Will Cloudy Water From Sand Hurt Fish? Our Investigation

Will Cloudy Water From Sand Hurt Fish?

The straight answer to the question, will cloudy water from the sand hurt the fish, is yes it will. Your fish will not be comfortable in such an environment. However, if you already have such cloudy water in your tank, you don’t have to panic as it can irritate your little pets but will not be fatal.

However, we are very well aware that fish are pretty sensitive to minor changes, so you should not risk adding fish to the cloudy sand water, especially if your tank is new and your fish can wait. How can this cloudy water impact your fish, and what are some measures to manage your aquarium in such a situation? This is covered in this article. Specifically:

  • How can dust particles impact your fish?
  • How is the cloudy water in a new tank different from the old tank?
  • How can you reduce the cloudiness and ensure better fish health?

How can the dust or cloudiness in the water exactly be bad for your fish?

Before we continue explaining the ill impact of the sand on the fish, let’s divide the cloudiness in water into two conditions. It will make it easier for you to identify what is causing it and if sand is the real culprit. So, here is the division: the new tank and the old tank. You can refer to the new tank which is only a few months old and you haven’t added any fish whereas the old tank can be anything more than 3-4 months old with all your pets in it.

New Tank

For all the new tanks, there is a significant chance that sand is the main reason for this problem in the tank.

As you already know, the dust in the substrate causes cloudiness in the water. This dust being present in the form of small particles, can get into the fish’s gills. Irritation in the gills can create breathing issues for your pet. Similarly, it can also irritate the eyes of your fish, making the little ones stressed.

Besides, not every fish is equally hardy, so the more sensitive ones might feel stressed, which exposes them to higher chances of catching secondary infectious diseases.

None of these symptoms indicate that you can spend much time fixing the cloudy water issue. So, as soon as you realize that you have cloudy water in your aquarium, you must look for possible ways to resolve the issue.

Old Aquarium

If your substrate isn’t the problem, and you have a tank with all your fish and other pets inside, then the cloudiness in the water could be because of the waste material. So, you’ll have to take remedial steps to ensure your fish are safe.

Frankly, the cloudiness, which is caused because of waste material, is more dangerous to fish as compared to the sand. It is because the water quality is likely to be affected in the latter case, so your fish will react to it more severely. It means you have more time to make adjustments for the sand problem than the water quality issue.

How can you lessen the cloudiness from water?

How can you lessen the cloudiness from water?

Here are some ways through which you can reduce the extra cloudiness that occurs because of sand:

Rinse the substrate well

You should be very careful with the substrate. It is better to prepare it before putting it in your aquarium. Make sure to stir it a bit while rinsing. It will ensure that any extra material will be out of your substrate, leaving a clear version available. If you want to follow the best practice, leave it soaked overnight after rinsing it thoroughly. So, there will be no chances of any residual particles left; thus, leaving your fish in a transparent tank will be possible.

Don’t disturb the substrate too much

Usually, we put the substrate at the bottom of the tank while pouring water from above. You can argue that there is no other way of doing it, and you are right. You have to put the substrate layer first before filling up your tank. But what you can do is not mess with the substrate a lot. Once you put your substratum, add a polythene bag to layer over it before you add in water. So, now when you’ll fill the tank, the water will be touching the plastic layer instead of the substrate. So, the chances of a substrate moving around will be a lot lower. Thus, you can ensure that the cloudiness created from your substrate movement will be kept limited.

Change the water

If you already have a loaded aquarium with fish and all other animals, the cloudiness can be because of the dirty water. The debris, extra food, and other waste materials impact the quality of water and make it unclear. So, you should change the water to ensure that all the parameters are properly maintained for your little pets.

Use a filter

One of the other ways to reduce the cloudiness from your water is using a filter. This option is best for newbies who have not rinsed the sand but have already put their fish in the tank. So, taking out the sand and rinsing it is not an option now. What you can do is use a filter. It will absorb all the floating sand particles in no time.

However, one problem that this method can create is during cycling. As your filter will be too dirty, so you might feel that your cycling process isn’t going too smooth. The solution to this problem is to manually remove the filter and rinse it a few times in the next couple of days. It is definitely extra work, but you’ll have to manage it for the aquarium.

Utilize a bio magnet water clarifier product

Well, you can either buy it from the online stores or can use the one that comes in the substrate bag. These products are specially designed to help aquarium owners in such a situation. They can pull some sand particles out of the water column while helping the settlement of the others quickly.

However, be mindful that it is a product containing chemicals, so if you are uncomfortable adding any additional products to your aquarium, you should not use this option.

You can wait

This is the easiest option that we can share with you. You don’t have to do anything. Just wait. But it is only possible when you have a new tank without any fish, and you are not in a hurry to set it up. Then you can let the sand settle on its own. It might take a few days when you can see the clear water. So, be patient while you are waiting.

Summing up

Cloudy water is not very dangerous for your fish if it results from moving sand particles. However, you cannot let your fish get into or stay in such a water container for long. It can cause breathing problems and irritation in the eyes. So, it is better to avoid it in the first place using the techniques mentioned above. But if that is not possible, then use the measures for managing the cloudiness in the tank so that all the sand particles settle down and your fish will feel safe and healthy.