Keeping a planted tank clean (detritus, etc) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Keeping a planted tank clean (detritus, etc)

Hello!

I recently started a decently planted 10 gallon and I'm trying to figure out how to keep it clean! Right now the filtration on it is a AquaClear 20 and I do PWCs about once a week. Naturally it's nearly impossible to gravel vac very close to the substrate so I've been noticing lots of detritus accumulating in certain corners and on the leaves of a number of my plants. What's the best way to keep my tank looking clean? The best I've been doing so far is during a PWC I take a turkey baster and try to blast the gunk out while trying to suck it up, but it's only marginally effective. Gimme some suggestions! Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:11 AM
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Keeping a planted tank clean (detritus, etc)

How about some algea eaters: shrimps, otos, SAE...
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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But my problem isn't algae -- it's just detritus (waste, decaying plant bits, etc).
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
But my problem isn't algae -- it's just detritus (waste, decaying plant bits, etc).
I've noticed shrimp cleaning up dead plant matter.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:47 AM
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What is your substrate? I have gravel/floramax and I've been able to just use a regular gravel vac to suck up the leaves and junk without disturbing the gravel. I just have to hold it off the gravel a 1/2 inch or so, then make sure I occasionally pull out the vac and rinse or shake out the leaves that get stuck in the cylinder part. I also use the fish net to skim off as much of the leaves that are floating as possible.

I think snails will also eat plant material.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:50 AM
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I have apple snails. Very good at cleaning up plant matter. Plus they lay their eggs above the water line in a clutch. Easy to remove so you won't get over run by snail babies.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:51 AM
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A little more circulatiion maybe?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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My substrate is EcoComplete. I definitely do try to gravel vac as close as I can but some parts are either too densely planted to get near the substrate or I'm worried the plants are too fragile to get too close. I might add some RCS/Amano shrimp in the future (will prob be taking the betta out soon), hopefully they help. Right now I've got a single zebra nerite snail in there, but I'll also look to pick up an apple snail. In terms of the circulation idea, what's the best way to go about doing this? Add another filter? I don't have any real experience with powerheads but I'm guessing a 10g is probably too small? Thanks for the suggestions so far, everyone!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 01:29 AM
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Mulm is natural plant fertilizer.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 01:35 AM
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Morbo, do you use a tank vacuum tool, or simply a siphon hose ?
A proper-sized vac tool will enable you to get right down to the substrate without siphoning some of it out - and just get the waste.
Around the densely planted areas, just try to use siphon hosing held about 1" above the substrate.
And I'm sure an AC 30, or even a 50, would do a better filtration job on your 10 gal.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 01:45 AM
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Squeeze and hold turkey baster outside of tank.
Submerge turkey baster, place pointy end next to debris, release squeeze.
Rinse, repeat.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 01:50 AM
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Keeping a planted tank clean (detritus, etc)

detritus is awesome~ I've never vacuumed my tank XD
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 03:07 AM
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before your tank gets fully cycled, it will be a good idea to clean those dirts, dead leaves, and other stuffs regularly. Otherwise, it will help flourish other than plants..
Instead of big vac around the substrate, if you have narrow siphon, just do siphon pin point by pinpoint.
I did once in 2-3 days, siphon them frequently.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 03:19 AM
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Keeping a planted tank clean (detritus, etc)

you can defintely use an airline to siphon ^_^
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajacobs View Post
I have apple snails. Very good at cleaning up plant matter.
100% true.. mine is a pig! They'll clean up any extra food too.
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