Frusterate with 'dust' Amazonia, etc - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Frusterate with 'dust' Amazonia, etc

Hello,
I have a planted tank that has given me trouble since the beginning.... as soon as I filled it, dust everywhere, lots of dust settled after many water changes- but also stuck to the plants. A few months later the plants seemed to outgrow the 'dust' but it was still present on broad leaves and fissidens fontanus.


Then one filter 'futzing' and all the dust is covering the plants all over again. Makes the plants look dull and colorless.

I heard some of the Amazonia bags just have this (bag bags)- is that true??

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:19 PM
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There are definitely variations between bags of amazonia and the content/composition. I have had bags that practically leeched no ammonia, others have had upwards of 5ppm from a bag so if there is variation there I guarantee there is variation in dustiness.

Best way forward I would say is a light gravel vac. Get as much dust up as you can and do a water change. Definitely will be more pain before triumph.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:45 PM
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Your filter will pull out dust particles from the water, right? Get the water stirred up to lift the dust off the surfaces and let the filter take it out. Repeat until things aren't so dusty.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:56 PM
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If you could, turn off your main filter and use sponge filter(s) for a couple of hours after stirring up the dust. Once the water is clear you can take out the sponge and turn your filter back on. Squeeze out the dust from the sponge. Repeat this process once a day and youíll be done by the end of the week, if not sooner. If you let your main filter do all the filtering, itíll be a pain to clean it out constantly.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 11:18 PM
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How did you fill your tank?

I've used Aqua Soil since it's been available in the US. Probably 200-250 9L bags at this point. And I've never had so much as major cloudiness. Best I can tell, that only happens when a tank is filled too quickly or when substrate is rinsed before use, put into a tank that's already filled with water or generally mishandled. Seems to be the case with most people on forums like this when they document what's occurring.

I'm genuinely interested in specifically how this played out for you.


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 11:35 PM
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Maybe it was the way it was delivered to you? Iíve had some before that had slim to little dust but sometimes one filter change. Like 2 at most. Itís better to get all the dust out from the very bottom too if dust is leaching?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
How did you fill your tank?

I've used Aqua Soil since it's been available in the US. Probably 200-250 9L bags at this point. And I've never had so much as major cloudiness. Best I can tell, that only happens when a tank is filled too quickly or when substrate is rinsed before use, put into a tank that's already filled with water or generally mishandled. Seems to be the case with most people on forums like this when they document what's occurring.

I'm genuinely interested in specifically how this played out for you.
I had a new empty tank. Poured in amazonia (gently). I then placed my stones (dragonstone). and some plantings.

Then filled with a syphon on the rock portion. Filling the tank took about 30minutes to an hour.

However- I did break apart some dragonstone without a good scrubbing. So it could be dragonstone related? I know there is a 'clay' in the crevices (I just got carried away and forgot as I was so happy to use all my leftover stones from other tanks). Could that also be a major issue?


The muddy dust settled quickly- however it landed on all the plants (bought plants new mostly from Bruce).

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:12 PM
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I just set up a couple of tanks with ADA and poured them gently into the water and got a dust storm too. It was crystal clear the next day, but there's a fine layer of silt on the top of everything (see my shrimp rack thread under tank journals for photos). If I had it to do over, I'd have just drained the tanks, added ADA and filled slowly. Am getting 5+ PPM NH4 readings on those tanks as well. I ordered mine from Amazon, and perhaps it was jostled a lot in shipping and created more dust than usual -if not I have to suspect that adding the substrate dry to a full tank was the reason.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe it was the way it was delivered to you? Iíve had some before that had slim to little dust but sometimes one filter change. Like 2 at most. Itís better to get all the dust out from the very bottom too if dust is leaching?
Its a good point- it did clear up after installation. Then I was messing with the filter and the dust appeared again. plants are covered. Ugh.

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I just set up a couple of tanks with ADA and poured them gently into the water and got a dust storm too. It was crystal clear the next day, but there's a fine layer of silt on the top of everything (see my shrimp rack thread under tank journals for photos). If I had it to do over, I'd have just drained the tanks, added ADA and filled slowly. Am getting 5+ PPM NH4 readings on those tanks as well. I ordered mine from Amazon, and perhaps it was jostled a lot in shipping and created more dust than usual -if not I have to suspect that adding the substrate dry to a full tank was the reason.
I purchased mine from amazon- I had a dry tank but same problem.
I have used it before- never had this issue- maybe the bags got squished?

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 08:16 PM
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Or maybe there are some bags out there where ADA dropped the ball on QC.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post

However- I did break apart some dragonstone without a good scrubbing. So it could be dragonstone related? I know there is a 'clay' in the crevices (I just got carried away and forgot as I was so happy to use all my leftover stones from other tanks). Could that also be a major issue?
This right here.
Okay so, when you broke apart the stone essentially you have opened all the internal crevices that are filled with compacted (yet loose) dust.
You can locate these areas by the way they look, duller and more pitting than solid stone.
Take an airline hose, start siphoning and press the hose Into these areas, jabbing the areas until they loosen. You should be able to vacuum them all out without much clouding. Literally just did this today and turned out great.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post

However- I did break apart some dragonstone without a good scrubbing. So it could be dragonstone related? I know there is a 'clay' in the crevices (I just got carried away and forgot as I was so happy to use all my leftover stones from other tanks). Could that also be a major issue?
This right here.
Okay so, when you broke apart the stone essentially you have opened all the internal crevices that are filled with compacted (yet loose) dust.
You can locate these areas by the way they look, duller and more pitting than solid stone.
Take an airline hose, start siphoning and press the hose Into these areas, jabbing the areas until they loosen. You should be able to vacuum them all out without much clouding. Literally just did this today and turned out great.
I have done tanks a hundred times with this stone. Never had this issue- but I did break these up further than normal.

If I air push/syphon on the stone. Nothing comes out.

Maybe the answer is just heavy water/filter changes. But that doesn’t get the crud off the leaves of my fissiden (which has not yet taken root).
The crud did clear up after a few months originally. until I cleaned the filter- so whatever it is is stuck in there.....

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 11:38 AM
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Interesting...
Honestly would have put money on those rocks creating a dust in the tank.
Water changes and cleaning is the way forward I suppose. Annoying but anything to do with cloudiness etc will always be fixed by water changes at some level.


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 11:45 AM
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It's hard to say, but dragon stone is extremely variable and soft. I've gotten stones from my supplier that have literally fallen apart in my hands. And yes as @Jamo33 stated if the stones are broken down and not hosed out you will be putting dusty clay into your tank.

Although my experience with AS is similiar to what SWS stated (I've never even had cloudy water when using it) I could see bags of it getting crushed and causing problems initially.


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 12:51 PM
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Compared to other buffering substrates, Aqua Soil Amazonia tends to be dusty. But even with that dust, I find it usually only clouds in the instances I mentioned previously. Have had bags with an inch of dust in the bottom that didn't cloud if effort was made to flood the tank. Usually only requires patience.

Quickly flowing water from a syphon is enough to disturb Amazonia (even if you used hardscape to disperse) to the point of cloudiness. I usually pour water into my tanks by hand with a cup until I reach the top of the substrate. Super-slowly. That alone could take an hour in, say, a 40 breeder. Then I take care to slowly add water at a rate where I can see there's no cloudiness. Sometimes that requires the use of a flat piece of plastic or glass placed upon the substrate.

Once there's enough water in the tank to allow for it, I then use a plastic container of some sort that floats - old Glad container, margarine tub, tissue-cultured plant container. Hold the container in place just beneath the surface of the water and allow water to flow. That tends to cause water to move out instead of down, which disturbs substrate. You can usually allow water to flow more quickly as things get deeper.

First third of the fill takes the longest - maybe 95% of the fill time. Last 2/3 usually fills within several minutes.

When I use siphons to fill my tanks, I follow the same procedure. Dampen flow to a trickle at first. It could take a couple hours to fill a large tank but it's usually worth it for me in the end to have something that remains clean.

Note: this includes bags I've had sitting around for a decade or that have moved around the country with me. Even old bags where quality control was, at best, non-existent.

...

To remove dust from Fissidens, you'll need a turkey baster, syringe or pipette of some sort. Just get a direct swirl of water going and it'll clear up. I like to keep 3ml pipettes near my tanks for little projects like that.

Do you have a photo of the tank?


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