Cloudy gravel when disturbed. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy gravel when disturbed.

Hey, I bought 8 bags of gravel when I set up my 55g, this was about a month and a half ago and I washed all bags, took me about 6 hours to get it as close to clear as I could but I still couldn't see the bottom of the bucket. I put the gravel in anyway and it settled in a couple of days. I was moving some plants around yesterday and moving the gravel to different thickness in the tank and I couldn't see the back of my tank. I took all the gravel out and I am in the process of cleaning it all once again but no matter what I do, rinse, swirl in a bucket, sieve, it just won't clear. Any tips? The cloud is a milky coffee/strong tea colour.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:02 PM
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What kind of gravel do you have? Is it inert stone ceramic or organic?


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Not too sure sorry, it was a bargain pack that I picked up at a very cheap pet store. It said on the package it was already rinsed but I could see the orangey stains on the packets when I got them home. I haven't had any problems with it but it's the type of thing that gets on my nerves. I think I've tried pretty much every method of cleaning but it just doesn't want to clear.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:21 PM
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If it's what i know as gravel, it shouldn't take much to get clean. If it is a live plant substrate, there are a number of those that kick up clouds of dust when disturbed.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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I've never experienced a problem like this with gravel and it's always been my preferred substrate. Can you tell if gravel is dyed or not?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 12:28 AM
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Some 'gravel' is really a very soft rock and will keep falling apart all the time. It sounds to me like this is the sort of rock you have. It is not very good for aquariums.

It is natural for the substrate to cloud a bit every time it is disturbed, but for it to cloud so much that you cannot see the back of the tank is a real problem. Most of the substrates I use will create a puff of dust that settles right away, and if I do a lot of plant moving the whole tank might be a bit cloudy for an hour or two.

Try putting a handful or two of this gravel in a bucket and stirring it daily. See how much dust accumulates on the bottom of the bucket. If there is more than a little bit, and you can tell it came from the rock (same color) then this REALLY is not a good aquarium substrate.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:04 AM
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If you already have all the gravel taken out and are still getting a lot of clouding even with more rinsing (which you say you already did before you put it in the tank) then I'd turf it. If probably is a clay based gravel type product that will continually give off minute particulate and cloud your water as it deteriorates. You've already washed all the beneficial bacteria off your gravel now anyways, so might as well replace it. Quality aquarium gravel is just that, coated rocks. There are lots of other alternatives though for a planted tank, some inexpensive, some not. I've heard a lot of good things about Eco Complete and Flourite, although Flourite does cloud as well. I have some of that in my tank and it did cloud the tank slightly even though I did pre-rinse it.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 12:30 AM
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I use a massive strainer in the shower. I put some gravel in the strainer pull down the shower head and then mix it around with my hand until the water runs clear. It worked for me perfectly.
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