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Old 11-30-2004, 11:09 AM   #1
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cleaning a heavily planted tank (long post)

Im having problems vacuuming my tanks. Two of my tanks are heavily planted, and while some of my plants can be moved around, some cant. How do you actually vac with the plants? I try to do my best, but I either miss spots or damage my plants. I have noticed that looking at my hornwort, I have ALOT of dead stuff lying at the bottom. I was under the impression that you can just put the cut ends in the gravel, which I have, Its easy enough to pull it up and vac the spot and replant, but that messes up my aquascape...and is time consuming usually when I add my water I just pour the water on the spot to kick up all the junk in the plants and let the filter do its job... There has to be a better way...
Anyone thought of something better?? Is it really necessary to get all the crud? I thought of maybe a bottom feeder or a snail that might eat decaying plants, I dont even know if there is anything like that. My biggest problem is in my 10 gal Ram tank and I really dont want to put much more in that tank for fear of upsetting the Rams. Im really hoping for a breeding pair soon.
Anyone got some cool ideas??
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Old 11-30-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
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I'm planting my 55 gallon right now and was wondering that same question, hopefully someone will come by soon
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:38 PM   #3
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I'm not able to vacuum really close to my plants or under my driftwood. I don't move them either because that stresses my fish too much.
I personally let leafs on the bottom of the tank be. After a while they either get sucked onto my filter intake and i take them out, or my trumpet snails get them. At night i see them on fallen plant leaves and they seem to be getting rid of the stuff.

I don't think a couple of decaying leaves are very bad for your tank, you should look into your water parameters to be sure it isn't doing anything bad.

HTH,

Thomas
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:47 PM   #4
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IMO, in a heavily planted tank, you should not have to move your plants around to vacumme. You vacumme around them in the open area's where you can see your subtrate.

What you can't see is just food for your plants and will be aborbed by them. Someone correct me if I"m wrong, but that is my understanding and that is what I have been doing.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:10 PM   #5
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Correct Fawn. There is no need to gravel vac around strongly rooted plants. The plants will consume the decaying matter as nutrients.

It is more work to have an aquascaped tank. Whoever told you this would be easy? LOL. Pruning, picking up dismembered leaves are all part of the process. I never gravel vac my planted tanks but.........

Part of my maintenance schedule is to redo the entire tank periodically (maybe twice a year). At that time the tank gets a good gravel vac and an extensive diatom.
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:29 PM   #6
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hmmm... all sounds good.
The plants that I HAD been moving was the horn wort and the java ferns. I dont think I could move my sword plants if I wanted to...I think all the rocks in my tank have been melted together. Its just one giant bump.
I was under the impression that you can get those gas pockets??? I dont know what they are, what causes them, except decaying matter... So if concensus says dont worry aobut it and just do my best... nuff said... no more replanting, it was a pain anyways... Its hard enough just keeping up with the water changes
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:31 PM   #7
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The roots of the plants prevent any worry about gas pockets - they will aerate the substrate for you as they grow.
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankGirl
The roots of the plants prevent any worry about gas pockets - they will aerate the substrate for you as they grow.

oh
thats how that works..??
Now I feel silly... Oh well...
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:38 PM   #9
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Don't feel silly!! Now when the next person comes along and asks the same question (they will before too long) you can pipe up and reassure them.
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