Sifting through substrate = permanent contamination? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Sifting through substrate = permanent contamination?

I'm wondering if the wastes in the substrate that gets kicked up when sifting through the substrate permanently contaminates the water column- so does doing a water change matter if you just add a huge amount of waste by disturbing the soil?

I have a dirted 55 gallon planted tank with undergravel filters, if that matters.


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 01:49 AM
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I assume you mean - should you kick up the dirt from your dirted tank during a W/C, does it do more harm than good? Ideally, the 'dirt' should be well capped and shouldn't easily 'come up'. If it is a problem, do a w/c without cleaning the substrate. My large tank is so packed with plants ( or itwas ) that I can't get at the substrate, a little dirty but w/e.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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No, I meant if you kick up dirt while moving plants around, will that waste stay suspended in the water? Or will it return to normal when things settle down or get filtered again.

I drip new water into the tank, so the water changes and dirt getting kicked up are independent of each other.

I'm just wondering if the water changes are kinda moot if you disturb the substrate.

I guess I could find out the answer by testing the water after disturbing the soil and then checking a few hours later after the water is clear again. Before that just occurred to me, I was wondering if anyone knew the answer off the top of their head lol.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 04:27 PM
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Water changes. Cleaning stuff is the only way to get filth out of your tank.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 02:37 AM
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If you have a reverse under gravel filter - then the dirt will settle down on your plants and substrate cap and this will make it hard to remove even by siphon during water changes. The way out would be to first reduce the water level in the tank and then use the refill hose to wash the settled dirt from the surface of the substrate cap and plants so that the dirt remains suspended in the water column and while you are refilling continue to siphon - this and several repeats will clear the displaced dirt from the tank.

If you have a suction type under gravel filter - then you will have to siphon the filter gravel while you do the water change and blow the settled dirt from the substrate cap and plants while filling. The dislodged dirt will progressively disappear by getting trapped in the under gravel filter and siphon removed during water change.

Good to find someone still uses under gravel filter in planted tanks - I do and have capped dirt tanks too.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.

Last edited by essabee; 12-01-2015 at 02:39 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2015, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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I have a suction type under gravel filter. It's kind of a project I've been working on. I wanted to develop a more or less self-sustaining substrate. I asked around about it here:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...long-term.html

People didn't seem to object to the concept. It seems possible. At least for 5 years or something. So the undergravel filters work like traditional UGF, and they're powered by 250 gph powerheads



There are 3 of these UGF's in the 55 gallon tank. Between the plants, the worms in the soil, the beneficial bacteria, and the UGF's, the idea is for the tank to be self-sustaining. I still do water changes, of course.


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