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Old 01-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
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Cloudy water from sand -- filter?

I'm in the process of changing from my 10 gallon tank to a 20 gallon. Let me start by saying that when I originally went from gravel to sand in my 10 gallon I definitely did NOT wash the sand enough so it took 5 days to settle -- though it finally did settle and my fish were happily sifting and digging.

When I bought more sand so I would have enough for the 20 gallon, I went all out rinsing the new sand so I wouldn't have to wait as long. I rinsed it about 10 times or more -- until it was crystal clear water in the bucket. I put the sand in the 20 gallon, added about 5 gallons of water, then waiting until it was almost done settling. Then I used a small shovel to take the sand from my 10 gallon and tried to gently lay it in my 20 gallon. I was thinking that MAYBE it would take a few days like it did before.

It's now been 7 days and yesterday the water didn't seem any clearer. Last night I changed out 3 gallons, this time pouring the new water into a cup so it wouldn't disturb the sand as much. It already looks better than it did this whole week.

My question is should I start running a filter? I've read completely opposite views on this and I'm not sure what to go with. Some people have posted that a filter really helps it clear up, others swear that it will completely ruin the filter if you run it when there's still sand particles floating around.

I'm worried about the fish in my current tank going this long without a substrate -- I wasn't thinking it would take this long for the sand to settle so I could make the switch.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
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I would not turn the filter on. The sand will ruin the impeller and the filter will just get all screwed up. If I read your post correctly, I don't think there are any fish in the cloudy tank, correct? I'd do a 80-90% water change. When you put the new water in, get a dish and place it on the sand. Then pour the water on top of the dish so sand doesn't get kicked up or you'll be back where you started.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:26 PM   #3
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Thanks -- I definitely don't want to kill the filter, so I'll leave it off.

That sounds like what I tried to do 2 nights ago. The tank is still cloudy and shows no signs of clearing. Should I try it again?

I read on another site that I could try putting foil down over the sand when I add the water back in...maybe if I do that AND use a jar to pour into it would work better.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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What type of sand are you using? It sounds super-fine. If you continue to have issues, you may consider switching to a heavier, coarser type of sand.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartcories
Thanks -- I definitely don't want to kill the filter, so I'll leave it off.

That sounds like what I tried to do 2 nights ago. The tank is still cloudy and shows no signs of clearing. Should I try it again?

I read on another site that I could try putting foil down over the sand when I add the water back in...maybe if I do that AND use a jar to pour into it would work better.
You could try it again. Being really careful not to kick it up. Use the foil, and a jar or plate or something when you pour in the water. And I agree with Jik, if it keeps happening, switch to a bigger grain sand.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Finally, victory! The aluminum foil did the trick. I covered the bottom of the tank with it and poured into a wide mug. The water is crystal clear.

Thank you for all of your help!
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartcories
Finally, victory! The aluminum foil did the trick. I covered the bottom of the tank with it and poured into a wide mug. The water is crystal clear.

Thank you for all of your help!
That's great!!
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