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Clearing muddy water

I have noticed several posts mentioning problems with clearing "muddy" water,
some suggesting that sometimes the only effective remedy was a water change.

I have always cleared water clouded with particulate matter using either (a)
a flocculating agent, e.g. nalidixic acid, or (b) a diatomaceous earth

I have had no problems - at least, _none that I noticed._

Is there some reason to NOT use the methods I describe?  Other than, of
course, the fact that DE filters are a bit expensive?  I already have several
of the critters, so perhaps I am using a remedy that is not always available?

There are so many interacting factors involved in keeping aquatic plants that
I may be inadvertently messing things up.  Any comments? Should I keep doing
what I have always been doing, or is there perhaps a BETTER way? (e.g., a
large water change?)

Thanks, all.   :-)

Jean Olson
JOlson8590 at AOL_com
Out in the Boonies, near
Cambridge, Iowa