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I'm setting up a new 10 gallon and I am using sand this time so I have some questions.

As you can see it is very cloudy, how long will it take for the sand to settle. Also, I have a 4 tiny fish from the tank that I am replacing and I am wondering how long before I can put them into this tank.
 
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What filter do you have on there? Im jsut speaking from my own experience I went thru less then 6 months ago. it's gin clear now but it looked JUST like yours did when I first started it.

you can do water changes now and get rid of the dust in the water and actually stir it in the tank to clean it. Got a helper have one hold the hose or vacuum and stir away , its a 10G so you wont need 2 hands to stir it.


My 26g Euro pictures from aquatic photos on webshots
thats from start to finish, I dont think they are in order but the cloudy ones are the first pics and the rest are up to recent in the back of the album.

It will clear but itll take some time, I had fish in the cloudy water because I was cycling and running two filters rated at a total of 80 gallons on a 26g tank( did this for a reason), I didnt lose any but I did lose an angel to a tank remodel due to territorial drag outs.
 

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So I can put the fish into the tank now? I could do a huge water change right before I put the fish back into it, should I do that?
 
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well its unestablished correct?

if so why not it wont hurt anything worse then it would now, I would try and stir all the dust out of the sand in the tank if you can. If not again what filter are you using?

Id wait a few days if you can if not then you got no choice, I personally didnt lose ANY fish but that dumb angel ( the marble was just fine as well as the loaches and cats and all the tetras) it just liked to be in the cup of my hand when I was in there doing work.

It will look the same, there is alot of dust in the sands( what sand do you have?
 
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same sand I got, marine sand super naturals from petsmart for like 20-25 bucks a bag, yeah its real nice once its established the fish take to it so much better then gravels.

I just recommend the stirring now just dont fill it all the way and a simple hand over the sand at first works best to knock the lose stuff up and out, and stirring before vacuum helps wet all the sand so the dust is all thats left flaoting.
 
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itll work just takes time, since there wasnt the initial clean out then itll take a little longer, maybe up to 10 days however thats at the longest and also depends on how much water your filter pumps thru it.

I dont bother with filter cartridges now for the sand clouds in the tank, I just wrap a cartridge in panty hose and just rinse it out to save the sand and help clear the water faster.
 
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you will always cloud up however it usually takes about 12 hours for the tank to clear, so do your cleaning in the evening and you wont have to look at the cloudy water.

I tore apart mine yesterday, vacuumed it real well, set a rockbed in there as well as redecorated with live plants instead of plastics. The only thing with my tank now is the brown tinge to it from the mopani wood and that will clear up on its own. Looks real neat with the live plants though.
 

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I use sand in all of my tanks and only had one cloud up like that in your picture, it was due to the sand not being rinsed good enough in my case. I pumped the tank out, rinsed sand better, re-filled tank and it was crystal clear within 30 minutes of filling.
 

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This might be better for a new post but if I wanted to change my tank from the "normal default gravel" that most people use to a sand kind of substrate. What is the best way to do it? My tank is over a year old and already has fish in it. I don't really want to move them out and back in if I can avoid it. Can I just change it in sections? Like a 1/4 at a time every few days or a week apart til it all is in there? any suggestions would be great.

Also, I have live plants though. Is sand bad for that? As in will they keep coming out of it?
 

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This might be better for a new post but if I wanted to change my tank from the "normal default gravel" that most people use to a sand kind of substrate. What is the best way to do it? My tank is over a year old and already has fish in it. I don't really want to move them out and back in if I can avoid it. Can I just change it in sections? Like a 1/4 at a time every few days or a week apart til it all is in there? any suggestions would be great.

Also, I have live plants though. Is sand bad for that? As in will they keep coming out of it?
When I changed out the blue gravel in my 10G tank for sand, I did the following:

0. Turn off all filters and heaters.

1. Drain the water way down. I saved about 5G in a bucket, and put my fish and plants in the bucket as well.

2. Remove all decorations

3. Scrape the gravel up. It's going to be nasty, but it'll be easier if you have some kind of container to use instead of your hands. I saved my gravel in a trash bag, just in case, but ended up throwing it away.

4. Rinse sand and then add sand to aquarium, at least 2" deep.

5. Add (tank_size_in_gallons)-(water_saved) gallons of water, let the water come up to temperature.

6. Reintroduce fish, plants, decorations

7. Add saved water to the tank.

8. Turn on filter and heater.

From what I've seen, no matter how well you rinse the sand, you're still going to have some murkiness left over. Don't worry, it'll be gone (usually) within about a day or so.
 
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sand rinsing will take a couple hours to do at your tank size and the amount you need. as long as you keep some water in there think of it as a 75% water change.
 
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