How do I keep the substrate clean - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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How do I keep the substrate clean

How would I keep the substrate clean?
I've noticed when I performed a water change in my 20 gal long tank and the new water moves the substrate I see alot of what I assume is waste from the shrimp/otos/snails swirling around.
I thought the plants were suppose to deal with the waste.
Now I have this substrate cleaner that I attach to an air pump and it's suppose to suck up the waste, But what I'm guessing that would be harder to do with planted tanks especially with carpet plants.
I want to eventually get a carpet plant growing and seeing how my current plants have not gotten rid of the waste I want to know how others have dealt with this problem.
The substrate i'm currently using is "AquariumPlants.com Substrate" I used to have Eco Complete and had the same problem too.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 10:06 PM
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Are you familiar with a gravel vac? These are basically fat pipes that you connect to a piece of vinyl tubing and via suction you "vacuum" the substrate, which will remove the fish poop.

Normally in normally stocked tanks these things fall through the cracks, get processed by various organisms and with time turn into plant food. Also, if you have a dense ground cover their should not be a problem.

In normally filtered tanks the floaters get sucked up and filtered out.

You might want to slow down your refilling during water changes. Many ways to do that without causing a sand storm.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Are you familiar with a gravel vac? These are basically fat pipes that you connect to a piece of vinyl tubing and via suction you "vacuum" the substrate, which will remove the fish poop.

Normally in normally stocked tanks these things fall through the cracks, get processed by various organisms and with time turn into plant food. Also, if you have a dense ground cover their should not be a problem.

In normally filtered tanks the floaters get sucked up and filtered out.

You might want to slow down your refilling during water changes. Many ways to do that without causing a sand storm.
Yeah that's what it's called I have a gravel vac that hooks up to the air pump.

So with carpet plants I shouldn't have a problem with the fish poop?

Usually when I refill the tank I fill it through the filter and that helps though I do forget to do that sometimes
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 11:33 PM
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Bring the gravel vac about 3" from the substrate and swirl it around to pick up and debris on top of the substrate. Most of it will still be there for the plants.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Bring the gravel vac about 3" from the substrate and swirl it around to pick up and debris on top of the substrate. Most of it will still be there for the plants.
Okay that's a good idea thanks.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 11:54 PM
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If you want to vacuum that substrate deeper, be careful. It is very light, and will get sucked up into the vacuum quite easily.
I only vacuum it if I am moving the tank, tearing it down.

Most of the time I do as Calmoa suggests: Keep the vacuum away from the substrate so the substrate does not move, and just get close enough to the plants to remove the obvious debris. If you are touching the plants with the vacuum, and the leaves are not in danger, that is OK. Otherwise brush through the plants with your fingers to dislodge the debris, and vacuum it from a distance.

Another way is to make the flow slower, usually by pinching the outflowing water tube.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 01:04 PM
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What I do is use the net to make little vortex's in the water with a net, small enough so that the debris flies up then I catch and remove with said net.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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What I do is use the net to make little vortex's in the water with a net, small enough so that the debris flies up then I catch and remove with said net.
With the gravel vac?
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