How To Get Crystal Clear Aquarium Water?

Oscar fish

Aquariums are a fancy decorating piece in a household. It is a mixture of ornate interior and marine life. An aquarium owner always yearns for crystal clear water in the aquarium. It gives a divine look when the water is transparent and free of impurities, and you can see fish swimming around the aquarium.

However, it cannot be a pleasant sight if you have dirty and murky water. Moreover, it can also be harmful to the lives inside. Therefore, you must clean your aquariums to avoid mushy water and get crystal-clear aquariums.

There are numerous ways of cleaning the aquarium that you can opt for. In this article, we will not only provide you with the solution but will also educate you about the cause of the problem. So that you can control the cloudy water issues and have clean and clear aquariums.

Why Is My Aquarium Water Cloudy?

The best way to resolve the issue is to know the root cause. It will help you in the complete elimination of the problem. Similarly, you need to know why is your fish’s water cloudy or not clear, there can be multiple reasons that include internal and external factors. Following are a few answers to why my aquarium water is cloudy.

crystal clear aquarium water

Algae Blooms (green water)

Fish tanks are one of the favorite places for algae to grow. The green water in your tanks is the first sign of algae growth. These algae blooms do not harm the tank species, but you cannot risk it. Also, it does not give an appealing look to the tank.

These algae blooms grow due to excess nitrates in the tank’s water. Excessive nitrates can form because of overcrowding the new tank with objects, extra food, and the use of tap water. You can control these agents and can have crystal clear aquarium water.

Bacterial Blooms (grey/white hazy water) 

Bacterial blooms make the water cloudy. It does not require any external agent for the formation of bacterial bloom. The dirty water can indicate an imbalance in the aquarium that makes a particular type of bacteria multiply impulsively.

Although this problem is self-resolving with time and does not harm anyone. However, you can try changing the fish water to make some difference. Or else can check on the nitrogen parameters in water if the issue prevails for a more extended period.

Dissolved Organic Carbon

Organic compounds of carbon can make your aquarium water brown. The tannin substances make the water in a tank look like tea. However, it is not harmful to the tank’s inhabitants but decreases the charm of clear aquarium water.

This tannin can come from the wooden decorations that the excited aquarium owners place inside the fish tank. Moreover, the plants, leaves, and seeds can also release carbon that eventually changes the color of aquarium water. So you can decrease the number of wooden decorations if you do not want cloudy aquarium water.

Uneaten Food

Excess of everything is bad. The same goes for food, you should add a small amount of fish food according to the requirement of living beings. The excess or uneaten food will decay and pollute the tank water. You can remove the remaining food with a strainer to prevent the decomposition that makes your fish water cloudy.

Waste Products

Like all other living things, fish also excrete waste. If you do not regularly clean your aquarium, it can pollute the tank water and make it murky. Thus, do not allow the excess waste to sit in for a long time and try to clean it daily with a strainer.

How To Get Crystal Clear Aquarium Water

Now that we know the root cause of the problem, we can move towards finding the solutions. There are numerous ways of getting crystal clear water. These include natural methods, some precautions, and chemical mediums.

how to keep fish tank clear


The most crucial step to getting a crystal clear aquarium is its maintenance. Usually, the aquarium owners neglect this part and later complain about the cloudy and murky water. You should change the tank’s water after a certain time to avoid the formation of nitrates due to water filters. These nitrates will be food for algae, and your tank will have green water.

Moreover, thoroughly clean the aquarium once a week or at least after two weeks. While cleaning, remove all the decays, decompositions, and fish waste. If you do not get these impurities out, they will float in the water tank, and you will not have crystal clear water.

Try not to overfeed your fish because the leftover food decomposes and releases phosphates that are yet another food for algae. So avoid dumping excess food in the tank to prevent the formation of algae and green water.

Thus, maintenance is the key to a transparent tank. You can follow the following tips and tricks to get crystal clear water in the aquarium.

Aquarium Plants

clear water in fish tank

Aquarium plants are a great source of algae prevention. We are not claiming that putting plants in your aquarium will completely eradicate algae bloom; instead, it will help in prevention. So, you can have crystal clear water. 

Plants consume nitrates and phosphates as their food. So, if you have enough plants in your fish tank, you need not worry about the algae formation as they will consume all the nitrates and phosphates. Ensure you get water-friendly plants that do not create a mess with shedding leaves in the fish tank.


Filtering the unwanted fine particles is one of the most important and popular ways of getting a clearer aquarium. You must install a powerful filter to improve the quality and clarity of water for the inhabitants.

The water filter flow should be according to your fish’s tank size and breed. However, ideally, the filter should run the filtration cycle at least 5 times a day. Two types of filtration should take place in an aquarium.

Biological filtration deals with bacteria and helps prevent cloudy water caused due to bacterial multiplication. The water filter must have healthy and beneficial bacteria to omit the bacterial imbalance that is responsible for the cloudy water.

Mechanical filtration is the separation of bigger particles from water. The sponge filter absorbs or traps the impurities and makes the water crystal clear. Thus, the filter ensures that your fish aquarium is free of debris.


Do not overfeed your fish. The leftover food will decay and release ammonia which further splits into nitrates that promote the growth of algae and bacterial bloom. Make sure you add a sufficient amount of food to avoid mushy water. Hence, in this case, you should apply the rule of less is more. Add less food to have less waste and lesser cloudy water.

Clean-Up Crew

If you want the tank’s water clear, you need to build your clean-up crew. We do not mean a house help for cleaning the aquarium; instead, an internal force for cleaning. For instance, you can add shrimps, snails, and algae eaters.

These marine bodies will eat up the waste product and algae. Most often, your clean-up crew can also consume the uneaten food to prevent any deposition, bacterial bloom, and debris formation.

Activated Carbon

The activated carbon works with the binding of opposite charges while they pass through a water filter. It is also known as activated charcoal. It helps in removing the awful smell from the fish tank. You should add this to your filter, which usually comes with a water filter. It will remove all the unwanted substances, including tannin, during filtration.

clear water in fish tank


These are the cleaners for chemical filtration. It helps in the binding of all the waste products, impurities, and unwanted bacteria. This binding makes removing or getting trapped in the filter easier. In this way, the chemicals in liquid cleaners help clear the tank water. You can try this chemical filtration if other cleaning methods do not work for your aquarium.

Is There a Natural Way To Fix Cloudy Water In My Aquarium?

You can use different natural ways to fix the cloudy water in the aquarium. For instance, have your clean-up crew, plants that consume nitrates, change the tank water frequently and add activated charcoal in the filter. Moreover, do not overfeed your marine pet and strain out the excess food to restrict the release of ammonia and prevent cloudy water. You can also check how to clean aquarium plants to know more about it.

What’s The Best Way To Prevent Cloudy Water In My Fish Tank?

The best way to prevent cloudy water in the aquarium is to have a balanced feeding and cleaning routine. Feed the fish in moderate portions; do not overcrowd the tank with wooden decorations to get the most transparent water.

Final Thoughts

Thus, if you want a crystal clear aquarium, you better focus on maintenance. Follow proper cleaning routine, and maintain the water levels and food portions. Install a water filter with beneficial bacteria and an activated carbon bed to remove all the impurities, along with mechanical filtration.

Keep plants in the tank for the consumption of nitrates and phosphates. Build up your clean-up crew for the algae and bacterial blooms prevention. If the issue does not resolve with precaution and a natural filter, you can use chemical media for water clarity.

We hope you get clearer water from this article’s aquarium maintenance and cleaning tips.

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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