How To Get Crystal Clear Aquarium Water [Secrets, Tips & Tricks]

How to get crystal clear aquarium water

Aquariums are beautiful and can be a great addition to any room, but no one wants to look at a cloudy tank. Aquarium owners know that keeping the water clarity is one of the most important things they can do to make sure their fish are happy and healthy. 

But sometimes, getting that crystal clear water can be a challenge. So if your aquarium has been looking a bit foggy lately, don’t worry – I am going to show you how to get crystal clear aquarium water in your tank in no time! 

Stay tuned for my tips on how to keep your aquarium water sparkling clean!!

What’s The Secret Of Getting Crystal Clear Aquarium Water?

It’s no secret how to get crystal clear aquarium water. Achieving crystal clear water in your aquarium is all about using the right equipment and following a routine maintenance schedule. There are, however, a few extras that can help you out if you’re still struggling with the process!

Firstly it’s essential to have good quality equipment such as filters or protein skimmers to remove organic compounds from the water. Then secondly, maintain regular maintenance routines, including changing filter media, water changes regularly, so waste doesn’t build up too much over time. 

This article will show you how to make your aquarium crystal clear, with some tips & tricks for getting there. By reading this short piece of content, I hope that you can figure out what needs to be done to get the crystal clear water in your aquarium by the end of it!

How To Get Crystal Clear Aquarium Water | Top 5 Ways

Filtration 

Crystal clear water is the aim of every fishkeeper, and there’s no exception with regards to having a healthy aquarium. Ensure you have three levels of filtration: biological, chemical & mechanical in your system. That will help rid your tank of unwanted bacteria and toxic chemicals while providing quality & balanced water for your fish!

Mechanical filtration refers to the trapping of dirt and debris by physical means. For example, suspended particles are sucked into filter sponges, filter wool, or both! The finer the filter element, the smaller the particle it can trap. 

Generally, sponges are used in two-layer: coarse sponges and more delicate sponges to perform mechanical filtration. However, those who want even more polished water can use filter floss additionally.  

Filter size plays a key role here. You need an appropriate size filter for your aquarium to get clear water. A filter that cycles the aquarium through at least 5-10 times an hour is essential for effective filtration. 

What you should Have in Your Filter for crystal clear water

Except for betta fish, who prefer gentle water flow, you can use a filter with a turnover of 10 times an hour for more transparent water! You’ll have higher water clearing capability if you have more suction and filter media.

As you already know, your filter is one of the most essential parts of keeping your aquarium crystal clear. In addition to proper sizing, and media it needs to be well established and cycled correctly. It’s just to ensure your filter contains good enough bacteria (biological filtration) for proper functioning. 

Penn-Plax Cascade CCF5UL Canister Filter For Large...
8,381 Reviews
Penn-Plax Cascade CCF5UL Canister Filter For Large...
  • CASCADE CANISTER FILTER FOR FRESHWATER OR MARINE ENVIRONMENTS: the Cascade 1500 (CCF5UL) has 5 media baskets, works at 350 GPH, and is recommended for Aquariums up to 200 gallons. It measures 11.5 x 20.5 x 12 inches.
  • STATE OF THE ART FEATURES OF THE CASCADE 1500: ♦ flow valves that rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuvering in even the tightest aquarium cabinets ♦ large capacity media baskets allow aquarists to customize to their media needs ♦ push button primer allows for a quick and easy prime of the filter ♦ includes a spray bar, tubing, directional spout for customization, and filter medium.
  • USE ANY COMBINATION OF MEDIA: floss pad for removing particulate matter and a course sponge that provides abundant surface for promoting bacterial growth (to remove ammonia and nitrites) included free with purchase
  • SEE BELOW FOR DIAGRAM, THE CASCADE 1500 INCLUDES: ♦ Flow rate control cut-off valves ♦ two independent directional 360 degree rotating valve taps ♦ swimming pool – style hose clamps ♦ quick, easy, push button self-primer ♦ extra-large capacity stackable filter medium containers with lift-up handles ♦ floss pad and coarse sponge included, free with each canister filter ♦ easy lift alignment clamps that release vacuum suction ♦ sturdy tip-proof base
  • FILTER MEDIA OPTIONS BY CASCADE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON, SOLD SEPARATELY: see below for details, sold separately is media such as: bio-floss, bio-sponge, bio-rings, filt-a-pack pro-z, and filt-a-pack pro-carb-z.

Sponges are important for harboring beneficial bacteria that can convert toxic fish waste. Wash these in old tank water (not under the tap) and if you need to replace them, cut them into halves, and replace them half at a time. That will ensure you never lose all the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium at a time. 

More read: How to clean aquarium filter sponges – 03 effective tips

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration is effective in getting clear water. Activated carbon is widely used as chemical filter media in the aquarium industry to help keep your water clear. By binding inorganic compounds that have dissolved into the aquarium, activated carbon will assist with keeping it clean and free from any nasty smells!

Carbon media can also remove tannins from your water. Tannins come from wood, and a new piece of decorative furniture might leach them into the tank! Although tannins are not harmful to fish, it makes your water brownish. 

Chemical Filtration for crystal clear water

If you want to make your aquarium tannin-free, you can use activated carbon in your filter media. However, changing your carbon at least monthly is essential as it will become saturated and lose its effectiveness. 

There are other types of chemical media as well. Some chemical media are more effective at improving water clarity than others. Seachem Purigen, for example, is a highly porous scavenging resin that can adsorb both soluble and insoluble pollutants with high efficiency.

Seachem Purigen Organic Filtration Resin - Fresh...
7,449 Reviews
Seachem Purigen Organic Filtration Resin - Fresh...
  • FILTRATION: Purigen ranges in color from almost white (cream) to light yellow. Seachem Purigen is not a mixture of ion exchangers or adsorbents, but a unique macro-porous synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water.
  • SELECTIVITY: Seachem Purigen is an organic filtration resin that works hard to remove nitrogenous compounds and waste produced by fish, corals, and even plants, making your water crystal clear.
  • CAPACITY: Being both spherical and macroreticular, Seachem Purigen has microscopic pores that increase its usable surface area to many times that of a purely spherical resin.
  • REGENERATION: Once Seachem’s Purigen is exhausted, it can be regenerated with a solution of bleach and water. The bleach will literally “burn off” the organics that have been removed from the tank.
  • SAFETY: Some slime coat products may permanently foul Purigen and render regeneration difficult. Do not reuse if odor of bleach/chlorine is detectable. In case of doubt, soak beads in small quantity of water and test for residual chlorine with a chlorine test kit.

Other chemical media are focused on eliminating waste products such as nitrate, phosphate, and silicates, each of which promotes the development of algae in the water. 

Water clarity is seldom affected by algae. However, it may generate a haze in an aquarium or even give the water a bright green color in severe circumstances.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is another aspect of getting and maintaining crystal clear water. Routine tank care is essential for achieving healthy, happy fish as well as a clean, flourishing tank. 

It will also make your life simpler in the long run since consistently eliminating dirt and waste will prevent it from piling up and creating difficulties in the long run.

The following items should be performed regularly on your tank:

  • Cleaning the glass of your tank
  • Keeping the gravel in your aquarium in good condition
  • Change the water regularly
  • Keep your filters clean

Water changes are one of the most useful methods of achieving and maintaining crystal clear water. Determine water changing frequency as per waste accumulation rate in your aquarium, be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. 

Regular Maintenance tasks for crystal clear aquarium water

Then, change 25% of water with clean dechlorinated water on that schedule. Water changes assist in fish development, help to keep nitrate levels low, and maintain pH levels stable.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the filter are also vital. You should replace your fine polishing pads, filter wool, or the like on a regular basis because they will clog up and reduce how well this works if you don’t. 

You may also prevent murky water by routinely cleaning filter sponges and vacuuming the substrate. This will eliminate physical waste from the system that might otherwise lead to cloudy water

Plants

Plants are one of the best ways to make your aquarium look spectacular. They also help maintain pristine water quality. Aquatic plants offer additional filtration as some plants are great at reducing nitrates and phosphate (as they take those as food). 

Benefits of having plants on crystal clear water

As a result, algae cannot develop since the plants are already there to take the food before the algae can grow and devour it. So while having plants will not entirely avoid an algal bloom, they will undoubtedly aid in its prevention. And if they are maintained in good condition, they should not cause too much of a nuisance by dropping leaves and other debris.

Lighting

The tank light has the potential to turn your water green if left on for too long. Algae grow in aquarium water because of too much light and excess nutrients. 

Lighting effect on crystal clear aquarium water

The first thing you should do if the cause of your water’s clarity problems is green tinges is reduce light. Turn off the light at night and move the aquarium from direct exposure to sunlight. 

Additional Products

Using a flocculant is an excellent short-term solution for getting crystal clear aquarium water. Flocculants clean water by clumping microscopic particles together to form larger particles, which may subsequently be removed efficiently by filtration. 

Additional products for crystal clear aquarium water

If you want to clean up your water with anything else, I don’t really suggest it. Several products on the market promise to provide you with fast crystal clear water. Although some of them do work, they temporarily conceal the problem.

Sale
API ACCU-CLEAR Freshwater Aquarium Water Clarifier...
7,540 Reviews
API ACCU-CLEAR Freshwater Aquarium Water Clarifier...
  • Contains one (1) API ACCU-CLEAR Freshwater Aquarium Water Clarifier 8-Ounce Bottle
  • Clears cloudy aquarium water
  • Clumps floating particles into large clusters that can be easily removed by an aquarium filter
  • Works fast and maximizes filter efficiency
  • Use weekly and when cloudy water is observed in freshwater aquariums only

Knowing the root cause is the key before using any products in your aquarium water. Otherwise, you will keep adding chemicals that can lead to other issues, as well as draining your wallet. 

Some Other Factors To Consider

Food

The food you feed will also influence water clarity. For example, protein-rich foods, like cichlid pellets, may cause suspended particles, which may degrade the quality and clearness of your aquarium’s water.

Never overfeed your fish. Overfeeding is the beginner’s mistake. That can lead your fish to become fat and unhealthy. Also, any uneaten food particles left in the tank after feeding can hamper water clarity. Therefore, remove any uneaten food from the water with a fishnet or gravel vacuum. 

Fish

Some fish are more suited to clear aquarium water. For example, Goldfish and cichlids are messy fish that eat a lot of food. As a result, they produce more physical waste than other fish species! 

They also dig in the substrate, dislodge fish feces and uneaten food, which causes the water to become turbid and cloudy. So they’re not the best choice if you want clearwater aquariums. 

Overstocking also can cause dirty water. Clearwater is relatively easier to achieve in a lightly stocked aquarium. Therefore, you should follow the proper guideline for stocking fish in your aquarium. If you keep large, messy fish, then suitably sized filtration is essential.

Bacteria

One way to keep your aquarium clean is by adding bacteria. In addition to decreasing garbage that would otherwise pollute the water, bacteria may do an unlimited number of additional tasks.

Different types of bacteria and enzymes can be added to your tank to clear up any watery debris. You can add these separately apart from start-up bacteria. If you want the best results, then use them regularly!

Sale
Tetra Cleaning Bacteria 8 Ounces, For A Clean...
1,120 Reviews
Tetra Cleaning Bacteria 8 Ounces, For A Clean...
  • BENEFICIAL BACTERIAL BLEND: Replenishes beneficial bacteria to help filter pollutants in aquarium water.
  • BIOLOGICAL BALANCE: Works to keep your aquarium healthy and biologically balanced.
  • FOR SUPERCHARGED FILTRATION: Cleans gravel and removes sludge and ammonia.
  • CONVENIENT: Use the cap to measure and dose.
  • USAGE: Use monthly, or when setting up a new aquarium, after a water or filter change, or when adding new fish to ensure healthy water conditions.

Clean Up Crews

Bottom feeder fish are an excellent natural clean-up crew to help prevent cloudy water. My favorite bottom-dweller fish are Cory catfish, Siamese Algae Eaters, and Nerite Snails.

Each of these fish and invertebrates works independently to clear the waste and even excess algae; the aquarium is kept cleaner overall. 

They can assist in consuming leftover fish food that, if allowed to accumulate in the aquarium, may result in algal blooms, which can be harmful to the fish.

UV Sterilizer

UV Sterilizers use Ultra Violet (UV) light, a form of radiation for clearing water and removing microorganisms. In addition to killing a wide range of microorganisms, including dangerous parasites and bacteria, sterilizers may also promote extreme clarity in the environment. Although sterilizers have a small amount of contact with water, they effectively kill water-borne algae and assist in clarity.

More read: 07 best UV sterilizers for your aquarium 

Coralife Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer 3X, Up to 125...
737 Reviews
Coralife Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer 3X, Up to 125...
  • Removes free floating algae, parasites and harmful micro organisms from aquarium water
  • Features a unique twist flow design increases water’s exposure to ultraviolet light improving the treatment of unwanted algae and microorganisms
  • For fresh or saltwater applications
  • Easy setup and installation, includes mounting brackets for hang-on or inline applications
  • Indicator light lets you know when the sterilizer is operating

Wrapping Up

You may be surprised to find out that the secret of getting crystal clear aquarium water is totally in your hands l. Yes, you play an important role by making sure your fish tank setup resembles a pristine environment! 

I hope that this guide has helped you get your water crystal clear. If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below, and we will try our best to help! Thanks for reading!

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