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So do you just not clean the substrate on a planted tank?


cmclien

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I recently planted my 35g tropical tank.  Right now I can get in between most of the plants, some not and eventually as they grow together, not at all.

So my question is, does the fish poop just become fertilzer?  Do you not worry about it?  I have a few ghost shrimp to help break things down more and a couple of nerites.  Anyone else I should add? or more ghosties?

 

I know in the Walstad type tank you don't clean it, I'm just having a hard time rationalizing this and not sure what to do.  Obviously I can't uproot my plants everytime I clean.

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I just hover my Syphon over it to scoop up the loosest mulm without disturbing the plants or substrate. Otherwise my nitrates start to climb, even when densely planted. It certainly isn't sterile and a good bit of fertilizer remains, but it keeps the water quality pristine and my nitrates in the 5-10ppm range :)

Edited by Arctic Mama
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What Arctic Mama said. For maximum selectivity in what you remove, don't use a clumsy gravel vac or a fast-draining water changer --just use a length of tubing as your siphon.

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What substrate do you have? 

Sand with root tabs.  I'll have to post some pics under the photos section later :)

Edited by CindiL
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What Arctic Mama said. For maximum selectivity in what you remove, don't use a clumsy gravel vac or a fast-draining water changer --just use a length of tubing as your siphon.

Great advice! I have been having a similar problem and I will try this out :)

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It works very well for spot removal. I can target the roots of my sword plants and other places where I get big accumulation that doesn't get whisked into the filter. Also in smaller tanks, like my planted sand betta tank, it allows me to change water without it going as quickly!

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I don't worry about it. I suck up noticeably visible debris, but some portions of my carpet are so dense you can't even see the substrate beneath, let alone the muck.

Stems tolerate being regularly uprooted and replanted, but swords and rosette plants are best left alone.

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I don't worry about it. I suck up noticeably visible debris, but some portions of my carpet are so dense you can't even see the substrate beneath, let alone the muck.

Stems tolerate being regularly uprooted and replanted, but swords and rosette plants are best left alone.

Good to know, thanks.  Its taken a lot for me to get to this point as I have anxiety about having a clean tank, or maybe not having one.  :)

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Like I had said in your other thread I just take my syphon and get the front of the tank really good where there are open areas where I feed my fish.  In the back and middle of my tank I can't get my syphon in between my plants without messing them up so  I don't worry about it.  I figure the poo is breaking down and that it's all good for my plants anyway.  I also have a 110ac filter on.

 

Cindi, When I first started with live plants 17 months ago when I had my betta, Diego, in his 20g long tank I was so worried about getting all the poop out also.  I bought a very small syphon to get reach in between the plants and get everything.  I did this for a few months and got tired of how long it took me so I quit and pulled out my bigger syphon and didn't worry about it all.  I haven't given it much thought since, as long as I keep up with my 5 to 7 days 50% or a bit more water changes and have a great filter on.

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