How long does it take? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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How long does it take?

I just finished setting up a 40 gallon breeder tank with 2.5 inch of Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix, capped with an inch of Diamond Black sand.

After putting down the plants, setting up filter (Rena XP3), turning on a low light fixture on 8 hours/day for the last 3 days. The first day, the water was kinda murky, then 2 days later, it was very dark, brownish color, and it's getting darker every day.

I'll do 60% WC today.

My question is: how long does it take for the water to get clearer. I know the soil is tanning the water but I didn't know it can become this dark color!

Or am I doing something wrong here?

I didn't wash the soil, only picked out large objects in there.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 03:37 PM
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varies for me. I put about 1" or maybe a little less in a 40 breeder with 1-1.5" of blasting grit cap. during the first week got brownish but not too bad.

Added purigen and that kept it pretty clear for a month or so. took the purigen out and after 4 weeks of only small WCs (maybe a total of 50% in 4 weeks)got kind of brown again....but I pulled out some crypts and stirred up the pitting mix a little

i my 75 i capped with 1.5"-2.0" of blasting grit. but I have probably .25-.5" mgopm mixed with .75" of mts, and I have never had even a tinge of brown.


-weekly or twice weekly 50-75% waterchange
-the clay in the MTS makes a very dense layer that doesn't get much circulation and sort of binds the potting mix??
-a thicker cap??

2.5" of mgopm seems like a lot
1" of cap is on the low side

either way water changes will fix it fine, in time. purigen can help but is not required

20L My Other Tank: OEBT Shrimp
40B Inlaws Tank: 2 goldfish
75 Main Tank w/ sump: 5 Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 5 Melanotaenia boesemani, 10 Melanotaenia praecox, 5 Melanotaenia lacustris, some cories, a bn pleco and rainbow fish fry
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 03:59 PM
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I believe you have too much soil. The recommended depth is less than 1.5 inches. Is not lost but makes sure you poke the substrate more often to release any of the anaerobic bubble spots. Water clarity? I just set mine up, 20g, on this past Sat. I flooded the tank on Sat. It was ALL clear up by Monday night. The trick here is to do over 70% WC for 3 to 4 days. I would age and treat my WC for at least 12 hours. Put a bag of purigen. And, importantly, use a sizable established bio media from your other tank. I hope you have also screened out all the larger chunks in the soil before putting them in your tank.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your advice, guys.

Yes, my eyes are always larger than whatever I want to do in life.

You are right. I think I put way too much soil in there.

Plants were already in place or else I take some out.

I had in my possession a bottle of purigen for like years without use. I just threw it in the trash a couple weeks ago ... :-(

Yep. I did screened out large pieces before I put soil in there.

I guess more poking is in order and I have to wait it out then.

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