Tis the question.....to vac or not to vac. - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:45 AM
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No worries Dave, we all do it at one point or another. It was good to read your posts; there's always something to learn or be reminded of from what other people say here. I got something out of it all.

Regards,
Phil
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I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #32 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:02 AM
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Eh, whatever. I might be a idiot for only leaving my tank lights on for 6 hours, but this idiot understands that the sun doesn't sit 17 inches from the planet; unlike the light that sits over my 40 breeder.

My plants are happy, growing and my tank isn't a algae farm.
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post #33 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I am glad I don't fall into this category.
Wow, just made it @ 6.5 hours!!!
Well MG you were the first one I was going to point him too.

I wonder what your tanks would do with more light?

Never mind, scratch that......if things are going well, who cares?
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post #34 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 03:27 AM
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Well MG you were the first one I was going to point him too.

I wonder what your tanks would do with more light?
I understand this, like a moo cow at a hog calling contest!
Chew my cud, sit back and watch, Missouri plates "Show Me"
Please, alfalfa only!

More light would just make more red, like I don't have enough already!

Once over 50 how much does one's self care?
Doubt it would be possible that I could be offended in any way.
Especially on the web where everything is true!
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #35 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 07:12 AM
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Update on the mulm bomb science experiment. Meet Finnigan the Betta, a rose gold whoís almost solid pearly white, heís taken to mulm bomb tank like a pig to a sty. He was so active a feisty in his little cup at petco last Saturday I just had to take him home before he met fate of some of the other ones there.

Anyway tank still purring along at 6.6-6.8 PH, 5kh, 9gh, zero ammonia/nitrites, nitrates around 15ppm. Have only done two 1gal RO water changes in 7wks itís been up and running. Just dosing with Thrive at 1/2 strength in distilled water daily for top off. No algae of any mention, light coat of green dust on glass and rocks is all there is. Except at initial fill at set up to remove sediment film on glass the glass has never been cleaned in this tank. Didnít even add surface extractor, film just kind of went away all by itself last weekend.

Rotala rotundifolia and red root floater still growing like gangbusters, just thinned both out again day before this video. Whole handful of each were removed from tank.

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post #36 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 01:56 PM
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If people want mulm in their tank, it is their decision. The problems start when there is chest-thumping that there has to be mulm in order to have any success with a planted tank.

For a long time I did 50% weekly water changes even though I've never had a heavy bioload in my tank or used EI for dosing. I've always lean dosed as my tank isn't wall to wall with hungry stem plants. What I've discovered is that I don't need to do massive water changes. I do water changes, but how much depends on what I do that week for tank maintenance.

If I'm just doing a surface vac and a general overall cleanup, there is no need to drain half the tank, but if I'm moving plants around and making a mess, I still won't drain half the tank, but instead of only a 5 gallon water change, it may be a 10 gallon water change. As a result of doing this, the tank is more stable overall. My tank is still clean, water parameters are where I like them to be and everybody is happy.

Would this same routine work for everybody? No, but it works for me and my tank. As much as I hate the expression "There is more than one way to skin a cat", it's true and also applies to planted tanks.
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post #37 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 08:15 PM
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Lets set aside plants for a moment:
When you add in fish, pay attention to the particular needs of the fish kept, and think about keeping these particular fish healthy in the long-term -mulm accumulation can pose a problem. A bacterial problem. Unfortunately, not all bacteria that accumulates in the aquarium is of the beneficial kind.

@DaveKS- Now that you have added a Betta, will you be doing more water changes then you have done previously- 2 gallons over 7 weeks?

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #38 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Lets set aside plants for a moment:
When you add in fish, pay attention to the particular needs of the fish kept, and think about keeping these particular fish healthy in the long-term -mulm accumulation can pose a problem. A bacterial problem. Unfortunately, not all bacteria that accumulates in the aquarium is of the beneficial kind.

@DaveKS- Now that you have added a Betta, will you be doing more water changes then you have done previously- 2 gallons over 7 weeks?
With one betta not sure, I’ll watch tank for excess algae growth and keep eye on phosphate and nitrate levels, I’m planning another 1gal water change this week and removing a bit more of the mulm when I do it. Betta has taken out probably 90% of my population of ramshorn and can confirm that some betta do eat snails, he’s growing like a weed though and up until last couple days has shown very little interest in dried bloodworm and pellets. As well as pink ramshorn that came with that mulm culture it also had a nice culture of microworm (Panagrellus sp.) and those are almost non-existent now after one week also. I’ve watched him pick nematode from glass, pop down baby ramshorn like appetizers and suck adults right out of their shell.

But I’ve got another tub in basement that I’ve kept in isolation so I can repopulate as needed. Basically I’ve been taking all excess clippings of plants from 7gal, drying them a week and adding to that tub as organic matter for them to feed on. So my bioload in 7gal has shifted from snail poop to betta poop. recycling so to speak.

Thought about having my friend run TOC test again but not sure if really necessary. That’s some high dollar water testing.

Bacteria? That’s kind of whole point of this little tank. Way main water current flows into front bowed glass pushes micro current up under this little 16x9 bed. The mix of Flourite/blast sand is tight enough that large quantities of unprocessed mulm cannot get into deep areas. All the breakdown of organics happen in top 1” aerobic environment, no possibility of deep substrate sour/putrid/sulfide pockets and the undesirable fauna that come with them. All the broken down carbon, nitrogen, phosphate etc are released into water column and also pushed back under gravel to CEC binding sites along with health dose of oxygen. Rotala loves it.

Here’s a short video showing front area of bow front. I keep this area forked up with planting tongs so it has good current feed into gravel bed. You can see leaves moving in rather brisk current here (aquaclear 20 at about half power). Can also see huge runners rotala is sending out trying it’s best to encircle the whole tank, easily growing 7-8” along gravel a week as well as sending up vertical shoots all along its length.

I know most people look at this tank as a ill kept calamity waiting to happen but I can assure you everything from water flow to gravel selection, plant selection and maintenance routines/dosing were all thought out well in advance of even setting hardscape in.


Finnigan the the betta had spot in front of his left eye, at 1st I thought it might be a anchor worm, but was just slight tear in flesh, 3 days in tank completely gone/healed. Most fish when put in favorable water conditions and all stressors removed from environment will quickly heal their coat and become impervious to anything bacterial or fungal. Sure the steady diet of ramshorn and nematodes also helped considerably. In week I’ve had him he’s put on probably close to a 1/4” in size and is building bubble nests under floaters.
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post #39 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:31 PM
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FTS of mulm bomb today. Betta happy as can be, plants doing exceptionally well. Zero water change since last post and light dosing (1/3 strength) Thrive and top off with distilled water. Red root floaters are stunning red. All parameters on water perfect. Mr Betta has learned what feeding ring is for and pink pearl ramshorn are coming back.

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post #40 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 04:50 PM
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Cool looking betta.
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