Habitat - Indoor :: Water discoloration/hue

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:30 pm   Water discoloration/hue

Several weeks ago when checking the water quality, the ammonia levels was extremely high. Since then I have done several partial water changes and have added API Quick Start to be certain the bacteria would become active. Currently, the ammonia and nitrite are at 0, the nitrate is moderate, but I've still been doing about 1-2 partial water changes a week.

I normally use water from a Primo fill station at Walmart as my tap water is softened and wanted to avoid adding the sodium from it. However, as I wasn't always able to get water from a Primo station when I was doing frequent water changes, I was using my softened tap water. Since the ammonia and nitrite have been 0, I haven't done water changes as frequent and have been using Primo water for all changes.

Since this as all occurred, I've noticed that the tank water has taken on a slight tint/hue or discoloration. At first I thought i may be some sediment or rust not fully taken out but the water softener, but it hasn't been removed or otherwise cleared up. It's really only noticeable when viewing the tank from the long end, which is about 6 feet in length. Whenever I've taken a sample to measure water quality, the small volume appears clear and mostly clear when viewing the tank from the width.

Currently, I just have one RES, about 18.5 cm in shell length and the tank has approximately 85 gallons of water. I use a FX5 filter with ceramic media and activated carbon. While the ammonia was high, I did add some Imagitarium zeolite crystals per the instructios (2 cups), but have since removed them. I typically change 15 to 20 gallons each time I do a water change.

Looking for any advice as what may be causing the discoloration. I understand that during a bacteria bloom, the water may become cloudy, which did happened, but should not discolor the water.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:53 am   Re: Water discoloration/hue

That's pretty odd. What hue has it changed to and does it go away after a period of time? How dramatic is the change?
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:30 am   Re: Water discoloration/hue

It's almost a yellow or brownish, not unlike if it's tannic in nature. It's noticeable, but it's not intense. It hasn't gone away or reduced in intensity with water changes either.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:29 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

When was the last time the filer media was changed?
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:53 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

When I started these series of partial water changes and added the zeolite crystals.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:26 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

No change in intensity is strange. I would lean towards a full water change/filter cleaning though.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:53 am   Re: Water discoloration/hue

Kinda what I thought, but thought to see if there was something else to do. A project for the weekend.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:19 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

I think we ruled out what we could, sorry :(
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:27 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

No worries, see if it helps.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:53 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

Completed a full water changes, well almost, maybe a gallon or so that I couldnt siphon or scoop out. Cleaned out the filter and replaced the carbon, which was due anyways. Used only Primo filtered water and added the API Quick Start. I did see some fine particulate matter rinse out of the sponge filters that looked a reddish brown. I suspect that may have been causing the tint, but no idea what it was. When I last cleaned out the filter, it was a fairly warm day and no snow so I cleaned it outside. It's possible I got.some leaves picked up and trapped inside. That may have broken down and released some tannins. All speculation though.
The water looks clear as it should and it's been 24 hours. No ammonia, slight nitrite and nitrate. Going to monitor those for the next several days.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:49 am   Re: Water discoloration/hue

I wouldn't think it would be some leaves. Do you clean out the filter hoses too or do you usually leave them? Mine are usually filled with gunk.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:53 am   Re: Water discoloration/hue

I typically flush them out but usually can't get a tube brush completely through them.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:08 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

I wouldn't think the amount of gunk in a filter hose would have that much affect on the water - especially if it's still in the hose.

If it's blue that usually means there's copper in the water. Perhaps the fill station where you get the water has issues. Do you have a reef test kit by chance? Those have drop test kits for copper.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:30 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

Good news everyone. It's been a week and while the tank is a bit cloudy, as expected after a water change, it's not discolored.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0 or 0.5
Nitrate 20
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:44 pm   Re: Water discoloration/hue

VeipaCray wrote:I wouldn't think the amount of gunk in a filter hose would have that much affect on the water - especially if it's still in the hose.

If it's blue that usually means there's copper in the water. Perhaps the fill station where you get the water has issues. Do you have a reef test kit by chance? Those have drop test kits for copper.


It wasn't blue, it was a reddish-brown. Almost like a very thin tea. But it seems to have been resolved.
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