Gravel: To DEEP clean or NOT to deep clean...
So this week, in my weekly water change (I change about 15% once a week, how does that compare to your changes?) I decided to vacuum the gravel but instead of pushing the vacuum down deep into the gravel I just pushed it down maybe a centimeter.
I did not vacuum up half of the trash that I normally do, but I wonder is this technique good or bad?
I am destroying the natural benefits (i.e. bacterial) of the gravel by vacuuming it too deep?
What do you think?
THANKS! :D :D :D :D :)
There's nothing wrong with vacuuming too deep. You at least ensure there are no anaerobic spots and debris trapped. I disturbed my substrate frequently to remove lots of debris plus daily water change by 20-30%.:)
Daily water change?
Deep vacuuming should be done on a regular basis. Not only does the cleaning remove particulates, it also helps to prevent campaction of the substrate. Compaction is a bad thing. Compaction can cause "dead areas" by reducing water flow over the bacteria bed, thus reducing oxygen flow, resulting in the death of de-nitrifying bacteria. Bad deal.
I personally does gravel sweeps with every weekly water change, with an occasional full gravel stir. It sure makes the water look nasty, but a good diatom filter will polish the water in a short time.
I gravel vac as much as physically possible without disturbing my plant roots too much. Never had a groth problem and also never had a problem with major algae outbreaks.
As for water changes, I do 50-60% once a week. 5 gallons on 10 gallon tanks so with substrate is it about 55-60% water change.
I do a deep gravel vacuuming every week, until I reach the 20% water change. Then I'm done until the following week. Haven't had a problem except for some bacterial bloom-but that was my fault for playing around with driftwood.
What was wrong with driftwood? I bought some driftwood from a online store. Would I have the same problem even if I boil it?
I only vacuum bits and pieces of my gravel bed, never the whole thing in one session. Sometimes I find myself simply doing water changes, meaning I just stick the python in there and don't even touch the gravel.
I'd say I work my way around cleaning the entire substrate maybe once a month, but sometimes I take my time and it takes 2 months.
As for deep cleaning, I never go too crazy when cleaning my gravel. It houses a lot of bacteria colonies that are very beneficial, it makes no sense to me to completely strip the gravel during every water change. That goes behind my reasoning for cleaning it very slowly.
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