Vacuuming heavily planted tank

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Sanman66

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Hi, do you need to vacuum the bottom of a heavily planted tank and if so how do you do it without uprooting everything.
Thanks for your time.


 

macca

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Plants utilize the wastes but I would still lightly vacuum any wastes that accumulate at the surface of the substrate.
 

MtnTiger

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Hope some veteran answers because I want to know also.
 

elliot5445

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You may just have to get something like Cory cats or snails,something that will pick up the stuff off the bottom. I Have no idea how to vac it.
 

Ohiotank

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I am heavily planted and carpeted with dwarf baby tears and dwarf hair grass. I never vacuum, I couldn't if I wanted to. I have khuli loaches and Corry's and a few shrimp. I don't have any problems with water quality at all.

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EricV

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Just vacuum where it's clear to do so. The rest you can skip as the plants will utilize the various detritus and gunk that accumulates.
 
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Sanman66

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Do you need to do more water changes. Any problems with water quality?

 

EricV

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My nitrates are usually around zero prior to dosing so I wouldn't say water quality is an issue lol
 

Ohiotank

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I do 30% every Wednesday, I do dose modified pps-pro ferts but my readings tonight are ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 20 khd 5 those readings are spot on for water quality (nitrates could be a bit lower but not bad for planted).

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the peacock gudgeon

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i have a 20 g tank with tons of plants and dirt as substrate. i go months without vacuuming my substrate and i have no problems for my fish how ever i personally run into problems.

1) i have so many snails its in the hundreds ( i dont mind that much though)
2) i get debris at the bottom and when i have to move stuff around it ca be kicked up into the water, and it looks like dirt from my substrate but it not.
3) i have a huge algae outbreak but it may not be connected

other than that i have no problems, my fish are happy plants are living even with the algae and i dont even check my ammonia that much because i know the plants and my 2 filters take care of it.
 

smee82

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i dont vacuum the substrate ate all in my planted tank and ive never had any problems
 

the peacock gudgeon

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smee82 said:
i dont vacuum the substrate ate all in my planted tank and ive never had any problems
Listen to this guy he knows what hes doing XD
 

Jaybird

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I don't vacuum my heavily planted tank. Nitrates are typically at zero - I actually add nitrogen to the tank. The corys and snails keep the top layer or two of gravel clean.
 

Jupiter Jack

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I didn't vaccum my heavily planted 10 gal and I had large gravel so the debris would fall into the cracks. Anytime I moved or added plants there was a large quantity of debris kicked up into the water. That tank constantly had algae and nitrates could never be taken down to 0 even with frequent water changes.

In my new tank I have sand and small gravel along with a lot of plants. The corys seem to stay sway from some of the dirtier/harder to clean areas like under a plant. I hold the siphon over the sand enough to suck up debris but I don't even use a gravel vac.

I think the answer to this question depends on several factors like substrate, quantity of plants, and quantity of fish. With sand its easy to suck up any debris ontop without stirring it up. Overall I think its smart to suck up what you can but don't go crazy. Otherwise junk will get stirred into the water anytime you move anything.
 

Ohiotank

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I don't think that vacuuming has anything to do with the algae but yes it depends on how heavily the tank is planted. I used to clean the substrate until I decided to carpet, now it isn't physically possible to vac. Algae problems are caused by an imbalance somewhere between light co2 and nutrients. This even applies to low tech. I would say that if you have a lot of debris in the substrate you are more likely to encounter ammonia issues than algae.

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smee82

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the peacock gudgeon said:
Listen to this guy he knows what hes doing XD
I do???

I forgot to add even if you dont vacuum the substrate you should still lightly vac any mosses or anything similar to make sure there's no poo or other gunk trapped in there. I just wave the end around a few cm away and get quite a lot of gunk. I drain my water into a bucket so any baby shrimp or the odd fry that hast been eaten yet just get chucked back into the tank
 
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Sanman66

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I was thinking of increasing the number of plants in my tank and was concerned that if I was unable to vac,the bottom I would have problems with the water. Thanks for the advice.

I have 2 albino bristlenose placos in the tank and they poop everywhere will that have any impact?

 
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ryanr

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Thread moved to Cleaning and Maintenance.

I lightly vac around the roots of my plants. By that, I mean, I don't dig the vac into the substrate, just enough to grab whatever is on the surface of the substrate.

As stated above, you don't need to heavily vac around the roots of plants, as the detritus will help fertilise the plants. Depends on the plants though.

Regular water changes and vac's will help with water quality

PS - can you fill in your aquarium info, it will help to greater understand the setup
 
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