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-   -   Setting up NPT--can't clear mud (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/setting-up-npt-cant-clear-mud-172729/)

Deanna01 05-08-2013 09:27 AM

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.

beaslbob 05-08-2013 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deanna01 (Post 1995753)
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

Boredomb 05-08-2013 10:16 AM

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.

jentralala 05-08-2013 11:59 AM

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.

Boredomb 05-08-2013 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jentralala (Post 1996657)
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!

Deanna01 05-08-2013 12:19 PM

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!

Boredomb 05-08-2013 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deanna01 (Post 1996769)
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. :-)

jentralala 05-08-2013 02:39 PM

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.

Geomancer 05-08-2013 03:39 PM

Stories like this are why I'm glad I went with just plain old natural sand :blink:

Good luck, and do share when you get things finished.

beaslbob 05-08-2013 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deanna01 (Post 1996769)
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. :lol:

my .02


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