1. str8shooterValued MemberMember

    How often should I vacuum the substrate. Currently im vaccumeing everyother week. I was told to only vacume half becouse you dont want to disturb all the bacteria bed in the soil. Is this true? Thanks:)

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

  2. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    The general recommendation and my preference is to vacuum half your substrate during every water change once your tank has established or once a week. As long as you have plenty of media space on your filters for your bacteria to grow, in my opinion, you can vacuum your substrate with out issue as your main bacterial colony is in your filter media.
  3. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I've always vacuumed as much as I can when I do what changes. I've heard you should do half one week, half the other for the reason you gave about the bacteria. I can tell you from my experience, vacuuming the entire tank once a week has never caused any changes in water parameters for me. I think most of the bacteria is in your filter. So vacuum away.
  4. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    How much , and when you vacuum really depends on how you vacuum.
    If you lightly vacuum only about 1/4 " deep to remove stuff then all the tank every water change is fine.
    However, if you vacuum much deeper into the substrate, you will disturb the BB living there, so I would suggest 1/2 the tank on the water change.
  5. smee82Fishlore VIPMember

    It also depends on your plant, My tank is heavily planted so i never vacuum but while it was growing out I wouldn't vacuum near the plants
  6. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    If your tank is recently cycled, then I agree with others when doing 1/2 the tank one week and the other half the next week. As your tank matures, after several months, I see no reason that you cannot vacuum the entire tank all at the same time. How often will depend on how heavily stocked your aquarium is and your feeding habits. Too, some fish, Plecos for example, are large waste producers, like Gold Fish and vacuuming may need to be done more frequently, such as weekly.

    I do water changes weekly and faithfully.

    My routine is to vacuum the entire tank once a month, all at the same time. Note: my aquarium has established filter media as old as 15 years. Too, I'm cautious not to over feed and my aquarium is not overstocked. I do not have water parameter issues by vacuuming all of the tank at the same time.

    Most of the beneficial bacteria needed to sustain the tanks cycle is located in the filter, on the filter media, however, beneficial bacteria is attached to all surface areas of the aquarium but the highest concentration of it is again, in the filter. :)

    I broke my vacuum yesterday as a matter of fact. It was an 18" one. I found a 24" one at Ken's Fish for $8.75 compared to that fish place $21.67. So, I ordered 2 new gravel vacuums. I managed to get the entire tank vacuumed though! :)

    (ordered 2 of the one above)


    It pays to shop around!

  7. str8shooterValued MemberMember

    Thank you all

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. dakotaValued MemberMember

    I agree with the MOD. On all my tanks I have had I always do at least a 30% water change every week and vacuum 1/2 the substrate for the first 2 months to let the tank establish itself. After that period I do a water change and vacuum the entire substrate. I also found it much easier for me to keep the substrate cleaner and much easier to vacuum if I only keep the substrate no more the 1/2 inch deep. When I had it 1 inch or more it was much harder to clean it thoughly. At 1/2 inch I can move the substrate and find a clean glass bottom. I use a small natural color gravel. The tank is a 72 gallon Bow front mixed tropical. All three of my tanks I use the same substrate. The other tanks are a 38 and a 20 gallon. At one time I had 3 125 gallon tanks with sumps and it got to be too much while working to maintain. Now retired I have time Thanks
  9. OldeOneWell Known MemberMember

    Vacuuming Sand and Plants?

    Hey, pardon me. I have gravel in my tank, about an inch deep. I keep hearing about sand. Wouldn't a standard siphon gravel vac suck up sand, as well? ..or at least stir it up in the aquarium too much?

    And did I read correctly that a heavily planted tank doesn't need to be vacuumed as much? I tried this a long time ago with my pond-style setup, and I never vacuumed. I had achieved quite the natural balance. I am just uncertain of how this would work in an aquarium with no direct sunlight, an LED tank light, and whatever ambient lighting my window plants will allow in. (Two questions at once, here. Lol!

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice