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Old Yesterday, 11:22 AM   #1 
Soriel's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Singapore
Unhappy OMG New substrate caused Murkiness in Tank :(

So I thought I'll try a soil substrate called BEST BIO SAND cos it seemed to be a good base for my plants (instead of just having gravel). Its size is granular 1-3mm diameter. The packet said NO NEED TO RINSE.

So I poured it inside my 5gallon tank, and added about 2 inches of water... and OMG... the water was BLACK. I got scared and rinsed it like 10 times, but it was still a little blackish. I thought maybe it will diminish if I added water to the top, so I added in all my plants and poured water in very gently. Well, the water is no longer black, but it was murky. I SO DID NOT LIKE THE LOOK OF IT.

My tank was already cycled for about 2 months now, and my itchy hands decided to give something totally new a try and I regretted it - BIG TIME.

I didn't have any big spare tank so I put my betta in the new substrate tank.

Question 1: Will this cloudiness harm my betta?
Question 2: Is this cloudiness from new substrate actually normal?
Question 3: Should I do a partial water change like 3 times a week to get back my crystal clear water condition?

Other info: I have an air filter..

Well, I really just need to know if it's okay for my betta first... hope to hear from someone soon.. thanks!
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Old Yesterday, 11:37 AM   #2 
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This is the Substrate:

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Old Yesterday, 12:01 PM   #3 
Aqua Aurora
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Location: South East PA
I've never heard of a substrate you didn't rinse first, but I guess the 'enriched' substrates would be like that (never used those, usually too expensive for my tastes).. It'd be like ada amazonia and aquasoil.

Can't say that it will hurt the fish but certainly would not be pleasant, like if you living in factory smoke/air pollution having an unpleasant taste in your mouth you can't get out because its all around you. I'd do water changes and get the cloudyness mostly gone beofr eputting teh fish in (but that's just me). Also please note, many of tehse enriched substrates leech ammonia when first added to an aquarium, so I'd strongly recommend doing an ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests before doing a water change to see if it has.

I'd say the cloudiness is from dust generate from the substrate grinding against itself in the bag/dust from factory/bagging process. Several water changes should help. Add new water gently, consider using a clean sandwich bag (zip style bag) to pour water on so it spreads the water over the surface and does not disturb the substrate.

When I set up soil based tanks they are a bit messy when first filled so I do 3-6 water changes (first day) to get them cleared up.

By airfilter so you mean an air pump run sponge filter? If you mean an air stone that's not a filter.
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Old Yesterday, 12:04 PM   #4 
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Location: south florida, moving to north Carolina next month
Did you wash it until water was clear before hand?
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Old Yesterday, 02:07 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Los Angeles, CA
According to the manufacture's instruction, this sand contains live bacteria, so you are not supposed to rinse. Pour water gently without distracting the substrate. Do not stair the sand. The water will be clear after several hours. Even the water stays cloudy, it will not harm fish. So I assume the cloudy water won't harm the fish.

I know how annoying to have cloudy water :( Hope the cloudiness will be gone soon!
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Old Yesterday, 07:01 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, Oregon
I use soils that say not to rinse and also sand in one of my tanks. Sand almost always clouds for me and so did the "no rinse" substrate I had.

For this what I always do is take out the cycled material and put it in a bucket with the old water. Then I FILL the filter with Filterfloss and carbon and let it do its thing. I change the filter floss once an hour for a couple hours and Im usually golden after that and but the cycled material back in
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Old Today, 12:55 AM   #7 
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Singapore
Good morning everyone! Thank you for all your replies!

My air filter comes with an airstone pumped through sponge, gravel and carbon filters, not sure what it's called.. lol. I'm a noob.

I changed 1/3 of the tank water today (slowly submerging water in with a small cup), and it's looking clearer now. My fish seems to be his usual active self too.

Substrate is so scary for a newbie! I mean, I was just following the package's instructions not to rinse... :( OMG.

Thanks for all the advise which I will follow for future dosages. ;)
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Old Today, 12:15 PM   #8 
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Location: Tennessee
For future reference: When adding that type of substrate you don't rinse. You put the substrate in the aquarium, place a saucer in the middle and gently pour water on the saucer. If done properly you won't have the problem you encountered.

When you rinsed you rinsed out all of the nutrients contained in the substrate. Now it is probably inert so you may need root tabs for anything you plant directly.

Last edited by RussellTheShihTzu; Today at 12:26 PM.
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Old Today, 12:23 PM   #9 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Wisconsin
The water will eventually clear, but it is a matter of being VERY patient. This substrate is not like the plug and play generic aquarium gravel. I have used similar to what you used and depending on the brand I used it took anywhere from a day to 4 or 5 days for the water to clear up to a crystal clarity. My suggestion is to leave it be. Patience is the key with substrates like this.

By the way, I love the GEX ROKA filters. I wish more of this company's products were sold in the US. I would love to try this substrate.

Last edited by TerriGtoo; Today at 12:28 PM.
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