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[APD] Re: Mulm Accreation in Heavily Planted Tanks

> > Tom writes:
> > <snip, Mulm accreation in tanks with wood is
> > pretty high.>

Leroy responds:
> What is the best way to get rid of the mulm that
> accumulates in heavily planted tanks besides
> periodic light gravel vacuuming on the surface of
> the gravel, taking care so as not to disturb the
> roots of the plants?  Are there any other ways to
> get rid of the mulm that inevitably accumulates in
> our planted tanks besides that?

Violent current with an overflow would do it.  Like
reef tanks have 'surge devices' or 'wavemaker'
devices to promote coral and anemone health (various
marine biologic processes in those critters require
violent current), we could emulate a river tank
or other 'storm-like' dumping into our tank.  It 
would make your river-running cories happy, possibly
stimulate breeding for your tetras (often looking for
dramatic changes in water temp and pH for the 'spring
rains'), and possibly promote plant growth (many
terrestrial plants, especially trees, *require* a
level of physical stress (as through wind) in order to
develop properly.

Of course, this often requires infrastructure like
plumbing and a sump, and it's much easier on the large
tanks.  But, this is a commonly addressed thought
in the reef community, so there should be lots of
options out there.

I would vote for some kind of 'surge' every few 
days to simulate rainstorms, and which kicks up quite
a bit of mulm from the dead zones in the tank.  Your
overflow had better be able to handle it, though, and
you'll probably want a mechanism to recover any fry or
fish that get caught up in the overflow.

Just a thought.  ;-)


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