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Why is my substrate white?


Crabby
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I did a major clean and a 50% water change on my CPD tank yesterday, since I’m trying to fix up my nano tanks this week. I’m not sure what part of this process (which included splitting and replanting some portions of HC) caused my substrate to do this, but some of the balls on the top layer have gone a grey-white colour. What is this???

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For reference, I am using Oliver Knott x Pisces ‘AquaEarth’. I’ve seen it do this once before after I moved the tank from my old house to this house, and I can’t remember how I got it to go away. 
I’d really like to make this go back to normal, so my tank can be beautiful again. Right now I don’t just have the substrate problem, but my tank is cloudy, and a bunch of detritus has settled on all my plants and rocks, which is infuriating! And I can’t do a water change to get rid of this because I just did a 50% one yesterday, and I hate messing with my water to this extent.

Also, I think my CPDs are getting ready to breed (as I type this I’m seeing two fish dancing in circles around each other), so I want to make sure I don’t unsettle them by having the tank in such a state.

Any advice on what is happening, why it’s happening, and how to fix it would be much appreciated! By me and my fish.

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Note: my phone has slightly over saturated the last picture. It makes the tank look kinda nice. I wish it looked like this, but just imagine that the water is a bit milky, the plants are covered in brown detritus, and the substrate on the right side looks positively grey.

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Hi.  Those rocks are beautiful.  All three of these things could be caused by decreased/not enough flow and disturbance (replanting) The white film on substrate and cloudiness sound like you may have disturbed the BB a bit. It will clear up on its own. The detritus will be cleared up easiest by increasing flow/adding another airstone. Time should fix the rest for you. In my experience excess water changes do not help any of these things. It often has slowed down the natural clearing sometimes when I’m too impatient to wait and try and rush it doing water changes. Your CPD will breed regardless of what you do.  I used to breed them before I moved them to their retirement home. Even moving them to new larger tanks they did not miss a beat.  add small clump of moss or Java fern ( or something that is full and fluffy) in a corner (I did mine in the front corners so I could see. I am nosey 😁. Each of my females dropped eggs about every other day but they all used the same fluffy corner. Hope that helps. 

Edited by Guppysnail
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On 8/17/2021 at 7:43 PM, Guppysnail said:

Hi.  Those rocks are beautiful.  All three of these things could be caused by decreased/not enough flow and disturbance (replanting) The white film on substrate and cloudiness sound like you may have disturbed the BB a bit. It will clear up on its own. The detritus will be cleared up easiest by increasing flow/adding another airstone. Time should fix the rest for you. In my experience excess water changes do not help any of these things. It often has slowed down the natural clearing sometimes when I’m too impatient to wait and try and rush it doing water changes. Your CPD will breed regardless of what you do.  I used to breed them before I moved them to their retirement home. Even moving them to new larger tanks they did not miss a beat.  add small clump of moss or Java fern ( or something that is full and fluffy) in a corner (I did mine in the front corners so I could see. I am nosey 😁. Each of my females dropped eggs about every other day but they all used the same fluffy corner. Hope that helps. 

Thank you GuppySnail! I guess I may as well just give the breeding a shot then now, hey? That’s very relieving about the substrate, didn’t think it would be something so simple. I guess you can still have ‘newbie questions’ when you’ve been in the hobby a while. Anyways, cheers!

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On 8/17/2021 at 6:11 PM, Crabby said:

Thank you GuppySnail! I guess I may as well just give the breeding a shot then now, hey? That’s very relieving about the substrate, didn’t think it would be something so simple. I guess you can still have ‘newbie questions’ when you’ve been in the hobby a while. Anyways, cheers!

I still have newbie questions after many years. Every new tank/fish is a new adventure to me. Let me know how the breeding goes!

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Posted (edited)
On 8/18/2021 at 11:34 AM, Guppysnail said:

Let me know how the breeding goes!

Well I expected to be giving you an update in a week or so… but the CPDs seem to have had their own plan!

While I was looking for spawning activity around the egg trap that I placed in TODAY, I found 2 little fry stuck to the glass! What the heck?! I guess they just said ‘stuff it, we’re not waiting for the scary nosey fella to give us a proper egg trap, we’ll just use this HC over here!’

At the moment I don’t know whether I have any other fry in the tank, but I’m ecstatic that I’ve got any at all! I’m hoping that this means I’ve got a good chance at getting some eggs in the trap too!!!

So what should I do? Do I put the fry in a breeder box? Or leave them in there until I can get my fry tank ready for them on the weekend?


Some pictures too, for fun 🙂

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Edited by Crabby
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