Particles in water...? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Particles in water...?

My first ever "large" planted tank is having water quality issues. There's a bunch of tiny particles constantly floating in the water, making it look dirty and cloudy. I've never had this issue with my nano tanks so I'd love to know what's causing it. Basically I want to know how to get crystal clear water (: Here's the tank specs:

36 gallon
Substrate: Aquasoil Malaya under sand
Filter: Eheim 2213
There's a large piece of driftwood in the tank.
The fish are fed a combination of finely crushed flakes (all my critters are pretty small), frozen brine shrimp, freeze dried daphnia, shrimp pellets, whatever. Tons of different food. Not sure if this is contributing to the water issue.

I added a couple polishing pads to my Eheim a week or two ago, and it helped clear out a little bit of the cloudiness but not the visible particles in the water. Do I need to add a second canister? What am I doing wrong?
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 09:47 PM
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Water changes? Lots of them. Then see if it returns.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 09:58 PM
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Well, there could be a hundred different things going on, I guess.. a couple thoughts that jump out at me.

To tell if its the food, you could stop feeding the fish for a few days to see if it clears up.

It could be the substrate(s), which I'm not familiar with (the Aquasoil). Was it recommended that you rinse the substrate beforehand? You probably want to rinse the sand too. How recently was the tank set up?
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:00 PM
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I suggest a power head with a plastic bottle attached to the intake. Cut the bottom out of the bottle. Lightly pack the bottle with filter floss. I'd expect normal particulates to filter out in a couple of hours.
post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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The Aquasoil supposedly didn't need rinsing. The sand *probably* did and I rinsed most of it but not all (sloppy, I know). This tank has been up and running for a while now though. I'd say it's been fully planted with the current substrate since October 1st. I've had fish/shrimp in there for about a month now.

It gets a 30-40% water change about every week and a half, sometimes more often... The fish are only fed once a day on weekdays, at night when I get home from work, and there's usually a bunch of particles in the water even before I feed them. I'll try skipping their food for a couple days, but if it's the food causing it, there's not much I can do, is there?

Could this just be the result of having sand in the tank and lots of critters that like to dig it up (shrimp, pygmy cories)? Anyone else having this problem?

Thanks for all the help guys (:
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:17 PM
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Seriously, do a few 50-70% water changes.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ok will do (: I don't have a python so water changes involve lugging 3 gallon buckets to the bathroom and using a 1 gallon pitcher to fill up my tank about 20 times. The python is on my Christmas list.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 12:58 AM
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If it hasn't been up for a month don't stress. My was all kinds of goofy for the first month or so.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 06:12 AM
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My tank was like that. I put about 3" of filter floss in my eheim and it cleared up 75% of it in 2 days hen bought a used 9w internal uv sterilizer and in 2 days my water looked like it wasn't even in the tank it was so clear
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:41 PM
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In addition to what others have said - re: reasonably frequent large water changes, and regular use of filter floss (changed every second week), also try using fine mesh pre-filter sponges on your filter intake tubes (rinsed every few days), and use Seachem Purigen in your filter.
I do all of the above, plus using a UV sterilizer, and my tank is crystal clear all the time.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 06:38 PM
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If you didn't rinse the sand that well, its probably that and like others asked, how long has it been setup? A new setup tank can go through all kinds of wacky things.

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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The tank has been running in its present state since October 1st so I doubt it's the sand particles... Water changes don't seem to help that much either.

Would Seachem Purigen pull too much nitrogen out of the water and starve my plants?
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 06:53 AM
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Minimally pulls nitrates out. I have no prob maintaining 20 with my tank and ei dosing
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendsNotFood View Post
The tank has been running in its present state since October 1st so I doubt it's the sand particles... Water changes don't seem to help that much either.

Would Seachem Purigen pull too much nitrogen out of the water and starve my plants?
Purigen's removal of impurities is excellent but it's effect on beneficial elements is negligeable. No problem for your plants.

If you want some evidence, here's my low-tech planted discus tank, in which I've been using Purigen 24/7 for many months:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...spaul/Sept2011
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Here's how cruddy my water is. It's really upsetting. I have limited power outlets by my tank and an apartment with shoddy wiring, so before I add a powerhead or an extra filter, is it possible that my Eheim 2213 just isn't doing the job? It's rated up to 66 gallons so I thought I was going to be fine, but should I upgrade to one of the pro Eheims instead or just the next one up?

I'm definitely going to put a sponge over my intake for starters but I'm wondering if I just need to invest in a better canister. One with more room to add stuff like Purigen. Thoughts?
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