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Old 01-05-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
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Doing water changes, no gravel siphon

So here's what I don't understand. Ppl have these really nice tank. And there's either a sand bottom or it's got rocks and plants everywhere.

So is there a way to have a tank setup so that u don't have to siphon the gravel and uproot the plants in your tank. Or are we as aquarium ppl to always uproot the the plants and siphon the gravel base and replant them.

Can u siphon a sand bottom? I'm assuming u wouldn't cause it would just make a mess of your water .


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Old 01-05-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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I don't siphon the gravel (I use EcoComplete which is similar in grain size) in my planted tank. It may disturb the roots.
For sand bottom tanks, most folks will skim over the sand rather than attempt to vacuum it. Waste tends to stay on top of it so there is not need to shove the gravel vac into it.


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Old 01-05-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
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So what about the tanks that are greatly aquascaped? Mossy rocks, tons of plants. Not much of the bottom even shows. How do u keep up with that? There's got to be some sort of left over food building up somewhere


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Old 01-05-2015, 06:27 PM   #4
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Vacuuming Bottom Material

Hello kp...

I have several, large planted tanks and never vacuum the gravel. The organic material that falls to the bottom dissolves in the tank water and feeds my plants. By not vacuuming, I've saved quite a bit of money over the years on fertilizers. The dissolved wastes the plants don't use are removed every week when I remove and replace the tank water.

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Old 01-05-2015, 06:27 PM   #5
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There's tons of stuff that builds up in the substrate. With proper feeding, food should not be one of those things. Scavengers such as shrimp, snails, and bottom feeders should help remove excess food. But lots of fish and snail waste is in there. Sometimes I stir up the top of the substrate using a jet of water with a syringe right before a water change (siphon removes some of the suspended debris).


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Old 01-06-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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I only vacuum where I can, and then I don't go too deep. I will use a rubber spatula (kitchen) to go along the edges to help dissipate any accumulated "stuff".


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