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Cloudy new aquarium set up

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Liam Chesterton, May 20, 2019.

  1. Liam Chesterton

    Liam Chesterton New Member

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    I have set up a new tank with aquarium soil but it has been like this since I filled the tank up 3 days ago. I am trying to work out if its because the soil wasn't washed properly or there is a bloom going on. I have a large bit of drift wood and plants in there (couldn't plant then cause I couldn't see anything) The substrate is black which makes me think its something else. Is the best way to fix the problem water changes or wait it out? I was planning on doing a fish less cycle but am waiting on Ammonia to be deliver. IMG_4191.jpg
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    Milky cloudy water is normally caused by a bacteria eating rotting organic matter. It can be produced by "aquarium soils" designed for plants, or anything else that is decomposing in the water.

    The "aquarium soils" for plants are not the best thing to use in an aquarium with fish due to the ammonia released by the rotting substrate.

    The quickest way to clear a cloudy tank is to drain it and refill it with clean water.
     
  3. Liam Chesterton

    Liam Chesterton New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. Will large water changes help or do I have to empty the whole tank?
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I would drain the water level down to the substrate and refill it. But it depends on what is causing the problem. Some substrates have organic matter bound onto gravel and this releases slowly over a period of months. If you have this type of substrate it might need a lot of water changes to clear the problem.

    If it's just some gunk in the substrate, then gravel cleaning the substrate and draining/ refilling the tank should fix it.

    If you don't have a basic model gravel cleaner like the one in the following link, pop down to the pet shop and get one. You can also make one from a 1litre, 1.5 litre or 2 litre plastic drink bottle. Remove the cap and cut the bottom off the bottle and throw those two bits away. Stick a garden hose or some clear tubing on the top of the bottle and run it out the door onto the lawn. Then gravel clean away.
    https://www.about-goldfish.com/aquarium-cleaning.html
     
  5. Liam Chesterton

    Liam Chesterton New Member

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    Again, thanks for the reply, last night i emptied the tank, down to the substrate, (planted the plants) and filled it back up, but it is still cloudy, should I keep doing it until its clear? It is a little clearer. I have used the substrate in a 20 liter tank I have with a large bit of drift wood coming out and haven't had any issues
     

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  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Your substrate appears to be releasing gunk into the water. You can try removing it and washing it out a few times but if it's a "plant substrate" it will probably continue to release stuff for a long time. You can try a few more water changes or you can leave it for a week and see what happens.

    There is no need to remove the plants when cleaning the gravel.
     

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