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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so my tank (which only has some plants and driftwood and shrimp) had slightly dirty water....well it's put up against a white wall, and if I look through the tank it turns yellow-brownish, so I pretty much took everything out, drained it, and then refilled it, and now the water is crystal clear. The only problem is, there is now a thin layer of debris on the gravel (probably made up of tiny bits of uneaten food, shrimp poop and broken down plants or something). I haven't been able to put up a photo because my camera is broken, but any suggestions with how to get rid of it would be appreciated. I am hoping there is some sort of creature that will eat it, because I really don't wanna drain it again and clean the substrate.

Thanks!
 

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Hello Kotachi. Can you tell us a little more about your tank, such as the size in gallons or liters, what type of filteration system you are using, lighting, and water parameters such as ph, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, hardness? Also what is your regular tank maintenance routine, and how many and what type of fish and inverts you keep in your tank? It is really helpful to know these things so you can get good advice.

Generally a 100% water change is not a good thing since it kills off your biological filter and sets off a cycle in your tank which is harmful to your fish. I wouldn't clean the substrate just yet, it may be the only thing that contains bacteria to break down the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates right now. After your tank recycles, you could do partial cleanings of your substrate. But first, tell us about your tank and fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
okay well I haven't bothered with the nitrates and whatever I'm guessing they're at normal temperature because my aquarium pets seem to be fine with it, the filtration system is....well I'm really new to this so I don't know the names or anything yet, but its got a sponge filter thing, charcoal or something and something else that looks like hollow ceramic cylinders. it's around 10 gallons (38 liters), and I don't have any fish in there anymore
 

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The first thing to do is to obtain a water testing kit from your local fish store so that you can keep track of the ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in your tank. And then test it regularly. Some kits are more accurate than others. I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals brand of test kits. Instructions come with it. Fish and inverts produce ammonia (think baby diapers), and bacteria in your filter and tank break the ammonia down first to nitrites, then to nitrates. That 'cycle' takes about 3 - 5 weeks since it takes time for the bacteria to build up in your tank. During the 'cycle', levels become toxic to your fish and inverts and that is why you do regular water changes (10 to 20 percent) usually weekly.

The 'ph' is the acidity or akalinity of your water. And the 'hardness' of your water is how many minerals are in it. Different species require different ph levels and hardness to survive.

All of these things contribute to your 'water quality'. Healthy water makes for healthy fish, inverts and plants. So first, get a good quality test kit, and let us know what your readings are.
 

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Oops, forgot to mention temperature. It needs to be stable, (stay at the same temperature day and night). Do you have a heater in the tank? There are different temperature requirements for different species of fish and inverts. Depends on where they come from.
 

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the driftwood will turn the water yellowish. If there is stuff on the rocks try a gravel cleaner or get some cory cats.

there are steps you can take to keep the driftwood from turning the water yellow.

but my guess is that if you put about 3-6 cory cats in there, they will clean up your rocks, they work fast.
 
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How well did you rinse the driftwood before you put it in? tannins are present in the wood and that yellow brown you see might actually jsut be tannins from the driftwood.

My taNk is a red brown right now from the mopani wood, its a dark brownish red wood from africa. Driftwood has discolored my water before in that same color you are describing.
 

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Yep, water discoloration was from the driftwood. To get the debris cleaned up, use a siphon with a gravel cleaner on the end. This is just a plastic tube that is wider than the siphon hose. It will suck up small bits without sucking up the gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks guys but never mind that. I think I somehow put the filter back wrongly, and half of my shrimp ended up....yeah. so I managed to save 13 of them, which is not too bad, and I got rid of the rest and...yeah. thanks anyways, I'll remember to get a kit
 
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