Help!! I messed up..

Discussion in 'Tropical Aquarium Advice' started by littlepinkbetta, Mar 15, 2017.


  1. littlepinkbetta

    littlepinkbetta PetForums Newbie

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    I wanted to add a plant substrate to my tank. So I removed part of the gravel from the bottom where I want my plants to be and then wet my plant substrate which I believe is some type of soil, I then scooped some substrate up and started to lay it on the bottom and all of a sudden my whole tank is so extremely cloudy and muddy.. like so cloudy you can't even see my fish!

    So I've turned my filter off as I assumed this would only make it worse by keeping the soil particles moving around? Probably a really bad idea but I really don't know what to do!

    Can anyone tell me what to do? I know I've really messed up, I feel so stupid!!
     
  2. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    There are different kinds of plant substrates, but from the sounds of it the one you have is meant to be used as a base layer and needs to be 'capped' with a layer of sand or gravel on top to prevent the clouding & muddiness you describe. I imagine you would need to empty the tank completely, then add the plant substrate and then cover it completely with a few cm of sand or gravel.
     
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  3. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife PetForums VIP

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    I'd keep the filter RUNNING - the fish need to breathe, the fine particles can be filtered out, & the coarse will slowly settle.
    Breathe, hun - it's scary, but hopefully will be OK in a few hours, altho some delicate fish may be ill or *might* die. All fingers X'd. :(
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  4. littlepinkbetta

    littlepinkbetta PetForums Newbie

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    I've done a water change that was around 60% which has helped out tons! The water is almost clear now which gave me a chance to 'cap' the substrate with gravel. For future reference how would I go about changing the substrate in a more efficient way? thanks so much for replying.

    As I mentioned above to @magpie I done a water change which really helped., can't believe I was so stupid not to think that would happen! Deffo won't be doing that again :Facepalm so much unnecessary stress. Hopefully my fish will be ok though..
     
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  5. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Glad the water change has helped! It depends on what kind of substrate you are changing to & from really. I've never used plant substrate before, but because of the way it muddies the water I would always take the fish out and empty the tank first before adding or trying to remove it.

    If you're just swapping gravel to a different gravel or to sand then it's much easier as you don't need to move the fish. I have just recently swapped my gravel for black sand and I just scooped the gravel out, waited a day or two then did a water change to clear the bottom of the tank of any debris, and then just carefully placed the rinsed sand into the tank using a jug. Easy :)
     
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  6. Bigdogswinmyheart

    Bigdogswinmyheart PetForums Member

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    The best way to keep plants in a fish tank is with bog wood, you tie the plants to the bogwood and they root to it. Or get moss balls, I love them they just sink and roll about :)
     
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  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife PetForums VIP

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    i think my favorites are "banana plants" -
    they have a bunch of green tubers that resemble bananas which are flotation devices, & leaves that remind me of water lilies.
    They don't flower - they DO produce O2, & were my Betta's supplementary oxygen-generators when we went from college to home [where he had another large bowl] or home back to college [& his dormitory bowl].
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    He traveled in an empty quart milk-bottle [closed, so it wouldn't leak] & the banana plants. He was an excellent traveler. :)
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