How often should you do gravel vacuum?

Evelyn1919
Member
good morning!
i'm still doing the cycle and the ammonia is still about .25 in my tank so i'm still doing 25% to 30% daily water changes. my question is how often should I do gravel vacuuming? someone told me before only once a month but I didn't do it for a few weeks and then I did it over the weekend and there was a lot of waste that got sucked in when I did it.

so how often should I do it now that my tank is still cycling and after the tank has cycled?

my fish are looking good and they are growing.

here are my readings from yesterday:
ammonia- .25
nitrites- 0
nitrates- bet. 10 & 20
ph- 7.0
 
Allie
Member
Once a week it should be done.
 
  • Thread Starter
Evelyn1919
Member
hI Allie,
the entire tank or just some of it?

thanks.
 
capekate
Member
Most advice I have read will say not to vacuum the gravel while the tank is cycling, as it just slows the process. Once the tank cycles tho, you should do half the gravel once a week IMO.
 
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Evelyn1919
Member
ok. so I shouldn't have done that yesterday. well I was doing it almost everyday before and someone told me to stop doing it and just do it once a month but then I heard that I was supposed to do it every week. well that's good to know. I'll stop doing it til my tank is finally cycled.
thanks!
 
Angela_96
Member
My sced is water change wed... and vac on sat... and if any chem issues I do waterchanges everyday until its fixed..... and still do a vac on sat... (I do an API test on my tanks on the even days of the month)...

I agree about not doing a vac until the aquarium is cycled.. the benifical bacteria needs to build up on the gravel...
 
COBettaCouple
Member
I clean our substrate once a week.
 
Faye Rod
Member
I vacuum half of the tank once a week when I do the 25% water change - then the other half the next week. I did that while I was cycling and the cycle happened......slowly.......six weeks.

I was interested to see that you have nitrates Evelyn. I'm wondering why your ammonia isn't at 0 now that the nitrates are showing up?
 
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Evelyn1919
Member
Faye Rod said:
I vacuum half of the tank once a week when I do the 25% water change - then the other half the next week. I did that while I was cycling and the cycle happened......slowly.......six weeks.

I was interested to see that you have nitrates Evelyn. I'm wondering why your ammonia isn't at 0 now that the nitrates are showing up?
I have no idea why there are nitrates but ammonia is still not 0. i've had those readings for a few weeks now and they don't seem to wanna change. I'll just keep doing the daily water changes til ammonia goes to 0.
 
Faye Rod
Member
Hmmmmm.....sounds like help is needed from the experts around here! I'm sure you're anxious to add fish
 
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Evelyn1919
Member
well I have plenty of fish in there already and my tank had gone through the nitrogen cycle before but then when adding other fish something went wrong and there was a whole big problem and the ammonia went up to 8 so I did many 50% water changes and for the last few weeks (like I said before) the ammonia has been .25 so i've just been doing the water changes. I only want to ad 2 more fish in the tank and I'll be done but I won't until ammonia goes to 0. all I have to do now is water changes and wait.
 
Faye Rod
Member
oops - I see that you have fishes! Like I did. Your aquarium info says the aquarium age is 5 - is that 5 weeks? The fishes might be giving you the ammonia.....
 
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Evelyn1919
Member
i've had the tank for about 3 months now. I just didn't update the aquarium info. I had the tank cycled with biospira at the begining and everything was fine but like I said before when adding neons the water chemistry went crazy and I guess it went back into a minI cycle or something and it has been like this for a few weeks now.
 
Faye Rod
Member
Sounds like you're near the end then since your ammonia has dropped with your water changes -

Back to the vacuuming - my fish all like it when I vacuum. They gather all around. It's fun.
 
  • Thread Starter
Evelyn1919
Member
Faye Rod said:
Sounds like you're near the end then since your ammonia has dropped with your water changes -

Back to the vacuuming - my fish all like it when I vacuum. They gather all around. It's fun.
yeah mine do that too.
 
Shawnie
Member
HI evelyn..what test kit are you using? cause I know and have read in the past, that the apI liquid kit (which IMO is the best!) has to have that nitrate solution kinda pounded on a counter and shaken for at least 2 min to mix all the crystals up...it can give a false reading if not done vigorously...and if you have been vaccuming all along while the bio was cycleing the tank, it could have sent it into a minI cycle because as others have said, the beneficial bacteria reside in the gravel during the cycle process...Hope some of this helps...
 
  • Thread Starter
Evelyn1919
Member
hI Shawnie,
yes I have the apI liquid kit and yes, I have been shaking it very good. at the begining I wasn't but I was reading a thread that said exactly what you just told me and that's why i've been really shaking it. my nitrates were lower about a week ago but lately they went up a bit. not more than 20 though which I was reading is just fine.
 
susitna-flower
Member


I believe as close as you are to the end of the cycle, You should go ahead and vacuum 1/2 the tank every week. The reason I say this is because you are already reading up to 20 on nitrates, and this is with 25-30% DAILY changes....it sounds to me like when you go to weekly water changes, nitrates could spike up pretty high....
 
  • Thread Starter
Evelyn1919
Member
mmmmmm........well I already did about half the tank yesterday so I guess i'm pretty good for now. I'll check water chemistry when I get home tonight and then I'll probably do a water change.
 
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