Carbon not rinsed properly/water cloudy


New member
Good morning all - I'm setting up a new 75g and have been running into a few snags along the way... I filled the tank with water last week and the water was very cloudy (ro/di water). I assumed this was from the newly mixed salt (the only thing in the tank at the time was baserock) but after a couple of days the cloudiness hadn't improved so I opted to put some carbon in my tank. I did the usually things I've always done... put the carbon in a filter sock, rinsed it under ro/di water and put it in the tank.

The following morning my skimmer had collected dark black water and I noticed a black "dust" on all of my baserock. Additionally, when I put the carbon in I put my liverock (from another tank) into the 75g...

Should I be concerned about this? Or just leave it be for now?

...and my stinkin' water still isn't clear. It still has a fog to it.. I'm wondering if it's because I'm going barebottom so there isn't sand acting as a filter...? This is my first bb tank.


In Memoriam
Was water premixed before you added?
Whats used for water flow besides return?
Are you running lights?


Montipora type guy
Well a couple of curious things:

- You only have base rock and newly mixed saltwater in your tank... why are you already filtering stuff out with the skimmer and carbon?

- Did you pre-wash the Base Rock? Your dust may have come from it.

- I have a feeling the "Black Dust" on your rocks is Carbon Dust. While not a major threat to your tank, it is ugly... and I'd try to get rid of it via some water changes.

- The fog could be there for many reasons, anywhere from sand debris still floating around, carbon, etc. Going barebottom won't cause your tank to fog up... that's just a new tank set up that caught some snags along the way. I will admit I've not had experience with BB set ups, but am pretty sure it isn't your culprit.


New member
Thanks for the responses.. I actually had a bit of a major disaster with this 75g on my first go around. To make a long story short I had attempted to do a spray foam background which didn't go well. The epoxy I used to seal the foam leached back into the tank and was a complete disaster. I ended up removing all of the foam and cleaned out the tank using distilled white vinegar. After which, I let the tank sit with freshwater for a few days (which was crystal clear) then refilled with saltwater.

Anyhow, the answers to the questions:

-I had premixed the saltwater in buckets before adding it to the tank, but only for minutes, not the usual 24 hr period. I did this due to the fact that there was no life in the tank I figured it wouldn't hurt.

-Currently my flow is a bit low. I need to get some new maxijets ordered up. I had a 1200, 900, and 400 in there, along with my return from the sump (which is also very low.. It's Rio something or other.. can't remember at the moment, but it's seriously underpowered). The powerheads are from the 24g aquapod I was upgrading to this 75g.

-Yes, I'm running lights, but manually cycling them for about 4 hours a day right now. I have 6x54 T5s (Tek 5 System)

-The baserock was soaked in buckets of freshwater for a couple of days as it was in the tank during the foam background disaster.

-I chose to start up the skimmer for a couple of reason. First, it's all new equipment and I wanted to make sure everything was functioning properly. Second, after my disaster with the 3d background I wanted to keep the skimmer running just in case something was still left in the water from that epoxy. Frankly, I've even talked to my wife about purchasing a whole new tank cause I don't want any poisons stuck in there...

I agree - I think this is a normal part of the setup, I was just a little concerned given the trouble I had early on with the epoxy. Additionally, I don't recall this type of fogging with any of my prior aquariums. However, it could be that I'm paying more attention to it after what happened with the foam background.



Montipora type guy
Man, you definitely had your shares of issues with your tank. I am paranoid, and with this in mind I'd prob opt for a new tank, but to be frank I don't know what possible poisons could have leeched into your tank.

Ever looked into Karalia powerheads for your tank? I am just now getting back into reefing, and used to use the Maxi-jets, but now am looking for something like a Vor-tech for my size aquarium (Smooth with large water movement).

I saw the mods for the maxi-jets but thought the Sure-Grips for the mods was far too much added cost, but the Koralia seemed to fit the bill (No pun intended... swear).


New member
Yeah, I've had a bit of a rough time getting this new tank off the ground. I had a 55g that was fairly successful a while back but I sold it all when we moved into our new house. I kept a very light aquapod with just a clownfish and a couple of corals but decided to get back into it full swing.

I hear you about being paranoid. I was too.. but I hate to drop $200 on another drilled 75g again. I've spent so much money over the past month on the original tank, lights, skimmer, stand, etc... I don't think the fog in the water is coming from any leftover poisons in the tank.. I say that only because when I put the freshwater in the tank to rinse it after the mess I made, the water was crystal clear. I'm thinking its the saltmix.. Additionally, because it's a barebottom tank I can actually see a thin layer of film (from the salt mix) on the bottom of the glass. I ran my finger across it and I can still see the mark from my finger in it.

Trying to get all of this right so I don't sentence anything to death the first time I try and put something living into it (although I do have a couple of crabs in there that were on my liverock and they still seem to be alive for the most part).


Premium Member
Significant fogginess could be caused by microbubbles. Have you ruled that out?

When I started my system both the first time about a year ago and the second time about 6 weeks ago (due to me moving into a new house, not because I killed everything in my tank) I had to endure a "break-in" cycle with my skimmer. The bubbles were significant, but slowly went away. Also, once I added my live-rock the bubbles seemed to vanish. I figured that the extra organic compounds floating around the tank must have helped this.

I started running my skimmer, carbon, nitrate removal media, and phosphate removal media right from the get go both times I started my system. Why not remove the extra phosphates and waste products from your aquarium straight from the get go instead of having to deal with them a few months from now??


New member
I did not mix in any ph buffer or anything like that. Straight RO/DI water and Reef Crystals. As for the water being cloudy prior to putting it in the tank I'll say that yes, it probably was. I mixed it up a bit, kept stirring it with a powerhead, and then dumped it in the tank all in a matter of 15 minutes. I normally would wait a day or so but I figured since it was a new setup with nothing living in it that I wouldn't hurt anything.

It doesn't seem to be micro bubbles because I can't actually see anything that looks like micro bubbles in the tank itself. My skimmer is a Corallife 220.

My wife insists the water is clearing up, but frankly I think she's just trying to be supportive. Maybe I'll snap a picture tonight and post it on here.


Premium Member
I would go to walmart and pick up a bunch of polyfill from the crafts department. Stuff an area that all the water runs through in the sump. Change regularly till the tank clears. If you can isolate the polyfill when you remove it and drain the water to do a small waterchange less of the stuff your removing will make it back into the tank.

I stuff the final chamber with polyfill, let run for 12 hours, drain untill pump almost goes dry due to final baffle, close ball valve for return, remove polyfill, finish draining the final compartment, refill with new SW and polyfill.