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How do you clean a planted tank?

This is a discussion on How do you clean a planted tank? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by bettababy There is also another option, but I know a lot of plant keepers won't hear of it. The malaysian ram's ...

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How do you clean a planted tank?
Old 12-10-2006, 10:32 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy
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 guess I just can't stand the site of leaf litter and pleco poo, so I must vacuum some of it up -- the back of the tank is pretty much left on its own. I gon't go deep into the gravel but maybe once a month. My 46 gallon has a large load of these trumpet snails -- not intentionally introduced (as well as some ramshorn snails that are much fewer, they poop a lot too)-- and I love them! They are so busy digging around. They make the gravel appear to be alive.

Question about snails -- I've been finding about as many empty ramshorn snail shells as live snails in one of my tanks. SHould I be concerned about my water quality? The tank has neon and phantom tetras. The snail shells are maybe between 5-10mm.
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Old 12-10-2006, 10:51 AM   #12
 
Unless you have a massive die-out of snails at one time, the decaying bodies would effect the ammonia and their decaying shells would raise the pH. Otherwise, it shouldn't be a problem. I would still check your water parmeters on occassions to be safe.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:05 PM   #13
 
use a gravel filter and gently stroke the carpet, this will get up most of it, the trick with a planted tank is to do several small changes over a week period, you should only need to do such majo r changes on top of your regualrs about 4 times a year- i have been known to use air hose to clean between the plants :) it takes ages but its worth it.

For what its worth i have kept rams with shrimp with no problems.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:28 AM   #14
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy
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. ... It's my "simple tank" and the java moss covering the bottom is almost 6 inches thick again .... I also have ghost shrimp in that tank, and with the thick java moss, they breed all the time.
Lots of options....
Bettababy, I have a few questions for you on these ideas... I have a built in livebearer tank and unfortunately, the way it was put in, there's only about 12 inches of tank visible - so 6" java moss wouldn't appeal to me - but the overall idea does. What would you recommend for a REALLY SHORT "groundcover type" of plant that would work with the livebearer tank, snails (as you suggest) and shrimp?

Would either the snails or the shrimp get my molly and platy fry?

How many snails (I assume the only ones you recommend for this "job" are the ram's horn's?) would I need for a 55g?

How many shrimp would I need, and are there other good options for this type of tank than the ghost shrimp?

Thanks!!
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:32 AM   #15
 
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I guess Dawn miss your questions.:) I'll try my best answering your questions.:)
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganco
Bettababy, I have a few questions for you on these ideas... I have a built in livebearer tank and unfortunately, the way it was put in, there's only about 12 inches of tank visible - so 6" java moss wouldn't appeal to me - but the overall idea does. What would you recommend for a REALLY SHORT "groundcover type" of plant that would work with the livebearer tank, snails (as you suggest) and shrimp?
Try to just trim the javan moss.:) If not, you can go with Echinodorus tenellus or Riccia fluitans assuming your lighting is 3wpg or more. What is your wpg(wattage per gallon) of lighting?:)
Quote:
Would either the snails or the shrimp get my molly and platy fry?
Your snails will not harm the fish. Your shrimps on the other hand probably will. I wouldn't worry about the fry. As long as you have thickets of plants, some fry will actually survive. Livebearer fry really do not need to be separated at all. They are quite prolific and you'll find it impossible to get rid of the fry soon once they mature.
Quote:
How many snails (I assume the only ones you recommend for this "job" are the ram's horn's?) would I need for a 55g?
I'm not sure about ramshorns. I had them and they ate my plants. They reproduce too fast unfortunately so I may avoid them. Malayan Trumpet Snails are your best options. They eat detritus and often dig the bottom. This has a benefit which is the prevention of the build-up of anaerobic spots. Anaerobic spots are 'dead areas' which can be deadly to fish as they release toxins.
Quote:
How many shrimp would I need, and are there other good options for this type of tank than the ghost shrimp?
Try either Amano or Red Cherry Shrimps.:) Dawn has already given you explanation in the other thread.:)

HTH
Blue
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:51 AM   #16
 
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Ghost shrimp are scary -- they are so hard to see I would be afraid of siphoning one up (I accidentally killed a small albino cory like that years ago and I still have nightmares about it). Just gravel vac lightly around the plants -- the fish poop stays on top of the gravel anyways and you can siphon it out without disturbing the plants. As for uneaten food etc., your shrimps or corys will look after it and keep it clean. :) I find that the water in a well-planted aquarium stays very fresh.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:10 PM   #17
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy
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....
bettababy - could I have the MTS, amano shrimp, AND botia's in the tank or will one just happily consume the other? The other question may or may not be one you know (anyone??) - can I do this same combo in a central american cichlid tank (actually only one breeding pair - peaceful except when guarding fry- and they have molly, platy, rainbow shark as tank mates. Only problem with that tank is that it's pretty sparsely planted - though there are plans to increase the number of plants and the density later.

Sure appreciate your help!
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