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FishDaddy
03-17-2010, 06:25 AM
It may sound like a NOOB question, but too much research can sometimes confuse a guy :)

when you gravel vacuum, do you aggressively push into the substrate or do you just go across the top? I know plant roots should not be disturbed. the idea behind just going across the top is to not disturb or remove the beneficial bacteria. If you are running a good filter with a strong bio load, then the substrate bacteria seems redundant. I know a lot of people run bare bottom tanks, so this isn't applicable to them (i'm guessing that a bioload is present in their filters, furthering the complete vacuuming argument for those with substrate)

I generally do a little bit of both, skimming areas where I know fish poo is sitting on the surface and pushing into the substrate (to the glass sometimes) in areas I consider dead spots.

Kat
03-17-2010, 06:29 AM
I push my vacuum all the way into the gravel in as many areas I can reach (unless like you say there are live plants in that area).

dcacjc
03-17-2010, 07:33 AM
I do water changes weekly, every other water change I run the vaccuum to the glass to clean the substraite.

NursePlaty
03-17-2010, 12:00 PM
I have mineralized soil and red clay below my black sand and gravel. So I cant push it to the glass or otherwise the water will become cloudy. I usually do what you do and lightly suction the top weekly and whatever rest that I dont suction up can be food for the plants. Sometimes I dont even do gravel suctioning because I dont have a lot of fish (more of a planted tank than a fish tank) and just suction the water column.

EAST_TX_RN
03-17-2010, 12:35 PM
I try to suction to the glass but with my pool sand tank and my tanks with color-quartz, it is a bitch! I also try to stir up the substrate in that area and suction just above it. I stopped up my hose the other day with pool sand, so my vacuuming skills are lame!

BODYDUB
03-17-2010, 01:15 PM
I have regular gravel and push my vacuum into it to clean out all the gunk........

iron
03-17-2010, 01:29 PM
I ram it down in there pretty good and let it sit a bit sucking the poo from every hiding spot. I had a tank with a build up and when I disturbed it the ammonia ended up killing the fish.
If it takes 30%-70% of the water out to clean it, it gets clean regardless.

EAST_TX_RN
03-17-2010, 01:45 PM
Anyone know of any tricks to suction pool sand or CQ without getting all that sucked up? I have thought of trying panty-hose or something.

Oh, and I use a metal shish-kabob spear to clear the intake of snails and stuff! Brutal but effective!

dcacjc
03-18-2010, 07:06 AM
All of my tanks have color quartz in them, I just suck it up until the cylinder is half full, pull it up and let the color quartz flow back out.

EAST_TX_RN
03-18-2010, 08:11 AM
All of my tanks have color quartz in them, I just suck it up until the cylinder is half full, pull it up and let the color quartz flow back out.

That is what I do too, but it is a pain in the butt. I think my next tank will have good old pea gravel in it. I sure miss the ease of vacuuming that!

kewlkatdady
03-19-2010, 08:59 PM
i got rid of gravel because its a nitrate collection site that you cannot get "clean"...

but when i did have gravel...I gravel vac'd weekly...the entire tank (that i could reach) and pushed it down as far as possible.

iron
03-21-2010, 12:32 PM
i got rid of gravel because its a nitrate collection site that you cannot get "clean"...

but when i did have gravel...I gravel vac'd weekly...the entire tank (that i could reach) and pushed it down as far as possible.


Exactly why I went to sand. Way easier and cleaner. The stuff can't hide so easy as well.