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Bare bottom and plants


Elvishswimmer

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  • Regular Member

Hi all,

I haven't been here in a while, but I wanted to say WOW! I love the new look! Very fancy :)

Anyways, the topic of discussion is that in a few weeks, once all final exams are done, I plan on transitioning my tank to a barebottom tank.

The reason being is that I am just struggling to keep the nitrates lower as my fish start looking lethargic at times. I always change the water right away and they get better. (I should let you know that I have had a stable cycle on this tank now for 2 years, with 0 ammonia and nitrites, but higher nitrates). I also think my pearlscale is more sensitive to the nitrates. So I want to keep it under control better.

I think the main reason is that bits of dead leaves/poop/food gets caught in the rocks, and even though I vacuum thoroughly it just doesn't seem to be enough and I always miss some.

I figure that if I remove the rocks, I'll be able to see all the debris and clean it up easier, and hopefully tackle this problem better. Easier maintenance and all,

So my plan is to slowly take out the rocks in sections at a time. I heard that some of the beneficial bacteria live in the gravel, so I don't want to take it out all at once to risk a cycle.

I just have a question though. I have a bunch of Elodea plants. I was wondering what are some good ways to keep the plants in the tank if there is no substrate for them? How do you guys do it, and maybe some unique ways of doing it?

Thanks a bunch for your help, if you have any other suggestions about barebottoming I would love to hear it.

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Hello & welcome back!

I can't help with the elodea, but I didn't want to comment on the water changing. How often do you change your water and how much? If you already know that some of your fish are more sensitive than nitrates than others, you should determine how long it take for nitrates to rise to that level, and do water changes before that. That way, you won't have to wait to see your fish becoming lethargic at any time.

Of course, bare bottom is definitely a great way to go.

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My 20 gallon tank has no nitrates 24/7. Even if I miss a water change I still will have zero nitrates. I have fast growing plants that readily absorb the nitrates. I still do weekly 80% water changes BUT I have missed a few days with out any worry because my plants are helping.

I would recommend duckweed (the larger kind). Watersprite, and Hornwort. I can get them to grow on a 9watt LED marine land double bright system. These plants are called fast growers and some times nuisances. The only problem with the large duckweed is the fish have been eating it faster than I can grow it. All of these plants can be bought from eBay.

I don’t know much about elodea but if its a slow grower it wont absorb the nitrates fast enough. I also have a similar setup as Sakura's gravel bowl except I choose to use smaller containers for separate plants. My tank doesn’t really look beautiful but it is functional for the fish and that works for me.

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My 20 gallon tank has no nitrates 24/7. Even if I miss a water change I still will have zero nitrates. I have fast growing plants that readily absorb the nitrates. I still do weekly 80% water changes BUT I have missed a few days with out any worry because my plants are helping.

I would recommend duckweed (the larger kind). Watersprite, and Hornwort. I can get them to grow on a 9watt LED marine land double bright system. These plants are called fast growers and some times nuisances. The only problem with the large duckweed is the fish have been eating it faster than I can grow it. All of these plants can be bought from eBay.

I don’t know much about elodea but if its a slow grower it wont absorb the nitrates fast enough. I also have a similar setup as Sakura's gravel bowl except I choose to use smaller containers for separate plants. My tank doesn’t really look beautiful but it is functional for the fish and that works for me.

Elodea is the same thing as anacharis, and it's a fast grower. :)

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  • 1 month later...
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I use small pots just like sakura (mine are smaller though, they are actually tea light candle holders). I also used to have anacharis free floating in the tank. Good luck with the switch to bare bottom! :)

You might want to take a look at some of the pics in the planted tanks section of the forum for ideas (that's where I go for inspiration ;) )

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