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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: United Kingdom
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Crystal clear water

Hi all,

First of all my aquarium: Juwel Lido 200 (not the LED version just the T5) and it was started up in January (2nd or 3rd).

Hardware: Juwel internal filter + Fluval 406 external canister + Eheim 350 surface skimmer(recently added).

Aquarium cohabitants: 6 sterbay corrydoras, 2 ottocinslus, a couple of amano shrimps as well as 2 or 3 RCS, 2 neritines and a some pesky snails that came with the plants(these are on borrowed time as I will bring some Assasin snails to get rid of them but first I want to sort out my issue).
This is what left after an amonia posining and PH crash due to adding to many fish at the same time - stupid me.
Initially there were 10 sterbay,10 black venezuela corry, 6 ottocinslus and a little bit more shrimps.
Now I have a seneye in my aquarium and I keep everything under control.

Very fine sand on the bottom and a lot of Anubias on some bog wood.
Feeding once a day either: Omega One. Shrimp Pellets , King British Catfish Pellets complemented with 1/4 of King British Algae Wafer every 2 or 3 feedings- this is for the otto.
Maybe once a week some frozen blood-worms.

I am doing weekly water changes around 20-25L with full RO water remineralised with Sachem Equilibrium and buffered with Sachem Alkaline and Acid Buffers(3:2 ratio).
In this way I keep my PH very close to neutral, but still having some buffer capabilities.
TDS of this water is around 180-200ppm from which half is from the buffers and the other from minerals.
When I do my water change I am adding an almond leaf into the aquarium and I am removing one that was added 3 weeks ago,
so I always have 2 leaves in my aquarium mostly for the blackwatter effect, food for the shrimps/otto and the tannin.

Water parameters:

PH: between 7.05 - 7.16
KH: 2-3dKH - a little low but if I increase it the PH will go up as well so I don't want this
GH: 5-6dKH
NH3: 0.011-0.014ppm ( this shouldn't be so bad as everything under 0.020 should be fine for most of the fish)
NO2: 0ppm
NO3: 10-20ppm ( hard to tell as the colors from the API test are so close).

On the seneye screenshot the PH raise was false reading because I've just changed the probe and it wasn't fully calibrated yet.

I know that it sounds silly but my problem is that I can't get my water free of small particles and please let me tell you what I've tried.

My Fluval 406 setup is -> Prefilter coarse sponges original ones. From bottom to top the trays are filled with:
1st -> medium sponge original one,
2nd -> bottom half JBL Symec Filterwool with Siporox ceramic rings (I had this from my previous aquarium to have some of the beneficial bacteria to speed up the cycle)
3rd -> Sachem Matrix.
4th -> Sachem Matrix
Juwel internal filter -> I had this stetted up with the
top part with Sponges(coarse/medium/filterwool in various order because of the fluval BioFlow bypass design)
bottom part some bags of Sachem Matrix. At some point I have also used some JBL SymecMicro inside this but without too much success.

With this setup I could see a lot of small particles floating in my aquarium as well as on the surface.
I've tried to change the flow of the Juwel filter to point in different directions.

I've set the Fluval outlet using a spray bar or without pointing into different positions.
Initially I used Fluval original intake with the Eheim External Prefilter but I had like a small dust floating so I've replaced it with JBL Top Clean 2 and got rid of that dust.
I used the Top Clean with and without height extension.

Whatever I did my water was still having small particles or debris floating around.

After all of these strategies I've decided last weekend to do some serious changes(I was thinking that 2 different flows might cancel each other):

I've removed the Juwel powerhead (not the whole filter just the powerhead) and put the Fluval outlet there ( the white one that came with the filter) and removed the spray bar from the aquarium.
I've removed the JBL Top Clean and switched to Fluval original intake inside the Juwel internal filter and used all the Juwel sponges just like a prefilter in this order: coarse,medium and filterwool.

The attached picture represents this new setup, with the mention that the sponges order is : coarse,medium and filterwool.

With this setup my surface was full of dust so this is why I've added the Eheim surface skimmer.

It made my surface dust free in minutes but I still have the pesky small dust or fish poo or debries floating around.

I had a couple of aquariums in my life and I always had the water crystal clear and never had this issue.
The only difference with this aquarium is that is the biggest one, it's taller and more like a cube and it has fine sand as substrate.

I couldn't get a decent photo with phone so you can see the small particles but I will try to take a better picture with my camera this evening.

Do you have any ideas or advice to get my water crystal clear ?

Later Edit with a short video to see the particles:
VID 20190509 205121 - Sendvid

Last edited by mariusc; 05-15-2019 at 03:41 PM. Reason: More details
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