Plants uprooting during cleaning?

Deederville

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If my plants get uprooted during cleaning is this ok? I try not to, but when I go to use my syphon aroudnd them, they get real loose and I have to re-burry them. What else could I do other than just simply placing them and inch under the gravel? Thanks for the advice everyone!!! I'm finding this forum very informative!!

Nikki
 

flyin-lowe

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I just do really really light vac's around the plants. I usually also find a few of my water wysteria floating a day after I vac my tank. Once they get a good root system going they can hold on stronger, how long have you plants been in the tank?
 
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Deederville

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I've had them in there for a month now, I believe. They seem to be doing well. I'v never fertilized them or anything, I'm not sure how I even go about doing that.
 

snail_chen

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Don't disturb your plants too often. Plus, if you plant well, you don't have to vacuum your tank at all. I don't change my water for over half a year and I can almost drink from my tank.
 

izzyfishfarmer

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i respectfully disagree with the last post i always at least change the water out especially if my nitrates are a lil high
i will admit that my water is much more stablle with the plants
 

Elodea

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+1 with above.

Unless the tank is ridiculously heavily planted and has minimal stocking (i.e., 1 guppy in 20 gallon tank with tons of plants), nitrates will still build up. After it reaches over 40 ppm, it can become just as toxic to the fish as ammonia or nitrite. This is called the Old Tank Syndrome.

When I gravel vacuum my heavily planted tank, I carefully stir up the gravel in the non-planted areas. Since all the gravel is sloped from the back of the tank to the front, debris accumulates in the non-planted front of the tank, where it is easily removed. I also vacuum a bit around the plants, but extremely carefully.

Plants will not remove debris. If you take a bunch of fish waste and bury it in the substrate around lets say an Amazon Sword, the plant won't absorb all the waste. You'll just end up with a pile of fish waste with no more nitrogen in it.

So in general, you should still vacuum the gravel. Only vacuum the plants occasionally, but water changes are still necessary.
 

snail_chen

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+1 with above.

Unless the tank is ridiculously heavily planted and has minimal stocking (i.e., 1 guppy in 20 gallon tank with tons of plants), nitrates will still build up. After it reaches over 40 ppm, it can become just as toxic to the fish as ammonia or nitrite. This is called the Old Tank Syndrome.

When I gravel vacuum my heavily planted tank, I carefully stir up the gravel in the non-planted areas. Since all the gravel is sloped from the back of the tank to the front, debris accumulates in the non-planted front of the tank, where it is easily removed. I also vacuum a bit around the plants, but extremely carefully.

Plants will not remove debris. If you take a bunch of fish waste and bury it in the substrate around lets say an Amazon Sword, the plant won't absorb all the waste. You'll just end up with a pile of fish waste with no more nitrogen in it.

So in general, you should still vacuum the gravel. Only vacuum the plants occasionally, but water changes are still necessary.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It does not have to be that extreme like one guppy in a 20 gallon tank. For example, in one of my 75 fish tanks, I keep at least 60 cardinal tetras/rummynose, a pair of discus, some rainbows and a bunch of other small fishes. Yet there is little algae problem on my plants - yes, my tank is heavily planted, with around 80 different plant species in my tanks. But I am not exaggerating, I change my water very infrequently. I know some experts recommend changing water like weekly and use EI method to dose fertilizer. However, I am a lazy person and don't have time to change water since my aquarium is almost carefree. Why bother?

For many years I have been this lazy and my tanks are virtually carefree. Thus I have encouraged many of my friends/relatives to start keeping fish, happily with little maintenance.
 
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Nutter

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Sorry Snail_chen but I have to disagree with your posts recommending infrequent water changes. Doing weekly water changes is not only about removing nitrates & other excess pollutants but it is also about adding essential minerals for your plants & fish. Not doing regular water changes will be detrimental to either the fish or the plants. It's just a matter of time.

For the OP, either your gravel is not deep enough, you need at least 2" deep substrate, you are digging too far into the substrate with the vaccuum or the plants roots have not developed properly. Lightly vaccuuming the surface should be adequate for keeping your tank clean.
 
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Nate McFin

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Tom Barrs instructions for dosing EI suggest weekly water changes of 50%. The percentage of water swapped out is high but it is recommended to keep the nutrients from building up to excess levels in the tank.
There are tanks that can go without water changes. She does water changes very infrequently but she uses a mineralized substrate and does not fertalize except for fish food.
When dosing EI water changes should be performed weekly.
 

LyndaB

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However, I am a lazy person and don't have time to change water since my aquarium is almost carefree. Why bother?

For many years I have been this lazy and my tanks are virtually carefree. Thus I have encouraged many of my friends/relatives to start keeping fish, happily with little maintenance.

Funny, I've never thought of fishkeeping as a lazy man's (or woman's) hobby. We do 50% weekly water changes. Even with a well planted tank, I respectfully disagree with your methods. To me, it's all about the health and well-being of my fish. Even in nature, their water is constantly being "changed".

Oh, and I'll be waiting for you to post a video of you dipping your glass into the tank and enjoying a long cool drink of water..... hoto:
 

snail_chen

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I am not saying that you should not change your water or everybody should follow me. And I know that changing water weekly is what the guru Tom Barr recommends and many hobbyists do practice.

Frankly speaking, in contrast to other forums like planted.net, from the posts in this forum, you can tell that most people here (except for a few seniors) are relatively newbies to aquatic plant world, and all they can get are something like Java moss, Anubia etc. from their LFS. EI method is probably too much for them - even if that is the "correct" way. That is why I would share my relatively simple way with them. I am not surprised that I will be laughed at by advanced hobbyists. Well, as long as my fish and plants are doing well and water is clear, I am happy. Thanks for everybody's comments!
 
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jclee

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I think you're hitting on a good point, snail_chen, which is that, much as there are different types of fish tanks, there are different types of planted tanks. The natural planted tanks that Elodea brings up would only require two water changes a year (and NO substrate vacuming), while very lightly planted tanks would require frequent substrate vacuming, and there is everything in-between. Maybe, the best way to help the OP is to ask for a picture, so we can get a sense of what types of plants s/he has, what kind of substrate, and how densely planted. That way, we can give more specific advice, since just as with fish, plant-related advice must often be tailored to the situations involved.
 

Scott H

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ive got to agree with snail_chen on this one... i do very few water changes on my tanks in fact in only ever do 30-40% changes when my test kit shows ammonia or nitrite or if the nitrate reaches 40-45 and my fish and plants have always shown decent growth and good health. :

Ps, LyndaB my dog drinks from my sump if that counts:;dogrun

Deederville, try putting a few large pebbles on the gravel over the roots to hold them secure until they root poperly.
 
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Nutter

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You do have a couple of good points Snial_chen but I don't think you can really recommend your "simple way" to most members. Tanks that can go with few water changes are rare & for most people it just isn't going to work. Generally you will find the advice that is given here iis time proven methods that will work in any tank rather than just certain set ups. I'm glad you threw in the disclaimer that you don't expect people to follow your lead on the water changes because quite honestly it would lead to problems for 98% of people. You have been lucky & gotten balances just right but for most that is not the case.

Now I'm curious if you think I'm one of these "newbies" to the aquatic plant world?
 
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