poop and sand and all that mess. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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My tank is fairly new. I've got about 3" of flourite under ~1.5" of playsand. I'm looking at the sand now and wondering how I get the poop to mix in to benefit the plants. I've got a clown pleco, and he uses one spot as a bathroom (thankfully behind his driftwood so it's not front and center for viewing); seems to me there's lots of 'fertilizer' in his pile, but how do I get it into the substrate? I've been syphoning it out because it's unsightly and just sitting on top. I'm also worried about the lack of waterflow in the substrate because of the sand. I'm rather tempted, since my tank is new and not really going yet, to remove the sand and replace it with a slightly more gravelly substrate...I'm just not up for an overhaul right now, though. What are my options, and how do I make the poop work for me?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 04:46 PM
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Well that's the thing with sand... fine particle size, no circulation, poop stays on top. It might look good, like a sandy beach, but other than that... I much prefer gravel.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 05:11 PM
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Cories help, they put there snouts right into the sand and turn it over a bit.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-14-2004, 06:15 PM
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Maybe some Malaysian Trumpet Snails would help. They also stir the top layer of substrate and they may consume the fish waste and reprocess it into smaller snail waste.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 02:21 AM
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Wouldn't ghost shrimps help with cleaning the substrate?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 02:30 AM
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They aren't enthusiastic poop eaters... I mean, who is? They will take care of any leftover fishfood, dead plant parts, even some algae, but don't expect them to eat all of what is coming out of the fish, and leave nothing... :mrgreen:


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you to everyone who's offered info and opinions here. I suppose it all boils down to personal preference. I'm concerned mostly about the lack of circulation. If I could round up a half dozen MTS I might leave the sand, but otherwise I'm gonna take out as much as possible and put in a fine gravel. Any tricks for making this task easier? (I seem to be learning alot retrospectively, and that's just becoming real old :roll: )
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 10:56 AM
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I am seriously trying to figure out how to un-sand my tank.. I love the look but it's just not working out..

I really don't think I can do a complete teardown, but it might be my only alternative, and thoughts on susbtrate swapping on a running tank?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 02:27 PM
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There are methods to add a little bit of substrate daily over a certain period to keep the disturbing minimal. Likewise, you could vaccuum out some sand, and add the new substrate, one area at a time.
But with the substrate being so "basic", you should seriously consider just cleaning out the whole thing and starting over...


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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I picked up some fine gravel (~2mm). I'm going to fill a couple big buckets with tank water, remove the fish and the plants (there's only a few fish, and the plants are so new it'll hardly be an uproot for them). I'll syphon off just a bit more water (and sand if it'll come up), and then shovel out as much sand as possible. I'm not going to try get it all out, just the bulk of it. Hopefully, it'll all go smoothly.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 03:01 PM
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BTW.. I got 50 MTS's in my 75 and they help a bit, but the sand doesn't get mixed enough.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
They aren't enthusiastic poop eaters... I mean, who is?
My stupid basset hound :roll:. She thinks she's a dung beetle.

[Cliff Claven mode engaged] Also, it's a little known fact that the naked mole rat is one the few (truely) homocoprophagous mammals (as well as the only mammal to operate with an insect-like social structure - queen & workers) [Cliff Claven mode disengaged]

Now there's a piece of 'water cooler trivia' for ya .

Ted


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2004, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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:hehe: I had a friend who had a basset hound. It didn't eat poop, but it did eat her car (well, the seats) and a bottle of tylenol while it was at it :aah: Yes, it lived. I think you have to know a few bassets to understand that one.

Well, my overhaul is done. I raised alot of dust, and can't see too clearly how my aquascaping went, but I can tell already that the gravel is more agreeable for me...at least esthetically...and if it does what I'm hoping it will do (collect poop to feed the plants and allow better circulation of water), then I'm very glad I took the plunge into the overhaul. I did notice lots of root growth on my plants, and feel heartened by that because my lighting was so poor for a while that I'm surprised anything survived let alone grew.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2004, 12:42 PM
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I am going to pickup some new substrate this weekend, flourite or some other more plant friendly, I'll see what the LFS has.. then start vacauuming out my sand, good thing is my sand is really fine and it'll vacuum out pretty well.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 10:08 PM
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i thought that u could put maybe Riccia fluitans over it, it'd be kinda like grass, and it would alleviate the problem of seeing it
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