05-08-2013, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Deanna01
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.
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.