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  1. #1
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    My new tank is cloudy

    I just set up a 75 gallon tank that will eventually contain both fish and some invertebrates.  I have 40 pounds of live sand and so far 40 pounds of live rock that has already been cured.  When I added the rock and sand the tank got really cloudy and has an oily appearing substance floating on the top.  I do not have any other type of filtration or a protein skimmer.  Where did the oily stuff come from (my hands?)?  Should I get a hang on the side filter to help clear the tank of the debrie that I see floating in the tank.  My temperature is 77 degrees (is this too warm?). I had aimed for 75 and had it there until I put the glass hood on top.  My specific gravity is 1.0215.  Should it be a bit higher?  I have not yet tested the pH as the store that I have been working with said that  this is not yet a problem.  I would like  to add a fish or maybe even two later this week.  I would appreciate any suggestions that you guys might have for me.  Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: My new tank is cloudy

    The oily scum on the top of the water is probably waste protein and organic waste. This is one of the prime reasons to have a sump and an overflow. The overflow "skims" this layer off of the water and allows gaseous exchange with the air. This also occurs for freshwater. If you don't have a sump system you can use a powerhead to break the surface of the water.
     Did you use sugar size aragonite? It is awesome stuff but unless you rinse the crap out of it you end up cloudy. You can do a major water change and it will help. I also clouded my first salt setup and ended up changing 80 gallons.
      Think about a sump and overflow. You could use one of my RIO 2100's as a lift pump (shameless plug). I'm sure Ivan can help you out with a good sump/overflow setup that won't break the bank. Your sump is also a great place to do your heating, water changes,and skimming. It's ability to skim the "oily crap" of the surface is of major importance.

                                                     Good Luck
    True Perc

  3. #3
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    Re: My new tank is cloudy

     As an postscript, some people report success with diatom filters to clear the cloudy water if you can borrow one.
    True Perc

  4. #4
    ijo
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    Re: My new tank is cloudy

    very well said True Perc  

  5. #5
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    Re: My new tank is cloudy

    Temp is fine...Salinity should be raised a bit....1.024 or so.

    The oil is waste that needs to be cycled out.  It'll be on the surface so hang on filters like the aqua-clear may work but will take a while.  This is where an overflow does the trick.  The cloudiness will probably pass in a day or three.  Do you have lots of circulation...ie: powerheads.  This will break the surface, increase oxygen exchange, which will boost the natural filtration of the rock bacteria in short time.  Good Luck.  Oh yeah, are you using R/O or D/I water.....if not, try to from now on.
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  6. #6
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Re: My new tank is cloudy

    Your temperature is fine. Specific gravity should be near 1.025 or 1.026, if you keep invertebrates.

    That oily film is dissolved organic waste. Use a protein skimmer, preferrably with a 'surface skimmer' option, to get rid of that stuff. An overflow with a sump will already do the surface skimming for you (but you still need an in-sump protein skimmer).

    Depending on how fine your substrate is, the tank will be cloudy, or even milky for a day, up to a week. This is normal. When beneficial bacteria starts attaching to the fine particles, the dust will settle. I would advise against removing the fine particles with hang-on-the-back power filters or rinsing them off. This will just diminish the benefits of having a fine substrate in the first place. IOW, you want those fine particles in your substrate to maximize the surface area for bacteria colonies.

    So just be patient.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

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