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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I broke my 25g down in the past due to muddy looking water that would not go away, even with frequent water changes. I was advised on many forums that my problem was my tap water, and I bought an RODI system. I do not regret the RO, it has helped my plant growth immensely, but I realized today that this was not the problem.

I had a plant order arrive today and subsequently planted and flooded the tank earlier this morning. The substrate is the same Amazonia that I used in the past rendition of the 25. I filled the tank up very slowly, so initial clouding is not the issue. In fact, the longer the tank sits, the cloudier the water has gotten. It is beginning to look exactly the same as what had happened a few months ago. Since the substrate is the only common factor between the two setups, it must be the issue.

What is the solution to this? Completely replace the Amazonia? Cap it with something? Has anyone else experienced this? How did you solve it? I do not want to lose another large batch of plants due to a lack of light caused by the Amazonia, I have already had enough failures in this hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like a pretty massive algae and bacterial bloom. Use a UV filter, would likely solve this problem in a few days. Once solved remove the uv and store it incase you need it again.
Algae and bacterial bloom right after the tank is filled? I tried UV when this happened the last time and it had little to no effect. The lamp broke about a week in, so I no longer have it to test it out though :(
 

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In under 12 hours? Does it happen that fast? Im about to setup a 5G this weekend with Tropica's soil which is pretty similar to Amazonia, so would like to avoid this problem.

It looks similar to the clouding I got with fluval stratum when I tried to rinse it vigorously first before putting it in the tank (not realizing that it being a clay like composition I just added a bajillion extra unnecessary free particles). I solved that with polishing pads in a hob and a gravel cap, but it looks like you have put in carpet so if particulates are the issue, you would probably have to skip the cap and avoid disturbing the bottom until the plants cap it for you.

How can you differentiate the blooms vs particulate clouding? Color? Ammonia?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That looks brown not green, it's definitely from the substrate. If you didn't rinse the amazonia (I'm sure you didn't) and/or crush/disturb it during filling my thoughts would be a bad batch, but you said this happened before. Have you tried contacting ADA customer service.
This happened before with the same bag of substrate. I didn't rinse it either. I will try contacting ADA, but because I purchased the bag last fall and no longer have the packaging, I don't know if they will do anything. I also didn't purchase the bag directly from them, but rather from Aqua Lab Aquaria.

I was just looking at ADA's website and it seems like they are now claiming this as a normal symptom of the substrate. They say not to run the filter during this issue. Should I turn my filter off?
 

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I was just looking at ADA's website and it seems like they are now claiming this as a normal symptom of the substrate. They say not to run the filter during this issue. Should I turn my filter off?
I'm not sure if there are certain water conditions that would make the tank cloudy at the start. I've done at least a dozen tanks with different versions of AS and they always start up clear. I would keep doing 50-70% WCs per day. It should clear up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do slow WCs, I never get cloudy water with AS filling from empty it that way (~1 gal per min). If it's still cloudy it's probably an algal/bacterial bloom.
My water changes are done with an ro hose, so that is definitely not the issue. The substrate is causing it through, because it is very brown/muddy, not green or hazy.
 

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My water changes are done with an ro hose, so that is definitely not the issue. The substrate is causing it through, because it is very brown/muddy, not green or hazy.
That's really weird, never heard of that. I'd definitely call up ADA (or a US authorized distributor) then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, ADA was useless, they basically told me this was a problem with Amazonia and encouraged me to buy Amazonia II. The tank has cleared up a bit without the filter running, going to continue with daily water changes.
 

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I’ve had a similar issue with Amazonia recently. Horrendously cloudy water when I first set it up and I still get a large amount of cloudiness in the water when I uproot pants. Adding a flocculent additive to clear the water and a polishing filter in the canister media works pretty well to clear it up and I have been managing well with that strategy so far.

Unfortunately I think certain batches of Amazonia just do this (the gold label stuff, not the orange Amazonia ver 2.) Apart from just living with it and trying not to disturb the substrate too much, I have seen some reports of success capping it with new soil or inert substrate. But nearly as many get fed up and empty it out and try their hand with another batch or brand. Kinda sucks when your tank is a big one though given the cost of aquasoil!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I’ve had a similar issue with Amazonia recently. Horrendously cloudy water when I first set it up and I still get a large amount of cloudiness in the water when I uproot pants. Adding a flocculent additive to clear the water and a polishing filter in the canister media works pretty well to clear it up and I have been managing well with that strategy so far.

Unfortunately I think certain batches of Amazonia just do this (the gold label stuff, not the orange Amazonia ver 2.) Apart from just living with it and trying not to disturb the substrate too much, I have seen some reports of success capping it with new soil or inert substrate. But nearly as many get fed up and empty it out and try their hand with another batch or brand. Kinda sucks when your tank is a big one though given the cost of aquasoil!
What additive did you use? I have been keeping the issue at bay with daily water changes, but I definitely don't have the time to maintain it forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@oli's bettas - curious as to how yours worked out? Mine went from this mess to perfectly fine. Even with disturbing the soil from uprooting plants and water changes. (Thank goodness!) View attachment 1027885
My tank had been doing much better. I think it will be a bit until it is perfectly clear, but most of the brown tint in the tank now is tannins. At least I'm not doing daily water changes anymore :)
 
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