The old vacuumun question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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The old vacuumun question

How often should you vacuum a heavily planted shrimp tank,if at all?

Can't come to work today ,Boss......I've got Bolbitis...
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:51 PM
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You should not. Since you're new to shrimp, you shouldn't be disturbing your substrate at all.

Though, in a planted tank, you shouldn't be vacuuming anyway. Mulm in the substrate is a good thing for plants. Just remove anything unsightly from the very top of the substrate if you so desire.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
You should not. Since you're new to shrimp, you shouldn't be disturbing your substrate at all.

Though, in a planted tank, you shouldn't be vacuuming anyway. Mulm in the substrate is a good thing for plants. Just remove anything unsightly from the very top of the substrate if you so desire.
Thanks.I don't mind unsightly things in my tank ,as long as they do good to the inhabitants.But what happens over the years with the mulm?Does it completely decompose and dissapears ,or should I expect half crap-half water in 10 years or so?I have JBL Manado gravel ,on top of TetraComplete substrate ,although I was kinda "cheap" when I started the tank ,wanted "more space for water" ,so I barely have 2 inches ,maybe less,in the front side of my 10g.In the back ,around 2 and a half inches.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 01:09 PM
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Recommend that you check out some journals here on the forum. You'll find tons of them for tanks that are older than a few years.

Highly doubt you'll be using the same substrate in a shrimp tank for more than 2-3 years, though. Definitely not ten.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 04:55 PM
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I always just vacuumed the same day as the other tanks (weekly) since they were small and not a huge hassle. Used airline hosing and didn't do much except remove water and the occasional waste from the very top that was unsightly.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 05:34 PM
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I remember a post on another forum several years ago that said to vacuum sand you can attach two chopsticks to the bottom of the vacuum so they are like prongs and can scrape/agitate the first cm or so of the sand which will throw the scum up to be sucked up by the vacuum. The chopsticks aren't wide enough to create any real gouges in the sand or send it up if you are gentle.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 11:53 AM
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Sucking up substrate shouldn't be the worry in a shrimp tank, as the OP mentioned. Disturbing the substrate in shrimp tanks - especially for people new to shrimp keeping - can be detrimental.

Many shrimp can't handle even the slightest bit of ammonia, nitrite or other pollutant as most fish could.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 01:52 PM
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Removing the biggest debris, perhaps fallen leaves might be the limit, or gently moving just the surface with the chopstick idea would be the limit of what I would do.

Thriving plants will add oxygen to the substrate, so any mulm that finds its way deeper into the substrate will actually decompose pretty well.

I think that doing smaller frequent water changes will be the key. Do them often enough that the parameters do not really change. You are keeping things like the GH, KH and TDS stable with the water changes.

In a non-planted tank, or a tank with non-rooted plants (Anubias, Java Fern, Bolbitis...) you probably should work over the substrate a bit more aggressively, but as noted above, caution not to stir up enough stuff to trigger an ammonia spike. This means working over a smaller section in any one session, then coming back in just a few days to do another section. Much easier if you have rooted plants. They do a lot of the work for you.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 04:31 PM
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jpappy789: hmm.. airline hosing. wow. this stuff is probably old hat to you guys but thanks for sharing. I always used that silly little turkey baster like thing to suck up the bigger pieces.

somewhatshocked and diana: man, maybe that's why I couldn't keep my red cherries alive before. I was pretty aggressive with the vacuuming .. trying to get everything out. I also didn't have a substrate -- perhaps erroneously thinking that I could keep the tank cleaner if I can suck everything out. I also probably overfed.

sleepswithdafishez: thanks for starting this thread up. It never occurred to me that this may have caused my issues.
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