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Old 09-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #1 
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Talking How often to vacuum? 60 day old 20 gallon doing great!

I have a betta thriving along with some cory cats. They live in the taj mahal! 20 gallons with great heater, filter etc. The Nitrites have FINALLY simmered down since the thing os about 60 days old and now heavily planted. All fish do great. The question is how often to vacuum. I know the good bacteria is in there along with the filter which I simply do a quick rinse now and then. But if I disturb the bottom I can tell it should be vacuumed to get all that crap out of there. The trouble is to vaccum take out far too much water. So I dont want to end up with the dreaded bacteria cloud (been there). Otherwise it sparkles as clean as can be. All are active and eat and feel good at 80 degrees. Whats the deal with vacuuming. What I have learned from the fish experts in town and I have a great shop Ill ask next time I am in is dont mess with whats not broke too much. So any thoughts on how I should clean the gravel and when?

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Old 10-01-2011, 02:16 AM   #2 
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I use a gravel vac to perform my regular water changes on my larger tanks. With yours being planted, you shouldn't have to gravel vac as often or thoroughly since the plants will use the fish waste as fertilizer. I wouldn't recommend that you cut the gravel vac out completely unless you have plant specific substrate or sand (and even with sand, you'll want to do a light vacuuming.).
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:54 AM   #3 
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I vaccuum mine once every couple weeks - every 2 weeks at the most, once a month at the least. If it's heavily planted it can be harder to vaccuum as you have to work around uprooting plants. I'm always amazed at how much crap comes up when I vaccuum, so I don't recommend skipping it altogether. You can vaccuum up as much or as little as you want. If you're concerning about taking out too much water, vaccum half the gravel one day, and 2 weeks later vaccuum the other half.

Also, how many cories do you have in there? I hope at least 6 with that tank size. I only ask because sometimes betta people don't know much about other fish, and cories are shoaling fish. Just a thought, sorry if that is information you already know!
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