Filter Too Strong For Substrate?

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taylormarie213

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Hello! I am new to live plants (I hadn't added them in my tank yet) and sand when it comes to aquariums. Today, I bought an Aqueon 10 gal starter kit with a Quiet Flow filter which is a hang on the back. Attached are pictures of the filter.
Well, first I put the sand in and put a bowl on top. Then I slowly poured water into the bowl until it overflowed onto the sand and i kept doing that until the water level was over the bowl. Then I continue to slowly pour the rest of the water in. The water stirred up the sand a little bit which made the water kinda murky. I put my water conditioner in and turn on the filter. It seemed to make the tank extremely cloudy and move the sand a lot, especially in the center. I left it going on for a few hours and it never got better.
Another note is that the filter had a loud hum than it was advertised. Maybe I should put more water in to cover more of the filter (the most important parts are already submerged in water)? Maybe the little waterfall where the water comes out of the filter is too high up from the tank's water level?
I'm not really knowledgeable on filters so any info would be great! I am also brand new on using sand and live plants as well. What can I do to the filter to help this problem? Are there any other things I could do? Also, what should I do with the water that has so much sand and perhaps other stuff floating around making it cloudy/murky?
I have heard of prefilter sponges but I read up on them and got mixed reviews but I don't know if this will fix the problem.
Sorry for such a long post but I still want to learn as much as I can! Thank you for taking your time to read this and answer!
 

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Tony M

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Did you rinse the sand first? If not you may have to start over.
 

Zigi Zig

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taylormarie213

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Zigi Zig said:
Hello
I wouldn't recommend sand with live plants you should use substrate that is suitable for aquatic plants such as ECO Complete or any type aquarium soil..
This is what I used. I went to an actual aquarium store and this is what the owner recommended.

Tony M said:
Did you rinse the sand first? If not you may have to start over.
Do I have to buy new sand or substrate or just empty the water, then wash the sand, then start the water part over?

taylormarie213 said:
Do I have to buy new sand or substrate or just empty the water, then wash the sand, then start the water part over?
Also, how do you wash the sand and put it back in the tank? Sorry, I'm really new to this.
 

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Drewski23

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When I first started with my first tank I didn't fill it up all the way so I understand what you mean by the waterfall being too long. As I started topping off my tank the current became more gentle. You can also go for a sponge filter as the air current will go upwards to the surface and not disturb your substrate.
 
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taylormarie213

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Drewski23 said:
When I first started with my first tank I didn't fill it up all the way so I understand what you mean by the waterfall being too long. As I started topping off my tank the current became more gentle. You can also go for a sponge filter as the air current will go upwards to the surface and not disturb your substrate.
Do you have a sponge filter you recommend? and thank you for the advice! I will it up more to see if it helps once the water and stuff settles a little more.
 

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taylormarie213 said:
Do you have a sponge filter you recommend? and thank you for the advice! I will it up more to see if it helps once the water and stuff settles a little more.
No problem. You might have to fill it up if you want it to settle if the current is stirring everything up in there. I use bacto-surge sponge I bought from a local fish store. It was like $10 but it might be a little cheaper for a small one for a 10 gallon. You're going to need an air pump to connect and pump air through it if you don't have one.
 

CheshireKat

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Instead of buying a sponge filter, you can put an intake sponge on your current filter. You don't necessarily have to take the sand out and wash it again. A fine sponge on the intake, or even a fine cloth (never used, and thin probably would be best; I used a thin cloth from the dollar store to clear up brown water from clay cat litter) wrapped around the intake with a rubber band might collect the "dust" clouding the water. Usually cloudyness dissipates as the tank settles though, but it might be worth washing it again if you want. Water changes can also help.
What color is the water? Like grayish, milky?
 

Mongo75

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CheshireKat said:
Instead of buying a sponge filter, you can put an intake sponge on your current filter. You don't necessarily have to take the sand out and wash it again. A fine sponge on the intake, or even a fine cloth (never used, and thin probably would be best; I used a thin cloth from the dollar store to clear up brown water from clay cat litter) wrapped around the intake with a rubber band might collect the "dust" clouding the water. Usually cloudyness dissipates as the tank settles though, but it might be worth washing it again if you want. Water changes can also help.
What color is the water? Like grayish, milky?
What CheshireKat says,..
taylormarie213 said:
Do you have a sponge filter you recommend? and thank you for the advice! I will it up more to see if it helps once the water and stuff settles a little more.
Or, if you prefer, I like the ATI sponge filters. They're not very expensive and quite efficient. This isn't the only place you can find them, but it shows all the optional sizes they come in.

If you go with a sponge filter, you will either need to remove your HOB, or baffle it in some way, so using a pre-filter on your HOB may be the better solution.
 

CheshireKat

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I personally prefer box filters over sponge filters because you can fill it with whatever you want: different sponges, filter floss, bio media, even carbon if needed. There's different kinds, like slats on the sides or slats on the top, and there's corner ones, too. But I know a lot of people love sponge filters. I just didn't care for them for my own setups and preferences. And I bought small ones for less than $5; I just bought an extra for $3.
 

Islandvic

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If possible, drain the tank and scoop out the sand into a bucket.

The sand/substrate you bought and be rinsed using a garden hose and a bucket outside in the yard.

I would not advise to rinse in a sink.

The Flourite will not rinse completely clean though. Even after it is rinsed, once it's in the tank and disturbed again, it'll cloud up somewhat but not near as bad.

I suggest taking a look at this (LINK) to a thread in the forum about adding DIY media to a filter. It also goes over the basics of filtration. It is a long read through the entire thread, but there is a lot of good info. There is also a ton of examples and pics given showing inexpensive and effective ways to boost your mechanical and biological filtration. It will show how to discard the cartridges and utilize re-usable media instead.

Those Aqueon filters aren't bad. The blue plastic grid deals are gimmicky and dont really add to any filtration though. If you check out the link I have above and inserted a block of foam sponge and a bit of Polyfil in thr filter, it will work a lot better than a disposable cartridge and a plastic contraption that's in there now for example.

Also, the higher you raise the water level and reduce the filter's discharge from plunging into the tank (waterfall effect), this will greatly reduce the current and disturbance of the substrate.

Also, pool filter sand can be used for planted tanks. I use the Quikrete brand of PFS in my tanks. After it was properly rinsed, I have zero clouding. I can scoop it up and pour it back in, and all the grains fall straight back down. If you add a Seachem Flourish Root Tab in the sand for each plant, they will grow fine.
 

JayH

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If you don't rinse the gravel/sand substrate before putting it in the aquarium, there will be a LOT of very fine particles that will easily get stirred up into the water. This is what's making your water cloudy. These are tiny bits of the substrate that have broken off due to rubbing against other pieces.

If these tiny pieces get sucked up into the filter, they can get lodged in the impeller, which is the bit that makes the water move through the filter. This is probably what's causing the filter to make noise. To fix it you'll have to take the impeller out and clean it. I'm not familiar with your specific filter so I can't say exactly how to do that. I'm sure if you look on YouTube you'll be able to find a video that shows you how.

To reduce the likelihood of things getting trapped like this again, you can get a circular sponge with a hole in the center that will slip over the intake of your filter. This is sometimes referred to as a pre-filter. It will trap much of the larger debris from the tank and also keep smaller life forms from getting sucked into the filter. You clean it periodically by squeezing it out in a bucket of old tank water. To keep the muck from dropping out into the tank, slip a plastic bag over the sponge before you take it off the intake. That will trap the muck in the bag.

It also sounds like you need to raise the water level. You really don't need a full waterfall coming from the filter. The farther the water drops from the filter before hitting the top of the water in the tank, the more force it will have. You're basically adding the effect of gravity to the force of the pump in the filter. As long as there's some rippling on the water surface you're getting enough agitation to give your fish all the oxygen they need.
 
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