Is clear water possible in a planted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Is clear water possible in a planted tank?

Hi, Iím new to heavily planted tanks, just started up for less than a week.

The tank came with a hood installed with an overhead filter. I hid the filter inlet amongst some tall plants, but I think thatís obstructing some flow. My water isnít cloudy, but I can see a lot of tiny particles floating around. Some of it are floating plant debris from the HC that the fish have been uprooting and Riccia that floats up from my rocks. The debris isnít floating on the top, those I can net out. These are suspended in the water.

Is this how itís going to be from now on? Do I resign myself to seeing water with floating particles? Or maybe I shouldnít hide the filter inlet and leave it exposed?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 02:52 AM
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Good flow + lots of mechanical filtration (micron pads in the filter can be very useful) = clean water column.





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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 02:52 AM
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If you're running a canister filter, you can put some filter floss in one of the media trays...
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 02:57 AM
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My friend.
Planted tanks get much better with age. Once I set up my most recent tank, I started with lots of light, co2, bunch of plants, and watch how wave after wave of plants were destroyed by all types of algae.
Planted tanks, when maintained well, have the some of the clearest water you have ever seen, like suspended in air. Its sounds like you have demanding plants, HC and riccia demand alot and require a somewhat nit picky keeper. That is why I gave riccia up because of all the pruning and stuff flying everywhere.
The reason why the riccia and the other plants are not really floating is because they have not adapted yet. If your conditions are good (they will need CO2 and powerful lighting) then they will take a while to settle in, only growing and adapting after about a week at the best.
It sounds like you have a hooded aquarium with a hanging filter. Did you get it in a box set?
down the road, in order to have plants like those you will need to invest more. Its a truth that is better the earlier it is accepted
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, my tank came as a set with an overhead filter. I might get a canister filter eventually, maybe next year.

Generally though, what do people do with their filter intake? Do they block it with plants for aesthetic reasons, or leave it free for better filtration?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 03:24 AM
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It sounds like you're running an eclipse hood or something similar.

If you get a canister, you can get glass intake and outflow pipes. Mine are unblocked.. I considered trying to hide them, but their clear glass anyway and I have a feeling if they were behind plants then they'd clog easier.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 03:49 AM
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Ok I see.
You could get a canister filter, that would not hurt. However your money is spent on different upgrades first.
The set up is not bad. You just have to make a choice. You can stay with your current set up, and pour your heart and soul into a fully decorated low light tank. This means only java fern, java moss, anubias MAYBE crypts, etc. They grow really really slow in this set up, and it could take years to fully fill in. Also, if something goes wrong in the middle, you will have wasted a great deal of time. Nonetheless, if you took it really serious you could make something decent looking with your set up.
If you wanna have fast-growing plants like HC or Riccia, you definitely need much more light. You have about .75 WPG to 1 WPG right now I assume, and for plants like that you will need around 3.
One thing that has to be noted is that with this new intense wattage of light, you will need CO2 without a doubt. If you have 2-3 watt per gallon without CO2 algae will burst everywhere.
So, stay exactly where you are and buy low light plants, or upgrade to better lighting and a CO2 system and enjoy all the plants you want, getting the canister filter 3rd.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 03:54 AM
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Planted tanks tend to do better with more than stock filtration and water circulation.

On my 10g, I chose a filter made for a 20g tank (Aquaclear 20). Later I added a second identical filter to get more uniform circulation - so that's technically 40g worth of filtration on a 10g tank.

I have no problem seeing intake tubes in my tank, and don't take any special measures to hide them. If I end up blocking them because that's where I wanted to put a plant, so be it - I have filtration to spare.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, upon closer examination these are not plant debris but tiny little bubbles suspended in the water. They are not floating to the top. I'm not sure when it started, but seems to be after I began injecting CO2 two days ago. Could these be undissolved CO2 bubbles from the powerhead?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 01:44 PM
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They can be O2 bubbles coming from the plants as well. We unscientifically call it 'pearling', a process of photosynthesis.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 10:39 PM
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Good flow + Excellent filter (like Eheim) + Micron pad + Purigen = Water that looks like liquid air.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 10:44 PM
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in my experience, planted tanks way clearer than a fish-only tank

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