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Thread: cleaning substrate
10-28-2013, 07:35 PM #1Member CoryCat
- 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
You can just vacuum the exposed gravel, actually some here will tell you not to clean the gravel around plants at all in order to help provide nutrients from the waste to the plants.
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.If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
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