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How to clean heavily planted aquarium?

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by tamalematt, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. tamalematt

    tamalematt New Member

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    Hi - I am curious as to how people clean the substrate and remove particles, such as feces, from aquariums that are heavily planted. This goes especially for those that have a carpet of glosso.

    I would like to make my aquarium resemble those of some the best showcased here, but am concerned about how to properly remove all of the elements that will cause ammonia and nitrate spikes, as well as algae growth (which I have been battling).

    Thanks - Matt
     
  2. Al G. Begone

    Al G. Begone New Member

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    How many gallons is your aquarium, what is the plant load, how much lighting are you using, and how often and how much do you change the water?
     
  3. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    My first scape was an iwagumi layout and there wasnt much fauna in it.
    However, i had no algae and the only maintenance i did were regular waterchanges: finaly 2x week 50%.
    If the tank is realy heavily planted regular water changes after every maintenance do the job to remove organic wastes. Some scapers practise vacuuming their tank during the wate changes, use a water hose and try to vacuum up as much organic stuff as possible, you can create waves with your hand to whirl up some of them from the bottom between the plants just do so chaos whirling up all those particles and do a 50% water change direct after or better durring this procces.

    If you have layout with a carpet plant and you would like to keeo it for a longer period the method to clean the bottom depends on the plant you use.

    for example: if your carpet plant is e.parvula (dwarf hairgrass) just trim it down to 2cm and vacuum the bottom with the water hose, if you keep a glosso carpet then whirl up the organic stuff and vacuum it up or do trim your glosso, down, not that strong as you can do it with hairgrass but strong enough to see the bottom and to vacuum it.

    do not forget: heavily planted tanks have a huge plant biomass that helps you to recycle all those organic wastes and when you simply do regular water changes there wont be any amonia or nitrit peeks.

    Also a good water flow helps you to keep your tank clean, 10x water column should be enough.
     
  4. Al G. Begone

    Al G. Begone New Member

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    I agree Jur4ik, and depending on your plants and also your water changes you shouldn't have to be too concerned about waste buildup. Your plants will actually use this to some degree and along with plenty of circulation and water changes you should be fine.
     
  5. tamalematt

    tamalematt New Member

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    I have a 55g, with T5 lighting, 3 swords, 1 red ludwigia, and another which I have forgotten the name of. I do one water change per week of approximately 30% using a vacuum hose. I have an eheim 2215 and a small pump for water circulation.

    looking at aquascapes like this:

    22528000.Klu171000.jpg (image)

    made me wonder how difficult it is to keep the aquarium clean. I certainly am not ready to jump to a tank that is this heavily planted, but would like to progress to something like this in the future.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  6. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    please do not forget that plants allways grow and never stop doing this.
    The foto you posted is a final shot - after this stage you have to trim all the stem plants or to replant them.
    some layouts are not well suited for a long maintenance
     
  7. krisha

    krisha New Member

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    so right - that tank has som fast-growers in it, a shoot a week later would look different.
     

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