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  1. #1
    Senior Member JosephMCorbett's Avatar
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    How to get crystal clear water?

    My tank is a 125 with the tankmates in my sig. I've shut off my bubble bar and took out the air-diffuser from the power-heads. Seems the power-heads still put out a fine, fine mist of air bubbles - how can this be if they are submerged? Also there is a fair amount of particulate matter floating around at all times. I'm running a Rena Filstar XP3 and have two Penguin 1140 phs with sponges on the intake grates. The clearest tanks I've ever seen are running UGFs. If you've got a really clear tank, let us all know what hardware you are using and/or what your secret is please.
    Planted 125g acrylic:
    4 Discus
    6 German Blue Rams
    14 Cardinal Tetras
    1 Clown Loach
    10 Peppered Cories
    5 SAE's
    5? Oto's
    1 Farlowella
    15? Amano Shrimp





  2. #2
    XCELMotorsports.com TipStylez's Avatar
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    i use 2 30gal external hang on filters in my 29gal, i also got a coustomized "gravel" filter not ugf but it just filters anything around the gravel floor, made out of a power head and some ugf pipeing...il show you giw u made it tomarrow after work.

    -Q



  3. #3
    SatCan
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    Plants, water changes, filter cleaning, gravel vacs. Everything adds up.



  4. #4
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    Using a 10gal with the smallest penguin biowheel filter (came with the tank). Water as clear as could be, with just a few plants (elodea, bound at the bottom and stuck into gravel) and 2 guppies.

    Probably helps that my water comes from a well, and said well is right into the Florida Aquifer, about 3 miles from Ginnie Springs....



  5. #5
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    Water clarity is a function of particulate capture. Are the sponges on the Penguins the Penguin reverse-flow kits? I use multiple of those for RFUG, but they are pretty coarse sponges. You could try FilterMaxIII (coarse, but finer than the Penguin kits) or FilterMaxI (quite fine). Either will definitely improve your particulate capture, but the cost will be increased sponge rinsing, as the finer sponges will clog much faster than the Penguin sponges,which rarely clog (if that is whet you are using).

    For the ultimate clarity, go to the finer sponges mentioned above and then add a HOT Magnum with the micron filter sleeve (you will need two sleeves, one in use and one being cleaned for the next round). The combo of fine sponges and the micron pad will give post-diatom filtration clarity routinely, but at the cost of extra filter upkeep.

    Your fine bubbles sound like cavitation in the impeller chamber. Is the sponge clogged?

    All the sponges discussed here need to be tap water rinsed at least weekly, the fine FilterMaxI likely 2X weekly.

    HTH



  6. #6
    Senior Member JosephMCorbett's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the input so far. Kas I do a 35% water change per week with a gravel vac. on one portion or other of the tank. I've been cleaning the filter once per week. By the way, I'm not too taken with the Rena Filstar...I think there is blow-by which is contributing to the particulate matter in the tank. I think I didn't see the bubbles or most of the particulate matter until I put on the 260w light hood. Nothing hides now. RTR, as far as the sponges on the p/hs, they are a recent addition. Wasn't sure what to do about the particulate matter and was thinking...I've got a p/h in each corner for airation and to move heated water away from each back corner heater and all they are doing is moving water; I should use them to filter if I can. As I mentioned, they are Pengiun 1140's and I was not able to find any kind of filter/floss/sponge attachment that is made for them. My LFS had on hand some Fluval filter sleves made for one of thier internal filters. I bought them to see if they might work. Trimmed to fit over the intake grates of my p/hs and gave it a shot. Even though they are relatively course, it appears they are catching some particles. The foam gets green/brown after a few days and there are relatively large pieces of plants stuck to them. But I still see some relatively large particles floating around as well as the bubbles from the p/hs. If the p/h impellers are cavitating, how do I stop this? I was considering the Eheim Aquaball internal filters...anyone have exp. with them. Also, considering swapping the Rena for an Eheim pro II.....I want clean water!
    Planted 125g acrylic:
    4 Discus
    6 German Blue Rams
    14 Cardinal Tetras
    1 Clown Loach
    10 Peppered Cories
    5 SAE's
    5? Oto's
    1 Farlowella
    15? Amano Shrimp



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephMCorbett
    By the way, I'm not too taken with the Rena Filstar...I think there is blow-by which is contributing to the particulate matter in the tank.
    What kinda filter media are you running in the Filstar?
    Rena makes a white "micro" pad, and two black foam pads (20ppi and 30ppi).
    The white micro pad comes with every new Filstar, but you'd need to purchase the black 20 and 30 foam pads separately.
    10G
    small Regal power filter
    RUGF - Penguin 660
    corydoras paleteus
    corydoras metae
    corydoras panda
    apistogramma cacatuoides
    otocinclus

    60G SeaClear acrylic
    Penguin 170 bio-wheel
    Rena Filstar XP3
    RUGF - Penguin 660R x2
    labidochromis caeruleus
    metriaclima callainos
    otocinclus



  8. #8
    Cowbell! I need more cowbell!
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    A HOT Magnum as suggested by RTR would probably do the trick. They work quite well. I'd prefilter it with a sponge to help the micron filter not clog so fast.

    Jim



  9. #9
    Senior Member JosephMCorbett's Avatar
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    The media I'm running in the XP3 is as follows:

    Bottom basket: 2 20 micron foams (bottom), 2 30 micron foams (top)
    Mid basket: 2 carbon pouches
    Top basket: ceramic bio-media (bottom), 2 white micron foams (top)

    Maybe I'm not getting enough GPH with all the foam in the bottom? Was thinking about taking 1 each of the 20/30s out.

    Will look into the Magnum.
    Planted 125g acrylic:
    4 Discus
    6 German Blue Rams
    14 Cardinal Tetras
    1 Clown Loach
    10 Peppered Cories
    5 SAE's
    5? Oto's
    1 Farlowella
    15? Amano Shrimp



  10. #10
    SatCan
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    Did you wash out the carbon? Try taking it out for a bit.



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