Mulm and substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Mulm and substrate

I had a question regarding the buildup of mulm below the substrate. Recently did a rescape and as I lifted a lot of my UG, a ton of mulm came out. I took out a few UG plugs today and found the roots system were very slimy nasty smelling. Granted I had the lights out for 2 days since CO2 ran out but is this due to the mulm that the plant sat in or something else? What should I do for cleaning the substrate? Gravel vac?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 12:14 PM
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Not necessary to vacuum in a heavily planted tank. Mulm = good stuff for your plants.

I don't remove any of the gross stuff unless it's visible and unsightly. Then I just use a piece of airline tubing to remove visible areas.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, must've been due to 0 light for a few days then.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 01:31 PM
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Mulm (detritus) is a naturally occuring event in all aquariums. Excess mulm which you describe may come about from stagnant conditions, decaying organic matter, dead animals, overfeeding, insufficient substrate bacteria, and recent increase in livestock to name a few.

It may attribute to increased Nitrate levels with breakdown further into ammonia. My suggestion would be to remove the accumulation on the surface by siphon as part of water change. No need to clean within the substrate unless you are seeing layers of build up in which case, bacteria supplementing may be appropriate while curbing the feeding schedule and portions a bit.


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