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Gravel Vacuuming Double Layer Substrate

This is a discussion on Gravel Vacuuming Double Layer Substrate within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Going back to the OP's tank, planted with one Betta, substrate vacuuming should never be necessary if the fish is not being overfed. Snails ...

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Gravel Vacuuming Double Layer Substrate
Old 06-04-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
 
Going back to the OP's tank, planted with one Betta, substrate vacuuming should never be necessary if the fish is not being overfed. Snails also help a lot, Malaysian Livebearing are ideal, also pond or bladder snails.

Byron.[/quote]


Byron, so how many Malaysian snails would be good for my 10 gallon?

Donetta
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #12
 
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Going back to the OP's tank, planted with one Betta, substrate vacuuming should never be necessary if the fish is not being overfed. Snails also help a lot, Malaysian Livebearing are ideal, also pond or bladder snails.

Byron.

Byron, so how many Malaysian snails would be good for my 10 gallon?

Donetta
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One. In a few weeks, you will have dozens.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
 
Hi Byron, I read the article on Bacteria and it was informative although a lot of it went over my head . Anyway, I did get that the balance and bacteria are very important. Also, one point said to never add bacteria products that reduce sludge. Is that right? I was adding it when the tank was new and now that I have been treating my tank with Kanaplex for my Betta's fin rot. I was told this would not Kill the beneficial bacteria.

Also, only 1/3 of the plants in my tank are actually planted in the substrate. So, still not vacuuming? I have several Anubias varieties attached to rocks with rubber bands. Some of those were originally planted in the substrate, but kept getting knocked out from the vacuum. Maybe I'll replant some since I don't have to worry about vacuuming. I'll have to keep some on rocks because our how they grew out from the rhizome maybe, but I'll see. I know these small smoothe river rocks probably gets biofilm on them. Do you think is necessary to clean them off?

I'm curious of what your maintenance routine is like. What do you suggest for my tank? How often do you change filters, clean tank walls etc. My tank is all out of balance. Probably why my Betta is sick too. But things are getting corrected slowly. What do you do when your fish get sick? If they get sick? YOu have any suggestions for Betta?


Thanks

Donetta
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #14
 
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Hi Byron, I read the article on Bacteria and it was informative although a lot of it went over my head . Anyway, I did get that the balance and bacteria are very important.
I tried to make that article as understandable as possible, recognizing that it is a very complex and technically scientific topic. I hope it explains why bacteria is important. I had one biology major ask me if she could cite from the article, since she had never found so clear an explanation; qute a compliment.

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Also, one point said to never add bacteria products that reduce sludge. Is that right? I was adding it when the tank was new and now that I have been treating my tank with Kanaplex for my Betta's fin rot. I was told this would not Kill the beneficial bacteria.
We're talking different products here. First, true bacterial supplements like SafeStart are fine in new tanks to quick-start the nitrifying bacteria; in establishedc tanks I see no point in continuing to add them, as the bacteria are established at the level needed, and anyway with live plants this is all a moot point as the plants outcompete the bacteria [or more correctly archaea, not bacteria, the true nitrifyers in established tanks]. The "sludge" products are very different, and I would never use these. By increasing the breakdown of organics they produce ammonia, sometimes quite rapidly; we have had a couple threads in the past where sudden increases of ammonia were eventually determined to be due solely to using these products.

Kanaplex is an kanamycin-based medication to treat fungal and bacterial issues. Follow the directions.

Quote:
Also, only 1/3 of the plants in my tank are actually planted in the substrate. So, still not vacuuming? I have several Anubias varieties attached to rocks with rubber bands. Some of those were originally planted in the substrate, but kept getting knocked out from the vacuum. Maybe I'll replant some since I don't have to worry about vacuuming. I'll have to keep some on rocks because our how they grew out from the rhizome maybe, but I'll see.
I tend to leave the substrate alone. Anubias is best attached to wood or rock, but just don't bury the rhizome.

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I know these small smoothe river rocks probably gets biofilm on them. Do you think is necessary to clean them off?
No, never. This biofilm is essential to a healthy aquarium. It will attract all sorts of bacteria and archaea, algae too, and be a source of a host of microscopic food and infusoria. Life on this planet would never exist (in its form) without biofilms, an indication of their importance.

Quote:
I'm curious of what your maintenance routine is like. What do you suggest for my tank? How often do you change filters, clean tank walls etc. My tank is all out of balance. Probably why my Betta is sick too. But things are getting corrected slowly. What do you do when your fish get sick? If they get sick? YOu have any suggestions for Betta?
Maintenance: weekly water change of half the tank volume. Light vacuum over the substrate in a couple tanks, nothing in the others. I run a sponge scraper over the front wall, as this eliminates the beginnings of any algae, even though I never see any. Other tank walls are left alone unless I see algae, which happens in one tank but not the others. That's it.

Sponge filters (my 10g, 20g, 29g and 33g each have a sponge filter) are rinsed under the tap at every water change. Canister filters (70g, 90g, 115g tanks) are rinsed under the tap once every 3 or 4 months. The fine white pads are replaced maybe each rinsing, or every second rinsing, if they are getting out of shape; if this gets too much, they cease being effective. The other media, like ceramic disks and "bio" stuff, is never replaced, just rinsed well.

Diagnosing fish problems is difficult without experience and training. I have a microbiologist friend (she is a member here, but rarely posts) I contact for help if I see anything unknown to me.

Byron.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:13 PM   #15
 
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Byron, you rinse your filters in tap water? I always thought that killed the bacteria. I always do mine in tank water, but if that's not necessary, I'd love to know for sure.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:14 PM   #16
 
I really appreciate you taking the time to explain all this! Again I see my program needs to be simplified once again. As a new aquarist I get excited and like to do stuff, but then I can burn myself out! I'll just do the weekly water changes, no vacs, get MTS, only the front wall unless it's agae. I was killing myself trying to get to the back wall! Don't have to worry about the rocks. Stop adding stuff. Sounds like I just need to leave the tank alone!!. I trust this is all leading to that state of balance. However, if the Betta fins don't heal I'll put a post in the disease section.


Thanks again Donetta - growing by leaps and bounds!
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:58 PM   #17
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Byron, you rinse your filters in tap water? I always thought that killed the bacteria. I always do mine in tank water, but if that's not necessary, I'd love to know for sure.
It would take a hefty dose and soaking in chlrorinated water to do any serious harm to the micro organisms. They are far tougher than we generallyy give them credit for. The actual bacteria/archaea live within a film that both protects them and keeps them stationary and, from some studies on the efficacy of these biofilms in water treatment, have been found indirectly to be very persistent, they aren't easy to clean off using various chemicals and mechanical means.

Jeff.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #18
 
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Jeff is correct. But what I rely more on, is the fact that in a planted tank you have two things working for you. First, the plants; they grab more ammonia than the bacteria/archaea, and grab it faster, continually. Second, even aside from the plants, there is more bacteria/archaea throughout the tank--especially in the substrate--than in the filter to begin with. So even if you kill off what's in the filter, in a balanced tank and one with plants, there cannot be any detriment. Another reason not to mess with the substrate.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #19
 
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Good to know! I never fuss with the substrate. That's one of the main reasons I went with sand. Of course, I now have a two tanks with eco-complete in them, but don't see myself doing anything with that either.
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