometimes months to clear. With EcoBio-Block, you can speed up new tank syndrome and get clear water, usually in 2 to 6 weeks. Until the water clears, you will need to change about 20-25% of the water weekly, monitoring ammonia and nitrite levels. Once it clears, you can reduce water changes, but continue to monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels.

  • November 18, 2012 at 5:07 PMRon

    Thank you! I will be ordering an EcoBio-Block today. One more question, with a 10 gallon tank, what size block should I purchase (Small or Medium)? I am actually thinking about changing to a 20 gallon in the Spring/Summer since I have two goldfish/2 frogs. I just want to really make sure I get the cloudiness under wraps before even thinking about upgrading to a larger tank in the future and making sure I know what I am doing to maintain a healthy environment for the fish.

  • November 18, 2012 at 5:29 PMAquarium Care

    If you are going to get a 20 gallon tank, you would probably be better off with a medium, especially since you have goldfish which will get big. They tend to make a lot of waste.

  • November 23, 2012 at 3:08 PMRaemy

    Is it possible for fog to build-up on aquarium glass; giving-off an impression of cloudy water?

  • November 23, 2012 at 3:55 PMAquarium Care

    Well, it wouldn’t be fog, but it could be lime and calcium build up.

  • January 22, 2013 at 7:05 PMHide

    I have a very small tank (1.8 gallon). Can I still use the Eco-bio stone S, whose capacity is from 4 to 20 gallons? Or, should I use the Eco-bio pebbles, say, half bag?

  • January 22, 2013 at 9:11 PMAquarium Care

    You can use either. If you buy the pebbles, we suggest that you put half in a mesh bag or in an old nylon and place it in your filter if you have one or just place in your tank. You can keep the other half in a dry place and replace the used ones in about 2 years. Just rinse off and soak in chlorine free water overnight before placing in your aquarium.

  • January 22, 2013 at 11:19 PMHide

    Thank you.

  • March 28, 2013 at 3:05 PMNewbie

    Hi, I have a 5gals for 2 months now, with 5 damsels less than 1 inch each, I recently added 1 coral and put coral booster (5 drops). then after a couple of hours it became cloudy and the coral secretes some kind of slime. I haven’t done anything because the damsels are still ok and eating, is this normal?

  • March 29, 2013 at 9:54 AMAquarium Care

    It may be a combination of too much food and the sudden addition of the coral booster. Don’t feed your fish more than they can eat in a minute. You can even withhold food for a couple of days. You might also stop the coral booster for a couple of days. The slime is good for the aerobic bacteria which you need for the nitrogen cycle.
    Has your tank completed the nitrogen cycle? Cloudiness would also be part of that.

  • March 30, 2013 at 2:43 AMNewbie

    the coral is dead, i think its not completed the nitrogen cycle, so i decided to recycle my tank im on day 1 now. thanks

  • May 9, 2013 at 9:19 AMAlec

    Can you put the block in while the fish are still in?

  • May 9, 2013 at 9:53 AMAquarium Care

    Yes,you can put the block in while the fish are in the tank. Just be sure to rinse it off first with chlorine-free water and soak overnight. Then throw away the soak water and place in your tank.

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