Why is my fish tank cloudy?

When we started adding some pets to our house, we decided to start small. Nothing is easier than goldfish, right? They can fit in a small bowl, they don’t cost much and don’t take much upkeep. So let’s do it, right?

Our beautiful goldfish cost only $0.17 each. When we went to the pet store, they told us that they do not need a filter. So we went and got 4 little fish and put them in our little bowl, with some little stones, and a little elephant.

We fed them, and when we woke up in the morning, the bowl was completely cloudy!


I knew this wasn’t good news, so I woke up Rebecca immediately. After some research, we found out where we went wrong.

What is in the water that makes my fish tank cloudy?

This is ammonia in your fish tank produced by your fish. This is not good for your fishies, and they could die as they won’t be able to get enough oxygen. If your fish tank is cloudy, clean it right away and find out where you went wrong!

Why my fish tank is cloudy?

1. You don’t have a filter

Yes, even $0.17 gold fish need a filter (unlike what the pet store people told us). Luckily we found a very cheap one on amazon to use, and it is perfect for our little fish tank and only $10. It is also very quiet.

2. Your filter is dirty

If you do have a filter, it may be time to clean it or replace the filter part. Make sure you do this regularly so your fish can breath easily!

3. Your fish bowl wasn’t clean

I let Rebecca clean the fish bowl, and goldfish are super sensitive. When we cleaned out the water, I got rid of the seashell in our tank (who knows what was in that old thing!), and cleaned everything in the tank, plus the tank, very well. We want to make sure our fish had fresh, healthy water!  Make sure to clean your fish bowl at least once a week.

4. You used tap water to fill your tank

Tap water is a big no no. It is treated with a lot of chemicals, especially in Phoenix. I don’t even use tap water to water my plants, why would I use it for my fish?

If you do use tap water, make sure you use a water conditioner before putting your fish in it. We tried this initially, but now we use our drink water or filtered water to add to the fish bowl


Sadly, we did lose one of our fish due to our inexperience. A fish funeral did happen. We are happy to say, though, with the changes we made we have not had an issue with cloudy water since!


2 thoughts on “Why is my fish tank cloudy?”

  1. No matter how often you clean this bowl, it will never be a suitable habitat for a goldfish. Comets, which are what you have, get to almost a foot long, and live as long as 30 years in the correct conditions. These fish are going to die due to their inability to grow further, cruelly and slowly. Please fix this before continuing to give advice to others.

    • Thank you! I realize now that gold fish don’t go in bowls as the pet store tells you. My fish didn’t last, of course.

      Internet is more useful then pet stores. I will update. Thanks again!


Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy