What really contributes to Crystal Clear water?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by RockLobster, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. RockLobsterNew MemberMember

    I wanted to know what is needed for a crystal clear aquarium. I'm talking about that floating, is the water really there look. I have looked up and found all sorts of different components such as good quality media/ratio, UV sterilizer, chemicals (carbon, purigen, chemi blue), filter type/set up, and basic water changes. Do all of these play a part? And if so which one would be the most important? What should I avoid?

  2. WildsideValued MemberMember

    I know my tank was decidedly 'murky' for a little while and then slowly, it just fixed up. It can really depend on how long your tank's been running and what you have in it. A lot of driftwood for instance can turn your water a tea-like colour as it discharges tannins even if you've boiled it for hours, etc. Then there's algae, etc...

    Sometimes time can be the best way to achieve that crystal water effect and routine water changes as well.

    How long have you had your tank and what's in it?

  3. :) fatcatfish (:Well Known MemberMember

    I do two water changes (50%) per week. One 20% one without vacuuming the gravel and another 30% change where I do vacuum. I find that routine helps keep my water quite clear. I also use a finer polyester media between the two coarse sponges in my Fluval 3 Plus which clears out much finer particles from the water column. I have found that having plants also plays a part in having clear water. But I think mostly it's having a good ratio of all the factors like filtration and maintenance, and balancing it all out.

  4. Sadique Mohammad AkhtarNew MemberMember

    My short experience says, crystal clear water is easy to get if you have a good filter. The key lies in the filter and not just the filter media. Or if you are obsessed with really crystal clear water I would recommend you get a more powerful filter than what is recommended for your fish tank. And of course the other basics of water changes and cleaning the glass off the algae remains there.
  5. WildsideValued MemberMember

    I've heard some people say that carbon works well although it can end up removing the 'good' things in your water as well.
  6. RockLobsterNew MemberMember

    I currently have a 125gallon planted freshwater tank. It has two Sunsun 404b canister filter, one of which I added 1 week ago. I am using 4kg of biohome media along with purigen in the canisters. My water is clear but there is a very slight cloud when looking on the side. The tank is nearing 8 months and stocked with rainbow fish. I usually do a 50% wc per week while vacuuming the gravel.
  7. Sadique Mohammad AkhtarNew MemberMember


    This is how clear my fish tank is. And all I have is an Eheim filter.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  8. Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    My 60gal, 40g breeder, and 10g is very clean. I do nothing special. Whenever your water starts to get cloudly that usually means one of your fish have died, you are over feeding, to much poop in the tank, etc. my 10g and 60g look the cleanest. My 60gal has a 60 gallon canister filter and a 60gal sponge filter. My 10gal has a sponge filter. I would say plants play a BIG part in the clean water:)
    Here's my 60gimage
    And 40g image
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  9. Paul1792Valued MemberMember

    For crystal clear water, you do not need a UV sterilizer. If you have canister filter, using 50 or 100 micron polishing pads works great and use ones for your brand.. If you have a Fluval C series HOB, use aquatic life non-woven cut to fit polishing pads. If you have an AquaClear HOB use tightly packed floss. Sera Wool is best.

    Micron polishing pads + Seachem Purigen gives you stunning uber clear water that makes your tank a show piece.

    See also my post #4 here:

    Question: - What is the best filter media for a fluval c4 filter?
  10. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    I get crystal clear water from my hamburg mattenfilter (HMF) 29g sump on my 55 gallon tank. 3" of 20ppm Poret foam, plus 3" of 30 ppm Poret foam works wonders. It's not for everyone though. No need for polishing pad. It's so simple it's criminal.. but its also "advanced" because most people don't set these types of filters up. Maybe you have seen it as a HMF corner filter online.. using it in the sump gives awesome results. Better results than using HOB with filter pad in my experience. Canister may be "easier" but you will be changing filterfloss all the time. I haven't cleaned my sump since I set it up 6 months ago. No filter floss to change out. It's pretty awesome. Anyway, throwing this out there in case you are curious. I sometimes get a slight haze, after a water change usually .. after a day or two it goes away on its own. I noticed it when my lights are super bright. I have since realized there's no need for my lights to be so bright... so i turn it down, and it works better for my low tech tank and fish.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  11. BreamDreamNew MemberMember

    I found a 100ml bag of purigen really polishes the water. I thought a yellowish tinge was normal before. Now the water is so clear it almost looks blue !

    Nitrates were constantly climbing so I added denitrate. That held nitrates around 20 but then pH started to rise . After adding phosphoric acid nitrates fell to 10 and pH is solid at 7.5.

    There seems to be a correlation between rising pH and rising nitrates and a slight clouding of the water.

    Going against the grain of conventional wisdom and chasing pH to 7.5 seems to rectify this. Not advocating artificial pH modifying but it also seems to have sorted my nitrites tendency to rise.

    This article shows how critical pH is in the nitrogen cycle using colored water tests:


    To get nitrates to 5 I added 240ml of nitrate adsorbtion resin. its resin sold for domestic water purifiers but works fine when bagged in a stocking in the canister filter.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  12. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    If it's algae or bacteria, and it most often is, they're really too small to be filtered out. A diatom filter might do it. UV works quite well by simply killing them and in most cases will give you crystal clear water. I consider it a bit of a cheat though since it just treats the symptoms. Adding a lot of biomedia and/or feeding less is probably the correct way to do it but easier said than done.
  13. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    That's strange, I usually find it's the other way around, high nitrates lead to lower pH. Too high and pH really starts to drop, low KH and you get even faster drop in pH as there is no buffering capacity left to offset the acid. An aklaline buffer may help keep pH stable by providing more KH. Adding an acid buffer is counterintuitive to me.
  14. KasshanWell Known MemberMember

    when I get white cloudy water in my tank due to bacteria bloom I pour brown mulm from another of my tanks rinsed out filter pad, within a few hours its clear again. but I haven't experienced that in long time, also plants help immensely
  15. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Attending to the maintance needs of the aquarium. Regular vacs, not over feeding, keeping the filter clean (rinsed not washed or replaced cartages) water changes as needed, removing dead matter as soon as it is seen, and test, test, test the water so you know what is going on at all times.

    Also be sure that everything going into the aquarium is aquarium safe. I never use wild wood or rocks.

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