Should I use a water clarifier?

BamaBetta

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.
Mattgirl, you gave me some advice in another thread recently about cycling a second new tank… my first tank has only gravel. For the second tank, I decided to try sand over gravel. The sand is pretty fine (aqua terra). I washed it really well in a pillow case before adding it to the water and used a saucer to pour in my water slowly. I literally just set up the tank yesterday, but I’m a little bummed that it’s a little cloudy. I may not have noticed it that much if it were not right next to my other tank. The other tank has crystal clear water and always has. For the tank with the sand, I put some sponge in the strainer to try to keep from stirring up the sand. Any tips to clear it up a little? Forgive me for asking if this is a taboo topic, but would it be bad to add some water clarifier? Any advice? TIA!
 

mattgirl

I really can't see how rinsing sand in a pillow case can get it as clean as it needs to be to keep it from clouding the water. Now that it is in the tank several water changes should help clean it. Stir the sand and then siphon the water out. Doing this several times should help clean it. I fear if it isn't cleaned well to begin with it will constantly cloud the water with each water change.

Personally I would not add a water clarifier. I would rather fix the issue with water changes. In my humble opinion it is better to do the extra work now to prevent what might become an ongoing issue. If this is a 5 gallon tank it shouldn't be too difficult to rinse it in the tank.
 

RayClem

Sand can come in a variety of grain sizes. Swimming pool filter sand is specifically graded so that the grains are large enough to settle quickly. Thus, it works well in aquariums.

I suspect your issue resulted from your washing the sand in a pillow case. A pillow case, especially one with a high thread count, is much to fine to allow passage of the fine sand particles you were trying to remove. Thus, rinsing the sand did little to remove the fine particles that can cause cloudiness.

Fine sand particles, however, are not the only thing that can cause cloudiness in a new aquarium. I would not be at all surprised if you had diatom algae. You might also have a bacterial bloom. Both are quite common in new tanks.

Fortunately, doing routine water changes should help remove the cloudiness. Also see if you can use a fine polishing filter pad in your filter. Something like 50 micron should do the job. If you have an HOB filter with a replaceable filter cartridge, they are ineffective at removing fine particles that cause cloudiness. You need something much finer. Please note, however, that the polishing pads will fill up with debris quite quickly and will need frequent replacement. Once the water is clear, you can go back to a standard filter pad. In any event, the replaceable cartridges are designed to be quick and easy and to put lots of money in the pockets of the manufacturers. It is better to use a sponge or thick filter pad that can be rinsed periodically.
 

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