First time 20 gallon dirt planted
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:50 AM   #1
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First time 20 gallon dirt planted

Hello all. My name is Wei. I live in Chicago and have had a 6 ish gallon pet co bookshelf and regular 5 gallon tank for the last 2 years and have finally upgraded to a 20 gallon. I have read many of your posts and have decided to make the dive into a bigger tank so I can start learning about planted aquariums and make my fish happy. I boiled this big piece of driftwood I got from my local aquarium, but did it halfa** so of course as expected I now have a tea colored aquarium. I am using an aquatop uf400 canister filter and put a bag of purigen as well as activated carbon in there, the activated carbon is in stage 2 and the purigen is sitting on top of the last stage. The purigen is a pre-made bag that stated it would do 100 gallons. I have read that I can do continuous water changes to get the water to lighten up, and I will do that since the tank is dirted and I am monitoring the levels as the tank cycles. I moved some fish from my smaller tank and have transferred the matrix from that tank's filter into the aquatop so that it cycles faster. Is there any other way to speed up the clearing of the water?

I want to thank everyone and their posts as they have been a great inspiration to me and have gotten me this far. Hope to hear from everyone.

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Old 01-19-2014, 01:39 AM   #2
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Something simple would be to stuff the canister full of filter floss. After the water is no longer cloudy from sediment then work on getting the tannins out with the carbon and purigen.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:27 AM   #3
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Thanks JK,

I have a few floss filters in the canister and they are doing their job. I do see very fine particles of dirt in the tank, so I pack in the floss filter in more to try to capture all of this? I sadly loss 4 of the flame tetras I bought from Petco hours within introducing them into the tank. The rest of the fish, 2 guppies, 5 neon tetras, a cory catfish are doing fine. The water is still cloudy, I put in some bio zorb as well to help with the clearing of the water. I have been testing like crazy and there is no ammonia, no nitrite, but the nitrate is in the 40ppm range. I placed in a box of Biomax into the canister. The plants seem to be doing fine. but the nitrate level worries me.
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