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Old 06-18-2010, 12:51 PM   #11 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
DOCs should not be a huge concern if the tank is cleaned thoroughly with a gravel vacuum and the filter pad is cleaned often. I don't like to clean the filter pad and the gravel on the same day because I don't like risking both bacterial colonies at the same time (I'm kind of anal about that, haha), but rinsing the nasty mulm out of the filter pad, recharging your filter cartridges with good carbon every month, and very thoroughly vacuuming your substrate should be sufficient. Live plants also can absorb some DOCs as well as nitrates, so I always advocate having them. :)

You are definitely right that regular water changes are the best way to keep DOCs under control, and it is good advice to do at least 50%s fairly often. I dunno though, I consider DOCs to be much more of a threat in my big guppy/shrimp tank more than my betta tanks, since there isn't much excess or uneaten food going into the betta tank (yay for pellets and pipettes for thawed goodies) and bettas aren't huge waste producers. That, and I hate opening up my big canister filter so it gets cleaned and recharged a lot less often than the betta tanks. Maybe I should clean that out soon. >_>
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