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Didn't Clean Flourite/Gravel Before Adding Water....

17361 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Brendan Redler
I know. Dumb mistake. I guess the excitement of getting a tank started up got the best of me.
Nothing is in the tank yet besides some driftwood and large rocks. Should I empty the tank and rinse the fluorite and gravel or will it eventually clear up? It's been 5 days now. I have a wet dry filter with some filter pads trying to clear up the water.
We're talking about emptying a 90 gallon tank and washing 3 25lbs bags of gravel and 2 15lbs bags of fluorite.
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Thats a lot of gravel to pull out, clean and replace. It will eventually clear up, but it will take 1: A lot of floss 2: A lot of time

Do you have any friends that might have a spare canister you could fill with floss to help speed up the process.

One thing to consider, if you just leave it and wait it out, a lot of the "dust" will settle in the gravel. Every time you replant, etc you will get dust clouds.

I don't envy your situation.

You could do it in sections, left, center, right side of the tank over the course of a couple days...

Edit to add,
You could rinse it in the tank. Stir it up, drain tank. Stir it up, drain tank. It would be better than removing the substrate to rinse.
Hey Jeff,

I had a similar problem when I first used red flourite, I rinsed it but not well enough. I tried running my HOB filter to clear the water but that did not work well, AND I HAD TO REPLACE MY IMPELLER. It started to rattle quite bad.

My suggestion would be to remove the driftwood and rocks, stir up the substrate and then start to drain the tank. Be careful not to scratch the glass while stirring the substrate. when you get towards the end of draining the tank push a bunch of the flourite away from one corner. Place the hose you are using into this hole to get the max amount of water out. You have now just completed a major rinse. (I know, sucks it took 90 gallons...but)

Refill the tank using the Bowl/plate method slowly at first. Fill tank, declor. etc. Then leave it over night for the majority of the solids to fall to the bottom. Turn your filter on the next day, when you only see a lite fogging.

This is what worked for me in the past. If you are worried about it not being enough, you could always refill the tank with 6" of water, and then siphon that off a couple times.

Good luck!
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I get a power head and a quick filter from hagen along with a few refills. I would think that that would be worth trying before a total tear down.
Well, I drained the tank and removed everything. Washed all the gravel and fluorite and put everything back together. Figured I should start over and do it right. It was probably a good thing I did because every time i touched the gravel, a big dark cloud would appear.
Right now the filter is off to let everything settle. I'll start the filter in the morning and hopefully things will have cleared up.
Pack it full of floss and change it daily. You will be surprised as too how dirty it will get..
Right now the filter is off to let everything settle. I'll start the filter in the morning and hopefully things will have cleared up.
Hopefully you read this before you start your filter in the morning...let everything settle overnight then do a water change, hovering your Python (you do have a python for a 90g tank right) over the substrate, removing as much dust as possible before you turn on your filter(s). This should keep the dust to a minimum in the future...don't be afraid of doing a very large, 75% or larger, water change to make sure you remove as much dust as possible from the surface of the substrate.
I made this mistake too about five years ago...

...mine was only in a ten gal, so it was no big deal. I would probably stir it up, drain it halfway. then stir it up and take it to the gravel, fill 1/2 or 1/4, repeat. after a couple reps it will probably clear within an hour. Then just plant your stuff and it it will just be cloudy when you stir it up later. I did this and it took a couple months before it wouldn't cloud anymore.
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