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Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Can a planted tank be TOO clean?


    0 Not allowed!
    Boy, I keep coming up with gems of questions...

    I really like to keep my aquariums clean. Like 100% WCs, in two sessions per week. Perhaps this is a reaction to when I didn't do them enough. Anyway, psychology aside, I really like my tanks clean, but I'm wondering if a tank can be too clean for good plant growth. As in, such low nitrate levels that the plants can't effectively use them and grow. Here's what I wanna do:

    55 gallon tank, 48" long
    Mix of ecocomplete and floramax substrate, with a small bit of smooth pebbles
    Plants including rotala, swords, crypts, water sprite, and lilies
    High light, 10,000K (yeah, not perfect but it's what I have)
    DIY CO2 for now
    Dosing with flourish comp weekly; root tabs near heavy feeders (lilies and swords)

    Right now the tank has all those characteristics but it has small smooth pebbles as substrate and no CO2 yet. My nitrates have been below 5(!) in this tank, and I'm worried that's not high enough. Will this level naturally rise a bit since I won't be vaccuming the eco complete in the same way as I do the gravel?

    Thanks for you advice. Perhaps I am overthinking this. Happy overthinking, but still crazy.
    Beth
    1 - 55 gallon planted community
    3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
    My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I do 70% water changes once a week. In heavily planted tanks, I do not vacuum at all. Instead I let the mulm settle as a source of nutrients for the plants.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I think it is possible to be "too clean," but it'd be difficult. You'd have to have a really low bioload (like, just shrimp, or a few small fish in a large tank) combined with frequent large water changes.

    A persistently low nitrate level is itself not a cause for concern, assuming your plants don't show stunted growth or signs of nitrate deficiency, since that would occur if nitrate production were roughly matched with nitrate consumption.

    I also don't vacuum at all, and I let the mulm settle into the substrate as plant fertilizer.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you! I will stop overthinking then. It's actually kind of nice, thinking I won't have to really mess with the substrate. The gravel now is really messy and I have to vac it quite diligently. This tank overhaul looks like it will actually be less work for me.
    Beth
    1 - 55 gallon planted community
    3 - 10 to 20 gallon planted betta tanks
    My advice: slow down, think, and be willing to learn. Then you'll be fine, no matter what.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    My planted tank never gets a gravel vac and water changes are done 50% once a months even with a big fish load.

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    50 % once a month is pushing it for a heavily stocked tank. What do your parameters look like?
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Params are spot on with 10 to 20 trate reading. And when I say heavy fish load I mean it.filtration is 1 xp2 with 1 basket totally devoted to biomedia and the other sponges. All plants are water column feeders such as anubia and ferns. Its a kick butt tank that's been up and running for over 7 yrs now and some of the fish have been there from day one.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I do 50% once a month as well. Pretty heavily planted and medium to high bio load. I dont vacuum.
    31 Gallon Hagen Waterhome with 2 x 20W T8 6700K Life Glo tubes, Fluval 205 canister filter, Aquaclear 200W and Marineland Stealth 150W heaters, Hydor Hydrokable 50W substrate heating cable with Hydrostat thermostat, Hydor Ario 2 Blue aeration night light. Compressed CO2. Very Heavily Planted.

    58 Gallon Hagen Light-Glo/Waterhome with 2x40W T8, 2x Fluval 404/405 canisters filters, Ebo-Jager 250W Heater, Marineland Stealth Pro 300W heater. Compressed CO2. Moderately planted.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    i have a 55g with a low bio load, ( 2 gourami like fish and a striped raph cat). i do about a 75% weekly change, dose with liquid co2 daily and not ferts. i do a very light gravel vac when i start getting bad algae growth, maybe once a month. i am going to start dosing with root tabs soon.
    so, i think the 100% w/c weekly would be a bit much, but i dont think there would be too bad on your plants, i would say drop it to 70 and you will be happy.

    (advice about plants i just thought i would throw in to follow)

    you might want to nix the liquid ferts for the start. with that 10kk like you will run into bad algae in no time. i hear some people like to combine that with the pink growth bulb for a high par set up. in theroy its a good idea, never tried it myself. but i would still think algae would take any chance to take hold. if you are doing a diy co2 then you might want to invest in a co2 dector thingy (cant remember the name sorry im tired) and make sure you either shut off the co2 at night (lights out) or turn on an air pump. the co2 build up can kill fish.
    KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Glen Arm. MD
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    2,635

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    If your nitrates are 3 ppm or a bit higher, than all is well from what I have read. Experts dose around 3 ppm nitrates (with no or very few fish.) Phosphates will never be too low (with fish!). If you had liquid ferts and tabs, you can clean all you want with that nitrate reading.

    +1 to genocidex; with a 10,000K light, that is trouble for a freshwater planted tank.

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