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Flourite substrate problem ?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Henry Hatch, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    I have a persistent problem with a 30 gallon tank with 60 watts of NO flourescents and a flourite substrate. The tank is well established with co2 kept at 20 - 30 ppm. The filter is a HOT Magnum. I lightly vacuum every other water change. Fish are fed lightly once or twice a day. I used a triple dose of Seachem Clarity which is supposed to clear particulate, bacterial, and chemical clouding. The tank cleared some but still remained cloudy. I just did a 70% water change and the water immediately got much cloudier.

    This led me to believe that the substrate got stirred up when I did the water change.

    When I initially put in the flourite substrate the rinse water remained dirty no matter how long I rinsed. I finally put it in the tank and used clarity several times as well as a diatom filter to clear the tank.

    If I can't solve this problem soon I am going to toss the flourite. I think the dust may be so fine that it is staying suspended with normal water circulation.

    Is flourite the problem ?

    Henry
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Probably not.

    The filter does not have a lot of biomdeia, if the tank is lightly planted, might be some of it. You can add more to the filter, HOT's do not hold much, but provide lots of flow.

    Many have cloudy water complaints from ADA, Flourite, etc.
    So I tend to think it's less to do with the sediments.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Henry,

    I use flourite black on my 180 with no issues.... Rinsed easily prior to use.

    No issues with it, and I am a constant rearranger....

    I suspect the cloudiness is bacterial in nature or at least not caused by the substrate.......

    The HOT is not that great IMO, and I do have one.

    Is the tank new or cycling?
     
  4. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    The tank has been up for several months so I don't think it is a cycling issue. I got suspicous of the substrate when I did the water change the water innediately became cloudy and the fact that it seemed to remain dirty even when I rinsed it repeatedly when it was installed.

    Yes, I did notice that there is not much room in the Magnum for bio media. I did put in as much bio max as I could fit. I put it in only about a week ago so I may be getting a bacterial bounce from that. I thought that bio media would be less of an issue in an established plant tank. I may have to go with a different canister.
     
  5. Elinston

    Elinston Junior Poster

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    I used to have the same problem as yours. There are too much small particles in the flourite that if you initially stirred them up, it's going to take unlimited time to clear up...In my case , I use the substrate to grow HC emersed for like 6 weeks, and after that I add water very very slowly. Now the tank is crystal clear. So I guess if you pour water into the tank, it will stir something up. Usually when doing a water change, I put the bucket of water higher than the tank and use gravel vacumn to siphon the water into the tank against one side of the tank, that will minimize the impact of water flow to the substrate. You don't need to do anything, too. Just let the water fill in by itself.
     
  6. stevie D

    stevie D Junior Poster

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    If you are sure it's not bacteria, then i would say it's the flourite. It will eventually settle, but it takes a long time. And everytime you disturb the substrate it will get cloudy for more than just a few hours if you really are digging around. I hate the stuff and unfortunately had to mix in a bag with the Eco Complete i got because i couldn't find any more red eco. After about six months of water changes and gravel vaccuming, it's not that bad, but i still despise the stuff. I have heard the black isn't nearly as bad as the regular flourite. I think it will eventually clear up, but it could take a while.

    Stevie D
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Deep vacuum the sediment in 1/4 sections each week.
    Replant after.

    I agree with the refill process, I use a Tee on a PVC to reduce the splash and sediment disturbance.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    I added some biomax and a hydro sponge with a power head just to see if I had a bacterial problem. Both have been in 2 weeks or more and things have improved. I have added biological filtration and mechanical filtration so it's hard to say for sure that I had a bacterial problem. However, I do move plants around on a regular basis. The tank remains cloudy for most of the day when I do this.

    I still suspect the flourite. As I mentioned, when I washed the stuff when I installed it was still very dirty even after repeated lengthly washings. I think there is still a lot of dust left

    I may try the deep vac approach, but I am really starting to dislike this stuff. I like the eco complete much better.
     
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