how do you guys clean your substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
BreakingBread's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Mass.
Posts: 58
how do you guys clean your substrate?

With a heavily planted tank what methods are used to clean the substrate?
Thanks for replys.
BreakingBread is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 10:53 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
tobystanton's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/83%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: honolulu
Posts: 314
It all depends on the substrate, with a soil based substrate (ADA Aquasoil, ecocomplete, etc) there will be no need to vacuum the substrate, especially if its heavily planted - unless your overstocked on fish.

P.S: I believe Eheim sells a substrate vac that has gotten some good reviews around here.
tobystanton is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 12:20 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
I used MTS(dirt) with a sand cap. My clean up crew is 1 SAE, 4-6 Ranshorn snails, Uncounted MTS(snails), 10 Amano Shrimp and to lessor extent 5 Cherry Barbs.

Other than removing dead leaves I do nothing to clean the substrate. The occasional Poof of dirt if I pull a plant settles back under the sand cap within a few days.
DogFish is offline  
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 03:00 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Kathyy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (35/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Newbury Park, CA
Posts: 4,182
I have a fired clay/gravel substrate. A couple times in the 11 years it has been in service it has become clogged with under surface stuff. It wasn't debris, more like a network of decomposer fungi and BGA and I couldn't push my fingers through it to the bottom of the tank at all. I uprooted all the plants and went through it with the python all the way to the bottom of the tank. Wasn't as messy as one would think as most of the gunk stayed in the siphon tube. Did a third of the tank each day and the fish and plants stayed in the tank. After replanting I did another water change hoovering the surface to pull the settled mulm off the substrate's surface.

Why that hasn't happened again I don't know. Possibly the twice a year upheavals that I have been doing lately have prevented it.

Usually I just hoover the very surface of the substrate. If you pump the end of the siphon up and down it will knock some stuff loose and I get stuff that is maybe 1/4" below the surface of the substrate. If there is a super messy area I will remove any plants and plunge the siphon in the substrate to pick up a column of it, lift it up and let the substrate fall and the organic stuff go up and out of the tank. In the past I have had sub surface BGA sheets lurking and this will remove it. If you shove a thin strip of plastic, aka credit card, between the tank panes and the substrate the layer of mulm will mix in and the substrate up against the tank wall will look clean.

That gunk is mulm and is valuable stuff in a planted tank. You don't want to remove all of it, just the easy to remove stuff. Let a layer accumulate under the surface of the substrate.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

River Bank

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

MOP* Nano
Kathyy is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
BreakingBread's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Mass.
Posts: 58
alright i have a better visual on what to prepare for thanks all.
BreakingBread is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 05:25 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
I don't, except for when I move or major re-scape the tank.

When I had gravel I did vacuum pretty thoroughly.
Diana is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 05:46 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Murray KY
Posts: 225
My best advice is to take out 10% of the water and fill it back up with your siphon hose aimed parallel to the bottom. It will stir up enough of the sediment or whathaveyou on the bottom so you can reverse the flow of the siphon and suck it all out. What is not pulled out gets caught by the filter.

Opportunity is often missed because it's dressed in coveralls and looks like work.
Elrodg is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome