Water turning brown overnight? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Water turning brown overnight?

Hello everyone,

I'm fairly new to FWP tanks, I was a long time reef keeper. I setup a low tech rank a long time ago and it did alright. Now I'm back with a high tech, and I'm experiencing something unexpected.

When I wake u in the morning my tank water is brownish, but still clear. After a couple of hours of CO2 and light it becomes more clear. The filter runs 24/7, just the lights and CO2 turn off. The tank has been cycling since 8/26, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are 0, ph is 6.6.

Tank specs:
17g lifeguard rimless
Eheim classic 250
Hydor 200w inline heater
10# CO2 tank
CO2art inline diffuser
Twinstar 450 Light

Ohko dragon stone
Seachem fluorite
Ada aquasoil
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Drew


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 11:00 PM
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I had this problem when I was using aquasoil with RO water and wasn't remineralizing as much as I thought I was.

However, my theory was that the extra low ph due to lpw gh/kh let the tannins come out. You're saying adding co2 helps, which lowers the ph.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 11:56 PM
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I'm not sure I see the question? From what the info says, it is obvious the date when you started the cycle is not correct, (assume it has not been fifty weeks?) so that throws lots of doubt as to what needs to be done and the pictures don't really show me much other than the light is changing the colors as even the wall behind changes color from neutral grey to tan.
Depending on what form of cycle you are doing and what end result you are looking for, I might recommend simply doing more water changes if it is a tannin question. There might also be a question about the filtering as I see little sign of much water circulation but that is pretty hard to judge from still photos.
With zeros across the board, I would not expect much of a cycle going on as there is any ammonia to start it. Perhaps only setting a getting stagnant? Is there a plan to get the cycle started?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2020, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I'm not sure I see the question? From what the info says, it is obvious the date when you started the cycle is not correct, (assume it has not been fifty weeks?) so that throws lots of doubt as to what needs to be done and the pictures don't really show me much other than the light is changing the colors as even the wall behind changes color from neutral grey to tan.
Depending on what form of cycle you are doing and what end result you are looking for, I might recommend simply doing more water changes if it is a tannin question. There might also be a question about the filtering as I see little sign of much water circulation but that is pretty hard to judge from still photos.
With zeros across the board, I would not expect much of a cycle going on as there is any ammonia to start it. Perhaps only setting a getting stagnant? Is there a plan to get the cycle started?
That meant to say 7/26. I used tap water to start the tank, my city tap water tests at .5ppm of ammonia with an API test kit. I've done 20% water changes, which helps clarify my tank for the day. The next morning back to brown.

I asked my LFS and they think it could be a weird thing with the aquasoil also. I'm going to continue to test and do water changes until it goes away, I guess.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2020, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FlipCyd View Post
I used tap water to start the tank, my city tap water tests at .5ppm of ammonia with an API test kit.
Not directly answering your question, but just to note that a reading of ammonia in your tap water might mean that it has chloramine (rather than chlorine) added. Google "chloramine vs chlorine" if you need more info and make sure that your dechlorinator also neutralises chloramine. For example, Seachem Prime breaks down chloramine into ammonia and also detoxifies this for 24-48 hours so that it doesn't harm fish etc before your bio-filter has chance to process.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2020, 02:25 PM
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Yes, I would expect to see a reading of ammonia if the local water is treated with chloramine and then we use Prime to make it safe for fish as I think the Prime turns the ammonia to ammonium which still shows when we test for ammonia, even though it is safe for fish.The problem I see is that a tank with no real source of ammonia, will not build much good bacteria during a cycle as there is very little there for the first group of good bacteria who use the ammonia as food.
Aquasoil may be producing some ammonia as well but I have not used it and not sure of how it works out.
If we have a tank full of plants and some of that plant matter is dying, it does provide some ammonia but the resulting tank cycle is very low level and not really ready for very many fish. But that is where the question of what the final result is that you are working to get.
If you are not planning for fish or other things which are harmed by ammonia, there is little need to cycle, but if you plan to add a group of fish like a shipment which is ordered, the full blown fishless cycle is a really good way to get a fully ready group of both types of good bacteria built to meet the sudden bio load of a full shipment.
A full fishless cycle is safe for almost all situations but slow and lots of work while there are lesser methods with less effort but they come with a bit more calculations as to what load one needs to be ready for.
When I am doing a cycle for a new tank, I watch the ammonia, nitrate and then nitrite readings and do water changes as needed to keep them correct but I do not watch the water color but just let it work it's way out as things go along. After a month of cycle, the two items usually are getting done, though.
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