Fluval plant & shrimp substrate - layer of dirt over everything?

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ellamay

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Sorry for the bad quality photo.

I’ve set up a new 5gal tank using plant substrate for the first time. Everything in there looks gross and dirty. It’s been about a week since I planted it. The rocks were light and all the plants bright green before planting them kicked up all the dust and it seems to have settled on them :/

Has anyone else had this issue?
F059B4AB-16DA-4F26-99A6-3D51F49E8280.jpeg
 

Uberhoust

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I have had similar. You can clean off the rocks after the material has settled. It might take some time to fully clear. A polishing pad in the filter might help remove some of the substrate dust that is in the aquarium and speed up the process. My overall suggestion is to simply give it some time to clear.
 
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ellamay

ellamay

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I have had similar. You can clean off the rocks after the material has settled. It might take some time to fully clear. A polishing pad in the filter might help remove some of the substrate dust that is in the aquarium and speed up the process. My overall suggestion is to simply give it some time to clear.
I’m glad yours sorted its self out! Looks worse today 😂 I’ll try give it a proper clean and leave it to settle again. My worry is the plants because it’s completely covering them
 

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FishNturt808

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You can let it settle then grab a little rubber tubing and spot vac it off the plants and decor. That’s what I do with the stratum, which is pretty much the same thing
 

Uberhoust

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I don't think what you are seeing is from the soil dust, looks more like a bacterial or fungal mat. I would do as @FishNturt808 suggests and syphon the growth off. Mine never got that bad so I am out of ideas.
 

FishNturt808

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I don't think what you are seeing is from the soil dust, looks more like a bacterial or fungal mat. I would do as @FishNturt808 suggests and syphon the growth off. Mine never got that bad so I am out of ideas.
I’ll admit I didn’t look at the pictures until your reply…😬
But, yeah definitely siphon that out. The fluval version of aquasoil doesn’t get that messy. I have read some various brands’ reviews and there have been some that said theirs basically broke down immediately into a silty layer, which looks to me what has happened here.
 
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ellamay

ellamay

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I’ll admit I didn’t look at the pictures until your reply…😬
But, yeah definitely siphon that out. The fluval version of aquasoil doesn’t get that messy. I have read some various brands’ reviews and there have been some that said theirs basically broke down immediately into a silty layer, which looks to me what has happened here.
71920590-CEB1-4731-A241-ADFF8647BB22.jpeg

Just siphoned a lot of it out so obviously it’s disturbed the substrate again and now everything’s dirty again 😭
 

FishNturt808

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View attachment 155775
Just siphoned a lot of it out so obviously it’s disturbed the substrate again and now everything’s dirty again 😭
Did you use a gravel vac? I would just use a length of tubing that way you are just getting the stuff on top. I have the fluval stratum substrate in most of my tanks and it has never looked like that. Yours definitely looks like it’s disintegrating. Maybe suck out all you can, again with just the plain tubing, no vac, and put a sand or gravel cap layer on it.
 

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