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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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dirty tank

Okay guys I am having a little dilemma here. Recently I had my tank setup, it grew fine for about a week and then I noticed that "dirt" is falling and covering my plants. I'm not exactly sure what it is.

I've done 50% water changes at the end of every week because of EI dosing, but it doesn't seem to take out the dirtiness. The dust also seems to be sticking onto the plants. If left for a while then the leaves require a little rubbing before it all comes off.

Under it however are healthy plants trying to grow. Everyday there is new growth popping out, but within a day or two the bright green from the tips get covered again.
Any ideas how to get rid of it? I've had suspicion that it may be the MTS or Oil-dri in the substrate. Or the fact that it is open top.




As you can see, everything below the tips have been covered. (sorry for the poor pictures)

Here are some specs on the tank
Substrate (from top to bottom)
1" of Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil
1" of Oil-Dri (got from Autozone) LOL
1" of Mineralized Top Soil

4x65 watt 48" Coralife Fixture on for 10 hours a day.
Pressurized CO2 at 3 bps, on and off an hour before the lights.
Dry Fertz using EI method.
Eheim Pro II Canister
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 01:37 PM
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Was the water real cloudy after setup? Sounds like some small particulate left from poor rinsing. IMO. Clean your canister and stir the water real good, let settle, clean canister, stir water... You could be fighting that for over a month... I added some pea gravel a while back(50#), and thought I had rinsed it enough... boy was I wrong... It looked like someone dumped a half gallon of milk in my tank, for weeks... Thats my thought, because it collected on my leaves in the same manner and was real hard to get off of them. All it was, was super small particles.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it was cloudy kinda like when you use Lateralite. I do have a Super Micron Foam in the filter, so far no help. LOL

In the mean time, what simple methods could I use to remove the dirt off my leaves?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:01 PM
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I think it's probably your substrate as well. I have regular topsoil capped with flourite and gravel in my tank and I had the same thing for about a month. Water changes just stirred things up and made it worse, but I found that doing a really light vacuum of just the surface of the gravel really helped. Once I added fish and they started pooping, everything seemed to calm down and just settle into the substrate permanently.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocky View Post
Yeah, it was cloudy kinda like when you use Lateralite. I do have a Super Micron Foam in the filter, so far no help. LOL

In the mean time, what simple methods could I use to remove the dirt off my leaves?
You can try to gently rub them off, one plant at a time... I did... but it takes patience and perseverance... You WILL also have to wait for new growth after the particulate matter settles or gets filtered.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 10:45 PM
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my opinion...
DIATOMS!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
my opinion...
DIATOMS!
Thats what I was thinking... But it also could be from your substrate.
How long is the tank been running for?


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about buying a diatom filter but kinda tight on budget after setting up the tank. Its only been up for a month or so, still has a lot of space to fill in.

The problem is the top layers are really light, they move with the slightest movement of the hand and I end up replanting everything I touch.

I am really hoping to prevent any further effect on the new growth. Once I see that no dust is collecting on the new growth I will cut off the old part, but so far I haven't rid anything.

I guess if things don't work out I'll probably have to use a new substrate.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 03:10 AM
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[quote=jocky;1031199]I was thinking about buying a diatom filter but kinda tight on budget after setting up the tank. [quote]

I read some strange things about the Vortex (Diatom Filter), It would seem that thier quality control has been spotty lately. One might be better off with a Magnum 250 0r 350 and use the micron filter with diatom powder. I have heard it works Just as well with out the cost.

I am going to give it a try soon just as a water polishing tool.

What ever you deside, I am sure it will be the best decision for you.

Best wishes

Wes

I quit!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 03:18 AM
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if its diatoms or just plain old dust, it should clear up soon. just be patient
if it is diatoms, otos do pretty good clearing them up
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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I have 3 otos in the tank. Should I add more? They don't seem to be able to keep up with cleaning the brown algae on the glass either. How many should I add?

Probably the worst thing about the dirt is that it is providing a good growing spot for other algae. Recently I have spotted a few leaves with brush, and some hair-like (stringy) algae.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 07:23 PM
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How big is your tank? Is it a 55g? They pretty small so if your tank is big you can have a nice school of them.


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