Is there any detriment to detritus? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by M Allred View Post
I did a bunch of research on probiotics.
I now dose my tanks with "beneficial bacteria, to reduce mulm, and organic material.
I also feed probiotic flake.
I'm interested in learning about these products. Can you list specific names and how you use them, please?

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 02:43 PM
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There are a number of products which claim to use bacteria.
You could also use potassium permanganate (instructions on wikipedia I think), but you would want to take the livestock out first.
I think you could use double dose Jungle clearwater if ou are scared of the permanganate grains.

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:41 PM
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Tanks!,
Stresszyme is a good product, and works. Liquid addition to water.
Cobalt fishfood is probiotic also.

There is an interesting 4 year running thread on probiotics on the Monster Fishkeepers site.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by FisheriesOmen View Post
My question is, do I even need to worry about it at all?
No disrespect intended... But I don't like it. If I were there I would offer to vac it up for ya.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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No disrespect intended... But I don't like it. If I were there I would offer to vac it up for ya.
No disrespect taken. I wouldn't have posted this if I didn't want feedback ^^

I have started vacuuming out the detritus during my water changes and plan to add two 80gph pumps in the bottom-back corners since my return flow isn't strong enough to stir it up.

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 05:59 PM
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Will be interesting to know how this works for you and if there are other positive outcomes from the cleanup.
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 10:58 PM
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You can't use bacteria to completely remove detritus. Matter and energy are proportional quantities, and life on this planet is only 10% energy efficient. Adding some beneficial bacteria to your tank might reduce detritus a little, but a lot of those products are snake oil unless they are used very specifically, and even then they will not eliminate all detritus.

The main issues with detritus occur when it piles up too much, and include:

1) Potential hiding places for parasites and other pathogens

2) Creation of anoxic zones. If you really have a lot of detritus, anoxic zones can form near the substrate, and animals that move through them can be incapacitated and killed.

Whether or not detritus is a source of excess nitrates depends on how old it is. If it's mostly broken-down biomass, then by definition there isn't enough nitrogen left in it for nitrate to form.

Detritus occurs by the ton in many freshwater habitats, but no matter how pretty our tanks look, we could never imitate those systems. We can't match the processes that produce and decompose that inert biomass in relatively small volumes of water; even small ponds can hold around 1,000 gallons of water, and a large pond or a small lake would tens of thousands of gallons. Because of this disparity, it's not wise to allow detritus to build up like that. Every time I've accidentally allowed it to happen, I've paid for it in fish.

And yeah, you should run a gravel vac in there to pick up the detritus on your substrate. Put a chunk of coarse-grade reticulated foam in the business end to avoid sucking up your fish.


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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 11:18 PM
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While you remove the deritus, i would balance the bacteria numbers by adding seachem stability or pristine, to make sure the numbers stay at a decent level. You have no way of knowing how much bacteria is in that stuff!

I think its good to remove it though, personally. I agree that it will be temporary stability; its a small environment and eventually, it'll become too much for the tank to handle. I always vac my top layer of gravel during water changes, for things like this and stray leaves that also throw the whole thing into a flux. =)
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:09 PM
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I agree with the pathogen idea

I want to say that I took out a java fern less than a week ago to put in another tank and yesterday my tiger barb died. Was eating as usual the day before and then dead the next day. There must be pathogens in the substrate.
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