06-28-2012, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by eaturbyfill
So, just to clarify and make sure I understand, I use the siphon like with gravel but stay above it to take in the debris?
If you have live plants and those that root in the substrate, you don't need to vacuum the substrate. Some of my tanks never get this. The organics settle into the sand, and the Malaysian Livebearing snails help by breaking down the waste faster, and the bacteria breaks down the organics into nutrients for the plants. Plant roots release a lot of oxygen and this helps too.
Without substrate-rooted plants, keeping the top cleaner won't hurt. And for this, just hover over the sand. I use a Python device and i find that even if I suck up a bit of sand it doesn't go all the way up.