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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :-)
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.
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.
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:
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