Do water changes have to include gravel vacuuming??

SomyaValecha

One of the things i hate about water changes is gravel vacuuming. Is it possible to do a water change without one? How do you make nitrates go down if you aren't actually taking out the physical waste from inside the tank?
 

jkkgron2

Yes, it’s possible to do a water change with gravel vacuuming. But I would still do gravel vacuuming every 2 weeks (so every other water change) to remove any waste or uneaten food.

The nitrates are in the water, but the waste is what turns into ammonia (and then nitrites, and then nitrates) so it’s still a good idea to remove it
 
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BigManAquatics

I vac everytime because snails poop a lot.
 
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kanzekatores

One of the things i hate about water changes is gravel vacuuming. Is it possible to do a water change without one? How do you make nitrates go down if you aren't actually taking out the physical waste from inside the tank?
I do both. The nitrates are in the water, so scooping out some water and replacing can help quite a bit.
 
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SomyaValecha

Yes, it’s possible to do a water change with gravel vacuuming. But I would still do gravel vacuuming every 2 weeks (so every other water change) to remove any waste or uneaten food.

The nitrates are in the water, but the waste is what turns into ammonia (and then nitrites, and then nitrates) so it’s still a good idea to remove it
About how long does it take to turn into ammonia? And do plants reduce ammonia? Also, I do water changes every 2 weeks, would you recommend gravel vacuuming once a month (my aquarium is planted and isn't heavily stocked)? Or is that too big of a gap?
 
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A201

In an aged, cycled tank, w/ 3 + inches of substrate, it's really not neccessary to gravel vac. The beneficial bacteria that populates the gravel will consume & break down the bio gunk. A weekly 50% water change will keep the nitrates in check.
It's important not to overfeed & keep up with WC'S.
I haven't gravel vacuumed my tanks in years. The tanks stays healthy & clear.
 
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jkkgron2

About how long does it take to turn into ammonia? And do plants reduce ammonia? Also, I do water changes every 2 weeks, would you recommend gravel vacuuming once a month (my aquarium is planted and isn't heavily stocked)? Or is that too big of a gap?
Not sure exactly how long, but it’s a good idea to gravel vac at least every two weeks. I would gravel vac every time you do a water change if you only do one every two weeks. Plants reduce nitrates, not ammonia.
 
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Debbie1986

My Betta tanks ( 5 gallons) , I used a turkey baster weekly & vacced 1x a month.

Some of them were so small, and the Betta was alone so it was no big deal

my
Imagitarium Freshwater Cube Aquarium Kit, 5.2 GAL
was impossible due to how the lid & filter were set up. it was very cramped.

Great water flow. I gave that tank away though. The opening area was so small.
 
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SomyaValecha

*Sigh* The biggest problem about a big tank is that anything more than a 25% water change is crazy. I have a 75-gallon and I could never imagine doing a 50% water change. Especially since I have to use 2.5 gallon buckets to do water changes :/ . Thank you for the information though It'll save me a lot of time doing water changes in my 10-gallon,
In an aged, cycled tank, w/ 3 + inches of substrate, it's really not neccessary to gravel vac. The beneficial bacteria that populates the gravel will consume & break down the bio gunk. A weekly 50% water change will keep the nitrates in check.
It's important not to overfeed & keep up with WC'S.
I haven't gravel vacuumed my tanks in years. The tanks stays healthy & clear.
 
Upvote 0

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