Substrate Cleaning - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate Cleaning

OK, maybe for you guys this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I'm definitely a newbie in this domain. I have a freshwater fish only tank, goldfish tank, and a saltwater tank. For all of these, while doing a water change, I'll siphon out the gravel or sand to reduce nitrates and general detritus.

Now that I'm staring a planted tank for the first time, is this still a required step while conducting a water change? If the answer is yes, then how do you manage this if there are plants rooted in the substrate (especially things like dwarf baby tears and other matted plants)?

To be honest, I feel quite "dirty" and negligent thinking maybe nitrate and phosphate levels above 0ppm is actually desirable. In my saltwater tank, I'm conducting a major battle to do the opposite!

The first of many questions,
Mark
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 03:25 AM
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I try and "wave" the water around the areas I can't vacuum to stir up the junk. Then just suck it up with the water. I do 60% water changes though, so I can get a lot out this way.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 03:28 AM
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In almost all planted tanks, you do not disturb the substrate with gravel siphoning. Just gentle siphoning of debris that may collect on the surface.


Planted tank substrate tends to be done in 2 forms. Either 1 type of substrate suited for plants, for example eco complete, which is great for if you like to rescape often. OR type 2 which is a substrate suited for plants, like eco, flourite, organic dirt, and then a cap of sand, or gravel.

The plants will consume all the gunk in the substrate for you


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Wow

So glad you guys are here. I've been devouring the forums for 2 weeks and the more I read the more I realize I know so little about planted tanks. Thanks.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 04:56 AM
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Mark, it can seem a bit daunting at times, but start with a manageable size aquarium, and go slow. Learn from your mistakes and enjoy the hobby


I started with a low tech tank and I credit that for helping me get a sound foundation and understanding of planted tanks. The best part of low tech is it gives you a lot of reaction time to issues that may come up and allows you room to experiment. This guide helped me alot:

http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...ed-tank-guide/


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 06:30 PM
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Thank you for that link. Very informative information there.
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