vacuuming gravel with plants
I'm just wondering how much gravel vacuuming one should do in a heavily planted tank? I try not to vacuum much around the plants or dig the tube too deep into the gravel because I do not want to damage the roots. Is it necessary to vacuum much of the gravel to keep nitrates down? Or is changing 25% of the water per week enough?
if its a heavily planted tank, then virtually no vacuming,,
Correct. The substrate is a source of nutrients for the plants, and should be left alone. You can read more here in the bit about substrate bacteria:
You mentioned nitrates; in a natural planted tank you should not have nitrate issues. What are your nitrates? Also, what is the light, and what fertilizers if any are you using? This is all inter-connected.
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