Made a big mistake last night . . . Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by HOWsMom, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. HOWsMomWell Known MemberMember

    Okay - do not take 1 over-tired, homeschooling, mom of 3, and get her to corral all the kids, the dogs and con the husband into helping her move a not-quite-cycled tank at 8:00pm at night. Especially when that hour is supposed to be bedtime for the kids, and there is playoff hockey on TV.

    Things won't be pretty if you do !

    Okay, so it's not THAT bad, but it sure isn't good either.

    Moved the 32g from the bedroom to the living room, as the floor is done, and there is baseboard on the wall behind where the tank was going to go.

    Got everything moved, no major water spillage, etc.

    And then I added the substrates (they had not been in the tank previously).

    BUT, and this is a huge BUT . . .

    I completely and totally blanked on rinsing them.

    So - one bad of gravel, and one bag of flourite, neither rinsed, equals a tank that looks like it's full of MUD.


    We emptied the tank and refilled it - probably a couple of times. It didn't look too bad.

    Then I went and went to smooth out the gravel bed a bit, and mix up the two kinds of substrate.

    It turned to mud again.

    And it was too late to empty it again - we had to get the kids to bed, and hubby was getting testy about missing hockey.

    It's still pretty nasty looking this morning.

    Do I need to do another major water change ? Or just let it be ?
  2. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I went through the same thing when I chose to replace my existing gravel. But I did rinse and still got the "mud".

    I have a very strong filter on my tank and I let it do the dirty work. I didn't do a water change for a few days. Then 50%. Then the filter did its thing. But I have to say, it did take about 2 weeks before it completely cleaned up. Until I did my next gravel vac.

    Unfortunately, this is a mistake you'll just have to live with for a little while. Sure, you can do water changes. But I personally wouldn't do them every day. The thing is, all that "mud" is settling to the bottom. So, it's not like you'd really be making much of a difference. Not to mention, it's super hard to see the fish when you vac.

    My fish came through it fine. But I sure did have a lot of scrubbing to do for a long time after that little booboo.

    By the way, how full of water was your tank when you moved it? And how did you move it? There's always a possibility of stress fractures in the frame or glass when you move a tank that's got water in it.

    Edited to add: I just read your info and am assuming this tank has no fish? If that's the case, stir up the new substrate and do severe water changes. Sorry, I had thought there were fish already in it. :oops:
  3. HOWsMomWell Known MemberMember

    That's right - no fish in the tank.

    We took all the decor out (wood, rock, etc) and siphoned out the water. There may have been a gallon or so left in the bottom at most.
  4. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Phew! I'm not as worried then.

    Since there are no fish, I wouldn't even bother with the filter. Why wear it out? I'd just swish the substrate around and keep doing water changes. That stuff seems next to impossible to clear up, but before you know it, you have a clear tank. :)
  5. HOWsMomWell Known MemberMember

    I'm still trying to cycle the tank, so I am not taking the filter out. I don't want to lose the time I've had so far in getting it cycled.

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