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Old 05-06-2012, 11:22 PM   #1 
ILLBETHEJUDGE
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How do you clean a planted tank?

Same as title.
I want to start a sorority but i want to add live plants and i was wondering how to clean the gravel properly (yes gravel, i know there is plants that you can plant on gravel).
Do i use the same gravel vacuum i use now but since i wanna put a lot of plants i guess is gonna be more complicated to clean.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:25 PM   #2 
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Very simple, don't be rough with the gravel vacuum. :)

During the first two weeks or so be gentle with the gravel vacuum so you don't uproot the plants, but once the plants have rooted themselves you can be a bit rougher.

I just hover above the gravel and swirl it around so the substrate gets disturbed but not a lot for it to uproot plants.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:31 PM   #3 
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Interesting, Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:32 AM   #4 
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Actually from what I have been reading about planted tanks and gravel, you aren't supposed to vacuum the gravel as it disturbs the good bacteria. By removing the gunk, you are removing plant food. If you are worried about certain sections getting anoxic, be sure to get malaysian trumpet snails. You can certainly run the gravel vac over the gravel to get any large peices that may be on top (this isn't a NPT after all), but you really shouldn't disturb the substrate. Byron wrote a wonderful article about it here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/ Scroll all the way down to Substrate Bacteria.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:56 AM   #5 
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Well you learn something new everyday huh?

Gives me more the reason not to have to vacuum the gravel~
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:26 AM   #6 
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What if someone doesn't want a Malaysian trumpet snail?
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:41 AM   #7 
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What if someone doesn't want a Malaysian trumpet snail?
You'll have to aerate the substrate by poking holes in it yourself. Use a chopstick and poke away.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #8 
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What if someone doesn't want a Malaysian trumpet snail?
If you have enough rooted plants in the substrate they will aerate it, but the aeration isn't so much a problem with gravel as it is with sand. And you rarely ever get just one MTS. They are a livebearing snail, so they usually reproduce. But the great thing about them is they stay in the substrate. Every once in a while they will come onto the glass at night to clean algae, tho. They're my favorite snail!

Last edited by thekoimaiden; 05-07-2012 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:46 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILLBETHEJUDGE View Post
Do i use the same gravel vacuum i use now but since i wanna put a lot of plants i guess is gonna be more complicated to clean.
Use a gentler siphon/vac. Make one out of a 1in dia pill bottle and 3/8 dia neoprene tubing. That size works perfectly for my applications which seem similar to what you're doing.
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