Just curious on your opinions...
I normally do a gravel vacuuming when I do my water changes, which I do religiously once a week on Sundays (not pun intended). I replace about 15% of the water each time.
This past week we had something come up and I had to skip the water change. Today just for the heck of it I checked my water parameters because I haven't checked them in a very long time (no reason to) and they were ammonia 0 Nitri 0 Nitra 0 (with the API liquid kit). Would you do a water change because you always do, or skip it and watch the parameters daily to see how long it takes the nitrates to show to better predict when a water change should be done?
Im somewhat new with this but from what Ive read, you aren't supposed to vacuum gravel really well each water change because the colony which turns nitrites into nitrates lives in it along on decorations and in filters.
I would wait until a more experienced person comes along but I wouldn't vacuum the gravel as much during water changes, maybe just the top layer, not enough to stir it around.
Do you have a lot of plants in the tank? They may be sucking up some of the nitrates.
I also do gravel vacs each week with my water changes. As long as your ammonia and nitrites are 0 you have a healthy bacterial colony. I would probably test the nitrates again then do a small water change just to vac up the poo accumulated from the week.
:wink: IMHO If it ain't broke don't fix it.
One thing to watch is the pH, as that will drop over time. My big tank is well filtered and heavily planted. I can go over a month without changing water (which I don't!) and my nitrates do not get above 20ppm. However, my pH begins to drop, and I must to water changes to keep it within the proper level.
No, not heavily planted. I have one small real plant the rest are artificial, and I find the pH comment interesting. My pH is extremely high (as in off the charts high) so that will be something to test as I do this "experiment" carefully.
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