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Water Clarity

Discussion in 'Advanced Topics' started by Garf, Aug 18, 2013.

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  1. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    I've been running without skimmer or carbon now for a couple of months. I've only got the aerated waterfall and b.a.d.a.s.s. going. Now, I would expect some discolouration of the water (as I've experienced previously). However this is now not the case. My water has never been clearer. Curious to hear other folks experience regarding clarity and views as to if it's good or bad in their opinion.
  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I think clarity of water is most of the times just a general perception by the eye. The "purists" would argue that in order to make a definitive comparison between clarity of water at different points in time or in different tanks, you have to take a picture of a reference object (like a white cutting board) through the tank with the same conditions (light, flash, f-stop camera settings, etc) and then make the comparison.

    There unfortunately is no "color of water" meter that works for SW. Hanna does make one, but it is for turbidity of runoff water for streams, rivers, construction site runoff, etc (I tried it).

    So we are left with rather rudimentary techniques. One thing you can do it find a 5 gallon white bucket and pull a few gallons into it and compare that to a bucket with freshly mixed SW in it. Then take pics with same ambient light and camera settings, etc.
  3. Ricky

    Ricky Member Trusted Member Multiple Units! Customer

    My ran scrubber only for a year. Wasn't till last like three months that I started seeing my water turn yellow.

    It was very gradual for me. But it wasn't til I added the carbon that I noticed it.

    So it might be that you are used to it. I would try the test bud suggested.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  4. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  5. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

  6. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Although, Reactive Oxygen Species does seem favourite at this time;


    This also seems to tie in with the unexpected "skimmer/ scrubber relationship" threads and ROS seems to be increased when algae is "stressed".
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  7. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Interesting, but my brain doesn't have time to process at the moment. Care to boil it down a bit? Not following how this relates to skimmer/scrubber relationship. Also how could we quantify algal stress?
  8. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    :) algae produce hydrogen peroxide in small amounts, which partially oxidise some of the more stubborn dissolved organics, which allow bacteria to consume it at an increased rate. However, it may also increase the effects of Allelopathic or toxic compounds. Stressed algae release more hydrogen peroxide (ie too much light, iron or another essential element deficiency). Humid acids (Gelbstoff) acts as an antioxidant, which neutralises hydrogen peroxide.

    It seems a lot about this subject is "unknown", even by the professionals.
  9. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    This is interesting. I just spent some time learning a little bit more about hydrogen peroxide. I can now see multiple relationship pathways between algae and bacteria. There also might be some kind of connection between algae growing on rocks and HP. I wonder how this might tie into ORP measurements. I don't know many people that have measured ORP on a tank before and after adding a scrubber.
  10. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Seems like algal production of H2O2 actually inhibits Cyanobacteria, even at levels encountered naturally;

  11. Mud

    Mud New Member

    What did we ever figure out about UV-loving bacteria? I have an UAS-only tank that is lit with direct sunlight through non-UV filtered windows, and while my water is not quite "fresh carbon clear," it is not at all discolored. The only maintenance I ever do is 17% monthly water change and grab some algae out of the scrubber with tweezers every few weeks (less often than I should).
  12. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I think that you would not want a significant UV component to an algae scrubber light. There is some evidence that shows that there is a strong relationship between algae and bacteria. Such as bacterial biofilms forming on algae mats. I think adding a UV LED for instance might hurt things. But a deep violet might not. I would stay away from any light source whose purpose is sterilization.
  13. Mud

    Mud New Member

    To clarify, my scrubber is lit with a CFL. The corals in the display get the sunlight. I remember reading in the bacteria/scrubber thread over on the other site that there was an idea about having UV in the display complimenting the algae in the scrubber (?). I'll go dig it up.
  14. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I think a lot of the relevant discussion you are looking at (mainly from Ace) is related to display tank bacteria and the UV connection.

    My only thing to add was something that Tony Vargas said when we were standing around chatting after our last frag fest, and that was that he said that if you look at tanks that have fish with HLLE, you will find there is no UV light in those tanks. Look at the tank with UV (under Metal Halide or T5HO) and you will find healthy fish, no HLLE. That's loosely paraphrased, but that was the gist of it.

    I made a point of asking him what his thoughts were about LED fixtures with a UV component and he said that many are now adding this (Radions for instance)

    But, in a recent phone conversation with Ricky on the subject of corals under MH/T5HO vs. LED, I am leaning much more towards sticking with my energy-wasting heat-producing T5HO and MH lamps for primary light, and maybe just supplement with some LED to take the edge off of the heat/power.

    Basically that conversation was along these lines:

    Take a coral grown under MH and put it under LED, it will looks awesome. Take the same coral a few months later and put it under MH again and it will look brown.

    Grow a coral under LED and put it under LED and it looks fine and grows fine. Take that coral and put it under MH and it will look brown.

    In both cases, after a few months under MH, the coral color will return.

    So the conclusion is: If you have LED, stay with LED.

    If you have MH and you switch to LED, everything will look superb then will fade out over time, 3-6 months, so you won't notice, really. Just don't switch back.

    I have a feeling many coral vendors at fests know this. So they grow things out under MH and then show them under LEDs because the colors will really pop. Obviously, such a practice is a little deceptive. But I've heard of worse trickery
  15. Mud

    Mud New Member

    I'm just thinking, there was talk of adding this or that LED, but to go back to a more basic question: in what ways does natural light affect the bacteria that are interacting with our scrubbers? Water clarity and lighting should have some relationships since bacterial populations in the water column are a cause of "clouding" as opposed to the "tinting" caused by humic acids.

    Can we agree that the carbon-dosing effect of scrubbers is a reason that many report increased water clarity when adding a skimmer to a scrubbed system?
  16. Mud

    Mud New Member

    Bingo. Display tank bacteria would influence water clarity, right? Or are we talking strictly benthic bacteria?
  17. Ace25

    Ace25 Member Trusted Member

    Here is the relation of bacteria to algae to UV and IR light. I still believe there is something to this, and finding a good balance between bacteria, algae, and UV/IR light on a screen could make it function much better.

  18. IAmNotGr33n

    IAmNotGr33n Member Customer

    Hey, did anyone find out if a ATS increase redox..
    I have been testing my ORP, and after installing the L2 the redox have been slowly increasing from 200 too 217 over the last week.. I don't know if it's just a coincidence.

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