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Old 20-04-2003, 06:15 AM
Larz
 
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Default Cleaning Gravel in a Heavily Planted Tank

Does anyone have advice on cleaning the gravel in a heavily planted tank?

Half of the floor is covered with a dense growth Crypts, and the remainder
is dense with Bacopa and Cabomba.

I'm currently using a Python gravel vac, but the large diameter tube doesn't
get down to the substrate. I've tried smaller vacuum tubes, but they suck
up the gravel.

I've considered using a pump and tube as a "blower" to stir up the gravel
and let the canister grab the particles. Jas anyone had success with this
approach?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Larz



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Old 20-04-2003, 06:15 AM
kush
 
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Default Cleaning Gravel in a Heavily Planted Tank

I use a chopstick with a hose rubber-banded about four inches from the tip.
I stir up the gravel with the end of the chopstick and whatever is churned
up gets siphoned... low-tech but effective.

kush

Larz wrote in message
...
Does anyone have advice on cleaning the gravel in a heavily planted tank?

Half of the floor is covered with a dense growth Crypts, and the remainder
is dense with Bacopa and Cabomba.

I'm currently using a Python gravel vac, but the large diameter tube

doesn't
get down to the substrate. I've tried smaller vacuum tubes, but they suck
up the gravel.

I've considered using a pump and tube as a "blower" to stir up the gravel
and let the canister grab the particles. Jas anyone had success with this
approach?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Larz




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Old 20-04-2003, 06:15 AM
BruceKGeist
 
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Default Cleaning Gravel in a Heavily Planted Tank

Consider NOT cleaning your gravel at all! I rarely "clean" gravel. I have
done so when I had a cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) infestation that I
thought was due to too much left-over food in the substrate. (II used to feed
bloodworms a lot, and they seemed to cause this type of algae/bacteria outbreak
if I let too much fall in a single spot that did not get eaten.) Although the
vaccuming helped in this case, I have found that with more careful monitoring
of my nitrate levels, cyanobacteria rarely bothers me any more even if there is
a bit of a food build-up.

For the most part, your plants should thrive on the mulm that gets deposited.
If you really feel you must clean the substrate (say its been several years or
it is really, really mucky and/or root-bound) then you probably should take
plants out and replant them one small area at a time. (Crypts won't like this
too much..) Once you have cleared an area, vaccume away the junk with your
python.

-Bruce Geist
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Old 20-04-2003, 06:15 AM
kush
 
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Default Cleaning Gravel in a Heavily Planted Tank

Yes, I should have noted that I do not clean the entire gravel bed. Because
of the terrace structure and various objects in some of my tanks there are
usually relatively small areas in which crud and debris settle and
accumulate, and those areas get cleaned.

BruceKGeist wrote in message
...
Consider NOT cleaning your gravel at all! I rarely "clean" gravel. I

have
done so when I had a cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) infestation that I
thought was due to too much left-over food in the substrate. (II used to

feed
bloodworms a lot, and they seemed to cause this type of algae/bacteria

outbreak
if I let too much fall in a single spot that did not get eaten.) Although

the
vaccuming helped in this case, I have found that with more careful

monitoring
of my nitrate levels, cyanobacteria rarely bothers me any more even if

there is
a bit of a food build-up.

For the most part, your plants should thrive on the mulm that gets

deposited.
If you really feel you must clean the substrate (say its been several

years or
it is really, really mucky and/or root-bound) then you probably should

take
plants out and replant them one small area at a time. (Crypts won't like

this
too much..) Once you have cleared an area, vaccume away the junk with

your
python.

-Bruce Geist



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Old 20-04-2003, 06:15 AM
Dave Millman
 
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Default Cleaning Gravel in a Heavily Planted Tank

BruceKGeist wrote:

Consider NOT cleaning your gravel at all! I rarely "clean" gravel.


Count my vote with Bruce on this one. Flourite is great, Flourite plus a year's
worth of mulm is better. Ask me next year how much the plants like Flourite plus
two years of mulm!

Of course, I'm talking about a heavily planted tank with CO2. My
quarrantine/breeding tank and my daughter's betta tank get regular, complete
vacuumings, about half the tank each water change.



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