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Old 12-15-2012, 10:36 PM   #76
Grundy
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I bought a bag based upon this thread and was happy with the color, shape, and size of the substrate. I am unhappy at how much time I have spent and water used washing it.

I have washed it numerous times including in a sieve bucket until it was clean. I did two scoops, the water cleared after several minutes of flushing, put it into another bucket, added water to it and it turned brown once again.

Any hints?
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:43 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grundy View Post
I bought a bag based upon this thread and was happy with the color, shape, and size of the substrate. I am unhappy at how much time I have spent and water used washing it.

I have washed it numerous times including in a sieve bucket until it was clean. I did two scoops, the water cleared after several minutes of flushing, put it into another bucket, added water to it and it turned brown once again.

Any hints?
Buy a new bag, cut open one of the top corners, put your garden hose in it. Turn the garden hose on, move the garden hose around, allowing the water to run out. Water should run clear in under ten minutes total. Done.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:45 PM   #78
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The best way to go is, once rinsed a few times, to put it in your tank. The cloudiness will usually go away within a couple hours if you run a sponge filter.

If you add the substrate and then put water in the tank slowly, you likely won't have much cloudiness at all.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:15 AM   #79
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I wonder if different bags have different amounts of dustiness? I used Safe-T-Sorb.

I did have quite a slurry of muddy water when I set mine up. I was ready for it, and 'rinsed the substrate in the tank'. It only needed 2 changes of water. First one (6" deep) was a muddy mess. Second one (also about 6" deep) was noticeably cleaner, though still muddy. I filled both of these stirring the material as much as I could. Deliberately MAKING a mess. Then draining.
The third fill was done slowly. I put the Safe-T-Sorb bag in the tank and filled by running the water slowly over it. Sure, it was a bit cloudy, but nothing that I would not have put fish in. It was a lot clearer a few hours later, and really clean the next day. I ran the filters for a few days, then cleaned them. Lots of silt.
I re-scaped, again clouding the water, and did a water change, but the water was not really too bad. However, I had been deliberately messy again (I think I missed out on making mud pies as a child) so I took that opportunity to get rid of some more dust. There was not much left.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #80
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Thank you for the suggestions.

This is what I did:

1. Put around 25 pounds in a rubbermaid tub and ran the hose into the substrate, flushed for 10 minutes, moved it and repeated it 3 more times for a 40 minute flush. The water was clear so I moved it into the tank.
2. I filled the tank (38 gallon) and disturbed the substrate, drained 20 gallons and replaced.
3. Repeated for the next week and though I could see through the tank now it still looked like weak tea.
4. Drained the entire tank and removed the substrate.
5. Washed the substrate in a sieve bucket with a mesh bottom with a garden hose on jet, poured the cleaned substrate into a bucket, filled the bucket up and the water was brown once again. I did two handfuls per washing of around 5 minutes each.

I may try back into the tank once and if not try a different substrate.

I did not use a sponge filter though because there was too much suspended sediment that it would not have done much good so I may try that.


Thanks again.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:04 PM   #81
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I have had pretty good luck using a sponge filter when stirring it up. You may need to squeeze the sponge out in a bucket a few times but it will really help with the cloudiness. Especially if you're able to move it around to the areas where things are stirred up the most.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:10 PM   #82
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Mine seemed really dusty and after somewhat rinsing just put it into the tank. By accident I ended up rinsing in the tank .. twice. Even after the final fill I ended up moving some stuff around but didn't drain again. Several hours later the water was fairy clear. The next day it was totally clear.

Since then I've kicked some up moving plants or something but it clears up in a few minutes. Again, never cloudy for as long as yours has been.

Just wonder if you got a "bad" ... really dusty bag. You bought the green/white bag right?
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #83
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Yes I bought the green and white bag and it was the only type that TS sold. It was a 40# bag on sale for $4.50.

When I removed the substrate from the tank it went into my sieve bucket and after a few pounds was collected I quit, swirled it in the water and then poured the dirty water into the yard. Once I left it sitting over night and when I poured the 5 gallons of water off there was 1/4 to 1/2 of fines that had settled in the bucket.

I believe that I just have a dirty bag and will rinse it again outside with the garden hose and then use a sponge filter to polish the rest off.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:18 PM   #84
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I just thought I'd check since my Tractor Supply also sells the red/white bag which isn't the same thing.

Yep sounds like a "bad" bag. Good luck .. hope you get to clear up. It really does look nice in the aquarium.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #85
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I see that I left the word "inch" after 1/4 to 1/2 in my post above. Opps.

Sow: Thank you for the suggestion and I wish it was the issue.

I really do think it is my bag. I rinsed the bucket of substrate with the garden hose for 20+ minutes last night, threw it back into the tank, and have been running coarse filter sponges since last night.

I can now see through the tank front to back but not side to side yet.

And the only reason why I keep doing this is I think that it looks nice too.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:10 PM   #86
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I use this stuff a lot in my shop, as I'm a mechanic, it works great there, but there is no way is use it in a tank.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:27 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grundy View Post
I see that I left the word "inch" after 1/4 to 1/2 in my post above. Opps.

Sow: Thank you for the suggestion and I wish it was the issue.

I really do think it is my bag. I rinsed the bucket of substrate with the garden hose for 20+ minutes last night, threw it back into the tank, and have been running coarse filter sponges since last night.

I can now see through the tank front to back but not side to side yet.

And the only reason why I keep doing this is I think that it looks nice too.

Thanks again.
LOL .. I didn't even notice that but I read it as "inch".

It seems I remember reading that someone else had a really dusty bag. Someone suggested that the more it got rinsed the smaller the particles became and the more "dust" it would make. Sounded reasonable to me at the time but don't know if that's fact. Just wondering if that could be happening to you.

Mine did take at least 24 hrs .. maybe closer to 36 hrs to totally clear up. It was nice & clear on the final fill but I couldn't tell I didn't have the plants in the right spot until the tank was full and then my driftwood decided it wanted to float even though I tested it before I drained the tank. So made a huge mess moving stuff around. I couldn't even see in the tank much less through it. I barely could see my fish and one is 6". LOL It seemed to be taking a long time to totally clear. I remember wondering if I'd made a mistake using it. But the next day when I looked it was a whole lot better and by that evening was totally clear. But I was running 2 #3 hydro sponges so that might have helped.

Give it a day or 2 to settle .. hopefully it does & will clear up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhays79 View Post
I use this stuff a lot in my shop, as I'm a mechanic, it works great there, but there is no way is use it in a tank.
Works great in a tank. It's been discussed that it's basically the same stuff as some expensive aquarium substrate (can't remember the name of) that has just been re-badged and price jacked up.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:54 PM   #88
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Good news: it has finally cleared up and I can see into the tank for a change. I threw my driftwood into the tank to start that process (though I have been soaking this entire time outside the tank) and was moving some of the substrate around. It made a small cloud but settled quickly. From your statement above I too started wondering if the more I did with it the more it would break down so that could make sense.

This will be a low light tank for my 6 yo son in his room and plan on doing just moss attached to the driftwood and maybe something in the substrate. I have one piece of driftwood that I plan on suspending in the water column so that it looks like a root wad suspended from the bank and to allow the fish to swim under and through the “roots”.


The important thing is he is as excited as I am.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #89
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Quote:
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This will be a low light tank for my 6 yo son in his room.
Plan on doing just moss attached to the driftwood and maybe something in the substrate.
Try anubias. They can grow without substrate in a sunny window. If you can't find any in Pet Stores try Ebay when it gets warmer.

I got some ferns Malaysia and Taiwan, which had no shipment cost, and they arrived in great condition. Fern from aquatic magic was the size of 2 ferns
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:00 PM   #90
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Importing plants from outside the United States is illegal without proper phytosanitary certification.

Buy your plants from U.S. sources. Start with the For Sale section here on this forum. Then branch out from there.
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