Gravel vacuum... yes or no? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Gravel vacuum... yes or no?

So I've been thinking about this lately... I've always believed that a planted tank doesn't really need to have the substrate vacuumed out so that all the waste goes to the plants for nutrients.

What do you guys think though?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:35 AM
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I don't know what others do, but I do. However, I only vacuum the front part where plants don't reside. I have to in one of my tanks since I am running RUGF and it helps clean the plate underneath.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:53 AM
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I don't vacuum the gravel, just wave the siphon around to pick up big pieces of mulm and leave it at that. The rest breaks down into plant food.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 05:02 AM
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i am more particular about the tanks i have w/ sand as a substrate over gravel. i vacuum more thoroughly w/ my sand tanks, not disturbing the sand, but sucking up debirs and waste. in my tanks w/ more porous/clay-based substrate, it tends to break down a lot better and i don't need to be as mindful.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 11:41 AM
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Hello Bla...

I agree with you. The organic material from the fish and plants dissolves in the tank water and nourishes the plants. Any excess is removed when you do the weekly water change, so there's never a build up of nitrogen in the water to stress the fish. Pretty simple.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 12:51 PM
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I will suck up the crap on the surface of the substrate and once in a while do some of the foreground where there are no plants.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 04:37 PM
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I may be in the minority... I have pea gravel and a mix of little river stones in my main 30 gal long, and I deep clean the gravel once or twice a year. I've found the plants root better if I do that - I went 8 months without a deep clean and actually saw some plants suffering .

At the point that I go to deep clean the gravel, however, what comes up is less "mulm" and more... dirt? It's black like soil and it doesn't stink like fish poop, but has a scent more like wet garden soil. it's pretty interesting... I think it's a good idea to remove it so that fresher mulm and such can settle in and nourish the roots more, rather than leaving the old stuff there to pile up after it's served its purpose.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 10:00 AM
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in the event that you're keeping it basic and simply adding to what you as of now have, I'd recommend connecting so as to get a channel seeded it to your tank and setting up the other tank with some of your tank water.
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