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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with the eco-bio block? The water in my 55 gallon freshwater tank is somewhat cloudy, although all water parameters are good, and tank is cleaned weekly.
 

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I have no personal experience with the product, but the explanation of how it works on their web site to anybody with a science background (I have a PhD in chemistry) will sound like pseudo-scientific hogwash.

If your water is indeed cloudy, the way to deal with it is to find out why, not to ad some sort of snake oil. We can probably help you if you can answer some of these questions:

1. What sort of filtration are you using?
2. What fish do you have, and how large are they?
3. How long has the tank been established?
4. What do you mean by 'tank is cleaned weekly' - water change? how much? filter cleaning?
5. Have you made any recent changes to the tank?

Hope to hear from you soon so we can clear this up - excuse the bad pun :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My 55 gallon tank is 4 months old. The specs are as follows:
Filtration: Eheim 2215 and Marineland biowheel 350
Fish:
3 Firemouths each 4-5 inches
1 Blood Parrot 7 inches
2 Rainbow cichlids each 4-5 inches
3 silver dollars each about 3 inches
1 rainbow shark about 4 inches

My fish grew really quickly. They were all babes when I got them. I got the firemouths first and gradually added the others. The blood parrot was a whim--probably a mistake--although she is the most amusing of all the fish. But she is getting HUGE!!
They are all really nice fish, good personalities, interesting to watch.

I feed them a variety of things:Hikari Gold pellets, spirulina, cichlid granules, freeze dried bloodworms
(Not all of it at once!) I feed them one or two times daily, this varies

I do a 25-50% water change weekly, and also clean the gravel

I thought that eco-block sounded too good to be true--and WAY to expensive to try out without talking to anyone.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm going to increase the water changes.
I cleaned the eheim last month, so it shouldn't need it, but I might go ahead and do it again anyway.
Thanks, Sue
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i forgot to address any changes to the tank. I haven't added anything to the tank since I got the blood parrot and some cichlid stones in December. I set the tank up in the beginning of September, so I guess it is actually 5 months old now. Thanks, Sue
 

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That sounds all very good. 25-50% water changes weekly is excellent. The tank is definitely fully stocked, but not excessively overstocked. I personally don't approve of breeding fish for anatomical deformities, which is why I'd never buy a blood parrot, but that has nothing to do with cloudy water :D

You are not over-filtering, but your filtration should be able to keep up with your stocking level. However, it is important not to over-do it with the feeding. If you are like me and most people, it's easy to throw in a little more food than is needed, and it's easy to do that twice a day if you feed twice. Especially as you fish mature, it is probably better to feed once per day. With my 240G I had to learn to feed every second day once all the fish were fully grown, because even with small feedings once per day they left a lot of food behind uneaten. So that's one thing I would watch. Fish can easily go a day without food once in a while.

Back to the filtration, in my humble opinion the HOB is nice to have as a backup, but the canister is going to be responsible for the bulk of your biofiltration. You never want to clean the canister on the same day you do gravel vacuuming!

I have used Eheim classic series filters, including the 2215, ever since I started in the hobby in 1977. I have never found much of a benefit in filling them with ceramic noodles, lava rock or similar porous materials or bio balls. In my opinion the best you can do with a 2215 is to fill it all the way with filter floss. I actually buy quilt batting from Walmart or arts and craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Joanne's. It's the same material as filter floss, but cheaper. You want put enough in the filter so there are no unfilled areas. That is to make sure the water has to flow through the material instead of around it. However, you don't want to push the floss into the filter and compact it, or else it will clog up quickly and reduce flow. If done with common sense, filter floss provides excellent mechanical and biological filtration. With this, you should be able to go 3-4 months between filter cleanings, which would mean less disturbance for your bacteria.

Last but not least, it is important to have as much oxygen in the water as possible to support your beneficial bacteria and combat harmful ones. How much oxygen you get in the water with an HOB and the spraybar of a 2215 depends hugely on how they are set up - how much fall there is for the water from the HOB outlet to the tank surface, and how you have positioned your spray bar. Those uncertainties are eliminated by use of an Eheim diffusor instead of the spray bar. It is driven by the water flow of the canister filter and basically injects air into the water in form of tiny bubbles. This all ensures that oxygen will be at saturation levels in your tank, which serves to boost your biofiltration and your fish's health. It might go a long way in clearing up your water too, but you'd have to live with tiny bubbles floating around the tank. For me they are the sign of a healthy setup, but some people find them objectionable.

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate your advice. My water isn't terribly cloudy--from the front it looks good. But from the side you can see lots of particulate, and the water doesn't have that POLISHED look t used to have. I suspect you're right with overfeeding. I'm going away for a bit, but when we get back, i'll convert the eheim to a mostly mech cleaning filter as per your instructions. I'm thinking that if I fill it with floss to the same level that it is currenly filled with noodles, balls, and pads, that I should be ok.
I'll get a diffuser to re[place the spray bar--I like bubbles in a tank. I also like the waterfall noise from the HOB filter, and I've heard so many folks complain about that.

I understand and agree with you about hybridizatin of fish, and never intended to own one. I just gave in to temptation one day. Now that Delilah is a member of my fish family, I must say-she is so interesting to watch. She watches everythong we do, and will look down to make eye
contact when small children look at the tank. If other fish are fighting and get too aggressive for her liking, she breaks them up, sending each in a different direction with a toss of her parrot head. Everytime I clean the tank, she redecorates the tops of flat rocks with mouthfuls of gravel. She loves to dig deep pits, and will create passageways for herself if her fat little body can't get through a spot.

As I said, I don't feel hybridization is a good thing. but I am afraid the blood parrot is here to stay. I can't help but make an exception to my beliefs based on my experience with my fish. Hope I haven't opened a can of worms--so to speak!! I know folks feel pretty strongly about this.

Again, Thanks for the help on the water issue. I'll let you know how things are going when all the changes are made. now I'm off to do an extra water change. Sue
 

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blusue2 said:
when we get back, i'll convert the eheim to a mostly mech cleaning filter as per your instructions.
I know if you go to any store they will tell you floss is for mechanical filtration, and you need something else for bio. However, having been in the hobby as long as I have been - longer in fact than folks like Eheim even sell 'bio media' - I know that we got good biofiltration with floss long before anybody had heard of bio balls. I have no scientific data to back this up, but I'd be willing to bet that properly packed floss has a larger available surface area than bio balls or ceramic noodles, and it maintains this surface area even after some of it has been clogged up with debris. To make a long story short, when I suggested floss, I though of converting your 2215 mostly for bio filtration, which is what I think you need to clear up the water. Floss just happens to give excellent mechanical filtration as a side product :D

blusue2 said:
I understand and agree with you about hybridizatin of fish
Just to be clear, hybrids are one issue, and one can agree or disagree on it. However, fish that are bred for anatomical deformities are a completely different issue. Those fish can be hybrids or not, but to me they are like dogs that have been bred with three legs for the enjoyment of people who like to see them hop around in a funny way. See for example here if you want to know more about anatomical deformities of blood parrots. My criticism is mostly directed at the people who breed these fish, but of course if nobody bought them, breeding would stop in short order.

All that said, now that you have your three legged dog, of course you should take care of her as best as you can. It seems to me like Delilah is well loved, and couldn't have hoped for a better home :thumb:
 

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DrTim - thanks for coming to the rescue! Do you have any comments on the ridiculous claims made by Eco-Bio Block? I was going to write something myself, but I am afraid I am too tired tonight. Here are my favorites (both from this page):

1. EcoBio-Block is unique because the bacteria live and multiply in the block, making it unnecessary to add new bacteria for about 2 years.

2. Nitrates are naturally eliminated by plant absorption, as well as by microbes living in gravel which convert nitrates into nitrogen gas which then evaporates from the tank. EcoBio-Block encourages the growth of these anaerobic microbes, greatly reducing nitrates in the fish tank or pond.


I mean, providing nitrifying bacteria is hardly unique, and once a tank is cycled, they never need to be added again. What's with the 2 years? Also, plants can certainly absorb some nitrate, but it's not enough in any cichlid tank I can imagine, and having enough anaerobic decomposition going on in your gravel to get rid of all nitrate seems neither feasible nor desirable!
 

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Eco-Block is not alone in the world of aquarium manufacturers making ridiculous claims!

Not sure about the 2 year lifespan with the bacteria - that's a new one. Makes you wonder what happens after 2 years?! And letting your gravel go anaerobic - you're right not a good idea at all and since a lot of cichlids are diggers that's probably not going to happen anyways.

I guess it is a case of "buyer beware". Show you need to do research and ask questions - which is what cichlid-forum.com is all about.
 
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