Jump to content
wh1skey6

Cloudy Tank Questions

Recommended Posts

My tank is a 29G with 2 clowns and a handful of frags (softies/LPS). No skimmer, no sump, no fuge. Nothing fancy. I'm using CaribSea Arag Alive sand (I believe Bahamas Oolite). I cannot seem to get crystal clear water.

 

This was about 5 weeks ago. At the time, my set up was two cheap SunSun 525GPH powerheads. Water was pretty clear. I usually add a HOB with floss for two days and will blast with a turkey blaster to get the crud into the water column. 

Gif.gif.237ae0b0e07ad1673c9409023623fe65.gif

 

Fast forward until two weeks ago. I switched from the SunSuns to two MP10s. (Note I had redone the rock work after the first pic was taken). For the love of me, I cannot get clear water. This was taken last night. I stopped blasting the sand and only use the HOB with floss. Still extremely cloudy. You can kind of see where the MP10 is in the gif below. They're old school ones but I think they're at around 20-30%. I wouldn't think the placement and power level would kick up sand like that. 

 

gif1.gif.13ca53472cd9a09965be1d4d9ecc0005.gif

 

I tested a few days ago and of course, left my params at home. If memory serves:

Salinity: 1.025

Temp: 78*

Nitrates: Undetectable

Calcium: 380

kH: ~150

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Quite possibly a bacterial bloom.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Love all the flow you have going, probably just as vital if not a bit more than light IMO, is turbulent massive water flow.

 

All livestock seem well otherwise?

 

Did you rinse the sand bed?  Even “prerinsed substrate” needs to be rinsed, with a nice strong garden hose if possible.  Otherwise I’ve learned myself, you get all these dust clouds with new sand and in your case without any other filtration it will just keeping going round and round in there.

 

So you can do very large water changes in succession over a course of a few days until you get what’s floating in the water column out.  YET that won’t guarantee your flow will eventually stir settled silt back up again.

 

Or get a wider diamater siphon hose and just suck out all the sand—like I would do. Leave a couple cups, maybe the sand under your rock base work to help reseed substrate fuana if you do that.  Then rinse—use the jet or full hose setting, stir it up very good, even use your hand to grab handfuls and rub together—you may have to rinse many many many times allowing the dust like particulates to overflow out of bucket.  Also I always save some premixed salt to wash tap water off in end before returning to tank.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, seabass said:

Quite possibly a bacterial bloom.

This was my initial thought but couldn't figure out if it was bacteria or sand dust.

 

2 hours ago, Aurortpa said:

Love all the flow you have going, probably just as vital if not a bit more than light IMO, is turbulent massive water flow.

 

All livestock seem well otherwise?

 

Did you rinse the sand bed?  Even “prerinsed substrate” needs to be rinsed, with a nice strong garden hose if possible.  Otherwise I’ve learned myself, you get all these dust clouds with new sand and in your case without any other filtration it will just keeping going round and round in there.

 

So you can do very large water changes in succession over a course of a few days until you get what’s floating in the water column out.  YET that won’t guarantee your flow will eventually stir settled silt back up again.

 

Or get a wider diamater siphon hose and just suck out all the sand—like I would do. Leave a couple cups, maybe the sand under your rock base work to help reseed substrate fuana if you do that.  Then rinse—use the jet or full hose setting, stir it up very good, even use your hand to grab handfuls and rub together—you may have to rinse many many many times allowing the dust like particulates to overflow out of bucket.  Also I always save some premixed salt to wash tap water off in end before returning to tank.

 

Live stock seem great. Before I put the sand in a few months ago, I did rinse it three or four times. What is crazy for me is that it was clear a few weeks ago and now not so much. It doesn't look like sand grains in the water column. Suppose it could be sand dust.

Share this post


Link to post

Either way, a water clarifier like CaribSea Bio-Magnet and some filter floss should take care of it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I know you don't have a sump but do you have room to put on a hang on filter?  So you can also try to help remove what's in the water column with chemical or mechanical filtration?  Definitely won't be a cure all but may help with water clarity if you could add filter media and carbon.

 

If you rinsed too, could just be a combo of both residual silt and all the organics in the substrate being blown out by your upgraded flow, causing the bloom.  In reality, long term that's a good thing because your flow will make sure that gunk stays out of the bed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Looks to me like the powerhead flow is stirring up the sand dust and the water is not flowing properly through your filtration system, but instead it’s just creating a sort of whirlpool in your tank. I would try to reposition the powerheads to create better flow through the system, including flow into your filtration. 

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, wh1skey6 said:

What is crazy for me is that it was clear a few weeks ago and now not so much. It doesn't look like sand grains in the water column. Suppose it could be sand dust.

Seems to me like it fits the timeline perfectly that the cloudiness is due to the introduction of the mp10's with much greater flow possibly stirring up the sand.

 

Before the MP10s were you able to stir the sandbed without any cloudiness?

 

I started my tank with CaribSea Fiji Pink. That "live" stuff. I rinsed it 12 times before putting it in my tank and I'm glad I did. Granted my tank is only 1 month old, but I am able to disturb and stir up the sandbed with no cloudiness at all.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah that sugar fine oolite sand isn't really great for high flow tanks.  Does it move the sand around, or just make the water cloudy?  Try the clarifier and floss first; however, you might even need to change the sand out, or turn down the flow a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, banasophia said:

Looks to me like the powerhead flow is stirring up the sand dust and the water is not flowing properly through your filtration system, but instead it’s just creating a sort of whirlpool in your tank. I would try to reposition the powerheads to create better flow through the system, including flow into your filtration. 

 

8 hours ago, shoonjai said:

Seems to me like it fits the timeline perfectly that the cloudiness is due to the introduction of the mp10's with much greater flow possibly stirring up the sand.

 

Before the MP10s were you able to stir the sandbed without any cloudiness?

 

I started my tank with CaribSea Fiji Pink. That "live" stuff. I rinsed it 12 times before putting it in my tank and I'm glad I did. Granted my tank is only 1 month old, but I am able to disturb and stir up the sandbed with no cloudiness at all.

Yup, prior to MP10s, I could stir up the top level of the sand and it would clear up in hours. With the SunSuns, I had one aimed at the surface and one aimed at the bottom. No issues. Arg. I want to keep these MP10s and don't want to change out my sand.

 

6 hours ago, seabass said:

Yeah that sugar fine oolite sand isn't really great for high flow tanks.  Does it move the sand around, or just make the water cloudy?  Try the clarifier and floss first; however, you might even need to change the sand out, or turn down the flow a bit.

Done. I had two packets of the clarifier and am running floss now. If this doesn't work, I am going to turn off the MP10s over night and see if it looks any different in the morning. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, wh1skey6 said:

 

Yup, prior to MP10s, I could stir up the top level of the sand and it would clear up in hours. With the SunSuns, I had one aimed at the surface and one aimed at the bottom. No issues. Arg. I want to keep these MP10s and don't want to change out my sand.

 

Done. I had two packets of the clarifier and am running floss now. If this doesn't work, I am going to turn off the MP10s over night and see if it looks any different in the morning. 

Are you sure you need two? Also, I had to move mine around when I got it so it wouldn’t do that with my sand. I think it’s the direction of the flow. 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, banasophia said:

Are you sure you need two? Also, I had to move mine around when I got it so it wouldn’t do that with my sand. I think it’s the direction of the flow. 

Probably not. I had two so I figured "why not". Also like to keep one on constant and the other on lagoon to randomize the flow.

Share this post


Link to post

Alrighty, two days after floss and clarifier. I turned the MP10s almost all the way off. This is what it looks like. @seabass's theory of a bacteria bloom might be valid. 

 

 

MVIMG_20180714_063237_exported_stabilized_3358006854110426175.gif

Share this post


Link to post

The clarifier should help with that too.  Definitely change out the floss and keep at it.  It might not look very pretty, but I don't believe the cloudiness is hurting anything.  BTW, that GIF really shows what's going on.  Good pic.

Share this post


Link to post

Still looks to me like stirring up sand dust and that your powerheads should be repositioned to create a different circulation pattern. 

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Still looks to me like stirring up sand dust

I would tend to agree with this.  But as long as it's just dust and not the sand bed itself, I think it should eventually clear.  Sometimes, with a new bed, I might rinse my mechanical filter out 3 times a day for a few days.  The clarifier should help too.  Also, as a biofilm develops, it should get even better.

 

For some people with high flow (like SPS dominant tanks), they just need a larger grain size.  However, I have a feeling that with more mechanical filtration, it will start to clear up soon.

 

Personally I'm not a super fan of oolite, so I don't have lots of experience with it (used it once for a short time).  Now, I actually sift out the smaller grains of Fiji Pink with a sieve before using it.  But I'm not saying that Wiskey6 shouldn't be using it.

Share this post


Link to post

May be able to troubleshoot by turning the powerheads off for a while... I would think if it was sand dust it would settle but a bacterial bloom would not??? (Just an idea...)

Share this post


Link to post

In the start of my journey into this I made the GIANT mistake of buying the Bahama Oolite sand. It was like sugar sized grains. I have an MP10 in a I.M 10 and it looked exactly like your tank. I wouldn't be so sure that was bacterial as much as sand being kicked up after adding those MP10's or just that Bahama Oolite in general. It was so bad and milky looking I tore down and restarted with much larger grained sand....It was only a couple days into the cycle though. I personally stay away from Bahama Oolite like it's the plague. It doesn't just stir sand it's like a milky cloudiness. With all that said.........It could be bacterial as others have stated. Good luck

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, that possibly looks even worse than your previous post.

 

Have you tried another dose of CaribSea BioMagnet Clarifier (used with filter floss)?  It should allow the fine particles to be filtered out.

 

IDK, maybe even try a diatom filter? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post

Dive in and share your thoughts!

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recommended Discussions

×