Using a substrate i have never used before

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  • #1


New Member
HI ~ I am new to this site, so I hope I am doing it correctly. anyway, I have had aquariums all my life (I am 52 yo). I currently have a 20 gallon aquarium, with live plants, 4 angelfish, 10 neons, 4 guppies, 3 blood red tetras, 1 glass cat fish, 2 black skirt tetras and 1 goldfish. I have never had very good luck with live plants in the past so, my brother talked me into using a gravel I have used before, called ~ Activ-Flora * planted aquarium substrate * sold by Natures Ocean. I up graded from a 10 gallon aquarium to the 20 gallon about 3 weeks ago.

now, after 3 weeks my tank is still very cloudy, it's not crystal clear like I am use to. I have never ever had any problems with the ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels before but upon testing about 4 days ago EVERYTHING was outta wack!!! I immediately did a water change (about half), I started using Accu-Clear, and I rinse the filter cartridges daily ~ to no avail. although I have gotten the levels to a safe level, the water will not clear up.

now, my question is : Could the new substrate I am using be the cause of this?? if not, can anyone tell what may be causing this??

I have pictures but not sure why I can't post them.
  • #2


Active Member
I Would Think that you added too much live sand and added the fish too early to complete the nitrogen cycle all over. how long did you let you let you tank run before adding fish? And did you use your old tank water when filling up new tank?

Together We Can Change The Fish Hobby !
  • #3


Well Known
Hello and welcome to the forum!
The substrate shouldn't be the problem clouding up your tank. The cloudiness is coming from too much waste. Your tank is overstocked. Goldfish are really messy and are not really suitable to be in a tropical tank. They like water more in the cooler side. I would recommend to keep just the neons and guppies and rehome everything else. Is your tank cycled? When you said rinsing your filter cartridges, did you rinse them in tap water? Rinsing filter media in tap water will kill all your beneficial bacteria which will make your tank go through a cycle again. Too much waste will lead to a buildup of ammonia and can harm and kill your fish. If you use a dechlorinator like prime, it will get rid of ammonia. I would suggest testing your water and doing daily partial water changes to get rid of the harmful toxins.

  • #4


Active Member
I'm sorry, but how have your fish survived with so many in so small of a tank? I think you have serious overpopulation going on. The profile for goldfish recommends a 20 gallon for just him.

that aside, you mentioned your rinsing the filter cartridges daily. how are you doing this? if in tap water you may be killing any good bacteria which could be why your levels are all out of wack.

Edit~ looks like I'm slow to type tonignt
  • #5


Active Member
HI and welcome to the forum. Like the others have said you are badly overstocked and need to remove fish starting with the gold fish.
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