View Full Version : question about "planted tank" substrate

03-21-2011, 02:28 PM
I just read in another thread that fluorite substrate does not get cleaned when you have live plants? Is that the only kind of substrate that doesn't get vacuumed? Is this because of the plants? Wouldn't you need to clean it to remove fish waste that falls into it?

03-21-2011, 02:31 PM
In general in well-planted tanks you do little or no vacuuming. All that fish poop and other waste is food for the plants once it breaks down, so you leave it there.

03-21-2011, 02:48 PM
However there are some out there that need to be cleaned, I keep all planted tanks and do vacuum my gravel every 1-3 months depending on the condition of the bottom. I did a 75g yesterday that is planted and was never vacuumed, the water was black coming out of the gravel.

I scolded the tank owner and re-educated them on the care of the tank. If you wouldnt step on the gravel with a bare foot due to its uncleanliness dont expect a fish to eat off it.

Flourite(I use a mix with eco complete) doesnt need to be cleaned, Mine barely has any stuff in it and its been down for a year now, the eco its mixed with is breaking down but the 4 year old flourite is still staying useable and clean.

03-21-2011, 02:49 PM
All I ever do is suck up any heavy stuff on top of the substrate otherwise I just leave it alone.

03-21-2011, 03:27 PM
What is it about fluorite that it doesn't need to be cleaned? I assume that the way to keep your substrate clean in general is to not overfeed and use food that produces less waste - I'm still honing my skills there : )