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Old 04-19-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Blue Life Clrear Fx PRO - 30 gal Mixed Reef Tank

Hi Everyone,

I was introduced to Blue Life Clear FX Pro at a local 2012 Fish Expo in Costa Mesa. I purchased a bag of the stuff and was going to substitute it for my Chem-Pure Elite when it was time to change and that time has come. It was presented as a "Superior" All-in-One filter media that of course will perform miracles for my tank. Let me start by saying I have no opinion on the product, and have been happy with the results of using Purigen and Chem-Pure in my tank. My levels are consistent, I've had no major problems and everything is currently going smoothly.

I've seen the many arguments about this product and knowing that many of us attend these boards for advice, or others experiences, I thought I would share and document this products use, pro or con, for other smaller tank owners.

A little about my tank. I have a 30 gal. rimless glass tank from Innovative Marine. It has the media section in the back and upon starting up my tank I did a couple of things. I added a Koralia Nano Skimmer to one compartment and used the other existing media basket to add the purigen and chem-pure elite, getting rid of their sponges. My equipment includes a Ecotech Radion LED fixture, Ecotech MP10, Koralia 425gpm power head, a Tunze ATO and a Neptune Controller to manage it all.

I use RO/DI water with Kalk II as my Top Off Supply.

The livestock in my tank include a mated pair of clowns, a firefish, two chromi's and a green goby, which until a couple of days ago, I thought was dead.

I have a mix of LPS with 3 pieces of SPS coral and Ritteri Anemone which has grown like a weed over the past few weeks. Seriously, I'm either going to have to find a new home for it or get a bigger tank. I'd prefer a bigger tank!

My maintenance is fairly simple with 5 gallon water changes every 8 to 10 days. I change out the Purigen when it starts to discolor and the Chem-Pure every 3 months or so. Not much else.

To start the experiment, with no real methodology, I measured my water chemistry and took a couple of pictures. My tank is always pretty clean, but you can see that there is some slight diatom growth against the glass and I do have to "Wipe" the glass pretty consistently to stay on top of the film algae. I'm curious to see if there is any reduction in the film algae, and if there is any significant reduction in the discoloration of the sand bed against the glass.

For comparison, I use 1 unit of Chem-Pure Elite and will be using a 450ml bag of Blue Life Clear FX Pro. The bags themselves look remarkably similar. Although the 450ml bag appears to be slightly larger than the 1 unit bag of Chem Pure Elite. I opened the Blue Life and rinsed briefly. One noticeable difference is that the Blue Life requires much less rinsing to get rid of all the carbon dust. I placed this bag in the same location and manner as the Chem Pure Elite which allows the water from the right side overflow to fall down through the filter floss, and through the media.

Water Chemistry today at 4:30pm

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates Less Than 10
Alk 235
pH 8.3

So here we go, I know it is far from scientific, but I will update the thread from a real users perspective to see if there is an improvement, no noticeable change, or hopefully not, it gets worse.

Here are some pictures of my set-up. Please feel free to comment, ask questions or let me know what you think!
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:39 PM   #2
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A few more Angles.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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So its been about 20 hours or so since the Blue Life Clear Pro Fx went into the media basket in my aquarium. Are lights appearing out of the sky and shining on my now perfect tank, well, not exactly.

One observation I have made is that there is no "Film" algae currently growing on my glass. I see no signs of it anywhere on the glass and that is a little different. I'll usually have to wipe my glass off a few times a day. That's me just being a little bit anal, but if I walk by and see some film algae growing on any one of the three sides I go into attack mode. One of those times being first thing in the morning. So far, there is no evidence of anything growing on the glass, so I'm going to let the tank just sit another 24 hour period and see what develops.

Another observation, and something I failed to mention in part one, is the make up of the media. With the Blue Life, they tell you that the media itself are beads which prevents clumping and provides for better flow around the media. Less clumping, they claim leads to better flow, and maintains greater surface area. It seems to make sense and appears to be true. Since I removed one of the media baskets to make room for my protein skimmer, I only have one media basket remaining for filter floss and one other media. This is location where I place the Chem Pure and now the Blue Life bag. With the Chem Pure I would hang it to keep it from resting flat against the bottom shelf, but even then, the water flowing into the basket showing that it had a slower flow rate through the media basket where the water would be a 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the filter sponge. So far, with the BL, it seems to be flowing freely with no raised water level at the top of the basket, so it does seem to have good flow through the media.

Thanks for looking.

Mike
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:36 AM   #4
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Continued update, day three....

The most apparent difference I have seen during the first three days is a tremendous reduction in "film" type algae growing on my glass. The water chemistry has all but remained the same, with the nitrates remaining less than 10 but still not zero. (I use a liquid drop API test and strips, and both are difficult at best to gauge nitrates below 10)

I could not scientifically explain why this is, but I know that I really like the fact that I don't have to constantly wipe down the glass. I know I mentioned that I was anal, and previously, the algae wasn't readily visible unless you looked at the tank from certain angles. That being said, I have not wiped the tank glass in three days and with the exception of a little smudge in the corner, I don't see any algae growth on my glass!

O.K., here is where I may be crazy. With very little to no changes in water chemistry, my water just looks better.?! I imagine this could be to the lack of algae growth on the glass, or whatever the media is absorbing to prevent this growth is also helping the water appear to be more clear? Again, not very scientific, but more of an observation.

After day three, I am very pleased with the results as seen. I often leave for work for 48 - 72 hours at a time and am always worried about how hard I'm going to have to work to clean the glass of my aquarium upon my return. I'm leaving tomorrow and won't be back until Wednesday morning so we'll see how the glass looks upon my return. So far, I have high hopes!

On a side note, I purchased a "Hammer Head" glass cleaner and am really impressed by the quality. Prior to starting this experiment I used this cleaner to clean the glass and it does an outstanding job. The magnets are super strong, I plus-one'd the size in anticipation of increasing my tank size! I simply works great!
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
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So another 48 hours has passed since my last report. When I returned from work this afternoon after being away from the tank for two days, there was very little film algae growth on the glass of my aquarium.

A single pass of my cleaner quickly removed the algae. I am very pleased that the Blue Life Clear Fx Pro appears to add some additional filtration that slows the growth of film algae on my tank glass.

My water chemistry remains consistent with the Nitrates levels showing less than 10. However the color of the API Test indicates that my Nitrates are currently lower than when I began this unscientific experiment.

Now well see how long these improvements last? Will the product last the three months as advertised? Only time will tell. My fish and corals appear to be doing very well, so I can only say that I am happy with the results and would purchase the Blue Life Clear Fx Pro again. I'll keep the post updated as appropriate!

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Hi Mike,
Thanks for this write up - do you have any update after a couiple of months?

Nick
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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It's been two months since my last update regarding the Blue Life Clear FX Pro. Everything in the tank remains about the same, clean and happy.

A little about my maintenance routine. I have spread my water changes out to about every 10 to 14 days, which involves a 5 gallon water change. I'll clean the filter sponge once a week or so, or when I see water not flowing freely through the filter. I'll also clean out the protein skimmer cup as needed, but once a week also seems to be working fine. During the water changes, I'll alternately "Rinse" and clean either the media rack holding the filter floss and Clear FX Pro or the rack holding the Purigen. I've been told that it is a bad idea to rinse and clean both of these at the same time as it may eliminate "Beneficial" bacteria that may be present. I have no idea if that's true, but doing it this way seems to be working with my tank.

Regarding my thoughts on Clear Fx Pro. I am still pleased with this product. Since putting it into the tank a little over two months ago, I have no significant film algae or any other problems with the tank. My water parameters remain very good and all the tanks inhabitants seem to be doing well, including my Ritteri Anemone.

From my experience with both the Chem Pure Elite and now with the Clear Fx Pro, the main advantage I have seen is that in my set-up, the water flows much better through the Clear Fx media. It may be due to its ball shape which prevents clumping, but I have noticed that the flow through the media basket remains very good for a much longer period of time. I can only imagine that this helps the filter media do its job! I also think that as my tank ages, it becomes more stable and this may also be a factor in the health of the tank.

I'll be sticking with the Clear Fx Pro and will be shooting to replace it every 4 months depending on of course the tank parameters. So far so good and I'm hoping that it will become more widely available; otherwise, I have only found it on Amazon.

Again, my thoughts are far from scientific, but I hope they help!

Mike
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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So its been three months since I introduced Clear FX Pro to my tank and everything is still thriving. I did some "Major" maintenance to my tank last week, including getting into and cleaning the rear compartments, taking out and servicing my protein skimmer and just giving everything a thorough once over. With the water change I decided to replace the Clear FX Pro, but the only thing I had on hand was Chem-Pure Elite. I decided to put that into the tank, and it would be a good measure between the two products.

Again, this is completely unscientific, but I have to say that within a week, the algae build up was much, much greater than what I have experienced over the past three months with the Clear product. All of my water parameters remain consistent, and my corals, fish and anemone all seem to be thriving. My Ritteri was thriving SO MUCH, and growing, that I made a deal with my LFS to execute a trade for a Rose Bubble Tip. But that's off the subject.

So, back to the algae on the glass, in just the week that I made the change back to the Chem Pure Elite, I am cleaning my glass much more frequently. Is it harming my tank, absolutely no, and I imagine it could be do to a host of other issues with the major maintenance performed on the tank at the time, so only time will tell.

I ordered some more the Clear Fx Pro and will put that back in the tank and again, I'll be able to observe if there is a visible difference to my untrained eye. Bottom line is that I think highly of both products, but have seen better results with with the Clear FX Pro.
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