Ammonia spikes with new sand

superstarbuza

I need some help from smarter people than I.

I have a 29-gallon tank that I recently took all the gravel out of and put Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand into. I read both options of rinsing and not rinsing but determined that rinsing was the better option after some research. I rinsed the sand a lot, trying to make it so that it was not very cloudy when I set up the tank, I would say 6-7 times. Finally, I was able to get the water to a point of very low cloudiness. I put in the packet of "de-cloudy" stuff that was included and ran the filter for about a week. The water still looked a little cloudy, but I decided to test the water anyway. Nitrate, Nitrates, and PH are perfect, but the ammonia level was WAY too high. I purchased Ammonia-lock and tried that for a week, but still was getting bad ammonia levels. I rinsed the sand again several times and put fresh water in, ran the filter for a week, and was getting the same results. I eventually pulled all the ornaments out (driftwood, plastic plants, and rocks) and was going to test each in a bucket to see what was causing the spikes. I started with the sand, and sure enough, it is the sand. I tested the ammonia of some water before putting it in the tank, put it in with only the sand, then tested it again after a few hours. The ammonia was very dark green. I tried rinsing the sand again, 4 more times. At this point, I have rinsed the sand a dozen times. The water is still a little cloudy. Do I still need to continue to rinse? Will this help my ammonia problem?

My filter is a canister with foam/floss, nirta-zorb, established biofilter, and Seachem Purigen. I also run all my aquarium water through an RO system. I have a 60-gallon cichlid tank that is perfect, but this 29-gallon is making me feel so dumb! Help!

Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thank you

(obviously, I have no fish in the tank yet, thankfully)
 

WRWAquarium

That's very Confusing, there must be somthing wrong with that sand. Contaminated somehow? Still after all that rinsing and soaking in water :s
 

ProudPapa

Welcome to the forum. At this point I'd try a different substrate. I'm a big fan of plain pool filter sand.
 

LurkingontheReg

I have this in my 29 gallon. Love it. Never had or even heard of the issues you're having. I'm thinking you have a bad batch and should probably move on to something else.
 

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