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Old 09-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Sand - Not Hardware....

Ok, I've never used sand in an aquarium before. I just setup my new 125 corner tank, w/drilled overflow and sump etc.. In my previous 50 gallon, I used crushed coral for the substrate. This time, I decided to use special grade reef sand. I rinsed each back for about 30 - 45 minutes and filled the aquarium carefully using a plate to diffuse the water. Never the less the water clouded up as expected. Its been about 16 hours now, and the water is still about 30% cloudy.. Now, I had some spots where I wanted to even the sand out a bit, but its raising huge plumes of dust, and its sticking to the sides of my tank as it settles!

Anyway - is this normal? Should I be using a better mechanical / micro-filtration pad to filter this stuff out ? Or, am I just going to have to suck it up and deal with it for a few months ?

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-Tony
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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Definitely normal. I rinsed each 30Lbs bag 6 times (240Lbs) and still got a storm. I then did a huge PWC (just for fun) and that removed some more of it. It still took a few more days to settle. Once it settles and you cycle the tank, the bacteria will weigh it down a bit more. I wouldn't worry about it.
I'd really like to see a pic of a 125 corner!
A filter with carbon should help, personally, I use purigen. If you don't have a filter, don't go out an buy one for that reason. I like filters and buy one with every tank, but that is only 1 person's preference.
I just thought of this. Depending on what kind of ph you are using, you could even put a micron bad on the output or panty hose, but you would have to take it out and rinse it maybe each night (might work), I'd like to see what others say.
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:06 PM   #3
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When you say filter.. do you mean like a hang on filter ? I could put one in my sump, but the tank is eurobraced so I cant really use one there.. What if i put carbonbags like for a Fluval XP on the drip trays (thats where I put my bags of gravel fro my 50gal) and a mechanical filter pad..

If you want to see pics, I have pics posted of my the 125 at...

http://mattke.net/zenphoto/page/search/125G%20Corner

You can see all my fish pictures via this link,
http://mattke.net/zenphoto/page/search/fish

or my favorite pic of one of my parrots via,
http://mattke.net/zenphoto/2008/June/IMG_0027.JPG.php

Thanks !

-Tony
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:22 PM   #4
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Just run a single power head to keep the water flowing and add about 3 cocktail shrimp to start your cycle.

As Scott said. as the tank cycles the bacteria will coat the grains of sand making them heavy enough to settle. I did not rinse my bags of tropical playsand before putting them in the tank. I just dumped them in. The tank was cloudy for several days to the point I could not even see my rock. That settled after about a week and then a few days later the water cleared. Sand storms were common during the first six months. After that the sand that got disturbed when doing tank maintenance settled rather quickly. The last time I had a power head come loose and point at the sand bed, the dust storm settled within a couple of hours of me fixing the problem and getting the sand back where it belonged.

So this will be a fresh water tank?
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:39 PM   #5
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Yes, Freshwater. Mostly Cichlids. I tend to do a mix of whatever seems to work well, mainly buying fish for the common temperament and color. I have a mix of African, and Central American Cichlids in my other tank that get along quite well, and they're all going to move into this one after the next few weeks or so....

Apparently I scratched the inside of my tank yesterday when I used a sponge to clean off the stand dust that stuck to the inside of the tank.... UGH I can't belive it scratched so easily... I guess I need a step stool so i can just use my hand next time.. (I'm 6'9", but this thing is still too tall for me to get past half way or so into the front of the tank)
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:26 PM   #6
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We're now 4 days into the dusty tank. Things are clearing still.. I've still got a big plume of dust that can be seen directly under the lights... Dosen't help that the fish I have in there are all diggers...

-T
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:29 PM   #7
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Hmmmm, you may want to read up on the fishless cycle. It's at the bottom of my sig....
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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I know all about the fishless cycle. When starting this tank, I brought enough bacteria from my established tank to handle the current bioload. We're currently 4 days in with 0 ammonia levels, and 0 nitrites. (there was a small bit of nitrites on day 2, but they're back down at 0 again now)

I bought 2 filter bags of gravel and put them in my sump, plus, 1 month ago, I had added extra ceramic in the canister to bring home when I stocked this tank.

-T
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:15 PM   #9
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Ahh, ok, great deal. I must have missed that part and props for the more humane way to go!
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Good reading about:
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:02 PM   #10
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No problem, I understand how it is.. I'm new here, you never know how much I may know about cycling, or the nitrogen cycle, or any of that kinda stuff.

I made some mistakes when I initially setup my first tank, and I learned. My biggest fears these days are disease. I lost a betta that I had to some random disease that I couldn't figure out in time. He was my first fish and made it through 3 tanks of mine.

RIP Max

-Tony
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