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Re: Mulm cleaning

On Tue, 26 Oct 1999, Ed Street wrote:

> Yes I am definately recomending in *some* cases to remove the fish, plants
> and to do a very through cleaning of the substrate.  Sometimes if your
> nutrients are out of wack (say very high nitrate or phosphates in the
> substrate) it will hinder the plant growth.

I'm a little confused about when high nitrate and phosphate in the
substrate might hinder plant growth.  That aside, I agree that there are
cases when you do want to vaccuum the substrate.  It's a way to recover
from a serious mistake.

Olga is right, though.  For general maintenance and even for most cases
where heavy cleaning is warranted it's a bad idea to vaccuum the substrate
in a planted tank.

> The reason to remove the fish is since the substrate would be harboring
> nutrients in high concentrations then they would be subjected to issues
> like nitrate shock and phosphate shock, perhaps other forms as well.  It
> would definately be less stressfull on them to remove them during the
> cleaning.
> Next time you do any substrate work test the water column for nitrates,
> phosphates, iron and potassium, clean the substrate and test again.  These
> nutrients (and others as well) will be definately HIGHER.

If your tank is buggered up to the point where you need to vaccuum the
substrate then probably you should also do major water changes along
with the vaccuuming.  When you're done the nitrate levels should be low.

Personally I'd leave the fish in on the bet that netting them out of a
tank, moving them to temporary quarters, then netting them out of that and
returning them to the original tank is going to be more stressful than
just leaving them there.  But then, I keep rugged fish.

Roger Miller