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Old 03-31-2015, 11:23 PM   #1
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Unhappy Testing dirt for live plants HELP!!

Hello, I'll start off by saying that I am a noob when it comes to aquariums. I have just started. A friend of mine is really good with them though and he wanted to try a new method for flooring once he moves out. I told him I'd give it a try in my empty tank so he knows the results before he tries it.

So what I did was, I took some dirt from the back yard, sifted it so I had ONLY dirt and no leafs or branches. I then laid that dirt down, added in 2 live plants, and layed down a layer of rocks. After adding in the water slowly, as you can imagine there was tons of dirt and small things floating and in the water. I have an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 with a filter cartridge Medium. On the back it gives the stages of water filtration. Stage 1: "Dense floss removes particles and debris" stage 2: "Activated carbon removes toxins, odors, and discoloration" stage 3: "Patented Bio-Holster removes toxic ammonia and nitrites" At first the filter did get almost everything out of the water. It's been running this water for 3 days now and it advertises 100 gallons per hour and I have a 15-20 gallon tank. The water is still a green color and when the sun hits it I can see all of the cloudiness in the water. Is this green/brown cloudiness going to get filtered out eventually or will it stay this color?
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:08 AM   #2
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It sounds like an algae bloom/bacterial bloom, likely caused by the addition of the dirt. If it's greenwater algae, it may or may not go away on it's own eventually. Bacterial blooms (white milky cloudiness) do tend to go away after a few weeks.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
It sounds like an algae bloom/bacterial bloom, likely caused by the addition of the dirt. If it's greenwater algae, it may or may not go away on it's own eventually. Bacterial blooms (white milky cloudiness) do tend to go away after a few weeks.

It could also be from the mention of direct sunlight hitting the tank. How long does light hit the tank each day? It's best to keep tanks out of direct sunlight as this is what causes algae to reproduce in nature. Same goes for the home aquaria. The more sunlight the tank gets the bigger algae problem you will have. Exceptions can be like heavily planted tanks that eat nitrates/nutrients pretty much preventing the algae from growing for the most part.

The cycling process and the dirt are likely clouding your water in addition to the algae or bacterial bloom. Have you read up on cycling the tank properly? It's fairly easy and will save your fish a ton of stress.

Can we get some pics? Shouldn't be hard to tell the difference between an algae and bacterial bloom once we get eyes on the tank.


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Old 04-01-2015, 04:52 PM   #4
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:17 PM   #5
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Yep it's just cloudy from the dirt. Water changes over time and some Purigen in the filter would clean it up.


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Old 04-09-2015, 07:02 PM   #6
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I made the mistake of placing my 55 gallon tank where it gets strong afternoon sun. Big algae bloom. I added a Zenblue canister filter with built in UV and it cleared up the water but tank is getting moved Sunday anyway. I don't know how high tech you want to go but the Zenblue is terrific.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:49 AM   #7
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ah I know that color well, its just tannin (sp?) from the wood in the so called dirt..I have tried 3 brands now and looked at many more and all have a high percentage of wood in them, saddly shifting only gets the large bits out. That said the more plants you have the faster its removed without doing anything else, I've heard the purigen does a nice job, but I can't find it in a small(ish) amount that my pocket says I can buy it at.


So far all my planted tanks how settled out with my 125 taking the longest at about 4 months (no plants at the start) with my 45 tall showing clean in a few days (Xtremely heavy on plants)
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:16 AM   #8
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The concern I would have with using the dirt from my back yard is that I don't know for certain the pesticides, or herbicides, or anything like that has been used on it. It seems like a risk I would be unwilling to take. Also if using a layer of dirt under a cap of something else, planting and replanting will always make it stir up a cloud.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:31 AM   #9
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I should point out I capped mine with a sand/gravel mix, if done slowly pulling plants doesn't stir much up, even this last time it was cleared up within a day and it looked like a bomb went off in the tank (removed a LOT of crypts and a 24 inch amazon sword), planting should do even less if its bare roots, just work slow and easy.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:54 PM   #10
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I did the same with my first planted tanks and will probably do it again with my next tank. All Alabama dirt has tanins, which results in tea when you put it in an aquarium. Cycle as planned. The color will eventually go away with water changes. Then, keep root spikes in the dirt. The dirt absorbs and retains nutrients for your plants.
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