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 Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice

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nukepaste
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Posts : 22
Location : Phoenix AZ

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PostSubject: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/23/2011, 3:49 pm

So what advice do you all have on cleaning the substrate in a tank populated with RCS?

In my other tanks I would just suction the sand/gravel as usual because the fish and plecos are smart enough to get out of the way.

In my planted RCS tank I use gravel substrate. I am afraid if I just ‘Go to town' on the gravel and start siphoning out junk that I might hurt/smash/suck up some of my RCS.

My thoughts were 3 options
1. "very carefully",
2. Remove all the plants/driftwood/rocks and go for it, giving the RCS space to move and me a better chance to see them and not siphon them
3. Remove everything included decor, fish and RCS, then just siphon or totally empty and clean the substrate? I am not concerned about the beneficial bacteria in the gravel as there should be plenty in the bio media of the HOB and sponge filters

Going forward do you recommend a bare bottom or eliminate this problem? Or maybe just a very small layer of substrate? Like 1/4-1/2 inch? I have maybe 1.5-2.0" in there now.

thanks ahead of time for any pointers or advice. Figured I'd ask the pros since this is the first plants and first RCS tank I've kept.
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James0816
Captain
Captain
James0816

Posts : 1194
Location : Spotsylvania, VA
Favorite Fish: : Stingrays
Otocinclus Catfish
Kuhli Loaches

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/23/2011, 4:00 pm

Out of the options you listed....Option 1. If you are going to gravel vac, do so carefully with a watchfull eye.

Other than that, however, I don't vac unless my TDS levels get over 200. If your not really interested in breeding shrimp, then that number won't really matter.
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nukepaste
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Posts : 22
Location : Phoenix AZ

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/23/2011, 7:41 pm

With RCS I figured 'breeding' was included in ownership. What would Total Dissolved Solids have to do with it? Wouldn't that number be reduced with water changes anyways?

My other tanks have sand substrate so all the junk sits on top. I figured I didn’t want to let all the poo build up in the gravel for months and months and produce excess nitrate.
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sunkenmetal
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sunkenmetal

Posts : 194
Location : Houston Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/23/2011, 7:47 pm

I don't vacuum a lot. but when i do i take my time and watch closely.
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tomany
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Posts : 138
Location : South Alabama
Favorite Fish: : abn plecos right now. But it changes so much, I see a new fish and want to keep it, too. That's how I got so many tanks. I really want some rams and loaches now.

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/23/2011, 8:29 pm

I use a small vacuum. The hard plactic tube is 1"ID and the tubing is 1/4" ID. I vacuum into a bucket while keeping the tubing in one hand with my finger close to the end. You can control the flow of the vacuum this way. When I have done one section I cut the flow off with my finger,move to the next section wave the vacuum around to move the shrimp away, place the tube in the gravel, release my finger and clean that section. If I see a shimp being sucked up into the tube I can stop the flow by putting my finger over the end and normally the shrimp will find it's way out pretty fast. If it doesn't I empty the hard plastic tube into the tank. It takes a while to vacuum but I don't want to kill any of the little fellows. As they say you don't have to vacuum a shrimp tank often. I don't tank out the plants but I do the decor and driftwood. I hope this long rant helped:)
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whisper
Betta Specialist
Betta Specialist
whisper

Posts : 1990
Location : Euless, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Betta's,Fancy Guppies, Plecos, kio.

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/23/2011, 9:42 pm

what we use in our Betta fry tanks because they are so tiny is a length of hose with a plastic straw wedged onto the end of it. The end with the straw goes in the water while the other end is in the bucket. The straw is stiff there for it can be moved around easily using your hand. This idea may help in your shrimp tank too.
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nukepaste
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Posts : 22
Location : Phoenix AZ

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/24/2011, 12:47 pm

Thanks for the advice. Caution seems to be the thing I will need the most of. I also like the idea of draining in a bucket so I can control the flow and also rescue any shrimps that accidently got sucked up the hose.

Thanks again, going to give it a shot this weekend.
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whisper
Betta Specialist
Betta Specialist
whisper

Posts : 1990
Location : Euless, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Betta's,Fancy Guppies, Plecos, kio.

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/24/2011, 1:59 pm

Yes I do it into a white colored container with the Betta fry. Then I can see them. Then I use a turkey baster to gently suck them out and put into a smaller container till I have them all then back into the original tank.
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Kasshan
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Kasshan

Posts : 519
Location : Modesto, CA
Favorite Fish: : Kribensis

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/30/2011, 6:09 pm

i have strong bias against ever using gravel again/ the substrate is too large and traps too much cr@p in the crevices and can also trap fry which make siphoning a pain. now i use fine sand.

in my main display tank (40gal breeder tank) i use Tahitian-Moon black sand. 60lbs of at $1/lb . i dont recommend it unless youre a insane like me and just want awesome black sand

in my marble crayfish breeder tank (40gal) i used to use a bare bottom setup. and it was bloody easy to clean. but since moving i have to put it in the open for display. so i went to Lowes and got Playsand for $5 for 50lbs. the playsand is very fine sand and all the poo collects nicely at the top and the sand also looks nicer than barebottom.

if you really want to ease the pain of cleaning, i recommend adding those burrowing Malaysian Trumpet snails. most folks think they are pest. but i love them cuz they do such an awesome job cleaning. and removing them is a cinch. submerge a ceramic bowl with veggies and lights off overnight and voila, snail salad.
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whisper
Betta Specialist
Betta Specialist
whisper

Posts : 1990
Location : Euless, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Betta's,Fancy Guppies, Plecos, kio.

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/30/2011, 6:19 pm

Kass I agree with you. I guess I should have mentioned that all my tanks are bare bottom tanks except my 75g community tank which I also have the black sand in and I love it. All the fish colors just pop against the black. I only have the bottom covered about 1/4"-1/2'" with the sand though so it is really easy to siphon it and get ALL the gunk out. As for the MTS snails I have thousands of those in my tanks at our store and I love them for the reason that you gave.
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Kasshan
Chief Wrnt. Off. 5
Chief Wrnt. Off. 5
Kasshan

Posts : 519
Location : Modesto, CA
Favorite Fish: : Kribensis

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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime8/30/2011, 6:25 pm

*huggles* whisper Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice 772341
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PostSubject: Re: Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice   Shrimp tank substrate cleaning advice Icon_minitime

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