If you are someone who is just starting out in the world of fishkeeping, you might have a lot of questions. One of the questions that we often get asked is why does my fish tank get dirty so fast?
Well, the reality is that there are actually many different reasons as to why your fish tank might be getting dirty so fast. Of course, nobody wants a dirty fish tank, because it certainly doesn’t look nice, and it doesn’t smell nice either.
Moreover, if your fish tank is dirty, your fish aren’t going to be able to survive for very long. Your fish require clean and clear water in order to thrive and to survive. Let’s talk about exactly why your fish tank gets dirty so fast and what you can do to stop this from happening.
Why Does My Fish Tank Get Dirty So Fast?
There are actually few different reasons asking why your fish tank might be getting dirty way faster than it should be, so let’s take a look.
1. A Lack of Filtration
One of the most common reasons as to why fish tanks get dirty so fast is because they don’t have proper filtration. Many beginner fish keepers think that it is OK to keep this one fish in a small tank without any kind of filtration.
If there is absolutely no filtration in the fish tank, that fish waste, uneaten food, and other substances aren’t going to be filtered out of the water. Uneaten food is going to release ammonia and other substances into the water, it’s going to make it cloudy, and very stinky too.
If your water has too much ammonia and other such substances in it, and if the acidity level is not proper, your fish will not be able to survive. Therefore, the biggest reason as to why fish tanks get dirty so fast is due to a lack of filtration. Now, even if you do have a filter for your fish tank, it might not be up to the job.
Remember, you need a fish tank filter that performs all three major types of water filtration. This includes mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. You need mechanical filtration to remove solid waste from the water, biological filtration to remove ammonia, and chemical filtration to remove any other unwanted or poisonous compounds.
Remember, you also need a fish tank filter that has the ability to clean at least three or four times the amount of water in the fish tank every single hour. If you don’t have proper filtration, your water is going to get cloudy and smelly very quickly.
2. Your Tank is Overstocked
Another reason why your fish tank might be getting dirty really quickly is because you have it overstocked. By overstocked, what we mean is that you have way too many fish in your tank for the size of tank that you have.
Generally speaking, the ideal amount of tanks space for fish is 1.5 to 2 gallons of water for every inch of fish that you have. For instance, if you have a betta fish that is 3 inches long, it should have at least 6 gallons of tank space, and so on and so forth.
If your fish tank is overstocked, you’re going to have too many fish creating too much waste for that small space. If this is the case, even your fish tank filter, even if it’s a good one, might not be able to keep up.
On that note, if you don’t have enough plants in your aquarium, this could also contribute to it getting dirty very quickly. Remember that aquarium plants are natural filters that have the ability to create oxygen anti filter some chemical compounds out of the water.
3. The Fish Food
Another reason why your fish tank might be getting dirty really quickly is because of the fish food that you are using. For instance, flake and pellet food does have a tendency to grade and crumble in the water. If that food is left in the water for too long, it will absorb water, and then start to break down into small pieces, will then make the water cloudy.
Moreover, not only will this degrading food make the water cloudy, but it will also begin releasing ammonia and other substances into the water that are definitely not beneficial for your fish.
Even if you are using high quality food that does not degrade if left in the water, if you over feed your fish, this problem can still occur. The bottom line is that you don’t want old food swimming around in the fish tank because it will make the water dirty.
As you can see, there are three main reasons as to why the water in your fish tank will get dirty too fast. If you follow all of the tips that we have listed above, you should be able to avoid this problem altogether.
Aquarist & Writer 22+ Years