Gravel As Bio-Filter
At present, I am using a fluidized sand filter as my bio-filter. I also have 3 inches of Seachems flourite gravel for my plants.
I believe that the sand filter that contains silica is causing cloudy water and I do see a faint color of tan on the front glass. I use Seachems "Clarity product to remove the cloudyness and I clean the filter media after the water clears up. But by evening, the water starts to get cloudy again. So I am looking at this sand filter as a possible cause. I am going into my 5th week with this problem.
So I am thinking of disconnecting the sand filter and allow my gravel bed take over as a bio-filter. I have no way of knowing how much work the gravel is doing as a bio-filter because it was sharing some of the work.
The questions: would the gravel make a good bio-filter by itself?
Should I put bio-chem stars in my cannister?
What do I do about the fluidized sand ? Would it be helpful if I place it in a fine mesh bag and allow it to sit on the gravel to help seed it more?
I take it this is a planted aquarium, so my first suggestion would be to disconnect much of the filtration, as it is competing with the plants. A single filter rated to the tank, primarily for water movement and mechanical filtration, is all that is needed.
Cloudy water is usually a bacterial bloom. New tanks frequently have this for varying periods because the substrate is not established. Once the biological system is established and stabilizes, the cloudiness will or should be gone.
I am not a fan of any product that supposedly clears cloudy water. I'm not saying this applies to the product mentioned, but some of these work by binding miniscule particles into larger particles so the filter can more easily trap them. The chemicals also bind fish gills. When I bought my Flourite substrate for my 70g, this Clarifier was suggested but I refused. It took several weeks, but it did clear once the biological equilibrium was established.
In other words, the plants will be my bio-filtration. It did not occur to me they would be enough. I was thinking of removing one of the mechanical filters and removing the Fluidized sand filter too. I'll wait till the next water change to do this. I can place the extra sponge filters in the bigger cannister to take advantage of the bacteria on them. Then slowly remove them as my new plants become more established. Would that be a good idea?
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