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Eco-complete cloud

2754 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pope_luke
So, after trying to read up an learn as much as I could about substrates, I chose to use eco-complete for my first planted tank. This... isn't quite what I expected. Upon reading further, I noticed that there were a few very old threads on contaminated eco-complete. I was wondering if this might be one of them. Hopefully the attached image shows up.

Assuming I do have a bad bag, what do you suggest I do? Is it at all likely that the company would send me a new bag? Should I pull out everything I have in there now for fear of it dying?
Or is this just normal? It's been about 6 hours. I see no signs of this haze ever settling.
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Welcome to PlantedTank!!!

First off, what makes you think its contaminated? Are you seeing signs of distress in your fish or shrimp?

The cloud is natural after filling for the first time. It will settle. You have to consider that Eco is considered "alive with bacteria", and you just stirred it all up! Let the filter and gravity do its thing. I believe it took about 12 hours for me the first time, but i also had a very strong current in my tank.

Did you plant it yet? Chances are you will churn it up again upon planting. This will eventually go away (or lessen should I say) as the substrate ages.

what kind of filter(s) are you using? You can try putting some fine filter media in or some purigen media, this will speed up the process.

If you don't have any fish in the tank yet, you can also use a product called Acurel F, which I believe is a coagulent that will bind the to the small "cloud particles" and force them to settle or filter out quciker. It does give a slight brown hue to the water, but this disapates after about a day. No harm to the substrate in doing it. they say its safe for fish, but I find that if its a coagulent, there is no way that it can be 100% safe for a fish, so I would never reccomend using it with fauna in the tank.

Be patient and have fun!!
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I just fixed the picture that I think wasn't showing up. I thought it might be contaminated because it wasn't clearing up as quickly as people kept reporting in other posts, and in most of those cases they said they dumped it right into the water, whereas I poured the bag into a recently cleaned tank, and then added the water slowly while the substrate was covered by plates. Also, it didn't seem cloudy with particles that I could see, but rather milky with particles that I couldn't.

Soon after I took the picture I added a dose of clarifier, and that cleared up some of the cloud. As of right now, it still has some cloud, but not much. Of course, if I even touch the substrate a small cloud billows out.

The fish and shrimp don't at all seem to be in any distress, so that question puts me more at ease. For the filter, I'm using an AquaClear Power Filter 30. I had been using it in this same tank (before I cleaned and added the substrate) for around 3 weeks now since I got it, so I'm pretty sure it's near being cycled and has some mulm. I planted the few tiny plants I have while the tank was still fully cloudy, just because I didn't want to wait and had nowhere else to put it.

It's good to hear from at least one person that this stuff /does/ actually cloud up to some extent. Hopefully all my worry is for naught.
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Hey luke, do not worry. I setup a 125 gal tank with 8 bags of eco complete. It was cloudy for 3 days, yet didn't bother me the least bit. I'd say it wasn't just the bacteria that is stirred up though. Theres a lot dust from the substrate rubbing against itself in the bag. I could see this because on the surface of the water there was film/bubbles.
oh one more thing... do NOT use water clarifier! a little patience and it will be crystal clear, why put extra chems in the tank when not needed? cheers!
I reiterate... Be patient and have fun!! this is not a race, its a hobby. experiencing all the ups and downs of the hobby make it that more interesting in the long run. The cloud will not last forever, let it be.

What size tank is it?
Thanks for all the support and advice. I'm pretty relieved that it seems that my bag is fine. I really didn't want to go through the hassle of contacting people for replacements and then waiting for it and doing it all again.
I only used the clarifier the one time, and haven't used it since. i don't really like using it either, since it creates little gooey lines of gunk on everything anyway..

I guess I do need a bit more patience. This is not only my first planted tank, but my first aquarium tank in general. I caught this bug while experimenting with things in my girlfriend's turtle tank. I managed to find some fish combinations that they couldn't eat (couldn't catch is more like it) but I didn't have any success with plants, since they'd eat everything, no matter how distasteful the plant was said to be. From this sprang my idea for a planted tank. So forgive me for being a total noob.. This forum has already helped a lot, just with it's huge stock of information.
Ah, and the tank is just a 10Gal. My plan is to create a good foundation for plants as well as having everything generally set up to attempt to breed red cherry shrimp, but also to keep some fish, but that will all come later, and is for another forum ^_-

A lot of the cloud has been settling, but then is easily stirred up again. I wonder how much is in the filter, and if maybe I could periodically clean it out to permanently get rid of at least a portion of the cloud.
I take it that that would generally be a bad idea, considering I'd also be washing off a good amount of beneficial bacteria, no?

Patience is so hard... ^_^

Here's a pic now. There's still some haze in it, but like you've all said, it's getting better. Sorry for the quality of the picture, and for showing a nearly bare tank in a planted forum.

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No problem luke, take your time learning, and don't jump quickly into anything. If you MUST do something about the cloud, you could throw a micron filter somewhere in the filter. That should trap the fine matter and you'll have to rinse it out once a day or so.
As for having a planted tank, it is more exciting and fun than a fish only tank. Its also easier to keep things under control IMO. However the plants you choose will determine whether this will be an easy to maintain, or a difficult but beautiful tank. Post any q's you might have in appropriate forums: lighting, co2, diy, plants, etc. Cheers and good luck!
I love the looks of a new tank with nothing really in it. It starts to give me ideas about what to do next. All I can tell you is read up as much as you can ask questions then sit back and enjoy the ride. Best of luck and dont worry we are all here for each other (that goes for the good and the bad).
If you MUST do something about the cloud, you could throw a micron filter somewhere in the filter. That should trap the fine matter and you'll have to rinse it out once a day or so.
I decided to go with your advice and got a sheet of 100 micron filter, then wedged it between the carbon filter pack and the pack of white cylinders. (I don't even know what they do...)
Either way, I already see some improvement. It seems the haze has slowly been collecting on the bottom of the tank, as well as coating the plants, so getting rid of it altogether feels like the option I like the best. I look forward to washing it out over the next few days, just to finally get it out of the tank.
Thanks for all the advice~
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