Thread: cleaning substrate
10-28-2013, 07:35 PM #1Member Goldfish
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
I have a 20 gallon long FW tank with a gravel substrate. I am trying to build up heavier plant growth and have installed some rock caves and driftwood. I surely wouldn't think that I should uproot everything (suspecting the trauma that would create), just to vacuum the gravel. Or am I wrong ?
10-28-2013, 08:03 PM #2
10-28-2013, 09:08 PM #3Senior Member Red tailed catfish
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
+1 to the above - "mulm" which is the build up of waste under the gravel provides nutrients to plant roots. Many people with heavily planted tanks only change the water - if you decide to "rescape" the tank and move plants, you might want to siphon under the gravel at that time but until you do that, just vacuum other areas.
10-28-2013, 11:38 PM #4
I will still complete a gravel vac in my heavy planted tank
A light gravel vac is what I typically do with each weekly waterchange. I just lightly skim the surface of the substrate to collect all the gunk that can build up over time. This doesn't effect the roots as I do not complete a deep cleaning anywhere near the plants. I use fert tabs for my root feeding plants so they will get enough nutrients to keep growing faster, and I don't have to worry about excessive nutrients in the water from the mulm decomposing in the substrate. It can be a bit of a balancing act sometimes.
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