how often and how deep i need to do gravel vaccum

parvataneni

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Hi All,

I had my tank for close to 2 months now. Initially i had 5 danios while my tank was cycling ..last week i looked at reading and i see 0, 0, and 5 (using api test kit) i returned the danios to LFS so i can have Platys. I did some decoration change and added few silk plants and removed old hard plants . since two days my tank is running empty .. i took all the decoration out and has re-done all once again and while doing it i have seen lot of uneaten flakes left on the gravel and under gravel.

Today when i took reading i see as

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 1
Nitrate 10

I did another water change now 50% and i am completely done with decoration change.today when i did water change i still see lot of food being picked by during gravel vaccum ...how deep and how often do i need to do gravel vaccum.i decided to not get my fish until i see all reading as 0 , 0 , 5 .

Thanks please suggest.
 

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Nutter

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Usually once every couple of weeks is enough vaccuuming. That will vary depending on how heavily the tank is stocked & what it's stocked with but once every 2 weeks is a good starting point. I only vaccuum the top half of the substrate in my non planted tanks but I know many people vaccuum right to the bottom glass. The ones that go right to the bottom seem to do one half of the tank & then a week later vaccuum the other half, never the whole tank at once.
 

Kunsthure

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I am one of those that vacuums to the glass in my gravel tanks and I vacuum the whole thing each time. *gasp*. . The mollies in my 20g and fry in my 5g are a huge mess and because I have MTS and ramshorns, I need to keep things really clean to prevent a population explosion.

I vacuum with the weekly water change in the 20g and at least twice a week in the 5g because the fry miss a lot of food. I have an Eheim battery operated gravel vac that doesn't suck out all the water but it isn't as thorough as the siphon vac I use. So if I notice extra mess in the 20g, I break out the Eheim vac and do a quick vac of exposed areas in between water changes.

I'm still trying to find my groove with the 37g's sand substrate, though. But definitely not down to the glass in that one.

-Lisa
 

Craig-D

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How often you vacuum depends on how heavily stocked the tank is and the bioload of its inhabitants. So there is no rule that applies to everyone. I have 5 platies and 5 cories in my 29 gallon right now and I vacuum the whole substrate to the glass once every 3-4 weeks. I too use a battery operated gravel vac that does not remove water. This allows vaccuming to be more thorough than those who use siphons and can only vacuum so much before emptying their tank.

My nitrates never go above 10 with my stocking list, gravel vac interval, and 20% weekly water changes, so it works for me. You need to experiment to see what works best with your specific situation. But I agree Nutter's 2 week interval is a good starting point. Some do it weekly, which is excessive in my opinion. Make sure you get under all decorations - that's where most of the waste and debris tends to collect.
 

mosin360

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I generally do a third of the tank a week and I just skim the top to maybe half an inch down. The catfish take care of any leftover food so I'm just on poop patrol.
 

Shawnie

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great advice from everyone!! I think we base it on each tank differently...and certainly stock/size tank matters
Hi All,

I had my tank for close to 2 months now. Initially i had 5 danios while my tank was cycling ..last week i looked at reading and i see 0, 0, and 5 (using api test kit) i returned the danios to LFS so i can have Platys. I did some decoration change and added few silk plants and removed old hard plants . since two days my tank is running empty .. i took all the decoration out and has re-done all once again and while doing it i have seen lot of uneaten flakes left on the gravel and under gravel.

Today when i took reading i see as

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 1
Nitrate 10

I did another water change now 50% and i am completely done with decoration change.today when i did water change i still see lot of food being picked by during gravel vaccum ...how deep and how often do i need to do gravel vaccum.i decided to not get my fish until i see all reading as 0 , 0 , 5 .

Thanks please suggest.
im concerned with your mini cycle and hope that it has cleared up ? when you left the tank empty for the 2 days, there wasnt an ammonia source to feed the good bacteria, and over cleaning with a newly cycled tank, hasnt been good for the tank.......If you still have ammonia(which I know you didnt on the 14th) or any nitrites, daily water changes without gravel vacs are ok....I wouldnt worry about over cleaning anything, including the gravel, for a few weeks....that will let the newly cycled tank get more established
 
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