Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Tracy 11-20-2006 12:53 AM

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.

dprUsh83 11-20-2006 12:56 AM

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.

Tracy 11-20-2006 12:58 AM

yeah i've done that, too, with the net.

Daz 11-20-2006 02:08 AM

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.

bettababy 11-20-2006 02:13 AM

What kind of tool are you using to do the gravel vac?

crazie.eddie 11-20-2006 02:41 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.

bettababy 11-20-2006 03:07 AM

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.

Steman 11-20-2006 03:17 AM

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.

GNOME 11-20-2006 11:14 AM

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.

crazie.eddie 11-20-2006 01:15 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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