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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am about to do the first water change in my 55 gallon tank with Eco - Complete as the substrate. Now I know this may be a dumb question but I am unsure, so please help me out if you can.

I am wondering if it is ok to stick the Vacum into the Eco - Complete substrate to remove some of the waste thats in there, rather than just vacumming over the eco-complete. I usually do this but with Eco- Complete I know its a very special substrate and am wondering if I do this willit remove anything from the Eco - Complete that makes this substrate perfect for planted tanks....
 

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You need not stick the vacuum below the surface of ANY planted tank substrate... thats only for those " Plastic Plant Fans" :lol:
Waste is your friend, bacteria and plants will take care of that for you, I only hover over the top of the sub to get the floaters from time to time... and even that is only every 4-5 water changes. You would be removing a great source of nitrates by over vacuuming.
 

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Buck I didnt know that,

So fallen food or waste from fish that goes into the substrate is ok to leave there and should not stick the whole thing in there?

Cause when I stick the vacum into the substrate in my other tanks I get alot of waste up and it is easily visible thru the vavum as its alot
 

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ah ha. i had laterite and discovered that i vacuumed most of it away by putting the vacuum end in the substrate.

so--now i know, no severe vacuuming...
 

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Not only is it OK to leave the waste, it is best to leave it. A lot depends on the amount of plants and fish too... if you have too few of plants and too many fish then thats a whole 'nuther story... :lol:
After a tank has been planted moder and established for a couple of years you can uproot plants with basically "0" waste coming out of it... its amazing...
The conventional plastic planted tanks that you are used to keeping MUST be vacuumed to prevent a disastrous buildup of toxins whereas with planted tanks the mulm actually breaks down almost as fast as it is created it can seem.
The relationship between plants and bacteria creates the most natural filter you can have...

Leave the poop in the substrate :D
 

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:oops:
 

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You can vacuum deep into the gravel of a planted tank, but this is really only needed in any wide open areas, where' there's no plant roots underneath the gravel. And you don't really need to vac those areas every time.

In the rest of the tank, just get the stuff on the surface of the eco. Vacuuming it won't 'ruin' it, but you'll remove the mulm from the substrate, which is nutrient rich.
 

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Call it 'cosmetic vacuuming' . 8)
 

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you're gonna be that nit-picky Buck? :p

try to vacuum the gravel in areas where you THINK there aren't roots underneath. In otherwords, not right next to that 6 month old sword plant, tiger lotus, or crypt forest...but if its' a bare patch away from big rooting plants...vaccum deep.
 
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