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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New Tank: Live Sand = Cloudy

Having issues with my water this weekend.

33 gallon tank with overflow and sump.

Added all saltwater - clear
Added 50lbs. live sand with a 16oz cup taken to the bottom of the tank- water became cloudy as hell.
Added 1/2 the bag of magnetpowder included with livesand (dogs ate the other half...)

Turned off pumps for 24hr + now to let it settle. Water is still clowdy, although I can at least see the live rock now.

What would you recommend? Should I siphon off the very fine white settlement on the surface of the sandbed before starting the pumps?

BTW, the livesand said "no washing" necessary and I followed the instructions. :2911:
 

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It is going to be cloudy for a few days. I would turn off powerheads if there is any.

I would leave filtering pump on just dont point the returns towards the sand.
 

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as he said, just wait it out. I used the caribsea sand, which i believe is what you're using as well. it took a couple of days for the water to be pristinely clear. The first day i couldn't see through it at all! It's just a matter of time.

the milkiness is what makes the sand "live." There's probably a boatload of bacteria and enzymes in suspension in the tank right now. just let them find their homes on your rock and in the sand.

How much rock did you put in? You may see an ammonia spike your tank from the die off. I'd advise avoiding siphoning anything out of your tank for at least two-three weeks. Let your nitrate cycle get going. once you see your ammonia and nitrites bottom out (which you should start testing for in about a week, IMO) your cycle should be nearing its end.

You have the bases covered on starting a new tank, it sounds like. Patience is rewarding. Best of luck to ya, stay active and let us see how things develop in your tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
as he said, just wait it out. I used the caribsea sand, which i believe is what you're using as well. it took a couple of days for the water to be pristinely clear. The first day i couldn't see through it at all! It's just a matter of time.

the milkiness is what makes the sand "live." There's probably a boatload of bacteria and enzymes in suspension in the tank right now. just let them find their homes on your rock and in the sand.

How much rock did you put in? You may see an ammonia spike your tank from the die off. I'd advise avoiding siphoning anything out of your tank for at least two-three weeks. Let your nitrate cycle get going. once you see your ammonia and nitrites bottom out (which you should start testing for in about a week, IMO) your cycle should be nearing its end.

You have the bases covered on starting a new tank, it sounds like. Patience is rewarding. Best of luck to ya, stay active and let us see how things develop in your tank!
I added 11 lbs. of live rock and about 15 lbs. of dry rock (old live rock from a previous reef tank). I'll add more rock and do "scaping" once the tank cycles. Thanks. So the recommendation is to turn on my pumps (these really move the water!), point the return heads away from the sand bed, and just give it time. Thanks.
 

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I have learned this a few days ago and when I set up my tank last week it worked wonders. After you put your sand down put a garbage bag on top and then fill with water about half way and then take bag out add LR. I know this may not help you now but in the future it may.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have learned this a few days ago and when I set up my tank last week it worked wonders. After you put your sand down put a garbage bag on top and then fill with water about half way and then take bag out add LR. I know this may not help you now but in the future it may.
I doubt it would help much since the white silt on top of the sand bed get's disturbed by filling the remainder of tank...
 

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I doubt it would help much since the white silt on top of the sand bed get's disturbed by filling the remainder of tank...
Actually is does work very well. The key is to add the water slowly. I had this same problem when setting up my first tank, when I moved to the one I have now, I used essentially the same method mentioned above, but used a dinner plate instead. After adding my sand I slowly added the water to the tank over the dinner plate, and instead of the water being cloudy for days, it was a matter of hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually is does work very well. The key is to add the water slowly. I had this same problem when setting up my first tank, when I moved to the one I have now, I used essentially the same method mentioned above, but used a dinner plate instead. After adding my sand I slowly added the water to the tank over the dinner plate, and instead of the water being cloudy for days, it was a matter of hours.
Well I didn't have the same success. I added the sand, put the bag the sand came in on top, then put my live rock on top of the bag. I added the rest of the water and when I went to remove the bag all the white silt swooshed up and cloudied the water. I let it settle overnight, then found my live rock covered in silt. I removed the live rock into a bucket but just moving it stirred up the white silt. Now it's settling again.

Please note, this white silt is VERY fine an sits on top of the sand bed. That's why I'm wondering if I should siphon it off before turning the jets back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well that didn't work worth a lick.

I turned off the pumps for 24 hours. Came home tonight and it had all settled and I had nice clear water. I pointed the return jets so they're level at the water surface and turned the pumps back on. The whole thing was instantly cloudy again.

If it's still cloudy in 9 hours when I wake up, then I'm turning off the pumps again tomorrow and am going to siphon this white silt out of the tank! :nhl_checking:
 

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how many GPH do your powerheads move? a big thing to consider is that once the movement hits the tank wall it disperses evenly in all directions. i keep my powerheads at the top of the tank to aggitate the surface, mostly (helps with oxygen transfer)

did you use caribsea sand? i find these sugar sands that they sell are really fine and tend to cloud anytime i move rock in my tank. i turn off my filter when i move rock because its SO easy to aggitate the sand and clog the impeller. I found it was a lot easier to keep the sand in place once i had a diatom bloom... i think that the algae coating helped weigh it down.

again, i'd stress not siphoning out anything until someone else chimes in on this one. my understanding is that doing so will remove part of the bacteria that you paid to put in the tank? I'm no expert, just my opinion. Coming into things i expected a bit of clouding. my LFS recommended i wait near a week before even adding my rock or starting a cycle because of the clouding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sand has settled after 4 days with the pumps on. Thanks for your patience. I've never used live sand before and this stuff was messy.
 

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haha yeah. i was fortunate my LFS tipped me off that it'd take a few days before the cloudiness would clear enough to add rock and not have everything covered in silt afterward.

you manage to keep everything in there? you have a tank cycling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
haha yeah. i was fortunate my LFS tipped me off that it'd take a few days before the cloudiness would clear enough to add rock and not have everything covered in silt afterward.

you manage to keep everything in there? you have a tank cycling?
Yep. Added more live rock last night and tank is cycling. I'll probably move the rock around a bit then post pics this weekend in my "Members Tanks" thread - "Made in Michigan..."

The only thing I'll say, good or bad, is that I don't see a lot of hitchhikers on my LR from fish docs. My reef tank in St. Louis had all sorts of life on it (good: a jelly, mushrooms, a couple hermit crabs; BAD: a gorilla crab). This LR doesn't seem to have any inhabitants other than red and purple corailline algae, and a 1" brissle worm that I removed before the rock went in the tank.
 

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that's no good. Hitchkikers are half the fun. I found an abundance of featherdusters, a few mushrooms, a fwe snails, several dwawrf brittle stars, a few other assorted inverts....

it's half the fun!
 
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