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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having a heater stay on and eliminating my community tank decided to do a cichlid tank. In the processing of setting up my tank, this is a 90G AG corner tank with built in overflow. Also running a Mag7 pump, filtration is a trickle with extra sump for pump/heater. Right now, no stock at all in tank, just a few holey rocks and a piece of driftwood.

Decided to go with Aragonite sugar sized sand for the substrate, after setting up, checking for leaks, etc. I let the system run a few days, had the typical cloudiness, after 2 days dropped in some Aquaclear, made a marked improvement but still not "clear", I then noticed the piece of driftwould I have in the tank is accumulating sand on it. What I think is happening is the sand is being sucked into the lower overflow inlets (roughly 2" - 2.5" above sand) and being recirculated into the water causing my continued cloudiness, I did add another dose of Aquaclear but didn't make a difference.

Any ideas? I could set something up (like a wall) to keep the sand from the bottom inlets, I have a barrel valve setup on the return line for the pump to reduce flow. Also using a 100 micron filter in the trickle.
 

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I would raise the filter intake. Also stop putting chemicals in the tank to attempt to clear the water. There is a reason it's cloudy and you need to find out why, chemicals just mask a problem. Also, I'm assuming after changing substrate that you are starting from scratch as far as cycling is concerned. You said you have no stock in there right now. Are you fishless cyclying?

My other thought is that if you are running a tank without any fish and are not fishless cycling, then purhaps the benificial bacteria that was left in your filters now have nothing to "feed" on and are dying which may also cause cloudy water. This is assuming that after your fish died that you didn't empty the tank and let it sit for a long time. If you did, disreguard this thought and read up on the cycling process. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RGR - The filter intake slots come from the factory as is, so I can't "move" them. Yes, starting from scratch, I haven't started the cycling process as once my stock was gone, I completely dissembled everything, cleaned/updated some of the items. Tank sat dry for at least 2 weeks as I was deciding what I wanted to do, so I'm sure the bacteria is history.

Only reason I added the Aquarclear was to see if it had any effect (it did). I'm not adding any fish or going to cycle until I'm happy with the setup (I know - a boring tank at the moment). I'd rather take care of this issue now, if need be I'll go back to gravel if I have to, but would prefer not.

My other option would be to swap the sand with possibly a heavier, coarser sand so it wouldn't get distubed so easily.
 

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I don't know, could you rip a piece of 3" pvc in half long ways and silicone it to the tank so the water flows to the intake from above where it will suck sand?
 

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I use an argonite substrate too and I think mine is a little finer than sugar grains. I set this tank up late last year and it did take a couple days for the sand to all settle down after filling. Are you sure the sand accumulating on the driftwood is not just water bourne fine particles that are gradually settling rather than coming through the filters? This was the case for me. Once the tank had settled I used the hose to gently blow the sand off the rocks and driftwood, it hasnt settled back there since. The only time any sand gets in my filter intakes is when I get carelss and kick it up too much when doing maintenance and my intakes are only about 2 inches off the bottom.
 

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If you are using Carib-Sea Sugarfine Aragonite sand. It is super fine! It will blow around, settle on things, and make the water cloudy. Eventually it will settle down, but it will take some time. I have it in one of my reef tanks, and I thought it would never settle, but it does. Of course as long as you don't have the mag7 return line pointing at the bottom!
 

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I would highly doubt that the sand is being sucked into the bottom intakes.
1. The suction power at the bottom intakes of an overflow box is very weak.
2. The sand would have to travel against gravity up the overflow box, down the standpipe, through the sump, and then get pumped back into the tank. All of which are significant obstacles to catch the sand.

I think you just have some really fine calcium carbonate staying suspended and it will take some time for this to either dissolve into the water column or coagulate enough to settle out.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Had system running since Friday, come back today and my clouding is worse than when I left. Could also see how the water return was effecting the sand, turned the barrel valve even more to restrict flow and redirected the water return. Looks like it may work, we'll see...
 

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If you have any flow stirring the sugar size sand it will never settle! I love the look of sugar size sand but it can be a problem with to much flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Reduced my flow and redirected last night. Woke up this morning and no different. Decided to remove the Argonite, went to the local pool supply and bought 50 pounds of their sand. After 2 cleanings in the tank, filled and started equipment, within 5 minutes there was already a marked improvement over what I had before. So I'll stick with the LPS, and go from there. Thanks to all for their suggestions.
 
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