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Silica substrate

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Just started our new tank about a month ago, went from Flourite to Silica. This is "number 2" grain on a scale of 0-4. The look is great, and it cleans very well, but it clouds up the water very easily. I just did a re-scape and stirred the substrate quite a bit, I need a way to remove the cloudiness without a chemical solution. I have just added a few fish and don't want throw a whole pharmacy in there.

I have been reading up on using polyester fill in the filter to get rid of the cloudiness. Any advice on getting rid of the cloudy water, or "water polishing" as I have read?

-Thanks
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Make sure to get stuff WITHOUT any added chemicals.
Yes, make sure you get floss (polyester quilt batting - it's called at a fabric store) that is unadulterated - no additives, nor fire retardants, etc.
You can get a one square meter roll piece for about $5. and it'll last you a few months.
You might also look into getting some bagged Seachem Purigen for your filter - that will really clarify & polish your water. And a fine mesh pre-filter sponge on your filter intake will help a great deal too. Just rinse it well every few days (takes but a minute).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone,

I went and got some polyester for about $3.50 and i replaced the filter screen on a standard penguin cartridge with it. How thick should I go before it stops being effective and starts to just impede flow?

Seachem is on the shopping list, just 100ml as its only a 36 gallon.

I hate seeing the light reflecting off my garbage quality water, here is a picture of the tank
 

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Thickness of filter floss use - I'd suggest no more than double-layering it, to avoid slowing filter flow, or even clogging up, as the floss gets real dirty.
The remedy though, is to simply replace it with new, religiously every 2 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have started on the polyester floss, changing it every 2 days (only because I have enough to wrap around my house) they keep coming out pretty dirty.

I have resorted to Seachem Purigen...

It seems to get rave reviews, so I put way more than my 36 gallon needed in last night. It certainly put a dent in it, but still not out of the woods yet.
 

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Keep in mind that the Purigen particles should not be packed into the bag in a too thick layer - water must be able to flow well right through it for it to have optimum effectiveness. I feel it shouldn't be more than about 1/2" thick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Paul,

I learn about the Purigen the hard way first, haha.

What i ended up doing was a 60% water change using the Siphon, and focused on really trying to pull all the particulate from the substrate. After doing this, replacing the water, along with the filter floss/Purigen the result is very good.

Shame on me for not doing a good enough job of washing the substrate out of the gate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I figured I would bump this a bit...

I have taken all my plants out of the tank, removed all the driftwood and fish. I totally stirred up all the substrate until the water looked like tea, as there was quite a bit of detritus and waste also.

I am starting over tonight. Now my debate is keep the silica, all cleaned and filtered, or switch to a Lowe's pea gravel. I have read that pea gravel is much easier to vacuum and maintain, but doesn't accommodate foreground plants well. I have Amazons swords, Crypts and Red Echinodorus which are all fairly low maintenance plants.

Would anyone talk me out of keeping the silica in favor of gravel??

 
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