Can you clean the substrate to much?

crystalview

Guru Class Expert
Sep 6, 2008
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Every couple of weeks I run my hot shot magnum filter with the micro filter. I clean the gravel all the way through. I get tons of mulm and run the hose in the same spot till it runs clear. Does this effect the tank conditions in any negative way? I beat out my in-tank sponge when I do weekly WC. Wow does this get a lot of mulm also. The filter needs cleaned about every 3wks. The filter sponges run supper brown by then.
With my algae problems (GSA. GDA, Diatoms) would cleaning the gravel this well add to my problem?
I am working on the lighting by making adjustments, for I know that is most if not all of my algae problem.
I thought I would add that I only feed a teaspoon of Calif black worms twice daily and 4 sinking algae wafers, So I don't think I over feed or do I?
 

Mooner

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Jun 9, 2006
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I've seen these circumstances on tanks that are a year+ old. If this is the case then a deep cleaning of the substrate is in order. Tom has recommended 23-33% deep clean of the substrate per week until the entire tank is done. Replanting after removing old growth and trimming roots a bit. In the weeks to follow you will notice that your filters will not get as dirty over your normal maintenance period and the tank will come back on-line.

If the tank is newer, vacuuming the upper layer should suffice. Then increase the interval for cleaning your filters until they are not so clogged.
 

crystalview

Guru Class Expert
Sep 6, 2008
177
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64
between Sac and Reno
Then I have been deep cleaning too much. I do almost 100%. Since the mulm or what ever does not go into the tanks canister filter and only into the Hot shot. I don't understand why my canister fills up with brown guck which I assume is mulm also, It is the same color as the diatoms, which seems odd.
This tank is not a new tank. Just a tank with new lights (3 months ago)
 

crystalview

Guru Class Expert
Sep 6, 2008
177
0
16
64
between Sac and Reno
Then I have been deep cleaning too much. I do almost 100%. Since the mulm or what ever does not go into the tanks canister filter and only into the Hot shot. I don't understand why my canister fills up with brown guck which I assume is mulm also, It is the same color as the diatoms, which seems odd.
This tank is not a new tank. Just a tank with new lights (3 months ago)
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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Filters accumulate bacteria and other biofilm, which turns them brown. The bacteria, plus the bacteria on the plants and hardscape, are the ones that keep the tank from experiencing ammonia buildup.

For a non-CO2 tank you probably have too much light intensity. When we get a chance to use the PAR meter on your tank we will find out for sure.