Just can't seem to get clear water.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Just can't seem to get clear water..

there always seems to be particles floating about making it look a little murky. This tank has only been up for about a month now. It is 28g pretty solidly planted. So I have a few questions:

1. Would a 2nd filter help? Would it cause too much water flow? I wouldn't want my fish caught in some sort of whirlpool typhoon... (I currently have a eheim classic 2213 cannister.)

2. Is my intake hidden too much? I have it in the back corner and there is definitely live plants all around it but maybe it just isn't sucking enough water in?

3. My tubing has some gunk in it, I was planning to get a tube cleaner type thing to clean it out. Hopefully that helps. I also tried to open the cannister and clean it one time already (although I thought it was supposed to be a rarer 6 month type thing to do, but I thought maybe my fishless cycling really gunked it up). When they say to rinse it in tank water, what parts are talking about? I pulled the basket out and dipped it in some water, but should I remove every component from the basket? Filter media, ceramic rings, etc? and rinse them all?

4. I tried some water clarity gunk that supposedly makes your problems more solidified so the filter can clear it up better, it didn't do a whole lot to help.

5. And last, I have had to treat my fish for Ich this past week, they are better now but still dosing some natural herbal Ich medicine and I haven't been able to water change for a week now to keep the medicine in (actually I cheated and did a small 10% change to clean up a ton of plant debris in a spot in the gravel). Maybe it will get better again after this Ich stuff is done? Although, it was pretty much same condition before.

Thanks in advance for help,
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 04:13 PM
The Eheim 2213 is a great little canister filter. Think about swapping some media at the top of the chamber for lot's of floss or carbon.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled the carbon out since a lot of people's advice is to remove it if you don't have odor problems and live plants help do its job instead (plus I am using meds now too, so carbon no no)..

However, I didn't put anything in its place, perhaps that is my problem with floating debris still... I think maybe all there is in the cannister now is a blue spongey looking thing as one of the layers but I guess another layer of media couldn't hurt?

I will try that, thanks :)
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 04:59 PM
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1. A second filter would benefit your tank. I always suggest to people to run more than one filter, so you have back up filters in case one dies and extra biological filtration. Also if you set up a hospital tank, you can easily transfer a filter temporarily, and if you ever set up a new tank, you can help cycle it and other filters easier with the spare filter.

2. Having the intake in a back corner could also contribute. Do you have a lot of water movement in your tank? A lot of the waste probably doesn't make it over to your intake, also having plants surrounding your intake makes it difficult for the visible waste to make it's way to the intake. I leave my intakes out in the open, I know sometimes they can be an ugly site, but I find it works best.

3. Cleaning the canister tubes will help a lot. I remember a while back I let my canister tubes get real gunky and found it was spewing out a lot of that gunk. I found this out my gently wiggling the tube and literally watching the crap fly out of the output. I knew it was definitely time to clean the tubes. Maintenance on the canister should really be done monthly. All the filter floss pads should be rinsed. Carbon should be replaced. Biological media doesn't need to be tended to as often. Only if it is clogged should it be gently rinsed in old aquarium water. Also, it should never have to be replaced, unless it is literally falling apart.

4. That stuff is crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. I would never advise to use products like that. Better just to maintain your filters, and do water changes, period. Only thing to add would be dechlorinator.

5. Which medication is it? Most ich medications won't kill off beneficial bacteria, which is a good thing...but a more natural way to treat ich is to raise the temperature, and salt. Don't think this really has anything to do with the visible waste in your tank.

Also I'm curious what type of fish you keep and how many?
How often do you feed your fish?
How often do you perform water changed and how much you take out?
Have you been testing your water with a liquid test kit? Especially since your tank could still be cycling.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Before I got the Ich on my tetras, I would normally do 10% water change maybe twice during week and then a 10-20% one on weekends. Now I only did one 10% this week to try and not stop the medicating process.

The medication is called Ich-Attack, claims to be organic. And its 5% active ingredient says multiple herbals containing Naphthoquinone. As crazy as that sounds it sounded better then the non-organic ones that seemed to use fourmeldahyde (sp?)... I figured that for sure didn't sound good to put in my tank.

I figured the clarity stuff might work cause I trust Seachem products usually, it was called Seachem Clarity.

I am 99% sure I am fully cycled, even with the visible waste my ammonia is always 0 and nitrites are 0. My nitrates seem like they could be lower, usually 20 to 30 ppm, I just can't seem to get them to 0. I don't really re-measure after my water change, I am hoping after that is reduced somewhat, since my fish seem alright.

I currently am somewhat heavy planted with:
3 dwarf gourami's,
6 tetra (2 died to ich... the rest except one look fine now, I think the last one with it might not make it.
6 leopard cories
3 kuhli's

I usually feed them twice a day just enough that they eat in a few minutes. I maybe should cut back to one time a day.

I would say a lot of my visible stuff on gravel is leaves that dropped off and little thin leaves from the plants with the super thin leaf types that just go brown and die off... I vacuum this up regularly though during my 10% changes during the week.

Wow this post is getting long :)

I used to have a extra Whisper 10 HOB filter but man that thing was gigantic in my tank and annoyed heck out of me. I would much rather get a 2nd cannister, maybe put that return vertical rather than horizontal on the same side as current one to mix flow up a little. I don't think I'd want the return on the opposite side, it would probably cause a whirlpool that would suck my fish down into the nethers where the two flows met in the middle of my tank :)

I will also move my current intake out from corner hidden by plants.

Thanks for advice.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 05:23 PM
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Putting the intakes on opposite sides would evenly distribute the filters getting the floating particles on either end.

Have any pictures of your tank?
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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This is what it looked like a month ago first set up:

This is now:
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 06:13 PM
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Looks like your tank is undergoing an algal bloom. This could be due to infrequent water changes and filter maintenance, overfeeding the fish and excessive light. How long do you leave the light on for? Try reducing the amount of food, even skip a few days, and leave the light off.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Light is on a 12 hour cycle. I am going to reduce to 1 time per day feeding. I am pretty good about water changing though, with that chart my effective water change percent per week based on my changes is about 27% at minimum. I definitely need to give my filter a good cleaning and I might add some floss where the carbon used to be.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-30-2007, 08:50 PM
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1 time a day should be good. You could even skip a day each week, to give your fish a chance to clear their digestive systems.

12 hours is a bit too much. 7-9 hours would be better to control the algae. If you want to get rid of the green water faster, you could completely leave the lights shut off until the water clears up and do daily 20-30% water changes.
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