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Old 31-03-2003, 06:20 AM
HDH
 
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Default plants, tannins, and charcoal (oh my!)

Hi All,
This pic of my moderately planted 55
(http://www.straightlinetech.com/tank30-mar-03.jpg) shows fairly well the
problem I'm having with cloudy water. Quick-specs:

My Aquarium Experience: 6 months
55 gallon, established 3 months, fishless-cycled
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates: all zero
Ph: 7.6
Temp: 77
Water changes: 25% every two weeks.
Filtrations: Emperor 400

Lighting: twin-tube flourescent (80w) 12 hrs/day

Am I right that the cloudiness is likely from the driftwood tannins? I
really like these two pieces of wood and want to leave them in. I find that
using charcoal (comes in the standard Emperor filters) helps a little with
the cloudiness, but I also recall that charcoal removes certain trace
elements that the plants need.

So I'm not sure what to do - continue using charcoal?, not?, something else
entirely? Is there crystal-clear water in my future?

Any input much appreciated.
Thanks,
Howard




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Old 31-03-2003, 07:20 AM
Richard
 
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Default plants, tannins, and charcoal (oh my!)


"HDH" wrote in message...
Hi All,
This pic of my moderately planted 55
(http://www.straightlinetech.com/tank30-mar-03.jpg) shows fairly well the
problem I'm having with cloudy water. Quick-specs:

My Aquarium Experience: 6 months
55 gallon, established 3 months, fishless-cycled
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates: all zero
Ph: 7.6
Temp: 77
Water changes: 25% every two weeks.
Filtrations: Emperor 400

Lighting: twin-tube flourescent (80w) 12 hrs/day

Am I right that the cloudiness is likely from the driftwood tannins? I
really like these two pieces of wood and want to leave them in. I find

that
using charcoal (comes in the standard Emperor filters) helps a little with
the cloudiness, but I also recall that charcoal removes certain trace
elements that the plants need.

So I'm not sure what to do - continue using charcoal?, not?, something

else
entirely? Is there crystal-clear water in my future?

Any input much appreciated.
Thanks,
Howard


Hi Howard,

Very nice looking tank. As this is not a strong area of mine, all i can do
is make some suggestions if it where my tank.

From my POV, it looks more like a slight bit of algae. If this is what it
is, the charcoal may help but is not a cure. I would discontinue the
charcoal myself. Have you noticed any green buildup on the charcoal?

First, try increasing your water changes a little to perhaps weekly at 20%,
and as you did not mention CO2, cut back on the light to perhaps 8 hours a
day for a while. As long as you have driftwood, you can have clear,
although slightly tinted water from what little i know on that subject. My
daughters tank while clear ran a hint of yellow-brown that did not detract
from the beauty of her tank. Our own driftwood provides a nice tea color as
well. Water changes can help keep this reduced.

There are many others here far more experienced with planted tanks than i,
perhaps they can better shed some light for you.


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Old 31-03-2003, 08:32 PM
Rich Conley
 
Posts: n/a
Default plants, tannins, and charcoal (oh my!)

been doing the planted thing for a year now (yeah, still rather newbish) but I
have plenty of tanks with large chunks of driftwood in them...one of which said
explicitely that it was for reptiles only...and all they do is give the water a
tea color....it is still crystal clear... cloudy water has nothing to do with
driftwood....by the way....0 nitrates in a planted tank WILL lead to algae.

Richard wrote:

"HDH" wrote in message...
Hi All,
This pic of my moderately planted 55
(http://www.straightlinetech.com/tank30-mar-03.jpg) shows fairly well the
problem I'm having with cloudy water. Quick-specs:

My Aquarium Experience: 6 months
55 gallon, established 3 months, fishless-cycled
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates: all zero
Ph: 7.6
Temp: 77
Water changes: 25% every two weeks.
Filtrations: Emperor 400

Lighting: twin-tube flourescent (80w) 12 hrs/day

Am I right that the cloudiness is likely from the driftwood tannins? I
really like these two pieces of wood and want to leave them in. I find

that
using charcoal (comes in the standard Emperor filters) helps a little with
the cloudiness, but I also recall that charcoal removes certain trace
elements that the plants need.

So I'm not sure what to do - continue using charcoal?, not?, something

else
entirely? Is there crystal-clear water in my future?

Any input much appreciated.
Thanks,
Howard


Hi Howard,

Very nice looking tank. As this is not a strong area of mine, all i can do
is make some suggestions if it where my tank.

From my POV, it looks more like a slight bit of algae. If this is what it
is, the charcoal may help but is not a cure. I would discontinue the
charcoal myself. Have you noticed any green buildup on the charcoal?

First, try increasing your water changes a little to perhaps weekly at 20%,
and as you did not mention CO2, cut back on the light to perhaps 8 hours a
day for a while. As long as you have driftwood, you can have clear,
although slightly tinted water from what little i know on that subject. My
daughters tank while clear ran a hint of yellow-brown that did not detract
from the beauty of her tank. Our own driftwood provides a nice tea color as
well. Water changes can help keep this reduced.

There are many others here far more experienced with planted tanks than i,
perhaps they can better shed some light for you.


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Old 31-03-2003, 09:32 PM
Dave Millman
 
Posts: n/a
Default plants, tannins, and charcoal (oh my!)

HDH wrote:

Hi All,
This pic of my moderately planted 55
(http://www.straightlinetech.com/tank30-mar-03.jpg) shows fairly well the
problem I'm having with cloudy water. Quick-specs:

My Aquarium Experience: 6 months
55 gallon, established 3 months, fishless-cycled
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates: all zero
Ph: 7.6
Temp: 77
Water changes: 25% every two weeks.
Filtrations: Emperor 400

Lighting: twin-tube flourescent (80w) 12 hrs/day

Am I right that the cloudiness is likely from the driftwood tannins? I
really like these two pieces of wood and want to leave them in. I find that
using charcoal (comes in the standard Emperor filters) helps a little with
the cloudiness, but I also recall that charcoal removes certain trace
elements that the plants need.


Howard,

It's tough to tell from the photo, but that looks like an algae bloom (green
water) rather than a bacterial bloom, which tends to look like you poured milk
in the tank. Tanin staining is yellowish but crystal clear, and the photo shows
cloudyness.

Read all about it here (Be sure to read the WHOLE page-real causes aren't
discussed initially).
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/green-water.html

Bottom line: you can spend a lot of money on diatom filters and UV sterilizers,
or you can change your water a bit more often and keep an eye on nutrient
levels. Both work.

Charcoal definitely clears tanin staining from water. But it won't help this
issue.

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Old 02-04-2003, 02:44 PM
HDH
 
Posts: n/a
Default plants, tannins, and charcoal (oh my!)

Thanks for the reply. For now I'm going to increase my water changes, add
some Flourish for the plants and cut back on lighting a bit.

(newbie question alert): Is it possible I have too much biological
filtration and could that cause the cloudiness? I fishless-cycled the tank
with ammonia, and the Emperor has a biowheel. Plus the plants of course, so
is it possible there's too much good bacteria in there?

Thanks again,
Howard

"Dave Millman" wrote in message
...
HDH wrote:

Hi All,
This pic of my moderately planted 55
(http://www.straightlinetech.com/tank30-mar-03.jpg) shows fairly well

the
problem I'm having with cloudy water. Quick-specs:

My Aquarium Experience: 6 months
55 gallon, established 3 months, fishless-cycled
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates: all zero
Ph: 7.6
Temp: 77
Water changes: 25% every two weeks.
Filtrations: Emperor 400

Lighting: twin-tube flourescent (80w) 12 hrs/day

Am I right that the cloudiness is likely from the driftwood tannins? I
really like these two pieces of wood and want to leave them in. I find

that
using charcoal (comes in the standard Emperor filters) helps a little

with
the cloudiness, but I also recall that charcoal removes certain trace
elements that the plants need.


Howard,

It's tough to tell from the photo, but that looks like an algae bloom

(green
water) rather than a bacterial bloom, which tends to look like you poured

milk
in the tank. Tanin staining is yellowish but crystal clear, and the photo

shows
cloudyness.

Read all about it here (Be sure to read the WHOLE page-real causes aren't
discussed initially).
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/green-water.html

Bottom line: you can spend a lot of money on diatom filters and UV

sterilizers,
or you can change your water a bit more often and keep an eye on nutrient
levels. Both work.

Charcoal definitely clears tanin staining from water. But it won't help

this
issue.





  #6   Report Post  
Old 07-04-2003, 08:56 PM
Dave Millman
 
Posts: n/a
Default plants, tannins, and charcoal (oh my!)

HDH wrote:

Thanks for the reply. For now I'm going to increase my water changes, add
some Flourish for the plants and cut back on lighting a bit.

(newbie question alert): Is it possible I have too much biological
filtration and could that cause the cloudiness? I fishless-cycled the tank
with ammonia, and the Emperor has a biowheel. Plus the plants of course, so
is it possible there's too much good bacteria in there?


Too much biological filtration is unlikely. The little buggers may convert the
ammonia to nitrate before the plants can eat the ammonia, but then the plants
eat the nitrate.

Cycling is an important issue in a fish tank. In a plant tank, it is much less
of one, since plants eat ammonia with great zeal.

The more relevant issue is disturbing bacteria colonies with chlorine or
chloramines during water changes. In a fish tank, this can cause the cycle to
reset back to zero, and result in ammonia and nitrite buildup in the tank-very
bad. In planted tanks, this can result in some short term white cloudiness, but
usually no crisis.

In any case, the solution is simple: always use dechlorinator (Amquel or Prime)
and wash your filter parts in tank water not tap water.



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