Please help me with my new setup - cloudy brown water - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Please help me with my new setup - cloudy brown water

Hey guys i recently just re-setup my tank because before the water was always getting really brown no matter how many times i did WCs.

here is my current setup:

- 50 Gallon /w 2X39W T5s lighting (not using it ATM since there are no plants and co2 not hooked up)

- ADA amazonia soil
- Fluval 308 canister filter
- UGF /w powerhead
- no fish no plants at the moment

I did a complete new setup with 100% water change, the water was clear for the first few days, then it started to get cloudy. when the light is off its apparent that the water has a tint of brown (shown in pic). when i turn the lights on, its not as obvious but i can see the water is white/cloudy. its been like this for almost a week i havent put the fish back in yet. I want to make sure I get the water conditions right.

can you guys give me some suggestions what i should do? could it be the substrate that is causing this brown tint all the time? should i use the crystal clear water chemicals which i have?

thanks for your help, much appreciated

here are the pics of my tank currently:

LIGHTS OFF:


LIGHTS ON:
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 09:03 PM
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I vote it is the substrate. You need to do daily water changes
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 02:38 AM
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A used substrate might have organic matter (fish waste, dead plant cells) and a new tank set up will have skin oils from your handling everything.

Heterotrophic bacteria live on these things, and can cloud a new set up for a week or so, but usually die off pretty fast.
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Do you have any source of tannins in the tank or filter? Mostly this would be plant matter like peat moss or driftwood.

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Here is what I would do:
Drain the tank.
Set it up with plants, rocks... mist the plants as you are working.
Put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and pour the water in slowly. Let it seep over the sides of the plate and into the substrate. It will take time.
When the water is high enough turn on the equipment.
Monitor it for 24 hours, make sure it is stable temperature, and test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH, KH, pH. If the water is suitable for the fish, add them.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 08:41 AM
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may be wrong but i think its a algae bloom, once your tank cycles it will go away, dont add fish until the cycle is complete, try to be patient, i know it is hard. i have had similar on quite a few times
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks for your quite replies, very detailed too.. i will follow the steps and be patient and wait it out. thanks and ill let you guys know how it turns out!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 01:44 AM
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Test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.
New ADA substrates tend to produce ammonia when they are first submerged. This is great to grow the beneficial bacteria, not good for fish. You will want to do enough water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite under 5 ppm to grow the bacteria the fastest. Never mind the cloudiness, it will go away.

High ammonia can make the water somewhat cloudy, but it is white-grey cloudy, not brown. Brown cloudy suggests tannins or other plant product. Often found in peat moss and drift wood.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 02:36 PM
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Why didn't you dry start it?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for following up with me. I followed the steps and just have my tank running again. Water seems ok for now, gonna give it 24 hours then if everythings ok..then ill put the fish back in.

reason i didnt do dry start because I did a 100% water change, using the same substrate which was wet anyway.
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