Water changes - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Water changes

when you gravel vac, do you just vacuum the top of the gravel or do you really mix it up good and release all the trapped debris? I tend to stir up the gravel real well, which makes the tank cloudy for a day, but I feel it is much cleaner that way.

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post #2 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 01:56 AM
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I clean the same way, going all the way into the gravel, really getting in there and moving ti around. Normally mine will stay cloudy for about 10-30 minutes and the tank clears up again. Sometimes if it is really bad and there is debris floating around I just run the net through and scoop it out.
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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yeah i've done that, too, with the net.

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post #4 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 03:08 AM
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I give it a good stir after the intail gravel vac, leave it for 10mins then go back and do another quick blast. 10mins or so its nice and clear.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 03:13 AM
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What kind of tool are you using to do the gravel vac?

Dawn Moneyhan
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Juneau, WI
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 03:41 AM
When I gravel vac with a Python syphon, I dig down deep with a twisting motion, then slowly bring the syphon tube up slowly, letting the gravel mix and float and then fall down, while the detritus gets sucked up. I wait until the gravel settles, then I shift over. Doing so, doesn't stir any of the detritus to float around in the tank. My water never gets cloudy, unless I get lazy and shift over the syphon tube before the gravel settles.
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 04:07 AM
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Thanks eddie, that's the information I was looking for... wondering about... gravel vac'ing should never have to stir the gravel enough to cloud the tank, especially not for a day or more.
If gravel vacs are done regularly, and the tank is not overfed, there shouldn't be a lot of debris coming up from the gravel.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 04:17 AM
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i do a gravel vac about once every 2 to 3 weeks and when i do its just the top layer as i dont want to uproot my roots from the plants.
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 12:14 PM
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Gravel Vac

I have been away from raising fish for about 38 years and have decided to start again. Is there a time limit between vaccuming the gravel or some rule of thumb thing. I have a 30 gallon taank that has finally settled in nice and clear with a gold fish in it. I'm just gathering info for my head so that I can get back into the groove again. Thanks in advance guys and gals.
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post #10 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 02:15 PM
Once a week is usually the norm for WC (water changes) and/or Gravel vacs. With adequate filtration, ammonia and nitrIte levels will remain safe with extended periods between WC/Gravel vacs, unfortunately, this only increases the nitrAte levels. Low levels of NitrAtes are usually safe and less stressful to most fish.

Using a proper water test kit, an increased amount of ammonnia, nitrIte and/or nitrAte levels can commonly and easily be removed by water changes, but can also be removed with products, such as carbon, zeolite, nitrite/nitrate removers, etc.
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