Need a MAJOR Clean - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Need a MAJOR Clean

Hey everyone,
I have a 29 gallon planted tank that cannot seem to get crystal clear. It is about 3 months old and my filter screen is not exactly spotless but not horrible. The tank inhabitants include 7 tetras, 2 gouramis, 3 rasboras, 3 danios, 2 plecos, 3 golden algae eaters and 2 crayfish. Could the tank be overstocked? All seems well in the community but i have noticed an excess of waste on the substrate when the plecos and crayfish move around even with consistent water changes every other week. I've heard of gravel cleaners and am trying to get an opinion on the best way to get the water perfect. Any thoughts and opinions would be appreciated! THANK YOU!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 03:54 AM
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If you never vaccuum your gravel, obviously there's going to be stuff on it all the time, especially with plecos aka poop machines, which by the way, if they are common plecos, are going to get way too big for your 29G.

The point of gravel vaccing is to get all that stuff out of your substrate.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 12:09 AM
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Gravel vacs are amazing devices. Just go buy one. Or you could make one, just get a bit of wide PVC and a reducer fitting and stick it on your garden hose.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 02:54 AM
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Snails and shrimp cleanup crew. lol.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 01:03 PM
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Gravel vacuums are amazing! They even work on my pool filter sand by just doing a quick sweep a bit above the surface.

A trick I use to get a clean and sparkling water column is filter floss. I make my own with some polyester batting from my craft room, sandwiched between the filter sponge and the bio media. It helps catch the fine particles that the filter sponge can miss.

Also, if the water is cloudy, be sure to take some water tests and make sure that everything is cycled properly!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 03:00 PM
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In my tank with gravel, ghost shrimp have been the biggest contributors to keeping particles cleaned up. Snails and otos will eat biofilm and diatom algae, but the ghost shrimp are the ones picking all of the particles off the gravel and floating free. My gravel is spotless about an inch down (can see against the glass), then it gets real gunky, but that feeds the plants. They have fairly long arms and tiny pinchers and are constantly digging deep in the gravel for stuff. The water is spotless. It's a 10 gallon with two otos, 7 guppies, 3 cardinals, and 4 endlers as far as fish stocking. Monthly water changes whenever nitrate finally creeps up to 15 ppm. That being said, I don't know if ghost shrimp would survive in your tank.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 07:15 PM
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Using a prefilter sponge on the filter intake might help too. I was constantly having water clarity issues before I put big sponges into my sump. You take that sponge off and rinse it in tap water when ever it gets unsightly as it isn't meant to be a biological filter element.

Your crays should be doing some picking at the substrate.

Agree get a siphon hose to get the gunk off the substrate, that will help with the kicked up stuff floating in the water column.

And the tank does seem a bit crowded to me. What kind of plecos are they? Golden algae eaters get big and mean, might want to find a new home for them at some point.


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