New setup. Why so cloudy?

greengoddess

Member
Finally got this spare 5gal set up for my first foray into dirted/planted (used miracle gro organic potting, sifted & rinsed well; black diamond blasting grit on top, also rinsed. A LOT.) Sponge filter. You can't see it, but I'm going for Iwagumi style, ie., stones, driftwood "tree," dwarf hair grass, shorty repens carpet (I wish it was rimless, but I'm low on cash; I might use aluminum tape on the rims to make it look like that fancy vintage steel frame recently posted.) I want to put some neos in once it's cycled. No heater yet; I'd love to avoid it if possible. Water is a steady 75F, and it's in a small room with a heat source, re., winter. We'll see... I'll add a lid if I have to. I haven't decided on lighting yet, so today is its first day with a regular 60w plant bulb. And it's cloudy as all getout. Is that to be expected? My parameters are on the tank.
 

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CaptainAquatics

Member
mattgirl Hi mattgirl. I have to go right now (otherwise I would answer), but I know you can help him/her out!
 

mattgirl

Member
At this point all I know to do is give it time to see if it settles. I can't imagine a bacterial bloom happening so quick so have to think what we are seeing is caused but the substrate.

In the meantime though if you have one you might want to run a small HOB filter to help pull some of this out of there. I would just run some poly-fill in it and just keep changing it out as it fills up with this detritus. Sponge filters are great for a bio-filter but I don't think it will do much to help polish this water.
 
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greengoddess

Member
mattgirl said:
At this point all I know to do is give it time to see if it settles. I can't imagine a bacterial bloom happening so quick so have to think what we are seeing is caused but the substrate.

In the meantime though if you have one you might want to run a small HOB filter to help pull some of this out of there. I would just run some poly-fill in it and just keep changing it out as it fills up with this detritus. Sponge filters are great for a bio-filter but I don't think it will do much to help polish this water.
Good idea. I do have two running on my 29tall (plus a sponge); I'll borrow one of those. I'm pretty new to sponge filter science; good to know about the polishing. Thanks for the info!
 
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greengoddess

Member
mattgirl Do you think I should I remove the sponge until this clears up, or leave it running in tandem with the hob?
 

DanielZebra32798

Member
I dont know if this is too applicable, but seachem purigen is great for removing particles and coloring/cloudiness from water. It did for me within 2 days.
 

mattgirl

Member
greengoddess said:
mattgirl Do you think I should I remove the sponge until this clears up, or leave it running in tandem with the hob?
If this is a new sponge filter I would just run it over in a cycled tank to let it start getting seeded. The HOB with poly-fill should help clear this tank up. Are both of the HOB filters running on a cycled tank? If so then running one of them on this tank should jump start the cycle in this tank.

A lot of folks have had good results using the product DanielZebra32798 suggested. Running it may help if the poly-fill doesn't remove all of it. I ran purigen for a while but it really didn't seem to do much for me but that was back when I was going through my bacterial bloom. As far as I know only time will clear the bloom but I was willing to try it at the time.
 
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greengoddess

Member
Thanks mattgirl
I realized after posting that part of the issue was greasy residue from the blasting media (I guess?) had coated the inside of the glass. I rinsed the heck out of it, but I guess some remained. I've noticed a settling of what I can only assume is the same on top of the (newly planted) substrate. Not sure what to do about that, other than trying to gently vac it up.

To answer your question though, yes, the hob is from my longest cycling tank. Since there's nothing living in it besides plants at this point, I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't dose it with a plant safe flocculant (like for ponds) to get the rest of the sediment to settle. Dang it.
 
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greengoddess

Member
Oh, and the sponge came from a "halfway cycled" tank, ie., started cycling, then abandoned. I'm hesitant to drop it into an inhabited cycled tank though, considering what's going on.
 

fishkeepinginaisa

Member
greengoddess said:
Finally got this spare 5gal set up for my first foray into dirted/planted (used miracle gro organic potting, sifted & rinsed well; black diamond blasting grit on top, also rinsed. A LOT.) Sponge filter. You can't see it, but I'm going for Iwagumi style, ie., stones, driftwood "tree," dwarf hair grass, shorty repens carpet (I wish it was rimless, but I'm low on cash; I might use aluminum tape on the rims to make it look like that fancy vintage steel frame recently posted.) I want to put some neos in once it's cycled. No heater yet; I'd love to avoid it if possible. Water is a steady 75F, and it's in a small room with a heat source, re., winter. We'll see... I'll add a lid if I have to. I haven't decided on lighting yet, so today is its first day with a regular 60w plant bulb. And it's cloudy as all getout. Is that to be expected? My parameters are on the tank.
To me, this looks pretty normal for a new setup. I haven't kept freshwater in a few years, but I remember my tanks clouding up after I set them up only for it to clear up later. Just give it a few days, it should clear if everything is normal. If it doesn't clear, then you can hone in on the problem.
 

mattgirl

Member
greengoddess said:
Thanks mattgirl
I realized after posting that part of the issue was greasy residue from the blasting media (I guess?) had coated the inside of the glass. I rinsed the heck out of it, but I guess some remained. I've noticed a settling of what I can only assume is the same on top of the (newly planted) substrate. Not sure what to do about that, other than trying to gently vac it up.

To answer your question though, yes, the hob is from my longest cycling tank. Since there's nothing living in it besides plants at this point, I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't dose it with a plant safe flocculant (like for ponds) to get the rest of the sediment to settle. Dang it.
I think I would just give it more time to settle. BTW: If there are no fish thus no ammonia source in the tank you took the HOB from I'm not sure it will help get this tank cycled. As far as I know, There has to be an ammonia source to cycle a tank and an at least occasional feeding of ammonia to keep the bacteria fed. .

edited to add: I am beginning to think I misunderstood and you meant this tank just has plants instead of the tank the HOB came from is plant only. I need more coffee :D
 

NellysDad

Member
mattgirl said:
I ran purigen for a while but it really didn't seem to do much for me but that was back when I was going through my bacterial bloom. As far as I know only time will clear the bloom but I was willing to try it at the time.
But there's also some cases where even time doesn't work. No kind of filtration or waiting did it for me in a snail tank when I was having a bacterial bloom, the cycle absolutely refused to start, which makes sense given the bacteria causing the cloudy water had been outcompeting every other kind of bacteria in the tank.

What eventually solved the problem after a couple of months waiting it out was aggressively keeping the number of those bacteria down with daily 80% water changes (in the first week twice a day!) and promoting the growth of nitrifying bacteria with waste food and a commercial bacterial supplement. For the first week or so the water would become milky within hours of a water change. It took two weeks to see results, I've never dealt with such a stubborn case before or since.
 

mattgirl

Member
NellysDad said:
But there's also some cases where even time doesn't work. No kind of filtration or waiting did it for me in a snail tank when I was having a bacterial bloom, the cycle absolutely refused to start, which makes sense given the bacteria causing the cloudy water had been outcompeting every other kind of bacteria in the tank.

What eventually solved the problem after a couple of months waiting it out was aggressively keeping the number of those bacteria down with daily 80% water changes (in the first week twice a day!) and promoting the growth of nitrifying bacteria with waste food and a commercial bacterial supplement. For the first week or so the water would become milky within hours of a water change. It took two weeks to see results, I've never dealt with such a stubborn case before or since.
Wow!!! That one was definitely an extreme case. I am glad it finally worked out for you. This is one more case of one size doesn't fit all in this hobby and why we have to take it on a tank by tank basis.
 
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