My 25 Gallon Planted Dirt Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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My 25 Gallon Planted Dirt Tank

I received this tank, stand, and light setup as a Christmas gift from my friend who had it in storage and was not using it. This is my second aquarium. I am re-homing my fish and plants from my current 20 gallon long to this setup.



Tank dimensions: 25 Gallon - 24" x 12" x 20" - Spray painted black background

Filter: Eheim 2215 (Classic 350)

Lighting: Zoo Med dual 24" T5 housing - (2) 10,000K Coralife bulbs

Heater: Eheim Jager 50W

Substrate: MiracleGro Organic soil capped with Black Diamond blasting sand

Hardscape: Driftwood from a creek (Boiled for 15 minutes), (2) lava rocks

Livestock: Various Danio & Tetra, Sterba Cory

Plants: Amazon Sword, Anubias Congensis, Crypt Lucens & Green Wendtii



* Do not mind the rock on top of the wood, only holding it down until the wood saturates *











I did the hardscape, planted, and added water on Monday (2 days ago). As of now, I am doing a fish-less cycle with my plants in the tank. When I added water, I was very careful not to disrupt the substrate. I poured water into a colander that had a plastic grocery bag over it, with minimal holes punched through the bag. The water was crystal clear up until yesterday.

Water parameters were okay to start. pH = 7.6, Ammonia = 0, Nitrites = 0, Nitrates = 0.










I added 2.5 gallons of water out of my established 20. I then had the bright idea of trying to speed up my cycle by adding in a used filter from my HOB off the previously mentioned 20 into my canister filter. I put it between the white polishing pad, and the carbon pad.

Immediately after turning my canister filter back on, I got cloudy water. I kind of expected it. It wasn't that terrible. After a couple hours of the filter running, I decided to test my water again. Same results, except I noticed a slight bump in Nitrates. Making progress!

Until I woke up to this beautiful sight this morning...



Any ideas? I plan on removing that old bio filter from my canister filter when I get off of work. I am more than likely going to do a massive water change (probably over 50%) also.



I will continue to add to this journal as often as possible! Thanks in advance for reading and any help or insight along the way!

- Zach


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 09:52 PM
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Looks like you off to great start. Tank looks good, cloudiness does not look unhealthy at the moment. I would not be in a hurry to remove the old media however. Perhaps just leave it there for good and top off your established filter with more media instead?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by agrasyuk View Post
Looks like you off to great start. Tank looks good, cloudiness does not look unhealthy at the moment. I would not be in a hurry to remove the old media however. Perhaps just leave it there for good and top off your established filter with more media instead?
Thanks! I suppose I could purchase another pad or two. I have some room left in the canister to add some in. I am just worried that I will disturb some of the dirt inside the filter and re-create the problem I am trying to fix, haha.

- Zach


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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I just read up on Purigen. If nothing improves after my water change and letting the filter run for another day, I am just going to try that.

- Zach


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 01:00 PM
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Unless the water is tinged brown, the cloudiness is likely a bacterial or algal bloom started by the soil curing. Purigen or activated carbon will help with other things, but don't expect it to be a miracle cure right off the bat. I second agrasyuk's comment of not disturbing the filter for a while. Soil tanks take the idea of an aquarium being an ecosystem to the extreme and the whole ecosystem needs a lot of time to establish and balance out.

Cheers,
Phil

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
Unless the water is tinged brown, the cloudiness is likely a bacterial or algal bloom started by the soil curing. Purigen or activated carbon will help with other things, but don't expect it to be a miracle cure right off the bat. I second agrasyuk's comment of not disturbing the filter for a while. Soil tanks take the idea of an aquarium being an ecosystem to the extreme and the whole ecosystem needs a lot of time to establish and balance out.

Cheers,
Phil


Thank you for the guidance, Phil. I think I was just panicking. I do now believe that it is a positive bacterial bloom. I got home from work, turned the filter on, and let it run over night. I woke up this morning to a slightly less-cloudy tank.







I tested my water before leaving for work again, all levels were as before, except a slight spike in ammonia. It went from 0 ppm to .25 ppm. I am going to let it go and see if it takes care of itself for now.

- Zach


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 09:04 AM
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Yep, looks like bacteria to me, which is a good thing when a new tank's starting. Means it's cycling.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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