after reading dozens of books on fish keeping even before I bought one fish for the tank back in May 2008, and having gravel vacuumed for the first fews weeks, I find that to gravel vac is soem kind of sham
since the beginning of June 2008, after the tank was cycled, I have had nitrite and ammonia at a constant flat 0; nitrate levels anywhere from 0 to 20 (only about 2 or 3 times did the nitrate reach 30-35, but after a quick water change, right back down to 5 or 10), oxygen levels at a constant 8.3; iron and phosphate levels (I yest these every 2 months) within normal range; even the carbon dioxide levels are within normal range; I change water every Monday and Thursday, 9 gallons each time; I have live plants without co2 and each plant is wonderfully green and flourishing; only time I had any fish die are the fish I bought from Petsmart or Petco (none of my fish, invertebrates died when bought from Dr Fosters & Smith Live Aquaria or from Aquatic Plant Depot (both online); I have a constant sparkling water, I can see form one end of the 55 gallon freshwater aquarium to the other end by peeking through the side of the tank, as clear as day
I have trumpet snails that burrow throughout the gravel, turning it over to help the bio-load (good bacteria) and the live plant roots to grow well
I never ever had a problem with algae of any kind; I have trumpet snails, olive nerite snails and otocinclus catfish that constantly skim and clean the plant leaves (so the pores do not get clogged with dirt), the glass (to clean off any snail eggs or what have you), the rocks; I have ghost shrimp that clean the tank of any leftover foods, and I have african dwarf frogs to help keep down the population growth explosion of platy fry
every other day I feed the frogs bloodworms, cyclops, mysis and brine shrimp, tubifex worms, beefheart; I feed the fish flake and fresh peas (on Monday only) without the shell so their intestines stay cleaned out; I give the fish soft watered down pellet foods (my own concoction), also freeze dried bloodworms
must I go on...because if you like, I can fill in more detail....
and guess what?
since about the end of July 2008, I have not once vacuumed the gravel
what are your thoughts on this?
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