Setting up NPT--can't clear mud - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Setting up NPT--can't clear mud

Hi, all. I started trying to set up a small (5-gallon) NPT yesterday. I started with a bit over an inch of sifted, patted-down Miracle-Gro organic, then covered it with a bit over half an inch of Fluorite Dark sand. I let it sit overnight, and it was so muddy still that I changed the water. Then I changed the water back-to-back three times, and the water was still utterly muddy. I added another half-inch of sand at that point, thinking that maybe my cap wasn't deep enough, and I'm still having serious mud, despite two more water changes. Have I just mucked it up and need to start over, you think? I just hate sifting more dirt but would rather get started if I need to.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 11:03 AM
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Hi, all. I started trying to set up a small (5-gallon) NPT yesterday. I started with a bit over an inch of sifted, patted-down Miracle-Gro organic, then covered it with a bit over half an inch of Fluorite Dark sand. I let it sit overnight, and it was so muddy still that I changed the water. Then I changed the water back-to-back three times, and the water was still utterly muddy. I added another half-inch of sand at that point, thinking that maybe my cap wasn't deep enough, and I'm still having serious mud, despite two more water changes. Have I just mucked it up and need to start over, you think? I just hate sifting more dirt but would rather get started if I need to.
At this point you easily

1) start over.

I use 1" of canadian sphagum peat moss in the 1'x1'x3' plastic cubes ($11) covered with 1" convered with 1" of pro choice select (or aquarium gravel). Each layer wetted leveled and the tank cleaned up.

then plant the plants and finally fill up the tank with water poured over a dish.

Tank is almost instantly clear and totally clean a day later.

or

2) you could just let things settle down which is what I did before the above. Takes a couple of days but it does clear up.

I also do not use any circulation or mechanical filters. Which allows the stuff to saturate and settle down on the substrate instead of being constantly pushed around.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 11:16 AM
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If you have muddy water that bad it sounds like you might have just poured the water in letting it touch the substrate?? You probably have dirt on top of the sand now too.
I would probably start over at this point.
Its important that you use something to break the water up from hitting the substrate. A rock or driftwood or even your hand works. Also you want to pour the water slowly too.
If you dont then you end up with a tank full of muddy water. It will eventually settle but might take awhile.

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post #4 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 12:59 PM
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I use a small plate in to pour the water slowly onto, so it doesn't mess up the sand.

Also, if you're using Flourite Black Sand, you're going to have cloudy water for awhile. I have this and since it is so, so fine and light, it takes it a few weeks to settle down and stop clouding the water a bit. It shouldn't be 'muddy' per se, but definitely cloudy. I usually do about 3 water changes the same day I put the sand in to reduce the cloudiness to something manageable.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
I use a small plate in to pour the water slowly onto, so it doesn't mess up the sand.

Also, if you're using Flourite Black Sand, you're going to have cloudy water for awhile. I have this and since it is so, so fine and light, it takes it a few weeks to settle down and stop clouding the water a bit. It shouldn't be 'muddy' per se, but definitely cloudy. I usually do about 3 water changes the same day I put the sand in to reduce the cloudiness to something manageable.
I have never used flourite sand before so didn't know it would make the water cloudy. Thanks for sharing that!
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, all. I didn't know the trick to breaking the water stream. I started over, wetting the dirt and sand slightly after putting in, then pouring the water through the same colander I used to sift the dirt. It's looking better already!
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Deanna01 View Post
Thanks, all. I didn't know the trick to breaking the water stream. I started over, wetting the dirt and sand slightly after putting in, then pouring the water through the same colander I used to sift the dirt. It's looking better already!

Awesome!! Glad to hear its working better for you this time around. Just keep in mind when you do water changes to break up the flow of water too.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 03:39 PM
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Yup, when I do water changes I place a little bowl on the substrate to keep the water from hitting it directly.

:) Glad it's working out better! :)

You should post pics when you start planting :D I love tank build threads.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 04:39 PM
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Stories like this are why I'm glad I went with just plain old natural sand

Good luck, and do share when you get things finished.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-08-2013, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Deanna01 View Post
Thanks, all. I didn't know the trick to breaking the water stream. I started over, wetting the dirt and sand slightly after putting in, then pouring the water through the same colander I used to sift the dirt. It's looking better already!
Glad it worked.

Hope it makes you fee better in that I went decades just pouring the water in filling the tank, planting the plants with the tank almost full and then waiting 2-3 days for the tank to clear up. Then once I tried this and was amazed at how clear it was from the start.

You obviously learned faster then I.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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