Gravel vac help

ferrariluca07

hello everyone!

I just need some answers on how often I should be vacuuming my gravel. I am still cycling my tank, I just have one fish in my tank. when I get more fish do I have to vacuum more often because more waste is produced? do I have to worry about losing beneficial bacteria because I know some lives in the gravel? should I be moving my tank decorations?
Lots of questions sorry! i’m new to this and I want to make sure i’m doing everything right!
 

A201

No need to gravel vac while cycling a tank. Benificial bacteria are embedded in the substrate.
I change out 50% of the water each week in my tanks, and rarely gravel vac.
 

Cody

Since your doing a fish in cycle I would be more worried about removing enough water to keep Ammonia and Nitrite Levels as low as possible

As far as the gravel goes I wouldn’t do a deep vacuum. I would just hover the top to try to suck up any waste or uneaten food. This will also help with keeping ammonia levels down.
 

ferrariluca07

Since your doing a fish in cycle I would be more worried about removing enough water to keep Ammonia and Nitrite Levels as low as possible

As far as the gravel goes I wouldn’t do a deep vacuum. I would just hover the top to try to suck up any waste or uneaten food. This will also help with keeping ammonia levels down.
so should I be hovering over to catch the waste every time I do my water change?my parameters are pretty good i’ve been cycling for 3 weeks, I checked 2 days ago, I do water changes every week as well. when my tank has cycled what do you recommend on how often I should vacuum the gravel?
 

Cody

At a minimum I would hover the top surface just to get the poo and excess food that Is on top of the gravel.

I would leave it be for the first couple months as everything establishes. And they way I’ve always done it is to never do more then 1/2 or 1/3 of the tank a tank at a time and alternate what section you do every time if you did want to do a more thorough cleaning.

You will find some people do it weekly and some rarely. Especially with live plants as they will feed off some of the gunk that settles in the gravel.

Just keep in mind that the BB will grow on every surface of your tank so as time goes on your tank starts to work for you more and more. So in the early stages you want to be more conservative as you are but in a few months you don’t have to be as a afraid of a thorough cleaning of the gravel.

Biggest thing is keeping you filter media established and the timing of things. For example, Don’t don’t do a deep gravel vac and rinse your filter media out on the same cleaning.
 

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