Filter too strong for substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Filter too strong for substrate?

Hello! I am new to live plants (I hadn't added them in my tank yet) and sand when it comes to aquariums. Today, I bought an Aqueon 10 gal starter kit with a Quiet Flow filter which is a hang on the back. https://www.aqueon.com/products/filt...-power-filters
Well, first I put the sand in and put a bowl on top. Then I slowly poured water into the bowl until it overflowed onto the sand and i kept doing that until the water level was over the bowl. Then I continue to slowly pour the rest of the water in. The water stirred up the sand a little bit which made the water kinda murky. I put my water conditioner in and turn on the filter. It seemed to make the tank extremely cloudy and move the sand a lot, especially in the center. I left it going on for a few hours and it never got better.
Another note is that the filter had a loud hum than it was advertised. Maybe I should put more water in to cover more of the filter (the most important parts are already submerged in water)? Maybe the little waterfall where the water comes out of the filter is too high up from the tank's water level?
I'm not really knowledgeable on filters so any info would be great! I am also brand new on using sand and live plants as well. What can I do to the filter to help this problem? Are there any other things I could do? Also, what should I do with the water that has so much sand and perhaps other stuff floating around making it cloudy/murky?
I have heard of prefilter sponges but I read up on them and got mixed reviews but I don't know if this will fix the problem.
Sorry for such a long post but I still want to learn as much as I can! Thank you for taking your time to read this and answer!

Last edited by taylormarie213; 09-08-2019 at 01:42 PM. Reason: added link for the filter I have and edited out stuff
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 02:33 PM
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You can use a very thin layer of gravel to stop the erosion effect from moving water. It doesn't even have to fully cover the sand. Here is an example:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...nano-cube.html

If you are just starting, you should understand what substrate you are choosing, and make sure you are choosing what will work for you.

Personally, I use organic soil under sand and gravel, so I am getting fertilizer from my soil. You may need another source.

If you are sticking with just sand, you need to make sure that you listen to the advice of others who are also using just sand.

Cheers and good luck!

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 03:26 PM
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Did you rinse the sand prior to using?


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:15 PM
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My filter will move my sand as well - more so when the water level is lower so there's more of a waterfall. So trying to raise the water level may help. You can also try putting some filter floss in the output, as this will slow down the water leaving the filter a lot. Having some plants or hardscape in front of the filter output will help break up the flow so it doesn't disrupt the substrate.

A prefilter won't help slow down the water that is leaving the filter, but it can help stop larger particles getting into the impeller, and can help your finer filter media and any bio media stay cleaner for longer.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:46 PM
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Sand will get into the motor of hang-on-back filters and create noise. I would not recommend sand with those filters...Also expect to wait a day or two for the sand to settle down


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:34 PM
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Sand needs to be pre-rinsed to remove 'fines' (dust like particles of sand). You also want a somewhat coarse sand. Fine sands tend to pack and are not as good for rooted plants.

If the tank is not full, the HOB works harder to lift water AND there will be more of a waterfall return that may disturb the substrate. You should fill the tank. If there is still a flow issue, you can make a simple baffle with an empty water bottle. You just can a piece of the bottle long enough the span your HOBs return, then cut the bottle lengthwise so there's a split and fit it over the return. (Just do a search on YouTube for "water bottle baffle".

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:46 PM
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As others have mentioned....fill the tank within 1/2” of the rim, or within 1” of the top if it’s a rimless tank. Never understood seeing tanks with 3-4” of airspace before the water line. Makes no sense. It’s even ok if the outflow of the HOB filter is actually submerged.

Also as mentioned. Sand has fines. The fines are harmless and are just the same composition as the grit, it’s just dust that forms from the grains grinding themselves up. If you didn’t rinse it, they’ll likely take weeks to clear up, if they do at all. People will sometimes use a flocculant to bind the small particles and make them heavy enough to sink. Otherwise you should always rinse sand heavily to the point that spraying it with a water hose in a bucket yields perfectly clear water instantly.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 06:07 PM
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Hi and welcome to TPT and planted tanks! Your first set-up will always bring a bit of frustration, but stick it out!

The sand will settle in time. I would definitely try the advice already given of an intake sponge and putting some poly-floss in the filter. (You can buy it cheap at any craft or sewing supply store..just look for Poly-fill 100% polyester stuffing)

Also, the intake tubes on those filters can be altered in length (usually) by removing one of the bottom pieces of the tube. You might try making it a bit shorter so it's not too close to the sand. Or try placing some rocks under the intake tube so less sand can be sucked into it.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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