Is gravel vacuuming necessary?

MasonJ19

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Assuming it's not sand and is more larger gravel so doesnt create sulfur due to lack of oxygen. Is it necessary? I have plants and fail to see the benefits of gravel vacuuming. My beneficial bacteria and weekly water changes of about 40% are removing the ammonia so wouldn't the waste just be nutrition for the plants like in the "wild" there are also products you can buy that can naturally aid the process of the matter breaking down.
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
I have plants and fail to see the benefits of gravel vacuuming.
Same for me. I prefer sand because organic debris sits on top of it, but if I inherited a tank with gravel I wouldn't vacuum it.

cheers Darrel
 

Melll

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I do prefer sand but I have had tanks with gravel and I did use a syphon, the amount of crud that comes out makes it worth while doing in my opinion, but it was a Goldfish tank :) I certainly would not use a liquid that claims to clean the substrate, and there is something quite satisfying in syphoning gravel :)
If you are removing Ammonia, do you have livestock in the tank? There are products that bind Ammonia for a 24 hour period I think it is, Seachem Prime, this gives time to do a partial water change.
 

MasonJ19

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Yeah I have live stock in the tank, but I have never really had an issue with water quality. But I do also over filter both my aquariums. My 60 litre is running a fluval 260 filter that came with my my fluval 130 litre tank which is being filtered by the fluval 470 filter.
I would recommend that product though it does make the water very clear and if it's all natural like they claim that's a bonus.
 

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MasonJ19

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Yeah I have live stock in the tank, but I have never really had an issue with water quality. But I do also over filter both my aquariums. My 60 litre is running a fluval 260 filter that came with my my fluval 130 litre tank which is being filtered by the fluval 470 filter.
I would recommend that product though it does make the water very clear and if it's all natural like they claim that's a bonus.
206 and 407 fluval filters I should say
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @MasonJ19

I think the quicker any detritus is removed from the substrate, the better. I have used bacterial treatments such as the one you're using. Anything that helps to break down organic waste on the substrate has got to be a good thing in my book. Snails and shrimp are good in this respect, particularly the latter when using gravel - they can reach the parts that other creatures cannot reach! I think there are times when gravel vacuuming may be beneficial. But, only to gently lift any excessive detritus off the surface of the substrate. Digging the Python or equivalent into the substrate is probably not wise.

It's not just organic matter that can get into the water column. Fish waste, for example, contains a good deal of phosphorus because processed fish foods contain a significant proportion of this element.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
My beneficial bacteria and weekly water changes of about 40% are removing the ammonia
I certainly would not use a liquid that claims to clean the substrate
Let's just say <"I'm dubious as well">. The <"Natural Rapport"> Gravel cleaner probably doesn't make much difference.
But I do also over filter both my aquariums. My 60 litre is running a fluval 260 filter that came with my my fluval 130 litre tank which is being filtered by the fluval 470 filter.
It isn't so much the filter capacity, it is really about how much dissolved oxygen enters the filter have a look at <"Advice on.."> and linked threads.
But, only to gently lift any excessive detritus off the surface of the substrate. Digging the Python or equivalent into the substrate is probably not wise.
Snails and shrimp are good in this respect, particularly the latter when using gravel - they can reach the parts that other creatures cannot reach!
Probably that advice as your tanks are lightly planted, <"I'm a snail fan">.

Could we have a photo of the Angelfish tank showing the plans a bit more clearly?

cheers Darrel
 
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MasonJ19

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Yes I will attach a photo once I get home. Yeah i have about 4 nerite snails and 4 assassin snails which have just helped me get over a pest snail outbreak. Which funnily enough has now spread to my smaller tank somehow so will probably move them across. No doubt those have been cleaning up the gravel quite a bit. Yeah not to sure how that stuff works beyond making the water look clearer, it's natural though which is good. I have just had to cut back all the plants to the stems minus a few as they were over grown. I had neglected them for a while and they grow quick taking up space for the angel. The Phantom tetras liked it though
 

milla

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If you leave a gravel substrate long enough it will become a dirted tank all on its own. ;)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Yes I will attach a photo once I get home.
Plant growth looks good.
I have just had to cut back all the plants to the stems minus a few as they were over grown.
The "stem" bit is actually the leaf petiole (stalk), it isn't a stem, so it won't branch or grow a new leaf etc. The oldest leaves are on the outside of the leaf rosette (think of it like a lettuce).

When you prune the Amazon Swords (Echinodorus spp.) you are better taking a whole leaf off at the bottom, rather than chopping them off 1/2 way down the leaf, if that makes sense?

cheers Darrel
 

MasonJ19

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Hi all, Plant growth looks good. The "stem" bit is actually the leaf petiole (stalk), it isn't a stem, so it won't branch or grow a new leaf etc. The oldest leaves are on the outside of the leaf rosette (think of it like a lettuce).

When you prune the Amazon Swords (Echinodorus spp.) you are better taking a whole leaf off at the bottom, rather than chopping them off 1/2 way down the leaf, if that makes sense?

Ah okay I get you, thanks I didnt know that. I will do that at the weekend.
 

MasonJ19

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Hi @MasonJ19

I think the quicker any detritus is removed from the substrate, the better. I have used bacterial treatments such as the one you're using. Anything that helps to break down organic waste on the substrate has got to be a good thing in my book. Snails and shrimp are good in this respect, particularly the latter when using gravel - they can reach the parts that other creatures cannot reach! I think there are times when gravel vacuuming may be beneficial. But, only to gently lift any excessive detritus off the surface of the substrate. Digging the Python or equivalent into the substrate is probably not wise.

It's not just organic matter that can get into the water column. Fish waste, for example, contains a good deal of phosphorus because processed fish foods contain a significant proportion of this element.

JPC

Yeah I was looking looking at shrimp it's just I held off as I couldn't find a straight answer on whether they would eat at the plants. Some people say they only eat dead plant matter some say they eat everything dead or alive.
 

veerserif

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I vacuum, but for me it's entirely for the look of the thing. I have a light sand patch in my tank and it can look pretty grubby, and I'd probably be doing the same if my gravel was lighter-coloured... but it's not, so I don't. I just hit the worst spots with a turkey baster, and at most I'll wave the siphon (an inch or more) over the leaves of my stem plants to get some of the snail poop off them. But that's really it.
 

rebel

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It's good if you can improve oxygenation of the tank to aid in the breakdown of various organics.

I regularly gravel vac because I think I am overstocked and feed too often. Also I don't like brown stuff on my sand.
 
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