View Full Version : Water Clarity
01-17-2007, 12:01 AM
Any 'secrets' to getting a crystal clear planted aquarium. I don't just mean 'clear', but CRYSTAL clear, where you can't tell there's water in the tank.
My aquarium used to be crystal clear and lately, it has a sort of haze to it. Anyone that sees it marvels at how nice it looks, but I can tell. There is even a film on the top of the water that I can only remove with a single piece of newspaper (kind of 'oily'). Anyone experience this?
The filter is working fine (cleaned a few months ago routinely), water changes are normal (25% ever 3 weeks) and the water chemistry is fine (no NH3, NO2, NO3). And plants are thriving (CO2 injection)....I'm wondering if my CO2 tank is putting something besides CO2 into the water....CO2 tank is the only thing new.
01-17-2007, 12:05 AM
Sounds like an algal bloom, except for the oily bit. Try removing the CO2 injector for a week and see if clears up.
01-17-2007, 12:26 AM
what are your phosphate levels?
01-17-2007, 12:32 AM
I haven't thought of phosphate - I'll have to test for that (e.g. get a test kit)
01-17-2007, 12:46 AM
that can be a possiblity in a tank, especially an established, planted tank. phosphates will build up quickly. if you do test your tank for phosphate, make sure to test your source water as well. i'm thinking you're going to see you have phosphates in the tap as well. i know i do. i could be wrong in your case too, though. phosphates feed algae. your tank can and will get cloudy if the levels are to high. if you do find that you have high levels, fluval makes a very good phosphate remover.--jeff
01-17-2007, 01:16 AM
Do you have any surface agitation? That could be the cause of the film on top.
01-17-2007, 02:23 AM
You might want to try stepping up your water changes as well... more frequently
01-17-2007, 11:04 AM
I have read aquarists who suggest that the surface scum started when CO2 was added tanks but I have never used CO2 and I have the scum in my tanks occassionally. Plant free and planted tanks also get it IME. Surface agitation (ie. across the surface) or lack thereof either directly relates to it forming or more likely helps by keeping the surface water circulating and stopping it settling on the surface. I have also read that it is biological, possibly a bacteria or protein. I have noticed that I seem to get it in my tanks when I feed flake food and that when feeding lots of live food only (like right now when conditioning for breeding) I don't see it at all. The good news is, it's harmless. The bad news is it is virtually impossible to get rid of all together. The absorbent paper trick while the filters are off before a water change works well & a spraybar circulating water along the surface keeps it from looking yuk between water changes (that's what I do) and I have heard that marine protein skimmers will remove it also, which makes sense logically if not economically lol As for the clarity, if it were me I would continue to check all water parameters often, keep up the water changes, and consider starting a tank diary. The best advice I ever got was to keep a diary. IME you see the cause & effect & patterns of behaviour in both your fish and water chemistry after making changes a lot better when you don't have to rely on that unreliable thing called a memory :ezpi_wink1: Sorry for the book length reply guys lol
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