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Old 12-03-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
rtro92
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Default Vacuuming tank - what's your method?

I'm curious about how much waste I should take out of my tank. I'm wondering if I should really stick the head of the vacuum in there deep, ya know...get out all of that waste that's buried an inch or so below the surface. I have plants so I'm concerned about disturbing their roots when doing this.
Also, is the waste beneficial for the plants? If I were to do a super good job of removing it all, there wouldn't be any left for them.
So - should I maybe just clean the surface and get all the solid stuff? What do you guys do when plants are involved?
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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I personally just take the plants out, put the vacuum in, suck water out, and take the vacuum out. Plants need ammonia, but your fish don't. Rooted plants do need some detritus from what I've heard. I'd just clean it. It's worked for me so far in my planted tank.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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Plants don't need ammonia to survive. Here is a link to it:

http://www.ehow.com/facts_8018533_do...d-ammonia.html

Betta man: I would read up on things before posting because so far you have been wrong.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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my wife has a dirt devil lightweight that works great...lol...but for the tanks we use a couple of homemade python type units...every couple of months or so we deep clean and get way down in the gravel and clean it good....yes , the plants do need the waste materials...that is their fertilizer...much better than that junk they sell in the stores...after all , you don't see God going to the store to buy fertilizer , do you ...
when you syphon your tanks save some of that stuff to put on your house plants... it can also be used for you garden.....stuff grows awesome with it....
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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They need nitrate, not ammonia though. Betta man was saying that plants need ammonia. So I looked it up and that link said that aquatic plants don't need ammonia. They can have very little but not too much.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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You're right. Plants need nitrates. Made a mistake. Glad things are cleared up. Thanks for the link angelclown.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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You're welcome Betta man. Glad I could help.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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i use one of these http://www.petsathome.com/shop/multi...y-marina-30347 to vaccum the crap up out of the gravel once a week
then use a bigger gravel vaccum with the hose to remove 20% of the water, then add warmed by the radiator R.O water
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:01 AM   #9
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When I first got into fish keeping, I used aquarium gravel in my tanks. Yes, I realize that it provides a lot of surface area for nitrifying bacteria to grow, but I was amazed at how much "crap" (uneaten food, waste, etc.) settled down into it.

After researching alternatives, I decided to give pool filter sand a try. I now use it in all my tanks. Personally, I find it to be more visually appealing, and it makes tank maintenance much easier. As long as I don't overfeed, there's no problem with uneaten food in the tanks. Fish waste gets broken up by water current and fish movement, and sucked into the filter intakes, rather than settling down into the gravel. As for maintenance, I do weekly water changes of about 25%, giving the sand a quick stir with a stick at the same time. Every couple months or so, I do a deeper clean by lifting decor items and stirring the sand under them to free crap that might have settled under them. Very easy.

I have no live plants, so that is not an issue for me.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
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i have sand in a 64L and for vaccuming its a pain as it tends to get sucked out with the stuff you want to remove if your not careful, though it does have certain benefits ive opted for browns/greys gravel in my 190L
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Angelclown View Post
They need nitrate, not ammonia though. Betta man was saying that plants need ammonia. So I looked it up and that link said that aquatic plants don't need ammonia. They can have very little but not too much.
Hang on a second. Are you saying that ammonia nitrate which is a plant fertilizer is toxic to plants? Ammonia is a form of nitrogen and plants need nitrogen. That means that they need ammonia. There are different types of ammonia. Saying ammonia is toxic to plants is like saying dogs kill humans. What types of dogs?Certainly not chihuahuas unless. What type of ammonia? What amount of ammonia? Household ammonia will kill plants. Ammonia nitrate helps plants grow and gives them more foliage. I personally feel like both of us need to do a lot of reading up on plants.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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Betta man: if you read the article I provided, you would know that too much ammonia will kill aquatic plants. They can have very little ammonia. Please read entire article and you will see that I am correct. Also I read a lot of things on different subjects, especially when I have a question about it.

Too much nitrogen though will kill fish. So there has to be a balance of everything in the aquarium otherwise you will have problems with your aquarium.

Last edited by Angelclown; 12-04-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by emc7 View Post
Some eat ammonia directly, some nitrite.
Someone has to be wrong here......
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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well it certainly can't be you betta man..after all , you read a book and talked to a crew member of a guy that has a website..
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:00 PM   #15
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a plant isn't one thing, its hundred of thousands of species. I once was told hornwort could eat ammonia in aquarium water, that some plants eat nitrite and most eat nitrate, but too much ammonia will kill just about anything that is why it is a great disinfectant. But you can theoretically have a tank with lots of hornwort that never cycles or shows ammonia. But if you can find contrary evidence (in a book or do an experiment) I am willing to be corrected.
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