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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I recently added 3 adult angelfish to my planted 75 gallon tank so I now have a total of 5 adult angelfish and 6 corydoras sterbai in my tank. This tank has been up and running for 3 years now. Since the fish were added, I've noticed an explosion in brown dust covering everything. Before I added them, I changed out the substrate from gravel to sand (for the corys) and I added some new plants. My plants are all low light plants, mostly swords, crypts, cambomba, etc. I have 3 fluorescent fixtures with 120 watts of light. I used Flourish Excel daily and I dose macro and micro ferts 2x per week. I also do a 50% wc on my tank every Sunday. I currently have a Fluval 405 filter (which I've never been thrilled with) and I also have a hob filter on the tank. The HOB filter is a small cheap filter and I'm wondering if I should upgrade to a better HOB filter (I like the circulation that I get with the HOB filter) or should I be going down a completely different road at this point? Should I add another canister filter instead of the HOB filter? Any thoughts/advice are welcomed. I was thinking of adding the Fluval C3 filter after someone told me that they were very happy with their C3.
 

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Did you give your tank time to stabilize after you changed the substrate before adding the angelfish? If you switched substrate and then immediately added angelfish you might have caused a mini cycle; watch your parameters very carefully to make sure ammonia and nitrite aren't getting too high and be ready to do large water changes if you need to.

With the fluval and the HOB you probably have adequate filtration, but it wouldn't hurt to upgrade the HOB. Aquaclears are good for the money. But if you go that route make sure you leave the old HOB on until the new one has time to establish bacteria, especially if you suspect a mini cycle, as you don't want to remove the bacteria already in there.

You could also get the other canister filter instead, but same thing applies; don't take out the old before the new is established. I have no experience with Fluvals personally, so I can't help there.
 

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When did you last clean the entire canister and media? I get the "dust" problem mostly when the bio media on the canister is due for a cleaning.

Other than that, a 405 should be enough for a 75.

Only other thing that comes to mind is overall flow. How are the outputs of the filters configured? Are they complementing each other to ensure good flow through the tank, or fighting each other? Now that you have more bio load in the tank, contrary flow may be starting to show impact.

First thing I'd do is open the canister and give everything a good rinsing in tank water saver from your next WC.

Give that and verifying that the flows compliment each other a try before doing anything drastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK so I opened up the canister and gave it a cleaning. Last time I opened up and cleaned the canister out was a month ago. When I cleaned it out last month, I put polishing pads in the top basket. I've been noticing that the water flow was getting worse and worse, even when I had it set to run on full blast. So when I opened the basket up just now, the polishing pads were stuck to the top. Since removing the polishing pads, the filter is running MUCH better now. I guess I'll wait and see if things clear up now.

And yes, I know I had to anticipate a mini cycle especially with switiching substrate and adding new fish. I've kept a close eye on ammonia, nitrite and nitrates daily with no spikes whatsoever. I'll continue to keep an eye on things and see if the dust clears up now that the flow if running better.

Thank you so much for your help and advice!
 
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