Tank cleaning and plant growth?

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
375
0
16
Vista, Ca
I was reading and article about keeping the tank clean in order to keep down ammonium production. It mentioned a word that i have never heard but i guess i have seen in my own tank. "Mulm" only described as the stuff that piles up on the bottom due to fish waste and biological stuff. My question is, how do you tell mulm from typical beneficial bacterial colonies? If i am not cleaning my tank well enough will this lead to poor plant growth? What do you guys do other then a light vacuuming of the bottom to keep it clean? Should we dig the sucker into the substrate where we can to get the brown stuff out of there? If i look at my tank up close there is about an inch of brown material below the top layer, is this good? bad? Should i run my hand through the tank to stir up all the junk when i do my water changes?

Thanks...
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
I'll fluff it up by hand. If I'm going to redo the sediment and move a lot of things around, I'll deep vacuum once in a great while. Basically uproot, deep vac, reslope the gravel and then replant. Just keeps things clean. I try to do only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the tank at a time. It'll take some transition time also, so more water changes and good care is essential till you get a large % rooted well in the sediment.

Detritus, or mulm accumulation where it keeps bulding up is not good really, so fluffing when you do the water change removes some. Driftwood sloughs off a lot that will not get broke down farther. Rotting leaves and losing leaves etc from suboptimal trimming, care, cO2, pruning can also do this.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
375
0
16
Vista, Ca
The reason i ask is because the overall apprence of my tank does not look very healthy although i cant see any reason why it wouldent be. I have high co2, light is 2wpg, EI dosing. I do weekly 50% changes. I do have 10+ppm phosphates and thought the mulm could be a possible cause. Also was thinking this excess may be a reason the overall health looks sub par. The edges of the leaves look burnt, especially on the faster growing plants.