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Old 09-04-2012, 11:06 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Cleaning my 10 gal.

Okay so i couldnt come up with a good title. meh :p

Anyways the question is. Lets say i fully stocked my tank with as many plants as i could.

1. how many plants could i have in a 10 gallon. lets say a full carpet of dwarf hairgrass. and atleast one of every easy plant atleast
2. i also have a shrimp and she picks up after me :D its pretty awsome. so amonia from excess food doesnt really count.

Okay now its fully stocked. How often would i need to clean it?

And what would cleaning mean?

Just cerious to see what benefits i get from having all real plants
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:10 PM   #2 
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Check with OldFishLady when she is on..she knows all about planted tanks...there are a couple others on here also, but she seems to take the low tech approach and is very successful with it!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:33 AM   #3 
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You don't need to remove the plants every time you vacuum. Just vacuum around the plants, or also lightly over the areas they're planted. If your tank is really *that* heavily planted where you can't vacuum at all without disturbing them then you might not need to vacuum.. just do regular water changes. Having live plants are a great benefit to your fish, but you still need to maintain the tank.. regular water changes and usually some vacuuming.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #4 
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It depends on how heavily planted the tank is in addition to the bioload. Plants will consume nitrates, so at a certain point you only really need to do water changes for aesthetic reasons. A Walstad planted tank doesn't need water changes for months, in fact. But your best bet is to monitor your water regularly to see where you are.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #5 
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There are other reasons to change the water other than nitrates. The gravel cleaning is debatable. Ignoring tanks with fish in them for months is reckless..

Last edited by callistra; 09-08-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
With regular inert substrate and active growing-thriving stem plants that cover at least 75% of the floor and that need trimming at least every 7-10 days-that is moderate stocked-including shrimp and common snails along with a Betta...

Water changes of 25-50% every week or two, however, if you are adding any ferts to the water column-It is best to make at least 25% water only before you add ferts to remove any unused ferts so the algae can't use it.

While some specie of algae is normal, expected and can be a sign of a healthy system-its still a closed system. Maintaining the balance can help keep the algae controlled to a degree along with regular manual removal.

One of the best plant ferts is fish food by the way-leaving any uneaten will be used by the plants. Plus you have natural decomp that will happen and this will help to produce natural CO2 for the plants-With that natural CO2-depending on the amount can also reduce the pH naturally.

A lot of different things can happen in a tank full of plants and so many things can vary too-Some things you have to kinda more mature the tank-the more complete the ecosystem with everything working together, however, we have to remember that its still a closed system and we have to be mother nature.....Water change is our main job......When you have a mass amount of thriving plants even with inert substrate-you don't need or want to vacuum too much or too deep-but you do need to swish up the mulm/debris on the substrate on occasion and suck it out- so you don't have too much of a build up since the inert substrate can't eat/use it like live soil will.

Active growing live plants will benefit the system-the key being active growth-if you don't have active growth the plants can end up being the cause of water quality issue. Most plant failures are due to incorrect color temp lights, too short a photoperiod, incorrect planting and poor nutrition to name the most common causes of plant failures. Not mentioning the non-aquatic plants that are often sold as aquatic

Can you tell us more-type of substrate planned and how deep, filter, number and species of plants, final stocking, additives planned and lights-age of bulb, watts and kelvin and we can give you a better idea on water change needs.....If you already have it setup-can you post a pic....
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