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Advice on changing out filter


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After all the advice I have received from everybody in this site about my water clarity issue i think I have determined that my filter Just can't handle my tank.

I bought a complete top fun kit that had everything i needed. Is it possibly that my filter can't keep up.

I modified it to make it the best I could. I put a coarse sponge, fine filter material, bio rings,  and then more fine material on top to polish that I remove every couple days. Nothing seems to be working. I also tucked a piece of fine filter around the intake tube in the back. 

I'm wondering should I replace the filter with an aquaclear, and go one size up to  a 50. Or should I do something different with my current filter.



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28 minutes ago, RyanU said:

After all the advice I have received from everybody in this site about my water clarity issue

Not having followed your previous threads carefully, it is difficult to jump in intelligently without context.

But I'll share from my experience the filtration system that seems to work well for us is a combination of sponge filters with some sort of mechanical filter (hang-on-back is most common, though canister filter is also great). Sponges are excellent biological filtration systems and add valuable aeration. I recommend a medium or coarse sponge. Fine sponges clog easily and gather unwanted debris / growth on the outside. Many of our small tanks - 10 gal or 20 gal - have a small HOB on one side in the back, and either a sponge or box filter on the other side / back.

One thing to bear in mind: having added filtration does not necessarily mean that you have added BIO. IT depends entirely upon how much ammonia is being produced to feed them. A heavily stocked tank will produce more waste / ammonia, and will necessarily be able to feed more / larger bacteria colonies. A lightly stocked tank may not really be able to feed a large colony. So, what that means is that having _more filtration_ only means you have more possible biological _filtration space_ not necessarily more bacteria.

Again, not sure what your water clarity issues have been. Sometimes it's bio-related, sometimes its is another chemical issue. 

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To summarize quickly for you. I started with tannins. Used purigen to remove. Then a white haze that was described to me as a bacterial bloom. I did 30% water changes every other day last week to try and clear that up. Thinking maybe I had bunch of phosphates in my tank  water column allowing the bacteria to bloom instead of finding a home somewhere else.  Someone also mentioned bio film on the glass so I scrubbed the glass with a brush.

It seems to get better immediately after the water change but then a coke days later it looks like this. (See picture below).


I ran the full gambit of test this morning

Ammonia and nitrite 0

Nitrate hard to read but definitely in the orange

Ph 7.2

The sponge material that I put in for mechanical was an aquaclear 70 sponge cut to fit. And then some fine filter recommend by lfs again cut to fit. I also have aqua clear 30 bio media in there.


On a side note. When I have been changing the water I rinsed the media on the first day. I haven't vacuumed the gravel as I have baby mystery snails scattered around the bottom and in the gravel so I don't want to suck them up. 


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Oh, I also agree with @Fish Folk, i have sponge filters in all my aquariums (albeit much less than him). I think the aeration helps, and like that it provides surface area and helps keep the air stone in place. Even if you just do an air stone, that would help with the aeration part, which I think is the most important part if you have another filter. 

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@RyanU Sometimes changing water during a bacterial bloom can just make it worse a day later. Something about bringing in new nutrients that they feed on. 

I've only had a tank look like that once and it was because I'm a dumb dumb and forgot to plug a canister filter back in after working on the tank. A day later it clouded up heavily. I don't think a moderate initial water change is a bad idea, in my case I did just one after I realized my mistake then I left it alone. The tank cleared on its own in a couple of days.


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