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Results 1 to 10 of 11

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  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

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