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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

my tank has been well established for a while but for some reason my water has always been a shade cloudy. I have a 55 gallon filter for a 29 gallon tank so i figured my water would be crystal clear. Could it be the salt mix I am using isnt taking well and not mixing with the water?

thanks
Zach
 

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Lots of variables here, What brand of salt do you use? does it look clear when you get it mixed up?? is there a lot of white residue left in the bottom of your mixing container when youre thru mixing?? Did you wash your substrate well before adding it to the tank??. A little more detail will help :) Sometimes adding a finer filter media for awhile will help if its just suspended dust particles. Gravel is not the correct substrate for any saltwater set-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Jim. I have about 15 lbs of gravel in the bottom of the tank that I rinsed it very well when i put it in a few months ago. I was using a big box of PetCo marine salt mix. It was on sale and it made like 100 gallons... i think that is my problem. the water is always a little hazy when i mix it and even though i mix less salt than the instructions say to, there is almost always salt left at the bottom of my mix bucket.
 

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1. Gravel is not the correct substrate for a saltwater setup


I think you can tell where im going with this, and im really sorry youve wasted so much time. But if it were me Id dump it out and start over correctly. when this has soaked in some we will get you started right.

And before you dump it let me consult with someone else, and ill get back to you.
1.) Jim is correct, gravel is not what you need in this scenario you will want to get your hands on some live sand, maybe some crushed coral.

2.) I use instant ocean and will ALWAYS use instant ocean. However I see no issue with using Petco brand salt mix. We arent elitist here we just want to find a solution to your problem.

3.) good question you didn't mention how many lb's of LR you have.

IMO i would drain the tank about 50% and scooping out as much gravel as you can and fill that puppy up with live sand. Also i would get my hands on as much LR as i could afford.

Heres a question: do you have any inverts? Do you have any red slime/red algae?

Did any inverts die and fowl the water?

What kind of water are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I originally started my tank with crushed coral and live sand mixed. The guy at the pet store... not mentioning any names cough cough....where i bought my salt.... told me i could take out my live sand and crushed coral because i do have live rock and my 30 gallon tank was small enough where it wouldn't need both ls and lr.

but i did have a sea urchin die in the tank about two months ago and a chocolate chip star fish die about a week ago. both were removed very promptly. my fish are very active and doing fine so i didnt put much thought into it.

I upgraded my filter from an old school 30 gallon tetra whisper to a 55 gallon aqueon. Could i have killed off bacteria on my live rock when i did that?
 

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~/root
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1.) Jim is correct, gravel is not what you need in this scenario you will want to get your hands on some live sand, maybe some crushed coral.

2.) I use instant ocean and will ALWAYS use instant ocean. However I see no issue with using Petco brand salt mix. We arent elitist here we just want to find a solution to your problem.



The urchin i don't think would have caused a problem however what kind of urchin was it?

The star could have deff. caused a problem if you didn't do a large enough water change.

The guy at petco may have had a personally experience where HIS tank worked with gravel however this does not mean it will work in your tank.
When in doubt always over filter and always water change, water change, water change.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I dont know the name of the urchin. it was the size of a baseball and had red and black spikes. I'm going to do a 20% water change with Instant Ocean once a week for a little bit and see if that helps. Thanks for your advice guys!
 

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I use a micron filter when I need to clear a cloudy tank, next time you are there, ask the store if they have a Magnum or an OCF (Ocean Clear) that you can borrow (if its sediment that's your problem).
Or join a local club and ask the people in the club if anyone has one.

Not saying that sediment is your problem but if it is, you can filter it out..
 

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I think you are getting advice from your LFS that is wrong. You don't say how much live rock, how long the tank has been set up, or what the parameters are. You say that you've been mixing the salt by the directions. You need to have a general marine test kit and a hydrometer or refractometer and know how to and use both. I'm not familiar with the filter but it's probably a canister. You need to clean it weekly. You can get away (maybe) without a skimmer but should be very careful not to overfeed.

My thoughts if it's just cloudy or cloudy white is excess bacteria in the water column. You don't say what your water source is.

I think your water change plan is good. I'd recommend that you change out all the gravel for sand the next time you do a water change (don't worry about live sand) and temporarily use a poly biopad in your filter. Don't add any live stock and if necessary (if you have no fish remaining) cycle again using grocery store shrimp. I'd also recommend a good skimmer.
 

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definitely put some carbon in your filter.
+1 before you go taking your whole system down try some activted carbon. With taking out 50% would harm the bio-filter you do have. If you are changing salt do smaller water changes over a few weeks. And if you are going to change your substrate do half one week and the other half the next week. Just add a filter sock of carbon to your filter first and see what happens.
 

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Before you get too excited, spend lotsa money, do all the work of tearing everything down, etc, etc, etc, Kill the lights for a week and see if it clears up.


my .02
 
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