Should my water be so clear in a lightly planted tank - Page 4 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #46 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ty Dan I always check the water after, I do have nitrate creep as after a water change I'm about 15-20 nitrate, when I check it before I do my water change the following it's 25-30, but ammonia and nitrite are always 0 and oh is anyways 7.5, it's there a different test to check for say potassium, iron, micro /macro specifically for the plants?

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post #47 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:31 PM
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Ty Dan I always check the water after, I do have nitrate creep as after a water change I'm about 15-20 nitrate, when I check it before I do my water change the following it's 25-30, but ammonia and nitrite are always 0 and oh is anyways 7.5, it's there a different test to check for say potassium, iron, micro /macro specifically for the plants?

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Another good way to test nutrient buildup. Get a tds meter and do a very large water change. Test your tds at that point. Then through the week see how much it goes up and this gives you a good idea how much nutrients have not been consumed and have built up. This is what I started doing. I also dose EI and got the pre mixed micro and macro packets so I really do not have control. Say my nitrates are 40ppm but phosphate is just .5 I have to either dose all macro nkp or none. Once I'm out of this I will be getting the individual macros. This way I can dose off of need and not have to all macros. This will also keep from any macro building up and requiring less water changes if needed. It's all in how you want to do this as there is many ways.


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post #48 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:42 PM
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Ty Dan I always check the water after, I do have nitrate creep as after a water change I'm about 15-20 nitrate, when I check it before I do my water change the following it's 25-30, but ammonia and nitrite are always 0 and oh is anyways 7.5, it's there a different test to check for say potassium, iron, micro /macro specifically for the plants?

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I use chelated CSM+B and then test for chelated iron and assume the rest are in balance or not based on my iron test. Is this the proper way? I tend to think not but it satisfies me for how accurate I want to be since I do weekly water changes and have low plant mass with slow growth which means less uptake and feel in all likelihood that they are being replenished. I know my potassium is good for the same reason, I dose some with my macro's. I only do 1/4 EI based on my testing each week it puts me where I want to be. But my tank and your tank will not be the same. I have about 50par at substrate run approx. 20-25ppm Co2 and have 20 CPD I feed 3-4 times a day as they are still growing, 5 ott's, and I don't think the shrimp or nerites contribute much to the bio load. This is where people will adjust to their own tank you may need to dose a little more potassium and less nitrates but until you test and know the results no real way to answer that. So you see you can make it as complicated as you feel comfortable but is it necessary? Depends on your goals, what you feel comfortable and what works for you. I would make a post in the ferts section to get the info to help you decide on what's needed for you to reach your goals, ferts are relatively new to me although I have done a lot of research it was mostly based on my needs.

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post #49 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:51 PM
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Activated carbon is great for filtering water, which is why it's used in many potable water filtering systems. It also has practical application in aquariums and has been used for over 50 years that I know of. Activated carbon adsorbs all sorts of 'impurities' that would otherwise lower the quality of the water. However, carbon is a little costly, has a short use-life, and is not renewable. In addition, it is somewhat counter-productive in a planted tank as some of the 'impurities' it removes would otherwise be nutrients for the plants. Also, as mentioned, sufficient partial water changes are far more effective at pollution reduction than any activated carbon regimen. The simple truth is that activated carbon may have some benefit in certain fish only tanks, but less benefit in planted tanks that receive routine partial water changes.

As to the use of Purigen...I used Purigen for quite some time and frankly feel that it's less effective at water polishing then simple polyester fiber (I buy the big bags at WM). In addition, I think the marketing hype that Purigen removes organics that would otherwise create nitrates is misleading as it's likely that nitrates are created earlier in the decomposition process and what's being trapped is the more inert microscopic sludge.

Also, I have long since questioned the accepted hobby hype that we need 4x to 10x GPH water flow through filters for sufficient filtration. I even saw some 'advice' that suggested even more for planted tanks. Additionally, I've read across forums of many that 'brag' about their 'over-filtration' with extra filters, powerheads and such.
It seems to me that logic dictates that good water filtration is about how well we filter the water, not how much water is forced through a filter. That said, a finer filtration media at a slower flow should produce a cleaner result. Of course we want good water circulation in a tank, but it doesn't need to be a raging torrent.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if you filtered every drop very well a couple of times an hour, it should be good!
Having 'said' that, I'll confess that from time to time, I'll install my Marineland Internal Magnum Polishing Filter (I'm not affiliated with Marineland in any way) with the micron filter cartridge (with or without diatomaceous earth) to remove even the finest particulates. I'll let it run for 4 hours or so.

Finally, since I'm on a bit of a roll, lets talk about bio-media. I used to be a 'fan' of Matrix/DeNitrate (a glorified lava rock pumice stone). After years of testing I've resigned that it is no more effective than simple bio-sponge. It's "claim to fame" is micro pores that claim it creates more surface area. But these micro pores plug all too easily with detritus, making it far less effective. It also claims that these micro pores will host anaerobic bacteria that will reduce nitrates. I never found this to be the case, even seeding with fair amounts of Stability.
Just my results - yours may vary....but I've migrated to simple sponge material in my filters. Incidentally, there's far more beneficial biology in the substrate and on hard surfaces in the tank than would ever be found in most filters.

My apologies to p0tluck if this took us [way] too far off the clear water path!

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post #50 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 04:59 PM
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Activated carbon is great for filtering water, which is why it's used in many potable water filtering systems. It also has practical application in aquariums and has been used for over 50 years that I know of. Activated carbon adsorbs all sorts of 'impurities' that would otherwise lower the quality of the water. However, carbon is a little costly, has a short use-life, and is not renewable. In addition, it is somewhat counter-productive in a planted tank as some of the 'impurities' it removes would otherwise be nutrients for the plants. Also, as mentioned, sufficient partial water changes are far more effective at pollution reduction than any activated carbon regimen. The simple truth is that activated carbon may have some benefit in certain fish only tanks, but less benefit in planted tanks that receive routine partial water changes.

As to the use of Purigen...I used Purigen for quite some time and frankly feel that it's less effective at water polishing then simple polyester fiber (I buy the big bags at WM). In addition, I think the marketing hype that Purigen removes organics that would otherwise create nitrates is misleading as it's likely that nitrates are created earlier in the decomposition process and what's being trapped is the more inert microscopic sludge.

Also, I have long since questioned the accepted hobby hype that we need 4x to 10x GPH water flow through filters for sufficient filtration. I even saw some 'advice' that suggested even more for planted tanks. Additionally, I've read across forums of many that 'brag' about their 'over-filtration' with extra filters, powerheads and such.
It seems to me that logic dictates that good water filtration is about how well we filter the water, not how much water is forced through a filter. That said, a finer filtration media at a slower flow should produce a cleaner result. Of course we want good water circulation in a tank, but it doesn't need to be a raging torrent.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if you filtered every drop very well a couple of times an hour, it should be good!
Having 'said' that, I'll confess that from time to time, I'll install my Marineland Internal Magnum Polishing Filter (I'm not affiliated with Marineland in any way) with the micron filter cartridge (with or without diatomaceous earth) to remove even the finest particulates. I'll let it run for 4 hours or so.

Finally, since I'm on a bit of a roll, lets talk about bio-media. I used to be a 'fan' of Matrix/DeNitrate (a glorified lava rock pumice stone). After years of testing I've resigned that it is no more effective than simple bio-sponge. It's "claim to fame" is micro pores that claim it creates more surface area. But these micro pores plug all too easily with detritus, making it far less effective. It also claims that these micro pores will host anaerobic bacteria that will reduce nitrates. I never found this to be the case, even seeding with fair amounts of Stability.
Just my results - yours may vary....but I've migrated to simple sponge material in my filters. Incidentally, there's far more beneficial biology in the substrate and on hard surfaces in the tank than would ever be found in most filters.

My apologies to p0tluck if this took us [way] too far off the clear water path!
I couldn't agree more and there are many ways to skin a cat or scale a fish for that matter. But I do find purigen and poly combo amazing.

Dan
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post #51 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 05:08 PM
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Nitrates at 25 is fine, phosphates should be around 2. Tank looks great 2 Aqua clears will keep that tank super clear for sure.

What size is it?
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post #52 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Nitrates at 25 is fine, phosphates should be around 2. Tank looks great 2 Aqua clears will keep that tank super clear for sure.

What size is it?
Tyvm its a 55 gallon, I don't have a tds meter to test phosphates if that's how you test them but I just found them in Amazon so I'll be getting one for sure

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post #53 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:11 PM
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Tyvm its a 55 gallon, I don't have a tds meter to test phosphates if that's how you test them but I just found them in Amazon so I'll be getting one for sure

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TDS meter is for total dissolved solids. Phosphates is a different test you can buy at the LFS.

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post #54 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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TDS meter is for total dissolved solids. Phosphates is a different test you can buy at the LFS.

Dan
Ahhh okay, I'm so new lol, my tank is super low tech, no co2, low light plants

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post #55 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:20 PM
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Ahhh okay, I'm so new lol, my tank is super low tech, no co2, low light plants

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You may not even need ferts but testing will tell and your needs may change as you add or remove certain plants.

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post #56 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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So tds meter and phosphate test kit? My flame leaf and anubias Nana are the only plants that really do well with the ferts I dose, comprehensive, flourish tabs.. excel 2 x weekly

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post #57 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 08:23 PM
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Should my water be so clear in a lightly planted tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by p0tluck View Post
Tyvm its a 55 gallon, I don't have a tds meter to test phosphates if that's how you test them but I just found them in Amazon so I'll be getting one for sure

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Phosphate test on left and tds meter on right.

Tds meter doesn't allow you to measure a specific parameter but measures total dissolved solids. So you can see when all nutrients are building up to determine if a water change should happen. A good thing to do is measure your tap water tds then your tank water. This will show you the difference off the bat. And will give you a good idea how much extra stuff is in your tank.

Another very handy tool to have is a ph meter/pen. This is good when trying to dial in co2 without having to constantly take ph kit tests. Another must have test is nitrates. What you want to aim for is typically 10-30ppm of nitrates. If it gets say 40 or more is usually a good indicator for another water change.



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post #58 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have co2 in my tank just excel 2 x weekly, yes I'm looking at this tds and ec pen don't know what ec is they have tds/ph combos but I don't know which brand but I'm assuming jellas as that's what you use.

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post #59 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Nm I'm silly, Ec is how the pen actually measures the tds because tds cannot actually be measured unless you evaporative the water and weigh it.

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post #60 of 72 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 11:35 PM
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Nm I'm silly, Ec is how the pen actually measures the tds because tds cannot actually be measured unless you evaporative the water and weigh it.

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Got the ph pen on Amazon just sort by top rated and one I got. For tds I went to the bidding site and got. Works great the one I got.


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