Mulm! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-16-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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I've looked around and I'm still not too sure what to do about it! In the past, mulm seemed to build up in my gravel and I always left it because I thought it would be fine for my plants. But is it really okay to keep that filth in there? My fish never seemed to do too well in my tanks with plants but without, with vacuum cleaning they seemed to do better, so I'm suspicious of the mulm! I sucked out so much when I cleaned up my fish tank.

Anyways, I plan to have this tank planted again, and I'm just wondering what people do about mulm?! I would like to get rid of it, but the plants will be in the way. I feel like the plants... Crypts and such, grow so slowly that they can't eat it up quick enough. So, plants aren't using it very fast and are in the way, so I think it's gonna just pollute my tank.

"He situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it."
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-16-2013, 09:00 PM
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Best is to just vacuum it out. I have a very narrow vacuum that lets me get in tight around the plants. With sand you don't have to stir up the substrate (the mulm just sits on top) so you dont need to worry about disturbing the roots or anything.

Having said that, I dont vacuum as i have nothing to vacuum up. Lots of plants and snails.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-17-2013, 11:08 PM
I think too much mulm or too much uneaten food can be a problem. I think it can increase the dissolved organic compound level in the water, which can cause the dreaded Cyanobacteria to bloom and possibly algae as well.

A good course of action might include increasing the water circulation if it's reasonable to do that, vacuuming, and possibly reducing the fish load or getting a bigger tank for them.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-17-2013, 11:39 PM
Its all personal preference. Alot of people take it out. Alot of people leave it. I am one that vacuums my tank. As long as you don't disturb the substrate much, your fine. Appearance wise, I don't like it though. Another reason I get rid of it is because I have bottom feeders. Not only are they down there will mulm but also down there with all the waste that the rest of the fish in the tank put out. I kept my tanks as clean as I can for my corys.
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