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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the clay I used:

http://www.amaco.com/shop/product-337-mexican-pottery-clay.html



I mixed and squished and stirred it into about 60lbs of substrate... now I'm scared because the water turned into a nice bright muddy-red color....

Like this:


I tried a test-batch and even with a lot of rinsing, it still turns the water cloudy. Will this be a problem once it's capped? Am I worrying unnecessarily?
 

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do you just have one layer of substrate that you mixed this into, or did you mix it into some mix of substrate, and then cap that substrate with sand/gravel?

clays tend to be made of incredibly fine particles, and will take much longer to settle out of a water column (why lake beds, mid ocean, etc. bottoms tend to form shale deposits - the only stuff that can make it out that far is fine grained clays, etc.)

If you don't have it capped, I'd suggest adding a cap. and then stuffing some floss in your filter to pull out the suspendeds.

If it's already capped, *shrugs* I dunno, try the floss/filter thing, and see if that helps?
 

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Your cap will help keep it out of the water column in normal day to day use. If you have a high clay volume in your substrate, take care when uprooting/moving plants, it'll make a terrible mess. Some folks have recommended clipping plants and leaving the roots, which work for stem plants, but not for things like crypts or lotuses.

Water changes and filter floss will help clean the water out when it does get cloudy. It'll settle out eventually. The more cap, the less mess. Good luck! Plants will love the iron from the clay.
 

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Re-post I did not understand the OP. Are you making MTS? Or, are you using MG?

When I build MTS, all rinsing is done before clay, potash, dolomite etc are added. The finished dirt goes in the tank and gets caped, then the tank is planted & filled. No problems occur that way.
 

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This will help with your current problem and give you a way to polish the water after any water changes or if you disturb the gravel at all.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/diatomf...6_a_7c205461&gclid=CJDVsd_5tbQCFcN_Qgod2zAA6g and http://www.aquariumguys.com/diatompowder.html

Just look for the best price online, and get some diatomaceous earth I usually buy the 5 lbs bag but you can go smaller if you like.

Also when setting it up you will either have to use a tupperware in the tank just below the water surface with both intake and output tubes placed into it so the Diatoms can collect to the bag in the filter, then when the tupperware has no more cloudiness and all diatoms are sucked up by the filter remove the container without turning the filter off and let it run.

Usually takes a few hours depending on tank size and how clogged the filter gets.

I've been using these filters for years as they take anything down to 1 micron in size out of the water(that's 1 millionth of and inch:icon_eek:) so anything bigger than that can be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just to clarify, did you not cap it yet? That would be a definite reason why your water is all messed up.
Hi, sorry that my original post wasn't very clear. I am putting a cap on the red clay, but in my test container I didn't do that. I just finished putting everything into the tank (border of substrate, red clay material inside, then cap). Will be adding water soon-ish so I'll update on how it goes then

Shaun
 

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Added about 1/3 of the water today and the cap is holding so far... no water problems. I haven't started planting yet though, so I imagine that will stir a little muck up but it shouldn't be too bad.
I'd suggest you drain down the tank to the CAP. Better drain bellow the cap. To do that use you syphon hose in a back corner.

Then plant and fill the tank. More work yes, but your tank will be much cleaner after the planting.
 
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