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I just recently added Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate to my established aquarium. I've always tried growing plants in plain aquarium gravel and am tired of seeing them slowly rot away, so I thought I'd try a substrate for plants. Upon adding it I notice it's quite sandy. How do you keep it from getting sucked up and away when you clean your gravel with regular water changes? And how do you clean the gravel as you get more and more plants?
 

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I have a mix of the Eco Gravel,Eco substrate as well as the Eco sand.What i do is when i do a vacuum is i use a 5 gallon bucket when i am done i empty the bucket kinda slow and the sand will stay in the bucket while the water and debre will flow out then i just put the sand back in.If you are super careful you should not remover to much at a time!
 

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Thanks! That is a good idea. I'm going to try to be careful when cleaning, so we'll see how it goes. When you added your substrate, did it make the water cloudy? How long did it last?
 

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What you can do is add a wooden dole about 2 to 3 inchs,stick out off of the large tube of you vacume. this will allow you stir the topp of the sub but keep the tube from touching the gravel and the gunk will then float up into the tube leaving the sand.
 

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What you can do is add a wooden dole about 2 to 3 inchs,stick out off of the large tube of you vacume. this will allow you stir the topp of the sub but keep the tube from touching the gravel and the gunk will then float up into the tube leaving the sand.
Interesting idea.

I move my tube up and down. Moving it up allows the sand to drop back down, while moving it down pushes all the stuff into the tube. It has to be done gently, but you get the hang of it after a few times. If too much sand accumulates in the tube, put your finger over the end of the tube, move it up so it stops siphoning and the back flow will push the sand out.
 
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