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Re: Green water

> Subject: cleaning substrate
> Hi. I am wondering if there is a good method for cleaning substrates in
> heavily planted tanks. I am having a very difficult time vacuuming my
> fluorite because my tank is carpeted with crypts.  I believe that my
> thus mulmy substrate is the major cause of an ongoing green water
> problem ( I don't feed much, do large volume weekly water changes, use
> CO2/trace elements, limit light to 10 hours/day, have a clean up crew of
> snails/ghost shrimp helping out).
> Thanks, Laurel  

GW is not caused by mulm. Add some fish, SAE's tetras whatever, perhaps some
KNO3 may help as well. Add more trace elements. Big water changes and no
nutrients are helping the GW to come back. Fluff up the mulm and add a
Micron cartiage on there for a day or two afterwards. You can also add more
shrimps to up the bio load, at least add something. That is why it comes
back again, not enough bio load/source of Nitrogen. Vacuuming the crypts
should not be a problem really(most plant folks vac only to remove the
surface detritus) the stuff in the gravel is good mulm:)
You can swirl the vac tube near the surface and cause a plum to come up and
get that with the vac as well or fluff with your hand. A fine net works well
for this also.
Every tank that has had an issue with recurring GW seems to have too low a
bio load with high light/CO2/low NO3.
Many newly started tanks get it and then it goes away. (now why might that
There are many ways to handle your issue. Having a magnum with a micron
filter on as a primary filter/a UV/ Blackout your tank every so
often/feed-add more fish/shrimp/add Daphnia and or add KNO3. The choice is
yours. I think more fish/shrimps would be easiest in the long run. I have a
tank right now that I tend to torture on a routine basis. It's easy to get
GW if I want to. I have an identical tank above it except for one
thing.....more critters/shrimps/fish etc. It's relatively difficult to get
GW in that tank even if I induce it(which I have been doing for sometime
purposely). All factors cannot be perfect but they are as close as I can
possibly get them to be, lights/CO2/Substrate/plant mass/filters-flows/water
changes/dosing etc
Hope this helps you.
Tom Barr