how should i get rid of all the junk
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
jamntoast
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how should i get rid of all the junk


so i have a sand cap on a soil base, i've had to move things around and every time i do i always get all this junk coming up, soil and bits from the soil (i was impaitent and did not sift the soil before putting it in so i have bits of different stuff) it's mostly just gunk like detritus,decayed plant matter and then i have weird little white pebble things and snail shells and stuff. i'm sure some of it i could pull out by hand but that would be a lot of work and i'd miss most of it. can't vaccum it out because a) don't want to plug my kitchen sink up (again) and it also plugs my vaccum. does anyone have any tricks to keep your substrate looking clean?
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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You will have to tear it down. I made the same mistake. You will never ever be happy with it. The white stuff is either perlite or styrofoam if it's cheap stuff. The extra decaying matter (wood chunks) will cause an algae explosion and mess with the water chemistry when it rots. I decided to go with Safe-T-sorb and root tabs until I get better at aquascaping. I may go back to a soil tank after that.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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yea dont really want to do that, although i just put some geos in it a little bit ago so i might have to tear it down anyway if they start really kicking it up. they are still small so i think i've got a bit of time to relax. i think i might get a (clean and new) cat poop scooper, maybe that will be able to grab most of the junk. any other suggestions?
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:38 PM   #4
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That's the down fall of soil tanks. If you are constantly rearranging your tank, soil isn't the way to go.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Sand is much harder to keep clean with dirt I know that cause that's what I'm using though when clean I love the look.

A few rouge air pockets have even brought some to the top. Being so compact it doesn't really let waste settle in below the surface and its color really makes it show easy.

I've thought trying to work in some larger grain pool filter sand to created more gaps.

Cory cats I added have done a good job keeping my top layer mixed and clean and increased flow could kick it up into a filter.

I just use a length of tubing and a 5 gallon bucket to spot check the surface, can clean many spots in under a quarter gallon
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:21 PM   #6
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thats a good idea too, using syphoning it off. i have some larger vinyl tubing i could use.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:53 PM   #7
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Turkey baster and hours of arduous work. My first dirt tank looks like that, for the same reasons as you outlined. I can't take it anymore and am redoing it tomorrow.

The only way to solve it is to stop moving anything, and to pick out the detritus by hand.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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I took off the big end of my gravel vacuum and just use the clear hose that comes with it to do my substrate cleaning. Works great for spot cleaning. You'll suck up a little sand in the process, but it will settle to the bottom of the bucket and you can drop the sand back in the tank after emptying the bucket.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #9
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My Turkey Baster is my friend. It is a relatively easy way to suck up those unsightly bits in the same way you might use a syphon, just more targeted.
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