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Old 05-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #1 
a123andpoof
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Best way to get dead leaves out of tank

So I have a 5 gallon with all live plants and while they are all doing well their is still some dead leaves a few stems and stuff like that on the bottom what is the best way to clean it up? Just stick my hand in there and pick it up? Would be pretty time consuming...
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:46 AM   #2 
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Siphon some and leave some to break down......as they decomp they make CO2 for the plants....its a balance.....you don't want too much decomp going on to foul the water or drive the pH down too low, however, if you make water only changes this will help that-also, shrimp will help shred the decaying material so that it breaks down faster and snail will help by eating some of it and their waste will be used for plant food......provided that this is a heavy planted tank-plants are actively growing with stems and some floating plants that can use nutrients pretty fast.....
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:50 AM   #3 
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It's not as planted as I would have liked, but it's what grew. I take out any huge dead plants, but now its just a lot of leaves. I have two wisteria growing were the now empty part is, and there is some floating plants, and others that are just really long that kind of drape across the top. I will look into getting some shrimp and a snail. How many shrimp can I fit in my 5 gallon and will ghost shrimp work? They are all I can find. And for a snail would a mystery snail work? Again thats all I can find around here.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:10 AM   #4 
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Ghost shrimp will work....the mystery snails should do the job too....

What kind of lights are you using, age of bulbs, kelvin, watts, photoperiod and are the lights separated by a partitions....if so...make sure its really clean for best light penetration to the plants.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:48 AM   #5 
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I am using the light you reccomended to me. I believe it's 15W. Okay will check the cleanliness when I do a water change today. The bulb is maybe 2 months old. This is the tank I was asking for help on when looking to do a NPT. It's not NPT, as there are only like 3 different types of plants at the moment. How many shrimp should I get? And do I need a shrimp and snails or just a single snail?
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:44 PM   #6 
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It really depends on what you want....you don't have to have them-but they can help with the cleanup and breakdown of organics or you can manual remove the organics by vacuum along with your weekly water changes.

As far as numbers....ghost shrimp 4-6 more or less.....

Snails-if the mystery snail...just one-they can get pretty big....

Lights...kelvin is more important than watts....5500-7000k...Ideally 6500k on a 10-12h/day PP for best plant growth...

With plants its all about balance.....
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:26 PM   #7 
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Investing ina giant pair of tweezers and some lon scissors really helped me :)
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #8 
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I have 6500K.

I have been wanting to get a snail and some shrimp, and being they will break down that stuff I will get some. Do they need to be quarantined?

Also I was thrilled to find that i did not need to do a water change. Everything was at 0. I will be checking again in a week maybe it has become a NPT...?
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:14 PM   #9 
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NPT....these are soil based and with the soil comes all kinds of neat little critters, nematodes, bacteria, pathogens and the like...the soil is alive and this in turn help keep the water safe to limit water change needs...

Since it is a closed system-nothing leaves the tank-but recycled by the plants and the life in the soil to keep the DOC's in check and water safe.

With live soil, thriving plants and livestock-this is as close to a complete ecosystem that can be created in a closed system, however, its still a closed system.....But the live soil can make a difference in husbandry needs...

With regular substrate...either gravel or sand....regular water changes are still needed.....In 5gal filter even with plants....at least 50% weekly with light vacuum to maintain water quality....

If you don't have soil....the plants are keeping the nitrate at 0ppm, however, you will still have DOC's that need to be removed manually at least weekly to maintain water quality....
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:28 PM   #10 
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I have soil from my yard. I usually do like a 50% water change each week. So even with perfect quality I should still do water changes? I don't usually use a vac in the tank mostly cause the dead leaves would clog my hose. I have a small vac.
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