As you've seen, the EcoQube C was created to be a self-cleaning aquarium that requires virtually no maintenance (save for feeding your fish).
Some of you have reached out to us with questions about cloudiness in your EcoQube. We would love to share with you the most common reasons as to why this may be occurring.
Sand and Soil
When putting sand and soil layers into a new tank, it can take a while for particles to settle down, especially soil, since soil has clay and silt aspects. For this reason, we recommend sand over soil, as sand is much heavier and sinks much quicker. Give your tank 2-3 weeks for the particles to settle, as the pump will agitate the particles already suspended in the water. If necessary, reduce the pump usage to allow for particles to settle more quickly.
Chemicals that are usually added to aquariums are water clarifiers and dechlorinators. Though dechlorinators are recommended and usually needed to make public tap water habitable for fish, water clarifiers are not recommended. Water clarifiers tend to just hide the symptom, and end up adding chemicals that react to the chemicals that are in the water already. In the end, this throws off the balance of bacteria that help decompose the waste of your fish.
Overfeeding will cause excess food to remain, leading to cloudiness because food particles are left suspended in the water. This will also result in a lot more ammonia to emerge, more than the bacteria can convert to nitrate. Remember to feed sparingly. A fish’s stomach is usually smaller than its eyes, so they should be able to completely consume all the food they need in under two minutes.
Too many fish in a tank can lead to cloudiness. With more fish comes more food, and excess waste, which your bacteria colony will have a hard time converting to nitrate. Remember, too many fish in a tank will lead to stress, shortened lives, and increase the chance that your EcoQube will develop an algae growth.
Check your filter. With a clogged filter, excess food and waste particles will stay floating in the water, making it look dirty and cloudy. Make sure the aquatic plants you have aren’t the shedding kind, as they will release their leaves, which will then get sucked into the filter. This will result in a lower/no suction rate.
"Cycling the tank" means that you are establishing a bacteria bed in your biological filter to remove the toxins that the fish's metabolism creates. Basically, with the fish’s waste, ammonia begins to build up. The whole point of cycling is to attract two types of bacteria: nitrosomonas and nitrospira. Nitrosomonas convert ammonia to nitrite (even more poisonous to fish) and nitrospira converts nitrites to nitrate (food for your plant and harmless to your fish). If you introduced your fish without your plant having taken root, then cloudiness is common.
This is the reason we suggest letting your plant take root first, as plants can take up nitrogen in all stages of the cycling process to varying degrees; from ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. However, they will be happiest when cycling is complete and the bacteria are fully established because so many more nutrients become available at this stage.
These are the most common reasons for cloudiness to occur in your EcoQube C. Try out these solutions and let us know if you've found any other solutions!