Turbidity in the aquariumMeasures for clear water
If there is water turbidity in the aquarium, visibility is very limited. Turbidity may be indicated by milky-gray water, by suspended particles visible to the naked eye, or by a slightly green coloration. Depending on the color, water turbidity can be caused by various reasons. We describe some typical turbidities that can occur in the aquarium, as well as solutions on how to fix them.
Visible suspended particles
If the partcles are visible with the naked eye, they can be removed pretty easily with flocculants such as Seachem Clarity or Microbe-Lift Clarifier Plus Freshwater. These products bind the suspended particles which then sink or get sucked in by the filter. If due to the flocculation bigger clusters accumulate on the substrate, they can be sucked away easily with a hose. If most of the dirt has been caught by the filter, it is a good idea to clean the filter material after applying the flocculant.
Turbidities caused by suspended particles often arise as a result of a swirling of sludge and substrate, e.G. thanks to burrowing fish or redecoration work by the aquarium owner. If particle turbidity is a permanent problem, you might want to re-think the equipping of your filter. Fine-pored materials such as fine filter fleece help filtering the particles mechanically out of the water. These should be cleaned and/or changed regularly to prevent the filter from clogging up. The Symec Micro fleece by JBL is especially effective. Within a short time, it is able to remove very fine suspended matter from the water - but also slows down the water flow of the filter. So we recommend this product more as a short-term means to get rid of turbidity than for continuous operation. During a new set-up of an aquarium, many fine particles from the substrate and decoration get swirled up. These can be easily removed within 24hrs with JBL Symec Micro.
Milky or green water
This rather indicates algal- or bacterial bloom. This phenomenon can pop up quite suddenly and be caused by e.G. seasonal fluctuations. For a more detailed description we recommend reading the articles "Bacterial bloom" and "Green water". In both cases, the short-term use of a UVC clearer is recommended.
This is less of a turbidity and more of a water discoloration. The water gets a yellow to brown tint which is often caused by released humic acids. These are emitted at first by fresh driftwood or soil. Thus, such a brown discoloration often occurs during the start-up phase in aquariums with driftwood. Filter media such as Seachem Purigen clean up the water in no time. Alternatively the discoloration can be removed with several generous water changes. A need to step in is not at hand, though. humic substances are usually not harmful to the aquarium’s inhabitants in the amount emitted by the driftwood.