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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I've been refering to this forum quite alot in the past month so decided to join. I have just converted my 70g to NPT in the last few days and I have some questions.

Tank: 270L (70g) 100cm long 45cm deep 60cm high
Lights: 2x 2 39w t5HO lights (too much I know)
Filter: cheap pro aqua canister 1500L per hour.

This is what I've done so far:
Took fish out (8 head and tail light tetras, 1 male guppy, 2 small bristlenose catfish and a small redtal shark) and placed them, with heater and small internal filter, into a plastic storage container. I changed my substrate from all gravel to organic soil mix bottom capped with my existing pea size gravel. I filled the tank, turned on my canister filter (BIG MISTAKE), then went to bed for the night. Next morning the tank was completely blacked out with red/orange mud! And ive realised that Ive forgotten to dose prime!!!! In my rush to get it filled before bed. Filters well and truly dead. So I drained the whole thing and went to my LFS to buy some more plants. I planted about 50 - 60% of the tank. Filled it up and let it sit over night again. Next morning nearly completely clear so I decide to turn the filter back on and to add the fish because I didn't want to leave them in the bucket any longer. It is now 3 hours later and the water is cloudy again to the point where I can just see the back of the tank.

So my questions are:
Will the silt in the water harm the fish?
Should I take them out? I don't have room for them in my other tank.
Should I turn the filter off?
When can I turn it back on?
How long do you think it will take to clear?
What have I done wrong?
Any suggestions?
Thanks.
 

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Had the same thing happen to me 1x. It is because the pea gravel is not holding down the dirt. I put a small layer, fingers width, of sand over it and then put gravel. River sand from a landscaper is the best and cheapest.

Do you still have the medium from the filter before change? Need it to prevent complete recycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
a little silt in the water column wont hurt the fish. if you killed your beneficial bacteria though I'd suggest Tetra's BioSpira, it will allow you to put your fish back in the tank.
I'm not sure if we have that product in Aus. I did have a very small internal filter going in the container with the fish that came from the tank before I pulled it down. It's back in now. I'll have to have a look around for a bio booster. The fish should be alright. There's not too many of them and there's alot of plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Had the same thing happen to me 1x. It is because the pea gravel is not holding down the dirt. I put a small layer, fingers width, of sand over it and then put gravel. River sand from a landscaper is the best and cheapest.

Do you still have the medium from the filter before change? Need it to prevent complete recycle.
Thanks. I wish I knew that before I put it all back together. Thought I'd done my research. But obviously not enough! Do you think there is something I could add to the top of the gravel? I'm just not looking forward to pullin it all apart and starting again. All my plants, wood and rocks are back in.
 

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Do you think there is something I could add to the top of the gravel?
Where did you get the gravel? Perhaps you can find some smaller gravel of same color. Needs to be 3ml. Or possibly putting some sand on top and then more of the gravel you have will solve the problem.

Tetra Safe Start is another product good to prevent new tank syndrome. Here are some dealers for Tetra products that may be near you.

With a lot of plants and a few fish you are doing what is called a silent cycle. Keep an eye on the nitrites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks I was thinking sand then more gavel. I think I am going to give it a few more days to see if it clears with the filter. If it dosent I'll get some then.
 

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hope ya get it figured out for your setup and welcome to the forum!

Hi Aussie, A little sand will help if it doesn't clear which I (sorry) don't think it will with pea size gravel / regular aquarium sold tank stone.
A fully planted NPT may not even show a cycle on a completely new set up so plants help a great deal. Your fish list is short so the tank is lightly loaded which is a plus at this point. Biggest error I've seen folks make is to large a capping material and also too thick which chokes off the gas exchange. If you follow Hilde's advice and add the sand (I would try it) stay with adding about 1/2" as suggested. Look at it like adding mortar between the bricks helping to slow down the circulation out of the substrate. Over just a short time the sand will filter down into the stone and all but disappear.

Edit; I just realized Hilde included a link to Rex's site. Great information there for sure.
Word of caution, do not order any products from Rex without direct contact with the man first. He has been out of touch for nearly a year. Fearing the worst for a good guy but he is not filling orders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. I'm starting to think the same thing about it never clearing. I checked out the link and it's one I've read before and taken some of my inspiration from. It say the least I was very ****** off at myself about killing my filter but im not too worried for the fish because there are so few.
 

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you'll get it straight I'm sure and the anger will fade when the water clears. I've got 3 NPT/dirt threads here and the method works really well when you get things in place.
Easiest tanks I keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I've just bought myself a big bad of sand and I'm going to start washing it tomorrow. Looks like it's going to (hopefully) be the solution to my problem.
 

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Word of caution, do not order any products from Rex without direct contact with the man first. He has been out of touch for nearly a year. Fearing the worst for a good guy but he is not filling orders.
I gathered from previous experience with him that he is having some health problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What type of sand did you get?
Stuff called double washed play sand from bunnings (huge hardware store in Aus). Just finished putting it in the tank. I also did a 50% PWC and it looks better already. But only time will tell if it's worked.
 

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Stuff called double washed play sand. Just finished putting it in the tank. I also did a 50% PWC and it looks better already.
Should be okay then. Play sand here is not washed. It created a sand storm from the beginning. Now I use pool filter sand or river sand, for they don't need much rinsing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The sand has been in for a few days now and my tank is pretty much clear! Only a very very slight haze is left now but I'm sure it will be crystal clear in no time.
 
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