Need help cleaning gravel in a planted tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-05-2007, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
Need help cleaning gravel in a planted tank

I've only been running my aquarium a few months.
If you have a planted tank, how do you do a good job cleaning the gravel without disturbing the plants? I've been doing the open spaces but I don't think it may be good enough.
I've had one person suggest to put the plants in pots but that doesn't seem like it would be good for the plants?
Any suggestions welcome :)
chocolatepuddingisgood is offline  
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-05-2007, 05:10 PM
there are some siphoning hoses that are mad for planted aquariums. Use those.
musho3210 is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 01-06-2007, 12:25 AM
bettababy's Avatar
Chocolate, Hi and welcome to FF!
In answer to your question, usually with planted tanks we vac around the plants...
If that's not enough, then I would examine the tank's schedules, such as feeding (are you overfeeding?), maintenance (are you doing enough water changes between vacs?), and even stocking limits (how many fish and how big are they, species, etc?) and even how many plants are in the tank (enough to use the excess nutrient levels?)

The more information you can provide us, including water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH... the faster and easier for us to help you.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-06-2007, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
Hey thanks for your reply!

I'm a newbie so here goes:

info on the tank:

400 liters/106 US Gals.
filtration: LAC Jebo cannister filter rated 1200 lph
hydor external heater, lit by two 36 watt tubes
2 clown loaches, 3 sterbas cory cats, 2 golden apple snails, 3 or 4? pond snails
two large pieces of mopani root, some rock which I don't know if it's natural or not
vals, hygro polys, red ludwigia, crypt beketti

ammo 0
nitrAte 25 (going to do a clean/water change soon)
pH 6.8

I suppose I wondered what other people with planted tanks did...I was shown to stick my gravel cleaner down deep into the gravel and let it suck till the water seemed clearer, doing this in multiple places...this has the effect of seriously messing around with my plants. Do most people just skim the surface of the gravel? I'm just worried it won't be clean. The gravel is fairly deep, 2.5 inches at the front sloping to about 4 in the back...very small size, something like 2 mm pieces, natural pebbles.

It's planted fairly lightly (compared to photos I've seen!) at the moment, but I'm getting a Carbo Plus unit soon and hope to have much more planted area...thats why I was wondering, if 50% or more is covered in plants, how could I make sure the gravel was clean enough.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-06-2007, 07:48 PM
shrimp would help
joeshmoe is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 01-06-2007, 11:02 PM
If the plants are potted, just remove them. If not, siphon around them or use cleaning time as a chance to re-landscape. If you re-landscape just be careful with the roots. This would also give you a chance to prune and remove any dead or dying leaves.
herefishy is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 01-07-2007, 06:44 AM
We have a planted tank, granted it only 20 gallons. But all I do is vac. around the plants.
Melissa is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 01-09-2007, 10:14 AM
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I also just vac around the plants. The water usually comes up fairly clear from down in the gravel, so I leave it alone. This should be the case for you too once you get all your new plants in.
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