Do you vacuum gravel every water change?

Hemikyle

Hello, I was wondering since I heard from the King of DIY that I always learn a lot from is that you don't have to gravel vaccum every time you do a water change?

Whats your thoughts on this?

Any thoughts or answers about this question will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

86 ssinit

Well I guess it comes down to how often are you changing water and what type of gravel you have. I try and vac half the tank at every water change in my community tanks. In the discus I vac the whole tank and change water 3x a week.
 
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Yeoy

I rarely vac but I have a very thin layer of substrate and lots of bottom feeders (snails, shrimp, limpets) so don't really get much accumulation of waste at the bottom. It's definitely tank dependent, but if you find it arduous and it's not negatively impacting your tank, no reason you can't do it less frequently.
 
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Hemikyle

Well I guess it comes down to how often are you changing water and what type of gravel you have. I try and vac half the tank at every water change in my community tanks. In the discus I vac the whole tank and change water 3x a week.
I have sand as the substrate and I change roughly 50% every week in my 125G tank.
 
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Eaton

Well I guess it comes down to how often are you changing water and what type of gravel you have. I try and vac half the tank at every water change in my community tanks. In the discus I vac the whole tank and change water 3x a week.
do you have plants in the tank as-well if so how do you vacuum the gravel without uprooting the plants
 
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altermac

I have mostly dense planted tanks and do not vacuum my gravel at all. Vacuum the gravel near to a plant would disturb the roots of the plants.

Only exception: In my growout and bare bottom tanks i try to vacuum floating debris from the bottom.
 
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Hemikyle

do you have plants in the tank as-well if so how do you vacuum the gravel without uprooting the plants
No plants in the cichlid tank but the planted tank I have has black sand and we try not to disturb the plants as best as we can so we don't get in all the nooks and crannies or else everything will be pulled out. I also noticed it's easier to barely touch the sand because if you go full on into it will suck everything up haha and if you have fine sand you can have a lot of sand in your bucket when your done it's definitely a trial by error experience and just have to barely touch that sand but not dig into it.
 
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altermac

To vac sand, like i do in my growouts, go with a thinner tube or a clamp to reduce flow. There is a good tool from dennerle, that is optimized for nano aquariums:
IMG_20210728_121637.jpg
It is more or less an air line and there is a clamp to reduce or stop the flow. The sand will only float in the tube and falls down when the flow is stopped for a second.

Sorry for the picture, I use this tool a lot. New ones have clear tubing...
 
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86 ssinit

do you have plants in the tank as-well if so how do you vacuum the gravel without uprooting the plants
Yes I have had plants in the discus tanks. But most of the plants are now in planters. It is amazing how much fish waste ends up all around the base of the plants.
 
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ValkyrieLips

I do gravel vac every WC because I have white sand and I hate when it looks "dirty". I counteract my OCD cleaning tendencies by not touching my filter media much so a lot of the mulm is in there instead of on my substrate.
 
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BigManAquatics

I vac every water change. Not always 100%, but i vac 50-75% of the substrate every time. Might move stuff around every 3-4 months so i can get under everything 3-4 times a year.
 
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86 ssinit

I do gravel vac every WC because I have white sand and I hate when it looks "dirty". I counteract my OCD cleaning tendencies by not touching my filter media much so a lot of the mulm is in there instead of on my substrate.
Only thing wrong with that is as the mulm build up the pump slows down and the motor is working harder. May burn out the motor. Best to clean filter at least every other week to keep them flowing correctly.
 
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GlennO

No my tanks are heavily planted it’s not possible to vacuum.
 
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