Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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travcoe 01-05-2009 06:59 PM

Cleaning Sand
I recently changed the substrate in my 29g from gravel to sand. I have a pleco in there (I know, I'll have a new tank by the time he outgrows this one) and I'm having trouble cleaning up after him. With gravel it was easier cause I could just stick the vacuum right in the substrate, but I can't do that in sand. His poo just kind of hovers in the tube. I can get some smaller pieces but the majority of it stays in the tank, and is very unsightly. I thought it was maybe because my gravel vacuum was old and no good so I bought a new one and same thing. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions as to how I can effectively clean up after him. Thanks!

travcoe 01-05-2009 07:07 PM

I can't believe I didn't think of this, but I just read Kim's post about the Betta she rescued and is using a turkey baster for cleanup. But I'm always up for more suggestions if anyone has some :-D

SinCrisis 01-06-2009 01:19 AM

i think the turkey baster would be ur best option. I think there are some products out there that are longer that suck poo from ur tank with battery powered suction but those are costly and probably not worth it.

Tyyrlym 01-06-2009 08:10 AM

Try setting the bucket you're siphoning into lower. The greater the difference between the water level in your tank and that in the bucket the stronger the flow and the better the suction. If the detritus is large enough you might have to go with something like the turkey baster method but I've yet to find gunk in my tank I can't suck out with my siphon.

thespiff 01-06-2009 02:40 PM

I have the same problem. A pleco in a 29 gal sand tank = tons of uncleanable poo. I've come to accept it as just the way it is with sand substrate. Before I set it up, I'd read in several places that people have no trouble vacuuming these tanks. I don't think these people had plecos.

The bacteria in the tank eventually takes care of the mess he makes, and I always make sure to give the sand a good stir on water change days to prevent gas bubbles under the sand. Other than that, I try not to notice it. He's about to move into a tank with Flourite substrate anyway, which is no easier to clean, but at least the crap turns into plant fertilizer in that one.

travcoe 01-06-2009 09:39 PM

Thanks for the responses. Tyrrlym, your suggestion is a good one but I keep my bucket on the floor when I'm using the siphon, so I can't go any lower. And spiff, I think my pleco goes faster than the bacteria can keep up with lol. I'm thinking about a planted tank when I get a bigger one, so I guess there will be the fertilizer upside. For now I guess I'm stuck with the (time consuming) turkey baster. Thanks a lot though!

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