Crystal clear water, tips?

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Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by FedEXguy on Thu May 27, 2010 2:55 pm

Ok, my setup is a 5 foot 100 gallon Malawi mix. Overall I'm very happy with the layout and stock, etc. But I do have a problem.

My water is not "clean." Even with weekly 50% water changes and rotated filter cleanings.

It doesn't have a tint or color to it, but it does perpetually have detritus floating around. Just specks and poop and not so much that casually looking at the tank is a problem. But I do notice them and I do want to get rid of them.

Here's what I have set up. Sand substrate; Two Rena XP3s with spray bars (one pointed up at the surface at an angle and the other at a lesser angle to push water down the front of the glass) and two powerheads (one pointing across the back to the second, which points forward along the side.)

Inside the the canisters are, bottom to top: large sponge, fine sponge, filter floss, quilt batting, bio-media (in one) more batting (in second.)

So, any tips on how to get that "swimming in air" look?
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by theswede on Thu May 27, 2010 4:28 pm

Is it possible that you have infusoria in the water? A tank shot would be great. If it is infusoria it looks like tiny tiny bubbles. This you can get rid of with a uv filter.
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by FedEXguy on Thu May 27, 2010 4:58 pm

Hmmm, maybe? I'm at work, so I can't take a new photo, but here's one a few weeks old.
You can see random (blurry) stuff in the water.

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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Thu May 27, 2010 5:08 pm

I've always had good luck with large canisters packed with filter floss which you already have covered.

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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by theswede on Thu May 27, 2010 5:22 pm

Infusoria makes the water look cloudy and if you look closely they look like tiny bubbles. This is a common problem with especially new setups and you can´t get rid of them with a water change. A water change often makes the problem worse.
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by iceblue on Thu May 27, 2010 7:00 pm

A couple of things. Does the spray bar that's pointed up ripple the water or churn it? Micro-bubbles in a tank with a lot of circulation can really be unsightly. Turning the spray bar down a bit and just rippling the water would help if that's part of the problem.

It sounds like you have plenty of mechanical to take care of any unsightly detritus. a micro-filter set at the very last stage of your filter exit could help "polish" the returning water.You might also try rearranging your pumps and filter outlets to help push the crud towards your filter pick-ups giving them a better chance to catch it.

If the problem is diatoms and such the best way to deal with it is to hook up with an ultra violet somewhere in one of your return lines.

And lastly, weekly cleaning of your substrate always helps. No matter how much circulation you have there are always dead spots where poop collects and the fish churn up swimming by.
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by FedEXguy on Thu May 27, 2010 7:19 pm

Well, it's definitely not micro bubbles. The spray bar that moves the surface the most doesn't create bubbles when it's doing that. The powerheads do not have the airline attachments. The one that blows across the back crosses both filter intakes and the other one blows through the "deadest" part of my tank. I also vacuum when I do a WC.

It could be some kind of diatom, but my masculine intuition says it's not Smile

I would like to emphasize that there is not "a lot" of this in my tank, just enough to break the illusion that my fish aren't floating through an aquarium sky, haha.

Are there any DIY filter media that are good for Very Very fine mechanical filtration?
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by Aura on Thu May 27, 2010 9:11 pm

I would have thought that the quilt batting would take care of the water polishing. I use it in mine and it does a nice job, but it does need to be changed regularly.

I haven't had any experience with them, but I hear that diatom filters do a very good job at polishing water.
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by vman on Fri May 28, 2010 12:03 pm

Sand takes a few months to completely clear out of the water but Chemi-Pure ,by Boyd enterprises , is the best chemical medium . If you want the clearest water possible get a Diatom floor model by Vortex . It polishes the water & takes out particles as small as a diatom .
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Re: Crystal clear water, tips?

Post by Drake-tripod on Fri May 28, 2010 12:07 pm

hands down charcole will work
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