water circulation/mulm buildup - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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water circulation/mulm buildup

I'm having trouble with mulm buildup and water circulation problems in my 20g long. I have black diamond capping MTS. I do a large water change with a vacuum each week trying to get it looking manageable, but it builds up again very quickly. It pools along the edges of the tank, especially the one opposite of my filter, and on my carpeting plants. My tank is pretty well planted, and it's been frustrating having such a gross looking tank after working so hard each day to maintain it. I currently have 3 otos, 1 farlowella, 12 green neon tetras, and a GBR. Aquaclear 30 filter.
I'm starting to get staghorn algae, and they recommend increasing flow and decreasing mulm to start battling it. Can anyone recommend what I could add to help with this? The vacuum I'm using doesn't have the best suction anymore, either, just enough to uproot my plants :p Any recommendations on a good one I can use with sand?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 02:26 AM
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I had a similar issue with my 10g. My hands are to big to get in there without uprooting everything and the tank is heavily planted. Snails and a little time resolved the issue for me. I find a stray leaf on occasion other than that the bottom of my tank looks good.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Here's pics twelve hours after cleaning. I mean, I don't expect it to be spotless, but if you look behind the rock in the first picture, you get the idea of how bad it can be in places.

I have Ramshorns, and at first I thought it was because of such a high population, but they stabled out at a good amount with two assassin snails, so I don't think it's that. I don't overfeed, either, every other day at most? I do have algae wafers to give my farlowella and otos, but the snails basically finish off anything that's left.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 04:10 AM
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I had this buildup issue in an under filtered tank. When I switched to a larger capacity filter, even in the lowest setting, it resolved. If you like the Aquaclear filters, try the AQ50.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Daisy! You're always so helpful!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 05:08 AM
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He he, I try.

I think the length of the tank is making it harder for the AQ30 to work properly, even if it's rated for up to 30 gallons. "Up to" is the key phrase here, I think.

When I vacuum I just strongly swirl the tube close to the corners to get the mulm floating out with the resulting water movement. I avoid bringing it too close to the more delicate plants/leaves. Seems to work at least for the bigger bits. The other thing I do sometimes is I just use a turkey baster to blow gently at the "dead" spots. This then gets mulm to fly around a bit and get sucked into the filter. Just once in a while if I notice it.

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