How do I fix cloudy water from dirty gravel?

Sashak

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Just started a small 2.5 gallon tank and I used a sand substrate which on the packaging said "if starting a new tanking, washing substrate is optional". Once I added my plants and decor and started filling up the tank, the substrate got moved around and resulted in a SUPER cloudy tank. I have a new filter running and added startup bacteria as well as conditioned the water but I'm not sure what to do next and how to fix this.
 

KaitlynAbrams

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If you have your filter running it should settle to the bottom overnight.

Since the tank is new you are going to have a bacterial bloom at some point in the next few days and this is a sign that the nitogen cycle has started.

It will clear up on its own
 

Mister Krabbs

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WELCOME to FishLore!

I am assuming you have NOT put any fish in yet??
Are you doing a fishless or fish in cycle.... read up on the nitrogen cycle if you do not already know

Here's my advice:

You have already put some products into your water (bacteria supplement and conditioner). For this reason I would suggest doing a fishless cycle and use janitorial strength ammonia to progress the cycle. When complete, I would take out all decorations, dump your substrate into a bucket and wash it thoroughly. Otherwise, this cloudiness that you have will get stirred up every time the substrate gets agitated. When you dump the substrate into a bucket, get fresh water and your filter back into your tank to keep the filter media wet.
 

TwoHedWlf

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With such a tiny tank the easiest way would be just do a big water change to get rid of what you can, then leave it. Most of the sediment will settle out or be removed by your filter. It's harmless, just doesn't look very nice.
 
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Sashak

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Thank you all so much! I have NO fish in the tank yet, just some live plants, the sand, and the decor. I'll do a huge water change today and take out everything, wash out all the sand, and start over with the declorinator and bacteria activator. How much industrial amonia should I add and will it affect my live plants?
 

Gardnaaa

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So what would you do with a larger tank?i just started a 60g and I haven't added any fish yet. I put 50 pounds pool filter sand in the bottom that I rinsed in a bucket. Apparently I didn't rinse it enough because my water is still a little cloudy. The filter has been on since Tuesday, so not even a week yet. I put tap water conditioner in since I have hard water, and I used the safe start stuff to boost the cycle. Don't want to do a giant water change because I'll lose all the stuff I dumped in. So what do I do? Sorry this is my first actual fish tank. Sun sun canister as well. Didn't mean to hijack the thread but this fits here as well.
 

TwoHedWlf

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If it's only a little cloudy, and you're stressed over the chemicals you've added then just ignore it.
 
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