How to vacuum Eco complete - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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How to vacuum Eco complete

I know that this sounds like an idiotic question but I'm having a really hard time with it. The eco complete is so fine that the python just sucks it up. Basically if I'm close enough to get the "stuff" on top of the substrate then the substrate comes up with it. I thought it might be that the python was too strong so I tried a hose and bucket but that was worse. Also it eats my plants. I don't have any deep rooted plants just fast growers with shallow roots and whoosh they get sucked up.

What I've been doing is taking a tiny power head and stirring up the poop etc then just changing about 20% of the water. Is this good enough?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 07:56 PM
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You don't need to vacuum the substrate in planted tank. If you dose fertilizer, it's better to do more than 20% weekly. I usually do 40-50%.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't started dosing yet, the tank is still too new.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 09:35 PM
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I think most of us with medium to heavily planted tanks don't vacuum their gravel much at all. Some will vacuum up open areas of gravel, but leave the planted areas alone since the plants will use alot of the ditritus as food via their roots.

If you feel that you must vacuum (heavy fish load, nitrates spiking, etc) then I would keep with the hose / bucket method (probably using the gravel cleaner end of the python hooked to a host fed into a bucket). Get the siphon going, insert the end into the gravel, and when the gravel starts to get near the top of the python tube, pinch off the hose. Most of the light ditritus (dirt and nasty stuff) will stay suspended in the tube while the gravel falls back down. Take the tube out of the gravel after the gravel in the tube has fallen out, and let the water flow again. This will suck up the dirt that is suspended in the tube. Once most of the dirt is out of the tube and in the bucket, repeat.

This method will make your water column in the tank a little dirtier than normal which can lead to more frequent media changes in your filter and more water changes, but it is probably your best bet if you must vacuum.

Also, don't use this method (or vacuuming in general) in any areas that you have inserted root tabs, laterite, etc. It will only mess things up in your tank.

Hope that helps... might be a bit of a confusing set of instructions there. If it's not clear let me know and I'll try to make it more clear.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 01:58 AM
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Collen, try not to uproot your plants. Intil your plants get well rooted just do weekly water changes (20%-30%) don't worry about vacuuming the gravel. Once the plants get rooted then you can just lightly swap the syphone over the top of the gravel to get up debris. Any extra debris will act as fertilizer for the plants.

He who angers you, controls you!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I guess old habits die hard. This is the first planted tank that I've had. I'm so accustomed to look in a tank and if I see poop and stuff well I pull out the old python and take care of it. I guess as the plants fill in I won't see it as much any more. This certainly is much easier than trying to get in corners and under rocks etc.

Thanks for the input everyone
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 03:35 PM
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yep, I too just vacuum the surface, and leave the rest alone so it stays nice and nutrient rich with mulm.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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beautiful 75 malkor. What is that amazing plant left of center? Kinda front mid ground. Almost a perfect ball.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 03:07 PM
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Uhh, I think you're asking about my compacta sword (actually I have several in there...one's the mother plant, which arrived from aquariumplants.com with about 1dozen daughter plants on runners)
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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It is a beautiful plant. Boy did you get a deal!! I think I have to order one.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 06:14 PM
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It's worse with Tahitian Moon sand.

What I do is just let it get sucked up. After I empty the bucket of water, I rinse the remaining sand and dump it back into the tank. No big problem.
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