Originally Posted by tngirl92
How many plants would it take to make a difference? I also have a 2.5 gallon and I would like to avoid 100% water changes. The stress my fish out extraordinarily more than with any other fish I've had.
I use a thin piece of airline tubing and vacuum the gravel with it when i do water changes. I get as much stuff off the bottom and out of the gravel as I can. I have a lot of live plants in every tank but even in the tanks that didn't have live plants I avoided the 100% water changes. The only time I ever do 100% is if someone is sick and in quarantine. By the time i clean the gravel and think it is clean enough, I have usually sucked out 50 to 60% of the water from the tank so that is how much I put back in the tank.
All tanks are capable of being cycled with enough time and care of your tank. Even our 2 gallon is completely cycled and happy. Not everyone will agree but that is how I do every single tank in the house and it works great.
Keep in mind it does take a long time with the thin airline tubing to clean the bottom because I get as much waste as possible out of the tank and so it sucks water slowly and just a little at a time, so I would guess it takes me 30 mins to an hour to get it as clean as I like before I fill it back up.