29 Gallon new tank, with extra cloudiness

  • #1

I was able to keep a couple of fish alive in a 5 gallon tank for a while so the wifey allowed me to upgrade.

I went to the local store and got a decent deal on a 29 gallon tank. A hood, a Bio-wheel filter, 40lbs of gravel, a heater, and water treatment for Under $150 ( maybe a good deal maybe not but all brand name equipment)

Well I went ahead and rinsed about 30lbs of gravel to form a nice 1-1.75 inch base. and filled up my tank, much to my shagrin I clearly did not rinse it enough as my tank is CLOUDY, I can't see the easter island thing my wife chose for about 45 minutes after I added the water.

I have not installed the heater and I haven't yet started the bio-wheel in fear of junking it up with gravel dust. So what do I do?

I thought these are my options:

1. start the filter, vacuum the gravel tomorrow and then do a 20-30% change
2. Leave the filter off, vacuum rocks, 20-30% water change

Keep doing this till waters clear then start filter ( if not already running), wait a few more days after it all clears up before adding fish.

Thanks in advance
  • #2
Hi, welcome to fishlore, jgoodstein. I know this forum will be a great addition to your fish keeping hobby, great people always ready to help.

How quickly do you want the cloudiness to clear. You could stir, and vacuum the water out, add some more back in the tank, stir and vacuum, several times, then it should be OK. I always use more gravel though than you state you have. I always use 2.5-3 inches, more if I am going to plant the tank. The more gravel you have the more bacteria will be working in your tank to process the ammonia.

The one thing you will never do is get all the cloudiness out till you start your filter, and then it will settle and over time not be a problem.

What I am REALLY concerned about though is if you have read everything here about starting up a new tank, and the nitrogen cycle. It sounds to me like you are ready to get those fish into this new tank? It would be much better idea to do a fish-less cycle.
Do you have an API Master test kit for Freshwater? Testing your water is the only way you will know for sure when it is ready for the fish. Best of Luck, see you around the forum...
  • #3
Welcome to fishlore. https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm - you'll want to run the filter and cycle the tank before adding the fish. Gravel dust is a pain but I'm sure other members here who use gravel will have recommendations on that.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I am in absolutely no rush to get fish in there. I promise, My wife however is rather anxious to get decorations in there, heh I though this was for me.

I ended up sucking out all of the water, taking all the rocks out, and running them through a colander again and swishing them back and forth between two 5 gallon jugs. It didn't get perfect but it is significantly better, I see a light haze. I went ahead and started the filter, and will take your advice and rinse the rest of the rocks and add them to get somewhere in the 2 1/4- 3 inch base on the tank. I will continue to vacuum the rocks as well just to get that last bit off.

Couple more questions as I get ready for the nitrogen cycle:

How high should I fill the tank? Right to the edge of the biowheel filter where the water pours out?

Where in the tank should the heater go?

everything else seems to be coming together well, and I truly appreciate everyones feedback, I'll go get the water test kits tomorrow.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I think I'm going to give the Biospira a shot if the LFS has it else it'll be Stability or the Cycle product. I'd like to get the little guys from the small tank over there rather quickly. As fro new fish... I'll wait till I've got more.
  • #6
you can go ahead and add decorations, you play around with them, see what configuration you like best while your tank is cycling.

as for what to use for cycling, use the ammonia or pull some filter media from your 5G tank to seed the new filter. the cycle product does not help cycle your aquarium, its just a water conditioner, I tried it for my 10G it did nothing. I resorted to asking my LFS for a small bag of gravel out of their tanks to help seed it.
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  • #7
I think you did the right thing by redoing the gravel and rocks.

It'll take about 1 to 3 days for the gravel dust to settle depending on how well it was rinsed; I'll go out on a limb here and say yours should take 1½ days. : Definitely start the filter going as it will help, you can always rinse off the bio-wheel in some water you've taken from the tank during a water change (don't use fresh water obviously ) before adding the fish.

I've heard mixed results about Bio-Spira and personally haven't tried it so I can't be of help there.

You can have the water level touching the bottom of where the water runs out of the filter or not. My 55 gallon community tank has the water level touching the 'outlet'. My 30 gallon divided betta tank has the water level 2½-3" below it (my wife likes the 'waterfall sound' effect ), as long as water is flowing through the filter it's a matter of personal preferance; you can also have a look at the pictures of the manual to get an idea. Just remember to switch off the filter during water changes and switch it back on afterwards.

Depending on the length of the heater try placing it at the opposite side of the back wall to the filter if you can; otherwise, and making sure it is a submersible heater, place it under the 'inlet' of the filter tube but not resting on the gravel.

Last but not least, when you are ready to add your inhabitants, do so slowly.
  • #8
and makes sure when you do water changes you unplug the heater..or turn it off. how ever it works..because not all heaters have an automatic shut of feature. I still unplug mine ..otherwise you will fry the heater and then its junk..do you know the brand of heater it is..heaters are one of those things that you can't get by with if there not a good brand..but sometimes they work....good luck..you will proubably have sucess in this hobby I think you can get a sense of everyone after reading a few post..you seem like you want to learn and do you best...Well good luck

Cody, the shrimp lover
  • #9
Often times the LFS does not have Bio-Spira......the one place you can always get it is

though the shipping is $$$$$, due to express, which is needed because it is live bacteria.......

If you do use bio-spira you need to feed the bacteria right from the beginning. Some people just put the fish right in, I still prefer to use fish food flakes twice a day for a few days.....just to be sure.

If you don't use it, but seed the tank as suggested above, or ANY other form of cycling, you MUST test the water before you put fish in, anything short of 0 on ammonia and nitrites, will be toxic to your fish, so don't add them.....This can take weeks !
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  • #10
and makes sure when you do water changes you unplug the heater..or turn it off. how ever it works..because not all heaters have an automatic shut of feature.
Cody, the shrimp lover

Yeah Definitely do this! Nicely spotted Cody x
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  • #11
OK I picked up the water kit that every said was the best, the API freshwater master kit. last night I added the Prime for water conditioner. And I did the tests about an hour ago they read as follows:

PH: 7.6
High PH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

Seems like my PH#'s are a bit high. What's the best way to drop that number? The LFS (Big Al's) does carry the Bio-spira and I picked up a bag in the fridge section. It's a much smaller bag then I imagined. Should I fix teh ph before adding the Bio-spira or should iI go ahead and add it then fix the PH?

After 24 hours I should be able to add my existing two fish and begin the standard cycle if I am correct? that's the assumption from my readings.

I'm heading back to LFS with the kids to see them feed the sharks and such. and will check for replies on my phone, Again thanks so much fro all your help.
  • #12
you're ph's will balance themselves out, and even if they aren't exact, your fish will adapt to it, if anything, they prefer consistency, if you try to play around with the ph ourself, it'll be bouning around all over the place and the fish will be stressed.

you'll know when your tank is cycled when ammonia and nitrites are at 0ppm and the nitrates will be around 10-15ppm, this is normal, when the nitrates get too high, you know to do a water change to lower them.

wow, the big als here does not sell bio spira, just the frozen foods, so I'm surrised you found it there. once you add the bio spira, its basically an instant cycle, you can add fish after 24 hours. but do so a few at a time,I would say 2-3 per week until your tank is stocked.
  • #13
You can add the BioSpira, then add the fish right away. Don't test the water or do water changes for 7 days. The BioSpira will use the fish waste to send your tank into cycled status. The bag will need used soon and I believe it cycles a 30 gallon tank.

I'm glad you didn't buy "Cycle", it causes the tank to go into an endless series of mini-cycles and is pretty much just expensive water. We learned this after 2 months of using it.

If you're picking up fish near where you live, the pH there should be close to yours and the fish that you pick up will be adapted to the local water and just need the regular acclimating process to introduce them to the tank. The main thing with pH is to keep it stable and using pH altering products make it go up & down - hard on the fish.
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  • #14
OK, I went and added my two fish granted it was a bit later then exactly when I added the bio spira but I figure the longer I wait the more danger I was putting everything in.
  • #15
From what I know of Bio-Spira, there's a bit of flexibility to things. Rose (chickadee) has a lot of experience with it so I go by her advice since we're not fortunate enough to have ever had it locally.

OK, I went and added my two fish granted it was a bit later then exactly when I added the bio spira but I figure the longer I wait the more danger I was putting everything in.

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