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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to read up as much as I can about this hobby and I keep reading that clean/clear water is a must. But what is clear water? Sounds like a silly question, but really, how clean is clean water. When I look at the water in my tank, I would consider it pretty clean. But there are still small particles foating around, so it isnt perfectly clean. So what is a good measure of a clean tank?
 

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i would imagine the water could have whatever you want in it so long as it isnt affecting the life in the tank negatively... the particles you see floating are probably leftovers from breakfast and what comes out after breakfast... those particles will cause ammonia to rise in the tank which will damage your poor little fishes' gills and they will die... but i see many amazon styled tanks which seem to have a gloominess to them but i imagine that its to mimic the real habitat.. so all i can say or anyone else can say for that matter is make sure you are testing your water regularly to monitor your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. so when they say "MAKE SURE THAT DARN TANK IS CLEAN!" you don't necessarily need to have crystal clear water. So I say just dedicate a little time to the tank and stay on top of the testing of the water parameters and if you go without troubles that means your water is clean. Remember you dont have to be able to drink the water for the fish to love their environment.
 

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Clear is clear, there are BW clears and BW stained water then CW clear and CW stained.


I have "stained" water in my angel tank, yeah its hard to see em but the fish are much much healthier in BW then they are on CW

(BW= blackwater aka amazon river basin IE rio ***** as an example but there are many BW environments in the world including asia)

(CW is clear water)

If you can drink it, its not fish safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not much chance I would drink it. But my tank water is as clear as my tap water, more or less.

What are some techniques to get clearer water. I already change the water weekly or bi-weekly and I clean the gravel about every month. I also clean the canister about every month.
 

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Its poly-fill the crap they use in pillows, its thin like floss and very condensed. You can get it from a craft store ALOT cheaper then at the fish store.

It is sold in flat form either in a roll or folded in a bag or in cotton like form and just shoved in a bag all fluffy. I get the fluffy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So just rolled cotton? I have lots of that in my shop if it the right stuff. I use it for loudspeaker enclosures.
 

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As long as it chemical and dye free. Also some people like activated carbon to clean the water. I would rather have the parameters right and some particles in the water then to have crystal clear water that is a little out of whack.
 

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i agree... basically that filter bag they are talking about is related to a micron sock which im sure you have seen in sumps before... all this is really good for is providing a home for beneficial bacteria and what most in the hobby call "polishing" the water. activated carbon does the same thing however activated carbon will not remove all of the particles, however it will neutralize the compounds in the particle. over time the carbon deactivates certain ions in most things, including copper(remember i said over time) which in turn makes that previous copper or (whatever) a different less or non-harmful element in the tank. the sock or filter pad doesnt neutralize anything it just keeps your bacterias alive and thriving and polishes the water until its reached its maximum gunk capacity in which you either clean it or replace it.
 

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i would imagine the water could have whatever you want in it so long as it isnt affecting the life in the tank negatively... the particles you see floating are probably leftovers from breakfast and what comes out after breakfast... those particles will cause ammonia to rise in the tank which will damage your poor little fishes' gills and they will die... but i see many amazon styled tanks which seem to have a gloominess to them but i imagine that its to mimic the real habitat.. so all i can say or anyone else can say for that matter is make sure you are testing your water regularly to monitor your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. so when they say "MAKE SURE THAT DARN TANK IS CLEAN!" you don't necessarily need to have crystal clear water. So I say just dedicate a little time to the tank and stay on top of the testing of the water parameters and if you go without troubles that means your water is clean. Remember you dont have to be able to drink the water for the fish to love their environment.
indeed.

when you hear about keeping your water "clean", generally its a reference to water parameters, more so that visually clean (though the two are somewhat connected). as long as you have proper biological filtration, and you are keeping up with routine water change to maintain nitrate levels, your tank will be "clean".

water polishing (removing fine particles) is a whole different monster. filter floss, quilt batting, poly fill, micron filters, etc, all p[provide good means of polishing, but you still need an effective delivery system. you cany just add the media to your sump/HOB/canister and expect it to work. if the particles never make it to the intake of your filter, they cant be removed. generally this is where water circulation comes into play.

there are many aspects to "clean" water. but again, as long as your water parameters are in order, your fish will be happy.

some of my tanks have brown/ tea colored water, but i assure you, the water is as clean as it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All my parameters are good, I just need to add a "polishing" portion to my filter I think.

Thanks guys!
 

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No problem... If you are just looking to remove the particles floating in the water make sure you have an adequate amount of flow via powerheads and pumps to keep detritus and leftovers from finding a nook to hide in. and run it through some activated carbon and a micron sock. this will give the water the clear and clean look plus keep your water pretty neutral as far as unwanted chemicals and compounds.
 

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^ agreed. except for the carbon. you do not need carbon in your filter.

a micron filter or fine filter material like poly fill will help you remove those particles, along with good circulation
 

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If you are really looking to get your tank "cleaner" micron filters are the way to go as they trap the smallest particles like micron vacuums. The cheapest ones I've seen are from Magnum, and they are often used in conjunction with other filters, since they specialize in "polishing" the tank.


Another option is something like "Clarity" which is a chemical from Seachem that binds micro floculant and makes them drop out of solution making them easier to pick up with normal filters.
Seachem. Clarity

However I agree with Aspects 100%. If your fish are happy and healthy then your water is "clean", good circulation is key to keeping the tank clean, and carbon is not needed on a day-to-day basis.
 
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