My water really clear. Why? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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My water really clear. Why?

I haven't been in this hobby quite a year yet, so please forgive the periodic dumb question...

Why is my water so clear?

Right now my water is clear as a bell, and I'm not used to that. In the past I've changed my fine filter every couple of weeks. But lately, there's been no need. The water is staying crystal clear on its on. I'd love to know why.

Usually my tank is recovering from my digging around, moving, replanting, pruning, whatever. But lately (4 weeks maybe) the only thing I've done is trim tops (sometimes heavily), with the exception of pulling up a few stems. I haven't touched my filter in a month or more, but I have cleaned out the tubes attached to my lily pipes.

So it could be that I haven't been mucking up the water.

But it's also worth noting that my ferts are way up there (for me), and have been for a while - Co2 about 30, N is 14, P about 1.5, and K should be about 25. And everything seems to be loving it. Pearling most of the day, every day. If I wasn't growing algae spots on the glass and on a few of the plant, I'd be in heaven.

Can this be why the water is so clear? Happy plants filtering it?

Does anyone know, because what ever it is, I want to make sure I keep doing it, cuz this is great! (all but that algae that is)

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.

Last edited by scolley; 05-15-2005 at 12:21 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 04:29 PM
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I actually almost never rinse my filter. Slightly clogged filter material does a better job of mechanical filteration by blocking finer particles. I noticed high P reduces the unicellular algae(green water algae) in water a lot.


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalu
Slightly clogged filter material does a better job of mechanical filteration by blocking finer particles.
Wow! I love that. Do less work and your water stays cleaner!

LOL! I wish more things in life worked that way.

Thanks. Sounds like I just need to leave that filter alone! Can do pal.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolley
LOL! I wish more things in life worked that way.
LOL, I wish that too.
But you do need to clean it if the water flow is reduced too much. It has not happened yet on my 10 gallon after 1.5 years


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 06:53 PM
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Yeah my water stays clear too. I think it has a lot to do with good biological activity like shalu said. I just added a bag of flourite a week ago and a total rescape. I didn't rinse it or nothing. It got cloudy but it cleared up overnight. I don't clean my filters till they are noticeably flow challenged.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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I think you guys are on to something. I keep detail records of everything I do with my tank. If I touch the tank (or systems), other than daily feeding, it gets recorded. I use Aquarix software for this - I love it.

Anyway, I went back an checked my records and I've not touched my filter since Jan 1st, and then I only changed a micron pad I keep on top. And the last time before that, on Dec 7th, I changed the micron and fine pads. But before then, every few weeks I was changing the micron and fine pads, washing the course pads, and occasionally mixing in new coarse balls (whatever eheim calls those). In other words, my water looks great now, and it just so happens I'm setting a new record on keeping my hands off my filter.

Thanks guys! Learning something new every day. But this is the best lesson I've learned in a while!

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 07:56 PM
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Hoooo, hooooo! I LIKE this thread!

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbels
Hoooo, hooooo! I LIKE this thread!
Yeah. I wonder if there is something else I don't need to do, that will make my tank look better!

It funny, I've always read things about how infrequently people messed with their filters. But I assumed that had to do with how long you "could" wait, not how long you "should" wait.

Here I thought I was being a good doobie, doing all that extra work, trying hard to have a great tank. And all the time I was making it worse. Wow! What a kick in the pants!

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 09:38 PM
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do keep in mind that rotting plant parts sucked into a filter can throw off the balance of ferts and leave you with too much of a specific nutrient. I was having a hard time getting my phosphorus under control until I did a filter cleaning, and within 2 days my P was down from 2.5 to around 1. nothing else was done any differently than before, and my feedings had already been cut to the bare minimum because of the imbalance. I often notice a piece of a leaf drift over to the intake and disappear, yet I never find leaves in the filter pads when I rinse them... that stuff rots quick, and if left totally unchecked *can* really hurt your nutrient balance. However, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-12-2005, 10:48 PM
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Ya gotta love clear water... its the reward for getting everything right.


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck
its the reward for getting everything right.
Kind of you for saying that Buck. Thanks.

But I don't have everything right yet. Still got that algae on the glass, and even worse, it's growing on my glosso! I suspect it's time to dial the light back a bit.

But hey, I've got time to tinker with that because I learned in this thread today, that I've don't have to spend as much time f*rting around with my filter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogsy
if left totally unchecked *can* really hurt your nutrient balance. However, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
OK, I won't fix it, but how do you know when you do need to check? Wacky nutrient levels?

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 02:28 AM
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I would be careful blaming regular filter maintenance for mucky water.

It all depends a little bit of course, but in a normally stocked tank you end up constantly sucking the tank water through an accumulation of fish excrements.

On my 10 gal tank, I squish the filter foam blocks (AC Mini) every week in water change water. Glass clear water in the tank. The filter cleaning is probably not necessary that frequently, but fishies and shrimps are healthy and I want to keep it that way.

I have another tank that's totally understocked, and I never clean the filterpads there.

Just wanted to stress that cleaning filters is NOT a bad thing, and letting a big heap of fish poop accumulate not always the way to better filtration and water quality.


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
I would be careful blaming regular filter maintenance for mucky water.
Thanks Wasserpest. You just rained on my parade! Here I was thinking that I could get by with less work.

My water was never what I would call "mucky". It's always been clean. And believe me, I'm picky. It's just that lately it has been spotless. Crystal, fish floating in air looking clear. And I just want to make sure I know how to keep it that way.

Now I AM confused.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 03:37 AM
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Nonono I didn't mean to rain on anyones parade. Like others said, congratulations, and enjoy!

Just wanted to put things in perspective for those other 596 ppl that will read your thread and think that letting the filter filter for a year or two undisturbed will fix most of their problems

(My Yoyos must have read this and just to piss me off started digging for gold or tasty jobes sticks or whoknowswhat in my un-vaccuumed substrate )


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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 04:56 AM
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Yah i rinse and clean out my filters, almost weekly. At least bi-weekly. If I do not I notice a drop in health of some of my fishies. I also try to do a really good cleaning monthly with every tank and then a day long run with a diatom filter.

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