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Old 01-10-2006, 12:43 PM   #1
Tex
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Newbie question - sort of

Hi all. I just joined and posted a message in the Welcome Wagon forum.

So this is my first real question. I purchased from a LFS a 100 gallon rectangular tank with glass top and stand. I set it up and filled it with tap water, put aargonite sand and some old crushed coral in the bottom. I have several powerheads running to circulate the water and a 350 gph cannister installed and running. I carefully measured out the salt and mixed it in the tank (a definite no-no when animals are there). I have some temporary cheapie lights on it. It's been running since Saturday. The water is still really really cloudy. I would've thought the water would be clear by now. At first I thought it was billions of tiny entrained air bubbles but they would've started to go away by now. Now I think there is some kind of very very fine chalky substance causing the cloudiness. Should I have rinsed the sand first? Is there something else I did wrong or something I can do to clear up the water? I can easily drain and refill if necessary.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:48 PM   #2
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My tank took 3-4 days to clear up after adding sand. No worries it will subside in a day or two.
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:59 PM   #3
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you could turn every thing off, i did that when I set up a 75 and it seems to help a bit
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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The sand will settle out naturally when the bacteria bloom happens in your tank. I don't see that you've put anything in there (rock, coctail shrimp, etc). Have you started the cycle yet or still waiting for the tank to clear? Go ahead and get it started if you haven't already.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Phyl
The sand will settle out naturally when the bacteria bloom happens in your tank. I don't see that you've put anything in there (rock, coctail shrimp, etc). Have you started the cycle yet or still waiting for the tank to clear? Go ahead and get it started if you haven't already.
Thanks for the early replies!!! Sounds like I need to wait and add some "fresh" shrimp.

I actually lied in my original post. My 16 y/o daughter carefully measured and dumped the salt but she can't remember what concentration. She read the instuctions -and yes, she's a national merit scholar and currently in an advanced placement chemistry class. Sooooo....I may have way too much salt or not near enough. What's weird though is that it didn't even register on my 15 year old hydrometer. At any rate I'm taking a 1 quart sample to the LFS tonight to measure the salinity and get my hydrometer checked and buy a new one if needed.

BTW - I'm new to the board but not new to the hobby. I was an enthusiast about 10 years ago but quit for reasons including economic. I was very succesful with fish and anemones and very small corals in smallish tanks.

Wow, after immersing myself in all the internet research I find that some things have changed and some things remain exactly the same. Water chemistry, for example, exactly the same - hasn't changed in thousands or millions of years. Equipment - new stuff out there like power compact lights and LED moonlights. Internet chat boards and online ordering - most definitley new.

And Phyl, I have already added a bunch of old coral and rocks. I have not used the shrimp but will do.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:24 PM   #6
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Old rock and coral don't have anything on them to cause a cycle to start. They are already dead and sterile. You need something that is rotting to start the cycle. Either a good piece of liverock or a plain old shrimp from the grocery store will cycle the tank.
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:38 PM   #7
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Okay here's a WEIRD one. I took a water sample and my old hydrometer to LFS and had them tested. Like I mentioned before, my hydromter wouldn't even register (float the needle). A sample of MY water in their hydromter tested okay, about 1.022. A sample of THEIR water in MY hydromter tested okay. But MY water in MY hydromter wouldn't read. I tossed it and bought a new $15 SeaTest hydromter. As an engineer, I can't stand an unreliable instrument. 8)

They also went ahead and tested the rest of my water. The tests indicate the cycle has started although I clearly told the guy I hadn't added ANY organic matter. Hmmm...........

As of this afternoon, the water had started to clarify a bit. At least I could see the sand on the bottom. I stuck a big plastic spoon in and stirred the sand. Immediately a white chalky cloud floated up. I'm thinking I should have thoroughly washed the sand and old crushed coral. I'm convinced the cloudiness is just particulate that will settle out and get filtered.

I also stopped by a local grocery store and bought some pure fresh shrimp for about a dollar. I have 6 or 7 big shrimp in there. It may be too much. I'll keep an eye on it for a day or two.

I will add live sand and some cured live rock. Probably order online. I have to research that a bit.

Back to the cloudiness problem. I have an old an Diatom D1 (I think) and a bag of old diatom powder from 10 years ago. I was thinking of hooking it up to help filter out my cloudy particulate. As I recall the old Diatom made the water crystal clear. Any thoughts on this???
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:50 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, my wife and teenage kids are totally on board with this. They are as excited as I am. I'm tired of spending money on computers and other junk. Everybody has that stuff. I want people to call my house and ask if they can over and look at my tank. LOL. I'd say within a year I'll be there.
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:55 PM   #9
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I would take out all but two shrimp.
Quote:
As an engineer, I can't stand an unreliable instrument
Better shelf the hydrometer and get a refractometer then.
Quote:
I was thinking of hooking it up to help filter out my cloudy particulate. As I recall the old Diatom made the water crystal clear. Any thoughts on this???
Don't do it. Once the bacteria forms it will settle.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:51 PM   #10
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I second everything brenden said.
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