How do you clean a planted tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-02-2006, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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How do you clean a planted tank?

I now have a planted tank, that has been running for about 2 months, so far i have just removed water and replaced it. I am now wondering how to get the gravel clean, any action with a siphon would just mess up the plants or their roots. So how do i clean the gravel?

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post #2 of 17 Old 12-03-2006, 12:02 AM
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I am also wondering how this is done, especially if you have a carpet bottom....

90gal: 2x Tangerine Discus, 2x Clown Pleco, 2x Catfish.
75gal + 10gal sump: 2x Large Goldfish, 1x Common Pleco, 14x Leopard Danios
55gal: 5x Angelfish, 1x Common Pleco, 8x SIlver Tip Tetras, 16x Neon Tetras, 8x Albino Corys
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-03-2006, 12:07 AM
If you have shrimp, then just do water changes, since shrimp feed off the mulm and detritus. Otherwise, you can just bring the syphon tube close, but not to disturb the substrate.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-03-2006, 06:09 AM
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Welcome back, Oceane. I do hope you visit here more often. I've been missing your presence lately.

I occasionally siphon around the plant base otherwise I only do water changes. As my tank is not heavily-planted at the moment, I can do siphoning without problem.:) For carpet plants, it is often suggested to just use a dip net when removing mulm.:)

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-03-2006, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions and thanks for the welcome back Blue. I've also missed the forum, but end of term was hectic. I've got rams and tetras in this tank do you think i could add ghost shrimps, if so how many?

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-03-2006, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceane
Thanks for the suggestions and thanks for the welcome back Blue. I've also missed the forum, but end of term was hectic. I've got rams and tetras in this tank do you think i could add ghost shrimps, if so how many?
You can.:) Not Amanos and cherries though or the rams will eat them. I had a female ram at 4 cm in size eating a guppy at half her size.

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-07-2006, 07:21 PM
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I've wondered about this as well. I always use a siphon hose and end up replanting a few things, but most of my plants have decent roots to hold them down. I just siphon around them.

I feel I really have to do this because of all the pleco and angelfish poop as well as pieces of some of the plants, particularly camboba (probably mispelled) that often has little pieces fall off -- but they do quite well and I love the texture of this plant.

Could I have shrimp with plecos and angelfish? If so, what kind?

I have more of a carpet style planting in a smaller tank, and i sort swirl the water to bring up the detritus with a siphon, without getting into the gravel

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-07-2006, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love_my_fish
Could I have shrimp with plecos and angelfish? If so, what kind?
Ghost shrimps are good and so are Amanos. Since your tank is planted, there is less chance that your shrimps will be eaten by your angels. I wouldn't worry about plecs. They will not eat your shrimps unless the plecs you keep grow to more than 14 inches. Big plecs, at this rate, have a tendency to eat shrimps but smaller species don't.

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-09-2006, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
I always use a siphon hose and end up replanting a few things, but most of my plants have decent roots to hold them down. I just siphon around them.
That's a great idea, i haven't dared siphon to much because the plants have just been there for 2 months, but swirling the water a bit might also help. I just hope the rams don't take exception to this, they tend to be rather shy.

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post #10 of 17 Old 12-10-2006, 05:34 AM
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Just a note to add, if the tank isn't being overfed, there shouldn't be overwhelming amounts of solid waste to worry about. Fish waste, broken down, is plant fertilizer.
Another option besides shrimp would be a loach, particularly the botia species. These guys are good scavengers and clean up the bottom of the tank pretty well. Cory catfish is another option if any portion of the solid wastes is uneaten food from the other fish.
There is also another option, but I know a lot of plant keepers won't hear of it. The malaysian ram's horn snail is a detrivore, instead of vegetarian, and they tend to spend most of their time in the gravel bed eating the waste products from both fish and plants. They don't devour the plants. I keep them in my 55 gallon livebearer tank which is fully planted, and I never have to do a gravel vac. The last time I attempted to do one, the water came up clear as if I was pulling it from the top of the tank, yet my plants, fish, and snails thrive. I don't use CO2, nothing special for lighting, just a plant bulb in a standard fluorescent fixture, no fertilizers. It's my "simple tank" and the java moss covering the bottom is almost 6 inches thick again, and I only pulled a few handfuls out a week ago. I also have ghost shrimp in that tank, and with the thick java moss, they breed all the time.
Lots of options....

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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