Have you ever noticed that aquarium sand makes the water cloudy?

BadisBadis

Now I'm not talking cycle cloudy or bacteria bloom cloudy, honestly most people probably wouldn't notice but I'm anal about having crystal clear water. My tank upstairs is good. So I bought some black sand (don't know brand, just what was at the LFS for freshwater) and I used it for my 29 south American tank. Now...I always had problems with the water being not fully crystal clear. Which is a must for me. I thought maybe it was the driftwood root I added. Psa the sand is fully washed etc.
Later down the road after breaking down the tank eventually we are at a new house and I'm using the 29 for some ornamental goldfish (no fish in tank yet) I used the same sand. The water is still not crystal clear which it should be. I think the sand is somehow making the water impure. Like what the heck. Does all sand do this? I want sand in the tank but not if it's going to make the water weird. Anyone else kinda notice this?
 

SotaAquatics

I don't have cloudy water from my sand substrates. Would depend what you have, hard to know for sure without knowing what substrate you actually. I use a lot of flourite black sand and wash the heck out of it and never have any clouding.
 
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BigManAquatics

Did you rinse it real good first? Also, real fine sand can make thinks real cloudy as well as it is so easy to stir up.
 
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Catappa

Now I'm not talking cycle cloudy or bacteria bloom cloudy, honestly most people probably wouldn't notice but I'm anal about having crystal clear water. My tank upstairs is good. So I bought some black sand (don't know brand, just what was at the LFS for freshwater) and I used it for my 29 south American tank. Now...I always had problems with the water being not fully crystal clear. Which is a must for me. I thought maybe it was the driftwood root I added. Psa the sand is fully washed etc.
Later down the road after breaking down the tank eventually we are at a new house and I'm using the 29 for some ornamental goldfish (no fish in tank yet) I used the same sand. The water is still not crystal clear which it should be. I think the sand is somehow making the water impure. Like what the heck. Does all sand do this? I want sand in the tank but not if it's going to make the water weird. Anyone else kinda notice this?
This is a common problem. The sand is made of clay and that always breaks down a bit and cause "dust". It needs to be really thoroughly washed before the first use and because you are reusing it, you need to rinse it again many times until the water runs clear.
 
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pagoda

I have sand in all 5 aquariums...1 white sand and the other 4 are black sand

Having had sandstorms in the past, the way I avoid it now is to use bottled water (I use that in all aquariums anyway) but for the first 6" depth of water I use small bottles of water where I can control the flow to a dribble and always onto a rock or ornament to disperse the water everywhere rather than have it splash all over the sand and kick it up.

The fish tend to undo all my hardwork in keeping the sand under control though...forever digging holes and lobbing sand all over the place for fun (usually right after I have done the weekly maintenance cos they are awkward lol)
 
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BadisBadis

I don't have cloudy water from my sand substrates. Would depend what you have, hard to know for sure without knowing what substrate you actually. I use a lot of flourite black sand and wash the heck out of it and never have any clouding.
I honestly probably still have an unopened bag downstairs too. Wasn't anything fancy, I had issues with this other expensive live plant rock substrate that refused to cycle my tank so now that's in a bucket too.
Did you rinse it real good first? Also, real fine sand can make thinks real cloudy as well as it is so easy to stir up.
Yes it was rinsed many times. It's very fine. But there's no fish in the tank as of yet
I have sand in all 5 aquariums...1 white sand and the other 4 are black sand

Having had sandstorms in the past, the way I avoid it now is to use bottled water (I use that in all aquariums anyway) but for the first 6" depth of water I use small bottles of water where I can control the flow to a dribble and always onto a rock or ornament to disperse the water everywhere rather than have it splash all over the sand and kick it up.

The fish tend to undo all my hardwork in keeping the sand under control though...forever digging holes and lobbing sand all over the place for fun (usually right after I have done the weekly maintenance cos they are awkward lol)
This is what I do too. This tank has had running water in it for over 2 weeks now and it's still slightly dirty looking. I have very fine filter floss in the canister filter and would have thought any floating particles would have been clear by now:/
This is a common problem. The sand is made of clay and that always breaks down a bit and cause "dust". It needs to be really thoroughly washed before the first use and because you are reusing it, you need to rinse it again many times until the water runs clear.
I guess I'll change like 60% of the water and see if that helps lol I did wash it very good prior to use and would have thought my filter would have caught all the particles after 2 weeks (canister filter rated for 70g) but you know, it's probably just slowly breaking down like you said. Ug. I kinda want to take it out now lol
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Blank sand from the LFS....if its Amazonia or some other fertilized substrate then it's going to leech nutrients for a while and cause cloudy water
 
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barbiespoodle

I have 3 tanks with sanded bottoms, 2 are dirt with a sand topper, the most recent is only sand. Maybe it's the sand I'm using, but I have no problem with it clouding up the water in the least. But I have heard there are some sands you have to rinse a lot, and even after that, have to keep doing water changes every day for a while before you get all the clay off it it. Guess I have been lucky.

Here are a few pics to show the luck I have had, the tanks range from a few months to a couple weeks in age.

The first pic is a panda cory growout tank. The second pic is a wcmm/shrimp tank. The third pic is a tank I have been cycling for 2 weeks now to serve as a albino cory fry grow out tank, I just added 3 guppies today to help with the cycling. P.S. the plants in the third pic are only there to help with the cycling, they are not the end look I want.

P.S.S. I fully understand you wanting crystal clear water, I'm the exact same way and have totally torn apart tanks and started over from scratch if I was unable to achieve it.
 

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Catappa

There is real sand and then there are all the clay "sands", like Flourite.
 
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mattgirl

I have inexpensive pool filter sand in my tanks. I rinsed it really really well before it went in my tank. It never caused cloudy/dirty water. I switched out the gravel in my fully cycled fully stocked tank without removing the fish and all the water and it never made the water cloudy. Elbert is constantly rearranging the sand and even he can't cause cloudy water with it.

You may have to replace what you have with a different kind to get rid of what's happening in this tank.
 
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BadisBadis

This is the brand I have. It *should* have been okay. I have so much leftover sand/flourite/eco complete in buckets from failed tanks. Just for whatever reason anything I used made the water cloudy or made the tank not cycle right. Drives me nuts. I've got a 29g upstairs with mixed gravel and it's always been crystal clear even after multiple moves (3 times) so I know its not the water but the gravel itself.
 

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