HTH Pool Filter Sand - Problem?
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
AHGoodwin
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HTH Pool Filter Sand - Problem?


Yesterday I changed my substrate to HTH #20 silical Pool Filter Sand. When I awoke this morning, I have lost a conciderable ammount of my stock. Yes I rinsed the sand and yes I acclimated. I did a 2 hour long drip acclimation.

5/6 Glowlight tetras DEAD
1/4 Mystery Snails DEAD
4/6 Ghost Shrimp DEAD
0/6 Leopard Danios dead
0/3 Otto Cats dead

The sand is the only thing I can think of that could have caused this as the water is the same water I always use and I was not have problems before the change. I am going to do a 50% water change and dose some stress coat or something. Any other ideas?

I did a quick search online and found many people that said this sand is fine, but did find one person that said it killed half his tank.......
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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The pool filter sand was not the cause of your stock deaths - PFS is completely inert - leaches absolutely nothing toxic into the tank - it's dust, if any, may create a little water cloudiness at worst.
Sounds like a water param condition problem - probably an ammonia presence - did you test for ammonia & nitrites ? You said you 'changed' the substrate in the tank. What substrate did you have in the tank beforehand that you removed ? By removing the other substrate, you could have removed a good portion of the beneficial bacteria within it, resulting in insufficient bio-filtration residual to deal with the ammonia being produced by the livestock load.
Let us know if your water tests positively for ammonia.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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Ammonia would not accumulate over 5 hours to a level that would kill. Not to mention I took the filter out and kept it running in the bucket with the fish. But yes, I did test and no I do not have ammonia. Lets also look at the fact that when I did a water change, the water I took out of the tank had a blue tint to it, like it was pool water....
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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Where did you get the PFS ? Had it been used before or was it brand new sand bought at a store?
BTW, you said ammonia would not accumulate over 5 hours to a level that would kill - I just reread your first post - was it only 5 hours from the time you removed the previous substrate, replaced it with the PFS, re-homed the fish, slept overnite, and found the livestock dead in the morning ? Sounds more like a full half-day to me - and I'm not so sure ammonia couldn't accumulate to a moderately toxic, but nonetheless toxic, level in that amount of time. Ammonia even as low as 0.25 ppm can be toxic enough to kill, and some test kits will not reflect that low a level.
In any event, you said you tested and there was no ammonia, and presumably no nitrite spike either, so that seems to be ruled out. How though, can the blue tint to the water be explained, other than the slight blue tint that water normally has coming right out of the tap ? I assume you de-chlorinate.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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Do u use prime or safe?
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:09 PM   #6
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I'm not into pools, so I don't know if this is a common thing, or even if it's ever done, but apparently lime can be added to pool water in order to soften it, and lime does have the tendency to turn water blueish in high concentrations.

Is it possible that you pool filter sand was somehow infused with lime, destroying your ph and making the hardness skyrocket? Know that I've never read about this before, but anything is possible.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Where did you get the PFS ? Had it been used before or was it brand new sand bought at a store?
BTW, you said ammonia would not accumulate over 5 hours to a level that would kill - I just reread your first post - was it only 5 hours from the time you removed the previous substrate, replaced it with the PFS, re-homed the fish, slept overnite, and found the livestock dead in the morning ? Sounds more like a full half-day to me - and I'm not so sure ammonia couldn't accumulate to a moderately toxic, but nonetheless toxic, level in that amount of time. Ammonia even as low as 0.25 ppm can be toxic enough to kill, and some test kits will not reflect that low a level.
In any event, you said you tested and there was no ammonia, and presumably no nitrite spike either, so that seems to be ruled out. How though, can the blue tint to the water be explained, other than the slight blue tint that water normally has coming right out of the tap ? I assume you de-chlorinate.
Sand was brand new "HTH Pool Filter Sand" from ace hardware. It took all day to get the fish out, clean tank, prune plants, rinse sand, set tank back up. The fish however did not get back into the tank until 2am. At that time I went to bed. My husband woke up at 7am to find the casualties.

Tested for nitrites as well and 0. No our normal tap water is not tinted. We have well water and do NOT normally de chlorinate as it is not needed. Our well water has never caused any issues before and now after a 50% wc and addition of stress coat to the water and carbon to the filter the remaining fish seem to be doing much better.

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Do u use prime or safe?
Not normally, but I dosed some stress coat after noticing the problem.

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Originally Posted by Legot View Post
I'm not into pools, so I don't know if this is a common thing, or even if it's ever done, but apparently lime can be added to pool water in order to soften it, and lime does have the tendency to turn water blueish in high concentrations.

Is it possible that you pool filter sand was somehow infused with lime, destroying your ph and making the hardness skyrocket? Know that I've never read about this before, but anything is possible.
I have no idea, but I have read that other people used this brand with no issues. Only one post I found said that they lost half their tank.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AHGoodwin View Post
I have no idea, but I have read that other people used this brand with no issues. Only one post I found said that they lost half their tank.
I also just read some reviews for that brand, it looks like others use it for tanks. I don't think that it's the culprit, but it will be hard to figure this one out...
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:53 AM   #9
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What was the old substrate? Perhaps you uncovered or released something such as gas pockets? Just tossing out ideas.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:56 AM   #10
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I am using hth pool filter sand. I didn't rinse it and had no problems. I did drop in some prime before plunking in my fish though. Possible there was a large ammonia spike right after the substrate change, and the fish were introduced before the filter was able to convert the ammonia to nitrate. You tested in the morning after your filter had about 5 hours to process the ammonia. U said u were done at 2 and hubby woke up at 7 I think. That's the only thing that could make sense, at least to me.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:49 AM   #11
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old substrate was pea marble. got rid of it because it was softening the water too much for the snails and it was difficult to keep clean.
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:15 AM   #12
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Did u empty all of the water? If not you could have stirred up a lot of debris that would have created big ammonia spike, especially if filter was in a bucket as you said.
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:37 AM   #13
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Do you run co2?
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #14
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The tank was completely emptied of all water and substrate and then rinsed before being set up again. It was refilled with fresh water.

co2 is only a small DIY (the red sea turbo setup) The production of this system is minimal and I did have an airstone going so I highly doubt that was the problem.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legot View Post
I'm not into pools, so I don't know if this is a common thing, or even if it's ever done, but apparently lime can be added to pool water in order to soften it, and lime does have the tendency to turn water blueish in high concentrations.

Is it possible that you pool filter sand was somehow infused with lime, destroying your ph and making the hardness skyrocket? Know that I've never read about this before, but anything is possible.
I am sure this is backwards, lime increases pH and will turn pools cloudy if the pH is too high. You use lime to increase pH in soils.

Nothing to do with lime itself baking soda has the same effect on the pool. I've had a pool for so long and only recently have I experienced it with dumping too much Baking Soda to combat algae.

PFS has to be inert for that reason, increase pH would not be good for pool owners.
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