Did a water change, now my tank water is incredibly brown.

deeveeance

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I did a water change a couple of weeks ago and since then, the water went from murky brown to dominantly brown. My partner and I were told from our local exotic fish store that tannins from the wood would seep out and aide in the long term health of the axolotl by inhibiting certain pathogens and such. We previously had a problem with hair/thread algae taking over, and since we've stopped using the overhead lights altogether, that has been taken care of. I might go back to using the overhead light fixture at a lower strength, since I do miss displaying these little dudes.

My little dudes, Tatl and Tael, are pretty happy, no signs of anything wrong and they still come up when they think they're getting fed.

I am thinking of changing my filter situation, which may help overall.

Currently I have two axolotl in a 40 Gal Breeder tank, some plants and two large wood decor pieces.

Using two (2) 30 Gal Filter Sponges to a 60gal (rated) air pump.

I was thinking of getting a couple of these on each end of the tank since I've heard good things about them.

I've also been told about This AquaClear Filter with an extra sponge in there for good measure.

Pic of water clarity

Tatl + Tael

Don't mind the temperature as I had just tossed the thermostat back in after it getting caught in some cable-mess situation.
 

Calgarycoppers

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Cuties!!

Yes the brown is tannins from the wood. it lowers pH so make sure you are keeping an eye on your pH and other parameters with a freshwater master test kit using liquid reagents.

Filtration - I would absolutely recommend an Aquaclear hang on the back filter - for a 40g you want an aquaclear 70 you want each filter to be approx double your tank size and should have 2 forms of filtration i.e. HOB and a sponge filter. I cant see the specific kind of sponge filter you are using but I would not switch out those dual ones I find are only rated for 5-20g depending on the size so what you are using now is more effective for a bacterial bed.

How long has the tank been set up and running?
 

deeveeance

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Filtration - I would absolutely recommend an Aquaclear hang on the back filter - for a 40g you want an aquaclear 70 you want each filter to be approx double your tank size and should have 2 forms of filtration i.e. HOB and a sponge filter. I cant see the specific kind of sponge filter you are using but I would not switch out those dual ones I find are only rated for 5-20g depending on the size so what you are using now is more effective for a bacterial bed.

How long has the tank been set up and running?
Tank has been up and running for about 9-10 months now!

Ok, I was definitely looking into the HOB filter, but I also don't want to get stuck buying proprietary filter media or refills as opposed to easily replaceable kinds.

I was thinking the Dual Foam Filters with media compartment could use ceramic/Carbon pellets.

I looked at the brand of the filter sponges, and they are rated for 30 gal each, and I've used the same ones and just cleaned them out with warm water until it runs clean, though ~1y of use and I know I should probably change them out soon.

If I get two SMALLER sponges for mechanical filtration, say 20g AND the HOB, would that be adequate?
 

Calgarycoppers

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First your Aquaclear only needs the sponge and biomedia i.e ceramic rings or pellets or what have you. I personally add Sera Crystal clear as well for polished water but not necessary.

You could do any number of combinations.

My personal tanks have a combined filtration rating of 4 times my tank size - half in power filter half in sponge.

cleaning filters - never use tap water to clean your filter parts - you need old tank water or at minimum dechlorinated water or you kill the bacteria that is left once rinsing. Never clean more than 1 filter per month.
 
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