17. Gravel vac: Am I doing too much? Will accumulated fish poop laying on top of the sand eventually act as fertilizer for plants? I currently do 25 - 33% water changes once a week. Each and ever week, hover the gravel vac on top of the sand to pick up loose debris. Additionally, I do stick the gravel vac into the sand and it does suck up a ton of debris. My plants aren't thriving/growing as much as I hope they would. How often do you folks gravel vac and what percentage of the gravel do you vac at one time?
I'm not too concern with my water parameters as my nitrates are usually 5 - 10 whenever I test. And only on rare occasions do I see them hit 20ppm. (Ammo & nitrite are always at zero). Should I go longer between water changes? Should I try gravel vacuuming less often? Please advise.
Instead of delaying water changes, try dosing a good all around fertilizer. Thrive is good.
When I vacuum, I only vac open spaces (so the sand doesn’t look dirty). I can’t get the tube too close to plants anyway. This allows that poop to act as fertilizer. I generally do not vacuum under the surface.