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Old 07-11-2007, 09:44 AM   #1
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Quick fix for cloudy water?

This is a strange one.

My new 180 is up and running - have had fish in there for about 2 weeks - it finished cycling about 2 1/2 weeks ago. All water params are great, 'trates under 20, temp steady 80, SG 1.024 (per refractometer), pH steady 8.2.

Every morning, the water is crystal clear, but by late afternoon, it starts getting cloudy.

I have a 30G sump, two sump socks, EV180 skimmer. No refuguium hooked up yet (that's still at my old house with heater, powerhead and airstone). I'm moving around 1200-1400 GPH through the system - water flow is great. I'm also using a 36W UV (imported Jebo brand), running around 200GPH through that. RO/DI.

I've done almost daily 30G PWC's all week (can't do bigger until I get a siphon tube and nozzle setup to the main tank). I have 45G of mixed SW ready to go at any time.

This house is going to be part of a show, starting Saturday, for 2 weeks - I really don't want the water clouding up like this. Are there any quick chemical fixes? I hate adding stuff like this, but I'm in kind of a bad spot here, and just need a quick, temporary fix.

I've found some flocculents in Marine Depot's catalog, which claims to be reef safe, but again, I'm hesitant to use anything like this.

If nobody has any valid suggestions, I might try doing larger PWC's (45G is about 25%), a couple days in a row.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:49 AM   #2
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You might be able to clear it up with GAC. That is strange, that it coulds up like that. Maybe others might have ideas.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:53 AM   #3
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I saw this in my first tank - right after I started adding fish (after the cycle). The UV cleared it up in a day. But that was constantly cloudy, not just afternoons/evenings. I could see if the temp was swinging up in the afternoon, but it's not (the house is a very constant temperature - zoned AC)

Never thought of GAC. I don't usually use any. Great idea. I might go get a 16 oz jar and load up 3 or 4 filter bags in the sump.

I have a filstar XP3 running too - although it's not moving much water in the big picture (350GPH max). That's a great place for GAC. Right now it's just for water polishing.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:03 AM   #4
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I use purigen, but will run GAC if I need to. Purigen doesn't leach anything back into the water and helps to polish the water, and is rechargable. I'm not sure hich solution would be better in your situation. Purigen lasts longer and is more expensive.....
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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:37 AM   #5
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I need something quickly, so I'm going to be limited to what's available locally. I'll do some shopping.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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Is there any chance it is super tiny microbubbles? You might want to shut the pumps off and see if it clears up in about 10 minutes or so. If it does, it is microbubbles from somewhere.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:51 AM   #7
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Some of it is - but not all. A few weeks ago I shut the pumps off for awhile (incl. skimmer). The skimmer was running on another tank for some time, and the microbubbles werent' a problem there.

There are a lot of bubbles coming from the sump socks - I've had to keep them raised up a bit to keep that to a minimum (the lower they are, the quicker they overflow and generate a ton of bubbles).

I put bulkhead filters on in the sump, that fixed most of the microbubble problem I was having. This seems more like milky water. I might try checking again though if it clears up when pumps are off.

(UPDATE, 12:53PM CST)

Water is crystal clear right now. Picked up some GAC, will add tonight.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:01 PM   #8
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why are you going daily water changes? Did you test for ammonia?
Diatom filters work great for cleaning water.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:43 PM   #9
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How old are the filters on your RO/DI unit? Could it be your source water by chance?
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:48 PM   #10
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They're 6 months old, but the TDS reading is still usually from 0 to 3ppm TDS (very low). I've got new filters to put in the RO/DI though, just haven't gotten to it.

The water source to my RO/DI is charcoal filtered - but is still reading around 350PPM TDS. But the taste and smell is much better than the unfiltered tap water, which is around 450PPM TDS. (I understand charcoal filtering isn't going to remove solids that well). I'm taking that feed to my RO/DI. The house has it's own RO unit that feeds a couple drinking faucets, and the 2 fridges' ice makers and water dispensers, but I don't want to use that for the aquarium.

My _original_ water source when the tank was setup to cycle was tap water from a huge water truck. Treated it with Prime. NOT the best way to go, but I had no choice, the house water wasn't on until a week ago.

I'm doing little daily PWC's because 1) I can't yet do a big one (25% or so), and 2) because of the clouding issue. And 3) because I'm still gradually lowing the SG, from a setup reading of 1.026. And 4) the original water source when I setup the tank was probably crap.

The refractometer is giving me slightly lower readings than the swing-arm, which read 1.028 when the refractometer said 1.026.

Param's are all right on - ammonia, nitrite are zero, pH between 8.2 and 8.3 (haven't taken my pH meter out there yet for precise reading). SG is 1.024 (after numerous small PWC's over 2 weeks).

Trates are stable around 10. I have enough LR I'm hoping will handle the trates. Close to 2 pounds per gallon of really pourous rock.

Haven't tested CA or Alk yet. I haven't dosed anything, and my experience with Instant Ocean is that CA is probably low. I need to get switched to Reef Crystals, which I'll do the next time I order salt. (RC isn't available locally for a price I'm willing to pay).

The clouding isn't really an issue. I think it might have been a bacterial bloom from the cycling. I got this in my first tank (although much much worse). Last night when I checked in around 10PM the water was absolutely crystal clear.

I added filter floss to the XP3, which is probably helping, and 3 12OZ bags of GAC (2 in the XP3, one in the sump). I'll run them for a few more weeks and toss them - I'm not a fan of that stuff, but it seems to have helped.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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