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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2013

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    Default lots of floating food particles in tank

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi guys! I searched all over but was not able to find a solution. My tank is a 65 gallon, 4 foot long cichlid tank. There are 4 mbuna, one catfish and one pleco in there. The problem that i'm having is lots and lots of floating particles in the water. They are all the same color as the food so it must be from that and it looks really gross in an otherwise neat looking tank.

    I feed the fish pellets and they seem to spit a lot of it out through their gills as they break the pellets down. It doesn't help that they try and beat others to them so they fit more in their mouth than they can eat and then end up spitting it all over the place. i'm definitely not overfeeding them. Even if i skip a day then only feed each one a single pellet they end up making a mess by spitting a bunch of the particles through their gills. The catfish is good for picking up a lot of the scraps that fall down. However there are A LOT of particles floating around and since it gtes substantially worse after a feeding, i would imagine it is just food particles.

    The tank is fully cycled and the ammonia levels are very low! I have a Fluval 305 filter and I have tried adding very fine pads into one of the trays and no change. I put a second pad in another tray and still no change. The pad itself is very dirty and obviously catching a lot of stuff, but the tank water does not look any clearer.

    If you watch the intake tube it is constantly pulling in particles. My friend has a 60 gallon tank with a Fluval 404 and the water is immaculate!! When i opened up her filter it had nothing special going for it inside. Looked same as mine.

    I have also tried skipping a day of feeding and that helps things a little, but then i feed them and i'm back to square 1.

    The food that i've been trying is 1) Top Fin small ichlid pellets 2) New Life spectrum 3mm sinking pellets. Both seem to be eaten with excitement, spat through the gills and create a mess.

    Do you any advice for me?

    - Should i try different food? if so what? Flakes?
    - Do you think in a 4 ft tank the intake is too far from the output and water isn't being "pushed" to the intake well enough?
    - Should i be adding more than two fine filter pads in the filter?

    Sorry for the long post, just trying to provide as much info as i can. Here is a pic of the tank:

    Last edited by thunder_struck; 04-24-2013 at 03:28 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    methuen ma usa

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    0 Not allowed!
    your tank looks great. but i do have some concerns. first you said the ammonia levels are very low. ANY ammonia reading is a sign of a cycling tank. what are your nitrates and nitrites?

    the fluval 305 is rated for 70g. ideally you want to take your tank's volume and double it. then find a filter that is rated for AT LEAST that amount. as you can see, your friend's tank is 60g (a little less than yours) and the filter is rated for 100g (higher rated than yours) thats why your friends tank is much clearer.

    i would recomend either upping the canister filter you have, doubling it with another on, or adding an aquaclear 70 HOB filter. any of those combos will help you out.

    also something i think i would point out for you from your picture... your heater would preform better if you put it in the outlet stream of the canister filter. this will cause it to be able to heat the tank better. i try to always have my heaters under my hobs or in/near the outlet stream of canister filters
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  3. #3

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    Sep 2010

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by thunder_struck View Post
    Do you any advice for me?

    IMO it comes down to this: You are underfiltered. A 305 is rated for a 70g tank which means its good for roughly a 35g tank.
    Under-stocking aside [& potentially another issue with Mbuna] get an AC 110 on that tank for some monster mech filtration and call it a day.
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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks so much guys! I was under he impression that the filter being rated for 70 gal was a realistic figure! Should have done more research before buying I guess :((

    I will look to either upgrade to a bigger canister or add a HOB to it. I will also reposition my heater to the inlet side of the tank! Thanks guys!

    As for the ammonia, yes it should be zero but the tank is dl just finishing the cycle process so it is still reading about 0.1-0.2 ... Just barely measurable on the chart. I was just throwing that out there to show that this floating food is not decomposing and raising ammonia as would be the case with over feeding I would imagine!

    One more question ... If I add a HOB filter would it be better to put it on the side where he intake for the canister one is or on the side where the 305s outlet is? Or would it not matter?


  5. #5

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    Oct 2012

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by thunder_struck View Post
    One more question ... If I add a HOB filter would it be better to put it on the side where he intake for the canister one is or on the side where the 305s outlet is? Or would it not matter?
    I don't think it will make much of a difference. IMO I would put it smack in the middle of the tank.
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  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Ontario Canada

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    0 Not allowed!
    those canisters have a low flow rate and won't pull the bulk of the floating particles out of the water column. I would add an aquaclear70 as stated above. much better turnover rate and will do a much better job for mechanical filtration.
    your friendly neighbourhood arowanaman!

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