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Results 1 to 10 of 11

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    373

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    They didn't have rainbowfish, but have a guppy! - Lolita   Thanks for the help. Have a tetra! :) - tate8   Betta are awesome! - Tiari   Thank you :) - MCHRKiller   Happy X-mas! :-) - MCHRKiller   

    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

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Trinidad and/or Tobago
    Posts
    4,736

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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    They didn't have an aro! - ~firefly~   Man you know your stuff!! - ScottishFish   Are you suggesting coconuts migrate? - Goes to 11!   For helping the turkey cross the road - mommy1   Merry Christmas - Cliff   
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Aeonflame   

    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 Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    46

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    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. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    373

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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    They didn't have rainbowfish, but have a guppy! - Lolita   Thanks for the help. Have a tetra! :) - tate8   Betta are awesome! - Tiari   Thank you :) - MCHRKiller   Happy X-mas! :-) - MCHRKiller   

    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. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    pennsylvania
    Posts
    8

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    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

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Trinidad and/or Tobago
    Posts
    4,736

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    They didn't have an aro! - ~firefly~   Man you know your stuff!! - ScottishFish   Are you suggesting coconuts migrate? - Goes to 11!   For helping the turkey cross the road - mommy1   Merry Christmas - Cliff   
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Aeonflame   

    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 Boo train boo train boo train boo train woohoo

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