New tank, a little help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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New tank, a little help

Hi, I was hoping I could get a little help with the new tank I am setting up. Its a 30 gallon, and has been up and running for 10 days now. Ive got a few fish in there, and I am pretty stocked on fish. A few issues...

I can't get the water to clear up, its always a little cloudy. This is more then anything just frustrating to me, as it doesnt seem to bother the fish at all. Any advice on how to get the water clear is much appreciated.

I am not thrilled with the gravel. My concern is, how time consuming is it going to be to change it out to pea gravel, and will it hurt the fish and the water quality?

Also, I am not pleased with the way the plants look in the tank. They look OK, but I think they could look better. Any suggestions would be great.

Like I said, its a 30 gallon tank, the gravel bed is fertilized with laterite, the light is a coralife single bulb compact florecent @ 96 watts. I dose the tank with Florish for a liquid fert as directed on the bottle, and for CO2 I use Jungle Fizz Factory. I don't have a huge budget, but any suggestions to improve the tank I am open to. Thanks for your time!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:32 PM
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the gravel isn't horrible, but if you do change it, make sure you leave some to help the bio-load not drop too quickly.

For the cloudy water, you didn't mention what filter(s) you have. Get one with a finer filter pad. should help. a water change might help too.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:49 PM
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I woudl say that the coudiness is from it being a new tank & with some water chages & time for the bio-load to pick up, it should clear up! I had the same problem when I started my first tank years ago...

The gravel is ok. it's more of a preference than anything. If you like it, leave it, if you don't, change it! But, as efish said, you would have to leave some in there to keep what little "bio-bugs" you do have that is establishing a colony on them. What I did when I changed my substrate was, I added it to my canister filter & hung some in a new nylon stocking in front of the output of my filter.

Good luck, keep us up-dated!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 05:52 PM
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If the cloudy water is white, it's a bacterial bloom and it usually goes away on it's own. This is one of the things that happen in "new tank syndrome." You mentioned that your tank has been running for 10 days. How many fish are in there or approximately how many inches of fish are in there?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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I figured it was a bacterial bloom, ive had that before while setting up tanks, but its never lasted this long. The filter is a Rena SmartFilter 30. Ive not tried that one before, and thought I would give it a go. I orginally bought a tetratec, but during setup had nothing but trouble with it, and swapped it out, second one had the same kind of trouble. So I returned it for this one. The ammonia has been pretty slow to go up, likely because I have done 2 small water changes since the tank has been set up. Currently there are 2 rainbowfish and 5 rasboras in the tank. Thanks for all of the advice!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 05:27 AM
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The tank has been running for 10 days so it seems normal...i would do pwc....if you really want it to be clean, although it may stress the tank and its inhabitants you can do a water exchange...siphon as you fill the tank slowly with a hose...i had a bloom that never seemed to go away even after a month the water was cloudy (never had it happen to me before). I used those water clarifiers that supposedly clumps suspended material together and it got a little cleaner then cloudy i did a water exchange...but i would only do it after waiting it out for another week or so. Let some of the system stabilize and maybe the bloom will go away...i'm assuming the gravel tank and everything was washed clean when you first set it up....the strange thing is with gravel that big, i've actually had clearer water on new tanks...was the gravel recycled from another tank (maybe sitting and building hard water deposits on it?) If you plan on changing the gravel out, put some old gravel in a media bag or panty hose and put it in the tank with new gravel to help with the bacteria.

Other than that the tank looks good...hopefully the water clears up and your plants more pix when the tank establishes more =) Good Luck

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 07:31 AM
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If your tank is going through a bacteria bloom and establishing a cycle (which is what it looks and sounds like), ideally you need to keep water changes to a minimum until the ammonia and nitrIte start dropping and keep dropping. Otherwise you end up making the cycle take longer because the tank has a harder time peaking and then finding equilibrium.

However, since you already have fish in there, I'd recommend small water (25% or less) changes daily just to try and keep things from getting too toxic for your fish to survive. If you can possibly relocate all of them to another established tank, I would.

If you can possibly relocate all your fish, you can then do fishless cycling. It's simple and more humane to fish- all you do is throw a cocktail shrimp (literally the dead deveined ones you put on a shrimp cocktail) in there and then wait out the cycle. No water changes. Once the ammonia and nitrIte have dropped and stay dropped, do a 50% PWC. Next day check your parameters again. As long as they are still low, do another 50% PWC. If they've skyrocketed again, wait it out again, then follow the same procedure until the levels stay low through the 50% PWCs. Do the PWCs daily till your readings reach 0ppm- then you can add your entire bioload all at the same time.

If you're thinking about switching out your substrate alltogether, my advice would be to take the whole tank down and start all over again. Your fish are already stressed and may not make it as it is, I strongly doubt they would survive a complete tank substrate overhaul.

That gravel looks very large- it's definitely not going to support root growth for those plants. Tanks set up like yours typically leave the plants inside pots, and then bury the pots in the gravel- that might be a cheaper way to go if you don't want to start all over?

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