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Deep vacuuming

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by barbarossa4122, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    I have cheap LFS gravel in my tanks and my Q is:
    How often should I do deep vacuuming. So far, I was doing it every 1 1/2 or 2 months and wasted quite a few root tabs.
    Btw, I would like to buy some quality substrate but, I don't want to disturb my tanks since things are very good, so far. I think, replacing the substrate can be a PITA.
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't deep vac in densely planted tanks... I can't. It doesn't hurt to skim over the surface though; you can pinch your siphon as needed to control flow. Waving your hand/flicking all of your fingers over the surface can work too; it takes some practice to find a good rhythm.

    To be honest though, I mostly just try to switch up my flow dynamics between a couple of configurations (usually mirroring the old config) to try and kick up as much as I can. When we talk about CO2 balance being hard, a lot of the battle is good distribution through understanding flow.
     
  3. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    Thanks Dan. I used to take the plants out but, disturbing the plants every month or so was not a good thing. I'll do it the way you "said" from now on. I think Mr. Barr suggested to deep vacuum about once a year. I do have lots of flow, i think. Koralias in both tanks and about 18 times filtration . Soon, I will be getting a Koralia #2 (from one of the members here) for the 55g which already has a #1. The 30g has a Koralia nano which is just perfect for that tank size. I can see the weeds in my tanks moving constantly. Co2 injection is a little intimidating but, I am sure I'll have it, sometime in the future.
     
  4. justin.sterling.scott

    justin.sterling.scott Prolific Poster

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    Barbarossa,

    I just asked Tom about adding soil/mulm/peat/osmocote to the tank I have without having to do the whole tear down and move the fish all around. His recommendation was to get the material you want, add a suitable amount of water to freeze it in cubes, and then push it under the gravel here and there as required. If you wish to have an even layer of new substrate, I doubt this option will work for you. I thought I'd throw it out there, though, should it spark some new ideas.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hmmm

    I was fortunate, I used some fluorite in the substrate when I started. For what it's worth I added Azoo plant bed and Onyx sand to the substrata later on. Most of the clouding and potential for disaster IMO, was from removing the old gravel and adding the onyx sand. Azoo's product needs no presoaking and did not cause much of a problem. Onyx sand and removing the old gravel on the other hand caused quite a mess. It all settled down after about three hours. I did this over a long period of time, changing out the gravel just a little with each water change. Maybe I just got lucky, but nobody died. I did aerate the tanks heavily after each change and cleaned the filter the next day. I have to wonder how much further along things would have been if not for all the mucking around I've done. Thank Zeus, I have come to a point where I can't/won't be moving plants and changing the substrate anymore.

    On a side note these plants we use and even most of the fish we keep are amazingly resilient. :eek:
     
  6. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi justin.sterling.scott,

    Mr. Barr's suggestion is great. I really don't want to disturb things in my tanks right now. Initially, my wife just wanted to have a gold fish tank and ended up with two heavy planted tanks, hence the cheap gravel. To plant them was my idea but, it's a long story how I ended up with two tanks and spending thousands in the last seven months. I am not complaining, in fact I like this hobby. :)
     
  7. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Tug,

    I don't think I am ready to change the substrate right now. It will be a big project and I need to learn more about this hobby.
     
  8. justin.sterling.scott

    justin.sterling.scott Prolific Poster

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    Then you should read what he wrote to me via PM. :)

    Well if you cannot remove the sediment uyou have, you can use soil mud etc, then freeze these into ice mud cubes.

    These can be placed under the sediment step by step, a little at a time without much hassle.

    You can also try osmocoat , about 5 grams per sqft or so, make sure to get the bb sized balls deep into the sediment, some freeze them like above, then push them down here and there.

    Also, use stuff like Water sprite, 10% floating coverage and remove as they overshadow/fill in and the try and keep them at 10% or so.
    Then just dose the 1x a week.
    Get some otto cats and other algae eaters that will get along with the fish.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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