New 90g Cichlid Tank... Particles Not Clearing

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by shootinfool73, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    Hi all...
    This weekend I just upgraded my 40g African tank to a 90g with good filtration but have MORE particles in the water than before..And it takes longer to clear after a pellet feeding....i expect the tank to take a little time to resolve cloudiness since it was an in place upgrade with a big water change. I carried over my old filter for cycling and of course used extra Prime and Stability. It's only been 4 days but with the extra filtration and over 2x more water I expected it to look a little better with the same stock level (16 med/large fish... Typical sized mbunas and peacocks).

    Any ideas? Im wondering if the substrate is not clean enough or if circulation is too little or too much... it seems like it takes a long time for particles find the intakes..And even overnight it only reduces. I washed the substrate heavily before puttiing it in. I admit i am very anal about wanting Crystal clear water....lol.,.But I don't typically use artificial water clarifiers like Clarity.
    Any input is most appreciated!!! Thanks!!

    This is the build:
    90g tank
    Caribsea Arag-alive black substrate (made for reef but was recommended to use for larger grain size and pH regulation)

    Fluval 406 (old filter...With matrix, ceramic rings and the biofoam and polishing pad that came with)

    Fluval FX4 (new...With all new media.. ceramic rings, matrix, floss, biofoam, and chemipure)

    Water is just from the tap....And conditioned with prime. Parameters are normal....
     
  2. d

    danhutchins Valued Member Member

    I have been having the same issue after switching my substrate, lots of little particles floating around, other than that it's crystal clear. Will be following to see what we can do.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    Bump? . Anyone?
     




  4. Thurgood11

    Thurgood11 Valued Member Member

    how do you have the supply and returns in the tank?

    possibly a HOB can help catch the particles.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    each filter is on either side of the tank. The 406 is on the left side of the tank with the intake in the corner and the return pointed to the front left corner, and the fx4 is on the right side of the tank with the return in the corner (its a dual return so one jet is facing down the left side of the tank and the other jet is facing towards the front). The fx4 intake is to the left side of the return.

    Yeah I did think about that except when I stood up this aquarium in place of my 40 I put it further back to the wall, with the intention of NOT using a HOB....
     
  6. bigdreams

    bigdreams Well Known Member Member

    Is the arag-alive substrate what was in old tank, or is it new? That substrate has live bacteria for salt water tank, I believe... You could be seeing a bacteria bloom or die off if it's new. I don't think saltwater nitrifying bacteria can survive in freshwater.

    I found a AquaClear Powerhead + QuickFilter to be a great solution to quickly clean up cloudy water. That could help you, no need for additional HOB. Or you could do a DIY water polisher filter with a powerhead and plastic cup and some polyester filling. If you do have a HOB handy, just hang it on the front of the tank overnight with a polishing pad as the media. Take it off the next day. Done.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    Yeah the arag alive is new. I know the bacteria won't survive freshwater...Only got it for the sand itself. I actually washed the sand pretty well before using...Which you're not supposed to do if it's for saltwater. But I realize I probably didn't get it all.
    I am going to do a good water change tomorrow... First one since the tank went live last week which should help some of the cloudiness if caused by new substrate. I'm also going to clean the 406 since its been about a month now and change filter floss. I am considering the AC power head and your temp hob idea was a good one...
    I guess my biggest concern...About the particles...Is that I'm surprised I'm even talking about temp solutions. I have a 406 and an FX4 with a 700+ gph rating and both have foam and filter floss. How is it particles aren't history? Im new to canisters by the way... But my other tank with AC70s and added floss get rid of particles overnight. Maybe my expectations based on all the rave reviews of canisters and the FX series being "beasts" are too high...Lol

    And if I do add a powerhead is there a better way to add it...Direction...On top for aeration or pointed inward for circulation?
     
  8. bigdreams

    bigdreams Well Known Member Member

    I don't have canister filters, but currently have a sump and have used HOBs. My guess is that the water flow in the tank is suboptimal (maybe dead pockets in the circulation that allow debris to build up) and/or the filter pad got clogged and the water is bypassing media in the filter somehow. Filter floss clogs quickly, the canister motor forces the water through the media, causing flow rates to drop. Your water was very cloudy, so the filter floss is probably really dirty right now. Some people don't clean their canisters filters for months at a time... But that's not really how they work. They are supposed to get regular maintenance.
     
  9. bigdreams

    bigdreams Well Known Member Member

    I don't have canister filters, but currently have a sump and have used HOBs. My guess is that the water flow in the tank is suboptimal (maybe dead pockets in the circulation that allow debris to build up) and/or the filter pad got clogged and the water is bypassing media in the filter somehow. Filter floss clogs quickly, the canister motor forces the water through the media, causing flow rates to drop. Your water was very cloudy, so the filter floss is probably really dirty right now. Some people don't clean their canisters filters for months at a time... But that's not really how they work. They are supposed to get regular maintenance.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    Wow you can say that again...Lol...

    Well my plan was never to go longer than 3-4 weeks between maintenance but to hopefully relieve myself of weekly cleanings. I never would go more than that and only if the floss seems to handle it. Might have to make that 2 weeks since these are cichlids but I'll see. Maybe I should have left room to leave a fixed HOB but oh well.
    Any recommendations on one powerhead over another? The ACs have high reviews...What about the maxijets? If it needs to be direction adjustable... Should I keep it over or under a certain size for a 90g?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  11. bigdreams

    bigdreams Well Known Member Member

    I don't have any particular recommendations. I have only used AquaClear Powerheads but that's not to say others are bad. Just get one with an appropriate flow rate... Or if you are like me, keep buying different models until you find one you like, LOL. I don't know much about cichlids, so can't recommend a particular flow rate for your tank.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    Right... understood... :) Well "appropriate flow rate" is the million-dollar question...LOL. I wasnt even thinking as much about the stocking type (cichlids) -- although I realize that makes a big difference -- I was thinking more about just the size of the tank (90g) and the fact that i already have an FX4 and a 406 running. By the manufacturer measured flowrates, I have about 1000 gph total between the 2 filters (if I were to guesstimate about a 70% efficiency with the biomedia and dirtying foam and floss, then its around 700 gph).

    A powerhead doesnt have the efficiency loss of a full filter, so I would be wondering if a 400-500 gph powerhead would be adding enough added flow, not enough, etc.... we'll see!!!

    thanks
     
  13. OP
    OP
    shootinfool73

    shootinfool73 New Member Member

    Weekend update...
    I did 40% water change and vacuum re angled one of the fx4 jets downward and the other upward. Also cleaned the 406 filter and I changed the floss. Didn't put in separate powerhead yet but I know where it's going when or if I do. Water doesn't seem to have a lot of particles now....Good sign... But is still milky cloudy... maybe even a little bit more. Ammonia is 0 nitrate is 10 but nitrite appears to be between .1 and .3...Hard to tell with the colors. So the tank must still be in a cycle... I thought seeding it with the existing 406 would help even with the new substrate and large water swap....
     




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