Tank very cloudy after changing to sand - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Tank very cloudy after changing to sand

I changed my tanks over to sand last night. I changed so far a 5.5 gallon, 35 gallon and a 38 gallon. The 5.5 and 38 gallon have cleared perfect. However, the 35 gallon is still brownish clear water. All tanks were filled using the same batch of Quikrete play sand. I made sure to rinse it really well in small amounts.

I already did one water change (filled it up half way and drains it with a container as my siphon will not work on this tank for some reason it may be to low to the ground). Filled it back up slow without stirring anything but its still cloudy.

What could be going on with this tank?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 06:27 PM
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I changed my tanks over to sand last night. I changed so far a 5.5 gallon, 35 gallon and a 38 gallon. The 5.5 and 38 gallon have cleared perfect. However, the 35 gallon is still brownish clear water. All tanks were filled using the same batch of Quikrete play sand. I made sure to rinse it really well in small amounts.

I already did one water change (filled it up half way and drains it with a container as my siphon will not work on this tank for some reason it may be to low to the ground). Filled it back up slow without stirring anything but its still cloudy.

What could be going on with this tank?
Nothing to worry about. It could be the sand itself, notwithstanding the other tanks cleared faster. But more likely a bacterial bloom, very comon in tanks with new substrates. Smaller tanks frequently clear faster in my experience. I have had tanks clear from this in a couple days, up to several weeks. More water changes will not help a bacterial bloom as this only brings in more organics via the tap water and the bacteria responsible feed on organics.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing to worry about. It could be the sand itself, notwithstanding the other tanks cleared faster. But more likely a bacterial bloom, very comon in tanks with new substrates. Smaller tanks frequently clear faster in my experience. I have had tanks clear from this in a couple days, up to several weeks. More water changes will not help a bacterial bloom as this only brings in more organics via the tap water and the bacteria responsible feed on organics.

Byron.
How is it a bacteria bloom if there was no fish in it up until last night? Maybe I dont understand what a bacteria bloom is. My largest tank cleared really fast its just this one its driving me nuts lol. Will the fish be okay in this tank? Its cloudy but you can see into it and everything
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 06:46 PM
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How is it a bacteria bloom if there was no fish in it up until last night? Maybe I dont understand what a bacteria bloom is. My largest tank cleared really fast its just this one its driving me nuts lol. Will the fish be okay in this tank? Its cloudy but you can see into it and everything
This will not harm the fish, assuming it is a bacterial bloom. If it were sand particles, these might harm the gills according to some, but I think this would have to be particularly bad sand cloudiness.

Bacterial bloom refers to a multiplication of bacteria in the water column. Not to be confused with the "bacteria" we usually refer to in nitrification. There are many species of bacteria all having different functions (the good stuff) and of course there are harmful bacteria too (the disease bacteria).

A new tank frequently has a bacterial bloom (the initial cloudiness is almost always this) because tap water is usually loaded with microscopic-sized organics. When you add dechlorinator, it gets rid of the chlorine so bacteria can multiply, and with such a heavy food source, they are quick to do so. These bacteria can multiply in less than 20 minutes, each by binary division into two new bacterium, so you can see how quickly they can reach thousands.

This article I wrote on bacteria may provide some background, and there is a section on bacterial blooms:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Okay I will take a look at this. I dont see sand floating around, I also added some water clarifier last night which did nothing....
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 07:15 PM
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When changing to sand, this is very normal. Just give it a few days to settle. I don't think your fish will be harmed. But if it is HEAVILY cloudy, I might be inclined to turn off the filter so it doesn't ruin it.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 07:16 PM
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Okay I will take a look at this. I dont see sand floating around, I also added some water clarifier last night which did nothing....
Don't use those. Most of them work by binding particles together into larger particles, the idea being that these are then more easily caught by the filter media/pads/sponges etc. But these chemicals also bind the gills of fish, and this can stress the fish and may kill them.

If there are fish in the tank, do a 50% water change (using a good conditioner) to get most of the chemical out.

If this is a bacterial bloom, as I still suspect it is, the clarifiers will obviously do nothing, so that at least bears this out.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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When changing to sand, this is very normal. Just give it a few days to settle. I don't think your fish will be harmed. But if it is HEAVILY cloudy, I might be inclined to turn off the filter so it doesn't ruin it.
Filter has been running all night and seems fine I added a sponge to catch any debris and rinse it out daily. Its cloudy, but not heavily I dont think Ill go take a picture in a sec

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Don't use those. Most of them work by binding particles together into larger particles, the idea being that these are then more easily caught by the filter media/pads/sponges etc. But these chemicals also bind the gills of fish, and this can stress the fish and may kill them.

If there are fish in the tank, do a 50% water change (using a good conditioner) to get most of the chemical out.

If this is a bacterial bloom, as I still suspect it is, the clarifiers will obviously do nothing, so that at least bears this out.

Byron.
I use a good conditioner, I will do a 50% change. Its gunna be fun because my siphon will not start on this tank for some reason. I think it may be to low to the ground.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 07:46 PM
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Filter has been running all night and seems fine I added a sponge to catch any debris and rinse it out daily. Its cloudy, but not heavily I dont think Ill go take a picture in a sec
Ah
The sponge should help a bit. I'm sure it'll settle in a few days. The half-a$$ed sand my husband rinsed took exactly 3 days to settle.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-19-2013, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Heres the two tanks that cleared up fine

5.5 gallon Betta tank


38 gal Cichlid tank


Then the cloudy one a 35 gallon tank with assorted fish


How this stand can hold both tanks is beyond me. If one of the cats walk across the top tank and jump from it and the tanks shake im holding my breath wondering if it will topple

Last edited by Homer16; 01-19-2013 at 07:51 PM.
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