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Old 05-07-2004, 11:05 AM   #11
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OK-- I'm no expert on this so what you're getting is my opinion. I now think that you in fact do have a bacterial bloom. UGFs are effective for a time but then all hell can break loose. It is possible that all that "crap" collecting under the plates is being released back in to the tank. This is probably more apparent when the gravel is stirred even minimally. The clarifier that you're using could be a visual cover up. Nitrates won't be an issue because of the plants. I'm more concerned about harmful bacteria leaching through the water column.

Anyone else have any thoughts? Maybe this should be addressed in the planted tank section.

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Old 05-07-2004, 02:39 PM   #12
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I agree. A clarifier only clumps together particles such that they become heavy enough to fall back to the bottom of the tank. Problem is that the clumps are still there and become breeding grounds for bad bacteria unless addressed.

Clarifiers are best used in unplanted tanks where the person can gravel vacum much of the tank. Then they work great cause you can suck up all the clumps thus removing the harmful stuff.

But if you can't gravel vacum up the stuff then the clarifier will only mask the problem for a short time.

Solution - I'd run a diatom filter for a few hours after your water changes instead of using the clarifier. I think you'll be happy with the results.

Good luck!

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Old 05-07-2004, 03:09 PM   #13
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Yeah - I used to have a diatom filter and they work like magic. Problem is, I am extremely tight on funds right now - outta work at the moment.

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