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Old 12-28-2017, 10:15 AM   #1
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Restarting tank, no luck

55 gal, freshwater, play sand substrate, 10 inches of fish stocked currently, 1 musk turtle, canister filter, 1 plant.

I've been struggling to restart a tank from the ground up. Long story short, while on a very brief away trip my "house sitter" decided to feed my fish because "they were starving to death" and dumped an entire canister of dried shrimp and flakes into the tank. Needless to say when I returned home the room smelled like a rotten fish market and the tank was destroyed and all but a few fish were dead. I had to empty out the tank, save what fish I could, and scrub it all down and start from scratch.

New substrate, filter media, etc. I've never had so much trouble getting a tank started. Substrate was washed. As soon as I filled the tank with a slow running hose, it was cloudy. Did several water changes. Filled it up, let it cycle, it's been hazy-cloudy ever since. Continued to let it cycle, put in some quick start, did some water changes. A month and a half later, it finally started to clear up. It was great for a couple of weeks.

Now I wake up and it looks like this! It went from clear to a brown mud overnight. I'm at a loss.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:37 AM   #2
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Judging from your pic, the problem does not look like the typical new tank, algae or bacterial bloom. IMO, the sand / soil substrate is some how making its way through the upper gravel
layer, clouding up the water. Maybe the turtle is churning it up?
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:35 PM   #3
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Wow that is bad. I don't think I have quite seen anything like that before, and I run dirted tanks, past the initial set up and even those didn't look that bad. Was the turtle in there when the tank went down the first time? Did he ever do this before? I don't know much about turtles. Let alone about turtles in a dirted
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:56 AM   #4
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might wanta Clean your canister again and hoses, change your pads. Then a couple water changes.I know all to well what your going through. My 2 yr old daughter has helped me (feed fish) dumped flake food in my 75g a few times. The second time she did it was the whole can. Much fun! but I learned from the first feeding she did to clean the canister and hoses, rinse pads, unless they are really bad then I just change them out. And do a few water changes to help the canister out. Hope this helps ya. Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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Play sand is filthy. I recommend you remove it and go with a pool filter sand or water filtration media. Both of which are very clean.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:36 AM   #6
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I think you are all correct that the turtle is doing it and the cloudiness is the sand. The turtle was in there before, and last time I set it up I used play sand from Home Depot. Didn't have any issues. Maybe there was something else in it this time.

I should have used pool sand indeed.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:03 PM   #7
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Play sand can be a hit and miss option. Iíve seen some that was very clean and others that looked like they were half dirt. Very fine silt that never ended.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:08 PM   #8
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Iíve used garnet media in 2 tanks with great success. It was very clean. This company also has more nature looking products in a variety of sizes of grain.

http://www.kleenindustrialservices.c...solutions.html

You can probably find something local to yourself.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:04 PM   #9
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Play sand is great if you are ok with washing it for days I got 1 great batch and and one That I ended up dumping in the garden it was so bad.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:39 PM   #10
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We'll see! I'm in the process of trying to clean it out. I took all the animals out, drained it, and now I'm fill-stir-drain-filling to try to get it cleared out.
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