Vacuuming Sand In Planted Tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Geena, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    The lady I was taking to at petsmart told me not to vacuum my sand? I have a 5 gallon with a betta two snails and two ghost shrimp. Is she right? I have a planted tank and it would be difficult not to suck up my shrimp lol
     
  2. Fanatic

    FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Messages:
    9,140
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Ratings:
    +6,101
    Experience:
    3 years
    You shouldn't vacuum a planted tank like a non planted tank, just hover the siphon above the substrate, opposed to pushing it down into it.
     
  3. CanadianFishFan

    CanadianFishFanWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    3,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    Ratings:
    +2,204
    Experience:
    3 years
    First of all d0nt listen to Petsmart people, Ive learned that many times... Wont put out any examples. Anyway agree with above. I even took out my siphon piace for my 5 gallon planted tank with shrimp and just hovered the tube over the sand to suck that stuff out. Worked well.
     
  4. HORNET1

    HORNET1Well Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    661
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Holmes Beach, FL
    Ratings:
    +1,182
    Experience:
    5 years
    Sometimes (not every time) I use a piece of old panty hose rubber-banded to my siphon intake which allows me to get up close to the sand.
     
  5. CanadianFishFan

    CanadianFishFanWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    3,414
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    Ratings:
    +2,204
    Experience:
    3 years
    Hmm better try that when I convert my 20 gallon. Dont want to suck out loachs or sand. Thanks for the idea never thought about that one...
     
  6. Tol

    TolValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    476
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +304
    Experience:
    2 years
    I vacuum the sand in my tank often. I am not sure why she would tell you that. Just needs to be done like mentioned above rather than jamming the wand into it like you would with gravel. I rarely get any sand that doesn't fall back down out of the tube. Once you get the hang of it, to me it is much easier than gravel to clean.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    That is a terrific idea.
    Thanks everyone she had me believing I was going to be removing all of my beneficial bacteria and food for my snails and shrimps.

    How often and how much water should I be removing?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2018
  8. Dillan Murphy

    Dillan MurphyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    452
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +57
    Experience:
    5 years
    I vacuum once a week and i remove about 25% of the water
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    Okay now I just tested my water and my ammonia is spiked at 0.25 should I do a 25% water change with prime? Or more?
     
  10. max h

    max hWell Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    3,349
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pensacola, Fl
    Ratings:
    +2,266
    Experience:
    5 to 10 years
    You can swirl the end of the wand just above the substrate to stir up the debris to suck it up,
     
  11. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    Messages:
    14,575
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +17,147
    Experience:
    5 to 10 years
    I don't see any reason not to go after debris on top of the sand every single time you do a water change. If you are in there with a siphon anyway, why not get the bottom of the tank too?

    As @max h just said, you can swirl it around near the sand to get any poop or whatever into the siphon without sticking it into the sand. You don't need to stick in into the sand as the debris should just rest on top of it. But I think it is important to go for that debris every time you are in there changing water anyway.

    I mean...give me one good reason not to....
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    Okay thanks everyone but now my Main issue is that my ammonia reading is spiked after adding the shrimps should I do partial water changes until its gone?
     
  13. Dillan Murphy

    Dillan MurphyValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    452
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +57
    Experience:
    5 years
    You could do that or just put ammonia remover in the water
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    I just did about a 30% water change with prime I'll check again in the morning and see how it's faired thanks everyone again
     
  15. Chynna

    ChynnaNew MemberMember

    Messages:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +10
    this is a brilliant idea. thank you
     
  16. FLDawna

    FLDawnaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    480
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +265
    Experience:
    1 year
    I rubber band a bamboo skewer or chopstick to the siphon so that it sticks out a couple inches. It stirs up the debris so the siphon can do its job.
    And for the ammonia... definitely do the water change. I see you already did, but keep testing and doing water changes until you get it sorted.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    The ammonia is the same unfortunately so I'm doing another change

    Do you take all your decor out every time you siphon?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2018
  18. FLDawna

    FLDawnaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    480
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +265
    Experience:
    1 year
    No I don't remove them every time I vacuum, but about every 3rd time probably.
    What's going on that your ammonia levels are spiking? Definitely keep doing the daily water changes as often as needed until it zeros out.
     
  19. w3amz

    w3amzValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    212
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +93
    When the substrate gets moved in any way bacteria die off because the position of bacteria to the water flow gets changed. This especially happens with sand if the top layer is disturbed because it packs densely. Currently in progress is a 50% water change. Tank data is 50% sand / 50% med pebble. So what the employee told you is partially correct. You have to be careful you aren't upsetting the cycle much more with sand than other substrates. This is exactly why you are now seeing ammonia come up, just as I do.

    upload_2018-9-7_17-0-13.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  20. OP
    OP
    Geena

    GeenaValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    105
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +20
    Experience:
    1 year
    So what should i be doing?
     
Loading...
Similar Threads Forum Date
Fry And Gravel Vacuuming Cleaning and Maintenance Aug 11, 2019
Should I Remove The Egg Crate From My 125g Tanganyikan Tank Aquarium Aquascaping Jun 25, 2019
Does Vacuuming Bother Fish? Freshwater Beginners Mar 10, 2019
Filter maintenance and diamond sand vacuuming? Cleaning and Maintenance Aug 22, 2015
Vacuuming aquarium sand Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand Apr 19, 2012
Question Vacuuming sand? Cleaning and Maintenance Sep 28, 2010
How Do I Vacuuming Sand Cleaning and Maintenance Aug 21, 2010








Become a Fishlore Member