All but a disaster

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Rdrb

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Guys I have this 60 gallon tank where I did follow the Walstad method where soil on bottom and sand on top. Sadly I put 3 inches of soil or two throughout and very less amount of sand. So when the fish disturbed the substrate it was all heck broke loose as tank became cloudy brownish water but the tank parameters are ok. I just wish to break it down completely but then when I want to restart there are fish in it where I can’t keep anywhere else.
I just feel like a failure I have tried cleaning though filtration has helped a bit sometimes the filter media also has jelly like soil matter
Also if i do waterchanges then it becomes clear for 4 to 5 days then back to brownish water
 

Truckjohn

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Can you add more sand on top - like say a full inch?
 
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Rdrb

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Truckjohn said:
Can you add more sand on top - like say a full inch?
I am afraid i keep adding then i will hav less and less surface area fr my fish to swim p.s i have tried that before it worked fr a while then poof
 

Seasoldier

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Hi, what fish do you have which are disturbing the substrate? Agree with above, you'll need a thicker cap of sand or maybe try a very fine pea gravel???
 
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Rdrb

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Seasoldier said:
Hi, what fish do you have which are disturbing the substrate? Agree with above, you'll need a thicker cap of sand or maybe try a very fine pea gravel???
Well swordtails which are oddly disturbing substrats like glodfish feedish is a ll good a three spot gourami and rainbow fish dwarf neon juveniles and 2 halfbeaks

Also substrate tends to get disturbed by other ways which i am nit sure of
 

Seasoldier

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Hmm, 3 spot gourami will root through the sand so if it's not thick enough they could be mixing it & bringing the soil up, what's your water flow like? Do you have any downward flow which could be disturbing the bottom or an airstone?
 
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Rdrb

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Seasoldier said:
Hmm, 3 spot gourami will root through the sand so if it's not thick enough they could be mixing it & bringing the soil up, what's your water flow like? Do you have any downward flow which could be disturbing the bottom or an airstone?
No just a hob filter and a aeration tube on close to surface

Maybe movement of plants are triggering the soil to get mixed with water
 

Seasoldier

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Rdrb said:
Maybe movement of plants are triggering the soil to get mixed with water
What sort of plants & how are they moving? if they're rooted plants the roots should help stabilise the substrate.
 
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Rdrb

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well its vallineria who are notorius plants which have tubers which propagate also the leaves of them are brownish also amazon swords are growing slowly but surely in thefront i hav dwarf hygro and few giant hygro in the back with cabomba
P.s sorry i am troubling you with my dumb mistakes
 

SeanyBaggs123

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I second the gravel cap idea. That soil is soooooo beneficial for your plants. Just need to figure out how to keep it on the bottom.
 
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Rdrb

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Well i think i might need additional filtrations if i am not wrong
 

SeanyBaggs123

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Rdrb said:
Well i think i might need additional filtrations if i am not wrong
I wouldn't worry about that. You may reduce your water volume (minimally) in the process, but if you're heavily planted like a walstad tank usually is... should be fine. In addition, you're also adding a ton of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and mulm and fish food to replenish the soil thru... Just my opinion and I run a similar tank.
 
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Rdrb

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Ok thanks guys i guess there is hope fr the 60 g btw thanks for replying all my questions and theories
 

kallililly1973

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i would look into baffeling the hob i think that is disturbing the substrate also i would definitely add more sand a 60 gallon is pretty tall and an extra 1" will not affect them much. Another option is a canister with a lily pipe on the return it give good surface agitation without rushing the water out to the bottom. I have a 29 with a SunSun302 with a lily pipe on it and have organic soil capped with PFS and even have cories and it stays clear. Good Luck!!
 

ZachGee123

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I used to have a 29 gal with soil and PFS. I kept a young loach and Cories and never had any problems. As others suggested I would add more sand or gravel and do a couple water changes and you should be fine. I always used HOB filters, but I made sure my water was always well topped off so the outflow wouldn’t hit the substrate too hard. Sometimes tannins leach out and stain the water a little bit, but it will stabilize after a few water changes and the water will clear. Good luck!
 
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