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Old 07-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #1
zankotsu
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New tank having problems already


Hi guys, my first post seeks answers.

I set up my tank yesterday. 10g 20x10x17. I used Earthgro topsoil capped with pea gravel from a local nursery. The gravel got a good wash.

Plants are in, some driftwood is in, and the tank water is BROWN. The color increases over the course of a day. I think it's my substrate leeching tannins. I'm about to preform another water change. If anyone has an answer, let me know.

I did not add any water conditioner or clarifier to the water.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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I think my problem was the fine silt from the soil not settling down. I emptied the tank and I'll lay the bottom with soil/gravel mix capped with gravel.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
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Well there are two potential issues. First I think it's a mistake to use topsoil unless you are going to mineralize it. People have had the most success consistently with Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix when adding it straight to the tank.

Also I haven't ever used or seen pea gravel myself. However I have heard it may not be fine enough to use as a capping material. Perhaps others have done so though.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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I agree that you need a finer capping material to seal in the dirt. Sand works well. I've used gravel and its much messier.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:20 AM   #5
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I've got some carbon floss behind my filter to help clear things up on suggestion of the guy from a LFS. He told me to let it run for 48 hours.

I've read about pea gravel being successful.

I'm feeling disheartened because I've dropped a good amount of money on this tank and I want it to work with what I have
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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It will work with what you have its just going to be a little messier when planting.

A layer of gravel has lots of gaps between the pieces, so a deeper cap is usually needed.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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Tannins are coming either from ur driftwood or soil or possibly both. This could last several weeks.

Cap ur soil off a bit better so its not leaking into the water column, Keep doing water changes every few days but make sure u are dechlorinating the tap and keep the carbon on for a few weeks should clear up for ya.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:29 PM   #8
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You can definitely use pea gravel but I found its much better to get the very small grain pea gravel from pet stores (may actually be labels as river pebbles) than the larger gravel that is available at landscape/hardware stores. the smaller the capping material the less loose dirt you'll get floating around.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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At this point I'm heavily considering purchasing Eco complete black substrate and getting rid of this muddy mess.
http://www.petco.com/product/111998/...bstrate-111998
This is the product. Is it wise to use it in conjunction with some gravel as a light top layer (for aesthetics) or should this substrate be the only material in the tank?

Thank you. You've been very informative.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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Go for the Eco-Complete. You won't be disappointed. It's mess-free and gives you an instant start and cycled tank. I wouldn't mix it with gravel though because it's going to look bad really fast, especially if it's a light-colored one.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenz View Post
Go for the Eco-Complete. You won't be disappointed. It's mess-free and gives you an instant start and cycled tank. I wouldn't mix it with gravel though because it's going to look bad really fast, especially if it's a light-colored one.
What texture is the Eco-Complete? Is it more stony or soft like lumpy soil?
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zankotsu View Post

Plants are in, some driftwood is in, and the tank water is BROWN. The color increases over the course of a day. I think it's my substrate leeching tannins. I'm about to preform another water change. If anyone has an answer, let me know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fish View Post
Tannins are coming either from ur driftwood or soil or possibly both. This could last several weeks.

Cap ur soil off a bit better so its not leaking into the water column, Keep doing water changes every few days but make sure u are dechlorinating the tap and keep the carbon on for a few weeks should clear up for ya.

+1 here.

when you poured your water in did you use anything to help break up the water colum as you added water (I.E. a plate) or did you just dump it onto the substrate? if you didn't you may have messed up you cap allowing it a way up and out.

now on the drift wood, did the wood come with the plants already attached or did you purchase the wood seperatly and add attach the plants yourself? i ask because if you bought the wood yourself and did not boil it then it is most likely the first time that wood has been completely submerged and it has a lot of tannins to release.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zankotsu View Post
What texture is the Eco-Complete? Is it more stony or soft like lumpy soil?

eco complete is similar to a small gravel, about pea sized. it grows plants amazingly and is well loved by most of its users (i use it in 3 of my 5 tanks and I love it) the only issues i have into with it are that it can be difficult to plant in, and after about a year or two it can run out of nutrients and needs to be replaced.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
+1 here.

when you poured your water in did you use anything to help break up the water colum as you added water (I.E. a plate) or did you just dump it onto the substrate? if you didn't you may have messed up you cap allowing it a way up and out.

now on the drift wood, did the wood come with the plants already attached or did you purchase the wood seperatly and add attach the plants yourself? i ask because if you bought the wood yourself and did not boil it then it is most likely the first time that wood has been completely submerged and it has a lot of tannins to release.
I'm thinking tannins aren't my problem. I bought my wood from a clear tank and they had been in there for a while. I used a dish and poured my water in very carefully. It was cloudy-clear for a few hours and now I can't see my plants it's so dark.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:17 PM   #15
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Update: I got the mud out of my tank. I've got pea-gravel alone, which I know is lame for my plants and will limit my options for flora in the future. I think I'm okay with that. Maybe I'll sprinkle some sand from the streams around here in my little eco system. Wish me luck.
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