didn't rinse my sand enough?
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didn't rinse my sand enough?

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didn't rinse my sand enough?
Old 01-02-2012, 08:59 PM   #1
 
didn't rinse my sand enough?

So we got a new 60 gal tank from a friend. With great excitement we decided to switch to sand for the first time. I went out and bought two 50lb bags of the quikrete play sand from lowes (by byrons suggestion). Spent the morning rinsing it, to the point where I thought it was throughly rinsed. We started adding water and added the sand as slow as possible, but our water is still extremely cloudy.

We will be switching from our established 45 gal, with an exterior canister filter. This is our only filter, so we cant put one on the new tank to try and filter out some cloudiness.

Where should we go from here? Let it sit over night and see how it settles in the morning? Or keep doing calm water changes to try and clear it up? Also, we have lots of corys, when they rummage through the sand will they kick it up and keep clouding the water?

We're almost to the point where we're considering dropping the idea of using the play sand and buying some
very small grain gravel. We're also very excited to keep at the sand attempt, because we've done our research and think it will work out in the end. Someone please give us some positive reinforcement! ... or a reality check...
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djrodan View Post
So we got a new 60 gal tank from a friend. With great excitement we decided to switch to sand for the first time. I went out and bought two 50lb bags of the quikrete play sand from lowes (by byrons suggestion). Spent the morning rinsing it, to the point where I thought it was throughly rinsed. We started adding water and added the sand as slow as possible, but our water is still extremely cloudy.

We will be switching from our established 45 gal, with an exterior canister filter. This is our only filter, so we cant put one on the new tank to try and filter out some cloudiness.

Where should we go from here? Let it sit over night and see how it settles in the morning? Or keep doing calm water changes to try and clear it up? Also, we have lots of corys, when they rummage through the sand will they kick it up and keep clouding the water?

We're almost to the point where we're considering dropping the idea of using the play sand and buying some
very small grain gravel. We're also very excited to keep at the sand attempt, because we've done our research and think it will work out in the end. Someone please give us some positive reinforcement! ... or a reality check...
Having rinsed my share of playsand . . . I found one tank was a small bit cloudy and with one or two water changes it did get completely clear in a short time. Sand does require more washing than initially from when you think you are "done". Do you have a picture? That can show how "cloudy" you're talking about. Sand is worth it. Keep doing water changes, you'll get there. Fish kicking up the sand does not add any cloudiness, once the sand is clean. Don't give up!

Gwen
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #3
 
You can wait until morning, but the cloudiness is dust like particles and you are prolly looking at a few water changes to resolve. On the up side, it's a new setup so you can do a few 75% water changes with no issues other than the PITA factor
Good luck - it'll clear up in the end.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
 
I had a bad experience with play sand. YMMV....

I spent hrs cleaning it and mutliple complete water changes over multiple days and it never cleared. I dumped the play sand and got pool filter sand and got it cleaned in a fraction of time I spent on play sand and without the complete water changes I tried before.

I know MANY people here have used play sand but my vote is pool filter sand. Like I said... YMMV.

I have a thread on it here with pictures of my experience of Play sand vs pool filter sand.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
 
sand is sand IMO. A lot of the nicer substates will cloud your water when you add them. Just give the tank time to settle. The smaller the particles the longer it will take.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
sand is sand IMO. A lot of the nicer substates will cloud your water when you add them. Just give the tank time to settle. The smaller the particles the longer it will take.
+1
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #7
 
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Agree. It takes time, sometimes longer in some tanks than others. I have now set up 3 tanks with that same playsand (switched from fine gravels), and I intend doing a fourth shortly.

Aside from the cloudiness from the sand itself, which varies as I mentioned, there is also likely a bacterial bloom. My 115g 5-foot tank was slightly cloudy for weeks, unlike the 33g. Just let it establish.

Byron.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
 
so after a full day of doing 75% water changes the water is still murky, but less brown. We were stirring up the sand as much as possible and then doing the water change.

I was wondering when it would be safe to do the switch. Since we're keeping the old decor and filter hopefully it will sharpen up the water much quicker, although we'll be watching the water very carefully for spikes in ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. I bought a bottle of seachem stability for the hell of it, even though I think the product is a gimmick and I probably got ripped off.

I guess I'll run through our scenario. We're switching from the 45gal to the 60g. They are right next to each other. This was my logic in pulling off the physical switch: (computer scientist goes aquarist)

When temp, ph of new tank = temp, ph of old tank:
1. Unplug everything.
2. Move filter to new tank
3. move plants/decor to new tank
4. syphon half of old tank water to new tank
5. move fish to new tank, avoid netting them, just trap into cup and move.
6. stress guard (seachem) the new tank

Since we'll only be reestablishing the substrate bacteria, would it speed up the process to take some of the old tanks substrate and put it in a flat tupperware container and lay it on the floor of the new tank? Logic here being that the bacteria would somehow transfer to the new substrate (via floating?)

I've included some pictures of the murky water. When would you think its good?

photo(2).jpg

photo(3).jpg
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
 
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Wow that is pretty bad, I've done sand and floramax, never once was my water that bad. Then again I think I rinsed the sand for about 6 hours in multiple buckets with the garden hose. I would shove the hose in the bottom, stir the sand like crazy, dump, repeat. Once I thought it was clean I did it for another hour. I had slight murky water the first couple days but the filter picked it up. Those tiny dust particles are going to do one of three things, sit there until you manually remove (water changes), settle to the bottom only to get stirred up again when you transfer the decor, or get sucked up by the filter, either way I don't think you will see a drastic change until you either do regular water changes or get a filter on the tank.

If you have sufficient amount of live plants I wouldn't worry about seeding the substrate, the plants and what little is in the filter will take care of any ammonia spike. I'm not sure how effective the tupperware would be, I would get a stocking to fill with your old substrate so it is in direct contact with the sand.

The cloudiness won't effect the transfer of fish. Heck I changed my substrate in an established tank, if anything the fish got a kick out of it lol. You should be safe to switch once the temp is the same and the ph is marginally close. That looks like live driftwood in your established tank, so most likely you won't get the ph from the tap "naturally" close to the established tank as the wood probably slightly softened and lowered the ph.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
 
Realistically, these fish swim through clouds of dust in the natural environment, correct? (tetras and corys).

I'm almost tempted to take the sand out and re-rinse it....
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