Help Keeping Substrate Clean
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:49 AM   #1
ClayT101
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Help Keeping Substrate Clean


I need help keeping my substrate clean. This is a 220 gallon aquarium, it is a planted tank, but I keep it for fish, not plants. I only try to grow water weeds (although it does have high lighting and CO2 injection). My issue is that light weight garbage gets kicked up, and then covers the plants. What I think would be perfect would be to have a current that kicks up the garbage, causing it to float, and then get taken into my overflow box. However, I know I can not keep the power heads on constantly as the plants can not take the strong current. I am thinking of maybe getting powerheads that are set on a timer. Maybe turn them on for 15 minutes twice a day or so. Another option would be additional filters. I am running a large sump right now. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
Imi Statue
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Ditch the Co2 if your not doing this for plants as that's expensive equipment in the first place. Sell it off, then get some of these http://www.drsfostersmith.com/fish-s...ps/c/3578/4588

One on either end of the tank should work for current, but then again just gravel vacuum the bottom around the plants, it they are weeds they won't care about this action.

If you still need the tank to be clearer, bet a diatom filter or at least a micron filter like this http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=19796

Plenty of ways to work this.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
Ditch the Co2 if your not doing this for plants as that's expensive equipment in the first place. Sell it off, then get some of these http://www.drsfostersmith.com/fish-s...ps/c/3578/4588

One on either end of the tank should work for current, but then again just gravel vacuum the bottom around the plants, it they are weeds they won't care about this action.

If you still need the tank to be clearer, bet a diatom filter or at least a micron filter like this http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=19796

Plenty of ways to work this.
Technically, not weeds. I have green hygro, some kind of val, crypt luceas, ludwigia repens x arculata, and pygmy chain sword.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Technically, not weeds. I have green hygro, some kind of val, crypt luceas, ludwigia repens x arculata, and pygmy chain sword.
Technically none of those plants "must" have Co2.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imi Statue View Post
Technically none of those plants "must" have Co2.
Technically, all plants benefit from additional CO2 injection. Besides, high lighting and CO2 means the OP just needs ferts. Technically, none of this has to do with the original question.

OP: Gravel Vac if you're not going to go heavy planted.
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It's CO2. See-Oh-Two. Not C02 (see-zero-two).
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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Typically, fine mulm being stirred up into the water column easily is a sign of poor tank circulation. One area may have excessive flow where others have very little. I would reposition or add circulation pumps to provide current in all areas. The fine silt will be reduced, your plants will do better, and your fish will appreciate it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gSTiTcH View Post
Technically, all plants benefit from additional CO2 injection. Besides, high lighting and CO2 means the OP just needs ferts. Technically, none of this has to do with the original question.

OP: Gravel Vac if you're not going to go heavy planted.
I was thinking along the lines of saving money for equipment that is more "needed" for this particular tank, Co2 just isn't "needed" as much as circulation.. Technically... and yes all plants can use the addition of C02, but since he does not have this tank setup as a planted tank so much as a fish tank with plants added, he really did not "need" the C02 in the first place.

Like I said gravel vac and pumps...
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Regarding obtaining flow in the right places.....
I found this interesting (and may do it some day):
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ug_jets.php
(copied from a previous post on this forum).
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
Typically, fine mulm being stirred up into the water column easily is a sign of poor tank circulation. One area may have excessive flow where others have very little. I would reposition or add circulation pumps to provide current in all areas. The fine silt will be reduced, your plants will do better, and your fish will appreciate it.
Yes, this is what I want to do. I only worry that the current from powerheads might be too much for the plants to take.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:00 AM   #10
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So, can plants take a little bit of current? The vals are being bent a little bit. How about crypts?
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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either consider redirecting the powerheads or relocating them to an location where current will be diffused by the time it reaches the plants. ironically, i have mine about 5 inches away from my canister intake merely because it was the best location to churn the water around the tank and come back to the filter.

the increased amount of detris may be attributed to overfeeding, overpopulation or poor biological bed in the substrate, a common occurance in african cichlid tanks. They have bacteria supplements which can be dosed on occassion to process the sludge over time. If you were open to spending some money, i'd recommend looking into this. microblift i believe has something which can help. I do like their stuff very much. good luck.
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