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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone can I get some opinions? I have a neocaridina shrimp and snail tank with plants and a thin layer of inert (aquarium gravel) substrate...everytime I do a water change I use an air pump hose to "vacuum" the waste out...it was brought to my attention that many others just take water out of the tank to not stir up the substrate. So I want to try that but I'm concerned about the waste building up and harming the shrimp and snails or will the plants take care of that?
 

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snails are your friend
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Different people have different methods that work for them, but I'm an advocate of keeping things clean. I clean the ever living heck out of my substrate, and my luck is much better long-term than when I thought it was "natural" to let it get dirty as long as I did water changes. I use a regular siphon with a 1/2" hose and vacuum into a 5 gallon bucket. Just crimp the hose as needed to let substrate fall or any babies out of the gravel vac. I usually know if I sucked up any/many fry at all, and fish those back into the tank before dumping the waste water into my garden. You're bound to lose *some* shrimp fry here and there over the course of time, but they have an awful lot of babies for a reason. And I'm convinced you'll lose a higher number of them by keeping dirty substrate over the long haul. Without a doubt you can let gravel get pretty filthy in a shrimp tank if all else is well, but I do believe there is a negative cumulative effect to being lax in that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much. That's exactly what I was looking for. That definitely makes since, I just wondered if I was making things harder on myself, but for good reason since I want the shrimp and snails to flourish. I'm also debating on finding a different hose to clean since my current one takes forever and rocks tend to get stuck in the hose if I dont catch them fast enough
 

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snails are your friend
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I'm a guy with 12 aquariums, but I'd still maintain that making water changes quick and easy is only ever a good idea. Get a Python branded small one, or even a medium-sized if your local stores have it. Lee's makes a reasonable knock off if you can't. Either will change your water quickly, you needn't use airline hose in anything under 1/2 gallon in volume.
 
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