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Old 05-27-2008, 12:53 AM   #1
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techniques for vacuuming your substrate

I'm interested in finding out how/what people do to adequately vacuum their substrate.

Do you remove the driftwood and other objects that aren't rooted in or do you vaccum around things. I pull everything out of my tank, vaccum and then put everything back.

It just occured to me that this might not be the right technique to use. It just gets so filthy in the gaps between the driftwood and sand substrate that I feel compelled to take as many things out of the tank as I can so I can vac it all up.

So whats method that you use?
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:00 AM   #2
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I vacuum in rows, .25"-.5", without removing decor. I dislike stirring everything up into the water column.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:27 AM   #3
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I move the driftwood carefully about every 2nd or 3rd cleaning. I don't remove the plants but all other items such as rocks and wood I do remove occasionally. I swirl the gravel vac tube above the substrate and in areas there are no plants I do a deep gravel vac by pushing the vac into the gravel and turning down the flow to clean and aerate the substrate.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innovator View Post
I vacuum in rows, .25"-.5", without removing decor. I dislike stirring everything up into the water column.
And this is exactly what has prompted my question. Last night, there was a lot of yukkyness that got stirred up.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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Try using a Magnum 350 cannister or diatom filter on the tank after vacuuming. It will polish the water if given a few days to work. IMHO vacuuming is not needed in a planted tank if the fish are properly fed.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:18 PM   #6
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Try using a Magnum 350 cannister or diatom filter on the tank after vacuuming. It will polish the water if given a few days to work. IMHO vacuuming is not needed in a planted tank if the fish are properly fed.
Thats what I've been finding people say, I also was pointed to the following site that says that also.Aquaworld Aquarium - The Silent Killer
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:07 AM   #7
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Yeah, it isn't that heavily planted and I generally just sweep the graavel vac over the bottom whilst I'm changing water.

Interesting article!
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:58 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:43 PM   #10
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I guess I should add that my two planted/sand tanks are all floating plants however.

Haven't yet been brave enough to go beyond the very low tech setup.
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