How to have clear water without carbon?

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PewPewChris

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New to planted aquariums...but love watching the plants almost as much as the fish. I've read you shouldn't be using carbon in planted tanks. I was using a little bit in my 10 gallon column tank with plants and they seemed to be doing fine, crystal clear water, used flourish, etc. for plants.

Decided to go without carbon yesterday when I did my 25% water change and added floss in it's place. Water is slightly cloudy today. I removed carbon on. my 10 gallon quarantine tank as well, same thing...and I just started cycling a 40 gallon breeder and didn't put carbon in at all...same result, cloudy.

I like clear water...do I need to be patient or do I need to consider adding back a little carbon to my filters?
 

Aqua67

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There are several reasons your water could become cloudy but when it happens following a water change it is possible you removed too much of the good bacteria. That is why it can be good to do your water change on one day and then a few days later squeeze your filter sponge in some tank water instead of doing everything all at once. I don’t know if that is what you did or not, I’m just suggesting to stagger the maintenance. I wouldn’t rinse sponges, change filter floss and do a water change all at the same time. The cloudiness is probably a bacterial bloom and your tank is working to get itself balanced again.
 
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PewPewChris

PewPewChris

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There are several reasons your water could become cloudy but when it happens following a water change it is possible you removed too much of the good bacteria. That is why it can be good to do your water change on one day and then a few days later squeeze your filter sponge in some tank water instead of doing everything all at once. I don’t know if that is what you did or not, I’m just suggesting to stagger the maintenance. I wouldn’t rinse sponges, change filter floss and do a water change all at the same time. The cloudiness is probably a bacterial bloom and your tank is working to get itself balanced again.
So on the most established tank (10 gallon column) I did a 25% water change and squeezed out the sponges in my HOB and added floss in place of the little carbon I had. Water is slightly cloudy, the least of the three tanks.

The 10 gallon quarantine tank same process...same result...newer tank and water has never really been as clear as I would like it.

The 40 gallon was just started up on Sunday eve...Fritz's Fishless Fuel added yesterday...it's fairly cloudy and it's clear there isn't bacteria in there yet as all the spider wood I scaped with so far hasn't started that white force field process yet lol

Good call on not doing it all at once. I'll have to try that next water change.
 
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PewPewChris

PewPewChris

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Another question or two...

1) I assume this "should" clear up once the bacteria regenerate?

2) Do any of you folks use carbon in your planted tanks?
 
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PewPewChris

PewPewChris

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Why is carbon in almost every HOB filter sold? I guess MOST folks with aquariums aren't using live plants...so it doesn't matter?
 
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PewPewChris

PewPewChris

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It's just a light cloudy haze, not off color...same for both of my 10 gallon tanks...the 40 gallon is much more hazy, but it's literally just starting it's cycle so not really concerned about it at the moment.

Parameters on the 10 gallon column just an hour ago were:

PH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5ppm
Temp: 78F

Only wood in the column tank is some drift wood, but it was soaked for 3 or 4 days prior to going in and it's been in there for weeks. In the other 10 gallon I have one piece of spider wood and in the 40 gallon I have 5 pieces of spider wood
 
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PewPewChris

PewPewChris

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IMG_4243.jpg

Looks pretty clear in the above picture...but does have a haze...
IMG_4244.jpg

Better view of haze from left side of tank
IMG_4241.jpg

Newly started 40 gallon breeder with haze
 

Byron

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I concur the cloudiness/haze is most likely a bacterial bloom. This is frequent if not common after a water change. You might be surprised at the high level of dissolved organic matter in tap water. The waste-eating bacteria that feed on organics can replicate rapidly, within 20 minutes, so there is a rapid explosion of these bacteria and it clouds the water.
 
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PewPewChris

PewPewChris

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I concur the cloudiness/haze is most likely a bacterial bloom. This is frequent if not common after a water change. You might be surprised at the high level of dissolved organic matter in tap water. The waste-eating bacteria that feed on organics can replicate rapidly, within 20 minutes, so there is a rapid explosion of these bacteria and it clouds the water.
Makes sense...I'm learning, so appreciate all the input from everyone.
 

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