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I'd like to findout as well... think there is a blue colored conditioner or medication I've seen before somewhere?! :confused:

Why not use fish food to check your circulation? I think a few drops of food coloring would disperse too quickly to return any data.
food in my tank barely lasts few seconds, cause of my Demons (Angels)... :biggrin:
 

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Bromothymol blue is probably what you're thinking of, but it will permanently stain silicone and airline tubing (and some clear plastics) and I also wouldn't recommend using it except for medicinal purposes.

I think that very small, fine foods are the key- if I crush up flakes nice and small and/or feed frozen daphnia there's no way the fish can eat them all- they pursue little pieces all around the tank and there's always more than enough floating around for me to figure out where the water currents are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the ideas. i dont think the food would do in my tank as it would snag on plants (very dense wall on one side of tank) and not be capable of showing the smaller pockets where no circulation gets to...well at least not as well as a dye. AquaTX thats what got me thinking of using food coloring. the medication Clout has a deep blue green color and i did use it once a long time ago before i had inverts in my tank. cant use it anymore but it was an awesome indicator. i think if i used enough food coloring (dense enough mix) it might work but theres the safety factor for the fish thats an unknown still. guess i'll try the flourish or blackwater extract. thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Bromothymol blue is probably what you're thinking of, but it will permanently stain silicone and airline tubing (and some clear plastics) and I also wouldn't recommend using it except for medicinal purposes.

I think that very small, fine foods are the key- if I crush up flakes nice and small and/or feed frozen daphnia there's no way the fish can eat them all- they pursue little pieces all around the tank and there's always more than enough floating around for me to figure out where the water currents are.
ya, thnx laura. accidently noticed that yesterday while watchin my Angels eat... they spit back out, and saw bunch of small crumbs circulate around my tank! good news, my tank is circulating well.... :biggrin:
 

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I tried using food coloring to test the water circulation in a fishless tank once. It was a 26 gallon tank, and I used half a bottle of red liquid food coloring, and it all dispersed too quickly for me to see where it was going. I think that in order to get any usable data, I would've needed at least a cup of food coloring. I don't think fish would appreciate having that much dye in their water.
 

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You could try a condiment sized airtight container and fill it with enough water/gravel so it will stay suspended at the desired depth(like a ballast tank) then watch what it does, that way you don't have to worry about messing with liquids, food, etc.
 

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Even if food coloring is safe for your fish, it will probably dye things like silicone and tubing, the same way bromothymol blue based medications do. Also, it will be a pain in the butt to get all the color out of your water. And your plants will suck it up and change to weird colors...if you've ever done that experiment where you put a white flower in a vase with food coloring and water, and change its color...it's done pretty often in the cut-flower industry with carnations to get them all sorts of weird colors like green and neon blue. Your plants will retain that color until it grows out, I am pretty sure.
 

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That's why I recommended blackwater extract up above. Seriously, to the OP, this stuff is perfectly safe in every way, it's very temporary, and it will do what you want it to do without dyeing anything or killing anything.

Obviously too much of anything is bad, so don't dump a gallon of the stuff in there. And also obviously, this isn't the most scientific method in the world, of testing the water flow. But I've done it before, on a 5 gallon tank, just because I wanted to really look at the cloud of blackwater and see where the pockets of poor current were due to a crappy HOB. But I don't recommend it on big tanks, or in cases where scientific method is preferable.
 
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