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RE: Cloudy water again

Dave T wrote:

>Last I checked the pH was 6.8
>or so (not exact kit) and all the rest of the fish seem fine, but the 

I looked through your previous posts, but couldn't find a value for your 
KH... With that and the pH you can figure out the CO2.

>Now, I'm wondering, if the plants are happier, will they help keep the 
>clearer (if thats a word)?  If not, what am I doing wrong?

Yes.  Possible problem could be the earth eater stiring things up...

>What about water content, chemicals...things
>like that.  My live-in girlfriend read an article lately that points to me
>having really bad tap water, and our pur filter clogs its guts before the
>inicator bar reaches half-way through!!

Call your water utility, or check on the web... They should have a listing 
of all relevent water parameters.

>What sort of things can I check for in my water content that could possibly
>cause this cloud?  If its not algae does a UV system really work?  There
>must be something simple I can look into beyond overfeeding and light cycle
>that would make this go away.  I've done regular water changes, chemistry
>seems good, theres never any leftover food.   No decaying plants (as said
>above they're all happy!), no dead fish I can't see...someone mentioned
>adding even MORE plants.  By no means would I say my tank is full, but how
>much will really be beneficial?  If plants are in fact clarifying my water,
>I will run out and get as many as I can afford!

If it is GW, more (HEALTHY) plants will definitely help prevent it.  Part of 
the problem could be a high fish load, and not enough aerobic bacteria yet.

>Side q, how can I get micro sword to fill out faster?

Lileopsis sp. are relatively slow growers, even in ideal conditions, so 
don't expect too much, especially as your Geophagus gets bigger!

>Also, since I'm adding so much CO2, I'm nervous about the pH dropping
>quickly (seems I have softer-side water).

Again, what is the KH of your water?  Test kit by AP should cost ~3 bucks.

>I would really love to invest in
>a pressurised CO2 system, but they all seem so expensive...is there an 
>level system I might be able to try out?

Again, this is where you need to decide if you want a "plant tank" or a 
"fish tank with plants".  I think if you ponder this for a while, you can 
make many decisions much easier.

But, that being said, a full CO2 system from M3 (based in Cambridge MA) is ~ 
200.  You can find cheaper on the net.

>I don't need anything too
>complicated, though I've considered building my own, having my friend build
>the circuits for me and what-not.

"Circuits"??  You mean you want a CO2 / pH Controller?  Not worth it IMO.  
Read through the archives on this one.

>Oh, another thing people asked was, 'what kind of tank are you going for?'
>Well, when I bought the tank I had intentions of a planted tank.  My gf
>really loves fish, though, so I didn't really have a choice *whip* (sorry
>ladies).  I still consider my tank a planted tank, though it does have its
>share of fish (I enjoy them too!).

From your earlier post, you say you have:

>2 Blue goramis
>1 Earth Eater (love this guy, and hes huge...bout 5-6" in length, beautiful 
>1 upside-down cat
>1 spotted cat (dont know technical name)
>1 leopard puffer (freshwater)
>1 sword tail
>5 glass fish (girlfriend influence)
>3 angels
>3 bala sharks

Also, FYI, check out this article on painted glass fish -- 

(The Bala get way too big for a tank this sized.  Shouldn't be sold for 
aquariums IMO.)

Here is the crux of your problem, though I completely sympathize as I have 
been there too.

First bit of advice, convince your GF that you _cannot_ expect to have a ton 
of different fish types (yours are from 4 continents...) in one tank and 
expect to make them happy!! You need to take some of these fish back to the 

One of the first real "fights" I got into with my fiance was when she wanted 
to pick fish for one of my new tanks...  She wanted me to buy african 
(Malawi) cichlids and a "freshwater halibut" to put in my planted SA dwarf 
cichlid tank...  Give her control of your 10G tank, and make the 90 a 
planted... That might help.  I plan on doing that with my fiance -- she can 
put in pink gravel for all I care!

>Oh yea, I'm getting really frustrated! :-(  I told my gf last night that I
>was going to let the tank do whatever it wanted for a while now.  I almost
>feel I've been overworking it, but not for the past few weeks I've been
>posting here.

This is probably a good idea.  Again, you need to make that decision (fish 
vs. planted). Keep in mind there are some WONDERFUL and beautiful fish that 
work well in planted tanks.

>Perhaps something in my filtration?  I have a good q here!  My setup
>consists of 2, 5 gallon buckets.  1 of the buckets is almost full of
>bioballs, the other acts as a stand...they make a big barrel that I run
>water through to make a trickle filter.  After going through them (and 
>where the question applies) the water drops into a 20g bin under the tank.
>I have pre-filter pads under the sump to keep the noise down, though it is
>pretty quiet.  In the 20g bin the surface water starts to look really 
>I mean like a film of green on the top that gets on my hand if I put it in

This would mean you have a GW problem...

You have floss / filter-pad as a pre-filter before the water gets to the 
bioballs right?

>There is a definate ring around the buckets and it looks like theres
>a layer of spit on the top (bubbles).  I don't get it, I have a feeling 
>is a protein layer caused because the top layer nearly doesn't move at
>all...I have an extra aquaclear 300 or something, should I throw that on 
>bin to keep the surface moving a bit?

A surface skimmer can help.  Check out the Krib for more info.  I am now 
using the one sold by Hagen for $10 on my tank -- works very well with 
little adjustment.

Sorry if I am being a bit negative, I just think you can avoid some major 
headaches if you make informed choices now, rather than later.

As for talking to people about your hobby -- I understand... Are there any 
fish clubs in your area?


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