Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Brandmaner 09-07-2010 09:05 PM

Cleaning Tank
Okay so I have a plant and a bunch of baby guppies, and platys running around in my gravel in my 95G community tank. I prefer not to try and suck up the gravel and suck my little fishies down into my bucket! So question is.. can I just do basic water changes for the next week to two weeks without cleaning the gravel also to try and keep from killing my little friends lol?

zof 09-07-2010 09:13 PM

Everything should be ok if you don't vacuum your gravel for a couple of weeks, in fact alot of people only vacuum every other week. My fry love to chase my gravel vacuum because it kicks up rocks and they think those are food. Just monitor your nitrates and make sure they don't get too high.

Brandmaner 09-07-2010 09:49 PM

Alright! Thanks for the input, I was scared to even do a water change because of my little guys :D Haha I feel better now thanks!

Brandmaner 09-07-2010 10:37 PM

Also I meant to ask.. how do I vacum gravel around plants without up rooting them>?

zof 09-08-2010 12:22 AM

You don't there is bacteria that lives in the substrate that will covert the fish waste into nutrients for the plants, just vacuum where your plants aren't.

Brandmaner 09-08-2010 06:18 AM

Oh okay! Also.. I only have one small java fern in there right now on the count of them needing dim light.. and all I have is a standard 10G hood with a light so I stick it right over where the plant is and raise my shade during the day so it gets lots of sunlight and I've noticed it's roots branchig at least 3-4inches from the plant now... on top of the substrate.. is this good? :? ??

Byron 09-08-2010 12:23 PM

Plant sounds OK so far, but be careful of using sunlight. With only one plant (if I read you correctly) algae will soon overtake this tank. Plus, JF are low-light plants that often do well in shade from floating plants, so their light need is minimal. All plants do well on 10-14 hours of light provided it is of sufficient intensity. Excess light beyond what the plants require (in balance with the nutrients) will only lead to algae outbreaks. More plants in the tank will work to keep algae at bay, along with less light.

Brandmaner 09-08-2010 06:10 PM

Alright Byron! :D Well I'll stick to using the 10G hood light for now untill I get a bit of money saved up, then I'm going to buy a decent lighting system. And alot more plants. Thanks guys!

zof 09-08-2010 07:24 PM

If you only have a Java Fern, their roots will stay above the substrate you might want to vacuum around them too when you do go back to vacuum, as they get all their nutrients from the water column and not from the substrate. Other plants that root in the substrate are the ones you can skip from vacuuming.

If you already have the Java Fern burried in the substrate you might want to uproot it and attach it to a rock or driftwood. This also makes it much easier to move around.

Brandmaner 09-08-2010 09:55 PM

Oh I see... I dont have any drift wood yet.. or any "real" rocks yet... This tank is still wayyyy under construction. I'm just budgetly challenged for a few weeks.. ran into a rut with bills but I'll be back on top in 2-3weeks easily... just wish I'd stop running into these bumps every 3-4months

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