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Old 06-04-2008, 07:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Taelen View Post
I guess I should add that my two planted/sand tanks are all floating plants however.
Then there's absolutely no reason for you to avoid vacuuming your substrate as long as the sand is heavy enough to avoid getting sucked up by the gravel vac. Floating plants are going to get their nutrients from the water column and don't have roots that would be disturbed by the gravel vaccing.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:21 PM   #12
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I poke a fork in my sand substrate once a fortnight. My sand is sitting on top of a layer of JBL nutrient rich stuff, so I'd like not to get the two mixed. So far, it has worked.

Of course it's also amusing having a dinner fork with "Fish Only" written on it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:40 PM   #13
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"That is a very interesting read. 2 of my 3 tanks are sand (last one soon to be sand) and I tend to occasionally stick the tube in the sand to stir up the buildup of bad gases which I thought was occurring.

So when using the vac on sand, surface removal only then? This seems contradictory to what I believed previously."

"If your aquariums are planted, then yes only surface removal. To release any gas that may develop you can either use some MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) or occationally stir it with a chop stick. These methods will be much less likely to disturb your plant roots."

Only thing is... if you stir the sand lightly with either a gravel vac or chopsticks and miss but bury some uneaten food or piece of plant... thats where you are going to find aenorobic bacteria buildup later. It's going to turn the sand black and when stirred will give off the familiar swamp gas smell of sulfur dioxide.
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