Substrate vacuuming in planted tank?

adechazal

Prolific Poster
May 7, 2007
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Rochester, Michigan
Hey all, I did a quick search but didn't see any comments about the need, or lack of need, to vacuum the substrate in my planted tank. I have a rectangular 180g with a reasonable amount of open space in the center substrate (eco complete) and during glass cleaning a ton of (do you call it mulm? fish poo etc.) gets stirred up. should I be vacuuming the substrate once in a while or is this not recommended in a planted tank?
Aaron
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
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Most folks do light vacuuming, not enough to bother the roots, but enough to get some of the sludge out.

Deep vacing is fine if you are uprooting plants anyway, I'll work a 1/4 or 1/3 section at a time each week and replant after a deep vacuuming. I will do that about once a year or two.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Carissa

Guru Class Expert
Jun 8, 2007
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I found that excessive organics breaking down in the substrate over time can contribute to bga issues. I do a light vac each week and it seems to keep things under control. Generally I try to get any larger pieces of debris, dead plant leaves etc. My tanks are also slightly understocked so lots of debris doesn't become a major issue usually. Letting it build up indefinitely will eventually cause problems.