01-11-2013, 06:23 PM
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We sometimes think of a filter as a device that merely traps particulates, when in fact it is much, much more. A host of bacteria (much more than N2 bacteria) take up residence in the filter media and work to break down organic matter. The water flow through the filter also expedites the erosion and reduction process. Also, as the filter 'plugs' with organics, even smaller particles are trapped and decompose. For these reasons, we are best served not servicing the filter before it really needs it. It is also helpful to use very fine floss or pad(s) as the last stage of the filter to polish the water before it returns to the tank.
Now, as the decomposition of organic matter continues, dissolved organic compounds result that can result in less than crystal clear water. I have had success using Seachem Purigen to adsorb dissolved organics.
Also, not to be overlooked is the bacteria bloom that may result if/when a water change is performed or when overfeeding has happened. Usually this clears up in a few days.
Finally, one should not overlook the power of plants, even floating, to aid in the purification of water to crystal clarity.