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Getting crystal clear water?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Sintei, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    Competitions are coming up and fotosessions are due. What can be troublesome is not having that crystal clear water right when "You" want it.

    For example, my tank is usually crystal clear, but sometimes small particles cloud the water. It might be PMDD, fishfood etc. Point is, When Ive planned a photosession I want a backup so the water is crystal clear no matter what.

    Using an extra filter with wool filter the days before is ok. But what about chemicals? Some company sell "crystal clear" remedys. How do they work, what do they do!?
    Do they inflict on nutrients?

    Input please!

    regards
    Nicklas
     
  2. tkos

    tkos Junior Poster

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    I have in the past used Hagen's clear water chemical. It seems to work by clumping large particles in the water (including green water) thus making it easier to catch in filter wool. It works in a couple of hours and has never seemed to harm my tanks. But particles and green water just return in short form so I have not used it in a long time.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Water changes, 60-80% 2-3 x a week.
    Make sure to light vacuum every bit of dirt you can, fluff the plant leaves.
    Diatom filter, micron filter etc.
    Add purigen/carbon.

    A lot of work can go into the photo shoot.
    But you should start cleaning and keep the glass and amount of mulm as low as possible.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. adechazal

    adechazal Prolific Poster

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    I'll second Tom's note about cleaning and especially the diatom filtering. Our 180g aquarium is built into the livingroom wall so the night before we have guests coming over I do a complete cleaning and hook up the Magnum 350 with a diatom cartridge/powder. It works beautifully!
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    There's a lot more work that goes into open houses and photo shoots than many let on.

    You should start the prep and plant arranging 6-10 weeks out.

    The last 2 weeks tend to be intense, lots of cleaning, dosing, extra traces etc, water changes, clean everything weekly, 2x a weekly to make sure it's spotless.

    This is a good study also.

    Why?

    Because it shows you a reference point and helps you to understand what it takes and how well plants grow when you do all this effort!

    So you can gain a great deal from all this.
    More than many realize.

    The folks that do this, know.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    yeah, i know alot goes into photo shoots. I myself is somewhat lazy. And opening my external filter to put in some better filtermedia isnt something i look forward to (or even will do). So I guess ill connect yet another small inlinefilter with small particlefilter. the days before instead.
    Im still interrested in what "crystal clear" remedys do thou! Do they reduce phosphates?
     
  7. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    I use Seachem's Clarity from time to time. When I first add it to the tank, it clouds up real bad meaning it is working. After a couple hours, it clears up real well. It just gums up the particles so they can be caught up in the filter. You'll have to clean your filter more often when using it.
    Sinse I was cycling a tank, I emailed Seachems and asked about Clarity and cycling. They told me that it would not interfer with cycling at all. Does not interfer with ferts either.

    Joetee
     
  8. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    Cool. Because some of these clear water chemicals claim they reduce nitrate and/or phosphates aswell. Meaning it would interfeere..
     
  9. tkos

    tkos Junior Poster

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    They use similar chemicals in water treatment plants. They often call them flocking agents. It just forces the particles to clump so they can be caught easier.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    "Alum" works, aluminum sulfate is the chemical name.
    Polymer flocculants are pretty good as well.

    If you do the work etc, then the water change, then follow it with something like the SeaChem or a similar product, wait a few hours, then add the ferts etc, there should be little issue.


    If you rely heavily on light dosing, and/or fish waste etc, then you might consider adding a little more ferts after.

    I have good strong mechanical filtration, good flow, do large water changes etc for a few reasons, this is one of them.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    Sintei I will try out Tetras Cristal Clear and will let you know how it works. I also have some problems with cloudy water (but no algae at all).
    My external is smaller than yours. Anyway, after adding filter floss for TetraTec filters the water looked much better. Also less blue light spectrum, less cloudiness. I mean cloudiness still exists, but without blue spectrum one can't notice it really that well.

    Also, is it possible that you have some plants that are growing over other much shorter plants, causing them to rot = cloudiness? Just a possibility.

    Regards, Dusko
     
  12. susantroy1

    susantroy1 Junior Poster

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    My Vortex XL D.E. filter has by far exceeded my expectations as far as h20 clarity. I recently bought one because no matter how often I changed H20/pruned /EI dosed I would always seem to have issues with clarity. I do 50% H20 changes every 4th day (Discus) and would get somewhat better clarity but never photo quility..... now I swear the clarity is the type where my discus are floating in air!! and thats only using it about 2 hrs a day!! I also noticed that I no longer have the slightest trace of alge or scaring on the finnage on my fish (I can tell they love it too). Man, wish I found this years ago....:rolleyes:

    Troy
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I definitely never scoff at high levels of mechanical filtration.

    However, most all the cloudy, hazy water issues I've ever read about and had, I can always get the tank to clear up using good CO2, ferts, nutrients basically, but also good trimming and water flow was part of that as well.

    Trimming keep the patterns in the flow stable. and it keeps the flow moving along.
    Too many weeds: less water flow, less CO2 getting where it needs to go.

    I've watched this many times over the years and recently in a few grow out tanks I have.

    I also noticed more surface scum in these same tanks.
    With good CO2, good nutrients etc, things move along nicely.
    Clarity goes way up.

    But you can use brute mechanical filtration and is some cases, chemical filtration, eg Purigen, or water changes etc. Most folks prefer the biological methods however.

    One thing you might ask: why might your tank, or other tanks you have had in the past done well and not had this issue and why does the present tank have it now?

    Adding good mechanical removal is good, same with good current, good water changes, good CO2/nutrients for plants etc.

    If you plan to use all of these at once, then you can really reduce the issue.

    Regards,
    tom barr
     
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