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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my 125g all setup with under gravel jets, pumps and canister filters working (thanks to folks in another forum helping with the filters). I added the substrate which I thought I had rinsed enough but apparently not as the tank was VERY cloudy (couldn't see the DIY rock wall I made from the front). I've now used the siphon twice to expell a ton of the silty stuff that I thought was creating the issue. Last time I siphoned it I made sure that the only thing that was being stirred up was the actual substrate and there was clear water in the tube on every square inch in the tank. I then filled it up and let it run (jets & 2x filters) overnight but it is still just as cloudy as when I started the last siphon as you can see:



Adding the rocks later today...

I'm wondering if I should just keep powering along and cycle the tank (I got DrTim's One & Only) to get the balance right & add the dechlorinator (haven't added any yet) to get fish in it and let it clear itself up, or if there's more I can do... thoughts?

Three things that may have an impact on this: (1) The filters only have the filter media in them, not the biomedia as I didn't want to waste it or contaminate it with so many water changes or cover them with the silt... the filters & sponges on the powerheads have been rinsed with each water change (2) I haven't added any dechlorinator and (3) I'm using water from my water softener (we have very hard water). I plan to empty the tank this afternoon of the existing water and replace it with water that hasn't been through the water softener. I know cichlids will prefer this with the higher ph... wasn't sure if the cloudly bit can be from the water softener (pouring water into a cup straight from the tap shows the water is very clear).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
killakam said:
If its just your substrate buy some pureflo pads they make your tank crystal clear, i used them everytime i mess with my sand, its will clear it up over night...
Looking for some that iwll fit my canisters, or would you not concern yourself with that and just get some bigger sized ones and cram them in the filter?

BTW, I can't be certain it's the substrate, but it might be... I would like to get this resoved before I put fish in it because I'm not in any rush.
 

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Definitely wait on adding the fish. At this point you may have several things holding you up and it is much better to not have fish to worry you. One is the cycle. Even with added bacteria, it will take some time for it to get up to speed to handle a fish load. You will need to add the dechlor before the bacteria will start to grow as the chlorine is not selective and will kill what we think of as good bacteria as well as the bad guys we don't want to drink. It may make it awkward to fill with the hard water but I would definitely go that way as soon as possible. Draining and changing water is something that often stirs the sand and you might be doing the waiting all over again. Since the tank is new, odds are that the cloudy part is just sediment that is not settled yet. Different approachs on that . Best to get it all rinsed but that doesn't happen sometimes. I prefer to shut down the filters and let it settle to the bottom as much as possible. This may take several days, sometimes. Then I gently go over the top, sucking the fine stuff off. If you stir, it may all wind up floating again. What is underneath I leave. Once I have most of the fine off, then I start filtering again. Correct on leaving the bio-media out, just use more spong, filter floss, pads or such till you get the silt filtered out. Patience is your best bet but hard to do. Sorry, it's the price we pay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PfunMo - Thanks for the the input... I have no problem taking my time with this & appreciate all the help you've provided me this week!

I'm about to head out of town for the better part of next week so I think what I'll do is get the hard water in the tank before I leave and then shut the filters & powerheads off so the water is still. I can do this for 4 days. When I get home I'll check it and see if the water has cleared up. If so that tells me it has settled in the substrate so I'll then siphon the substrate again and refill with hard water.

Ordering additional fine filter pads for the canisters and will triple up on them when I start filtering again...

Thanks for the link as well... I'll add it to my reading list while on the cross-country flight!
 

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I'll toss my .02 in.

The cloudiness from substrate has always cleared for me with filters running. I wouldn't shut them down for four days. Biomedia won't get covered with silt. It'll pass through. I'd refill it, run it, rinse the mechanical media when you get back and start cycling. Since you haven't started cycling, you can even rinse the biomedia if you're worried about it. If the water's still cloudy when you get back, it's not from the substrate or the filters kicking up substrate. I use the aragamax sand, very fine stuff, and it always clouds up and always clears within 24 hours, even with heavy turnover. And I use very coarse filter pads in all of my setups.

What substrate did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
prov356 - Good feedback... thanks! I used 120lbs crushed coral, dry, for the substrate. It was very dusty and I thought I had rinsed it all out, but the siphoning proved me wrong as I saw cloudy water come out. Emptying it now and will refill with hard water with some dechlorinator in it & let it sit still for a few days. Then I'll kick in my fitlers while I'm out of town. I do think I'll keep the under gravel jets off as they are keeping things off the floor with a decent current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Geez... I should have been more patient before posting to the forum. Filling the tank with non-treated water seems to have been the trick. Water through a water softener made it cloudy. It's almost perfect (in terms of cloudy) now after I turned on the water softener bypass and filled the tank with the natural Florida hard water!

So... my water does have this nasty film on the top... trying to figure out an easy way to get rid of this...
 

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Good deal. Sometimes thing just come clear by themselves. The film may do that as well. It may just be leftover dust floating around which will soak up and settle or get worked in if you have some surface water movement. I like the color on your BG. A little bit of weathering and algae and it will be very near natural.
 

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some paper towels on the surface gets the oily film off. It is most probably from you, we humans are covered in oil. Many people have it, mostly it's not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It isn't oil... it's some sort of dusty like stuff.. I'll see if it settles. Just put the rocks in for the aquascape so letting the tank settle again, maybe another water change tomorrow, before I start treating the water...
 
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