I just added quikrete play sand to my tank a week ago and my tank is still cloudy. I tried a few water changes thinking it was just a few dirt I missed but it seems it doesn't seem to get any better. I clean my filter cartridge everyday which seems to be pretty dirty but water cloudiness seems to still be there. My fish seem fine and pH levels aren't affected but the cloudiness kind of ruins the look.
Should I have a large water change like 50% or should I continue with the 10% and hope it gets better?
You need to start doing very large water changes. I had the same problem the first tank I setup with all sand. I did maybe 2 or 3, 70% water changes before it cleared up but I think it will all depend on how much soil was left in the sand.
I now use a bucket to clean the sand and clean a few more times after it runs clear.
I use a 5 gallon bucket, grab something to drink, sit in a chair and stir the bucket with a hose as it overflows until it runs clear. At least you want it to clear quickly after removing the hose. Once it's good I dump it and add some more, rinse repeat. Time consuming but well worth it.
Along with at least 50% water changes, polishing media will help. I use quilt batting and it works fine, and a bag last forever...
I've found that with playsand it helps to not change the filter medium. I believe the smaller debris plugs the media and helps it filter out more debris.
Five days is the longest I've had water remain cloudy.
I just changed my main tank over to play sand last weekend and the water cleared up in 2 days, but I rinsed in for over an hour before setting it up in the tank. I was told to rinse, rinse, rinse before putting it into the tank.
There are two possible types of cloudiness, first being actual dirt in the sand, second being bacteria. The more frequent water changes will deal with the dirt. But if this is a bacterial bloom, it will worsen it to change the water.
Each aquarium is unique biologically, along with the source water (tap water), so you can have some tanks that clear in a couple days while others will take weeks. I've now used Quikrete Play Sand in 5 tanks, and fond this variance. The 115g was the worst, it was several weeks, perhaps up to 3 months, then suddenly, crystal clear overnight. This was a bacterial bloom, which can occur with new substrates.
Neither is detrimental to fish, just unsightly for us.
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