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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometime ago, on a separate thread, I posted that my 9" frontosa was not active, hiding and not eating. Anyways, he ended up in a bare bottomed hospital tank, weeks of medication later, his health improved and just after he ate his first full meal (one cube of frozen blood worm, he wouldn't eat anything else) I had to leave town for three days. The trip end up to be three weeks instead of three days.

Wife reluctantly took over the husbandry of the sick front which translate into feeding him one cube of frozen blood worms every day and topping up evaporated water.

Three weeks of no water change, over sized fish (9") in an under sized tank (15g). strong water movement (200gph powerhead with foam filter placed towards the top of the tank, with outlet spraying the top of water, bottom of foam is 6" from tank bottom) and this is the observation:

1. Water's clear.
2. Bare bottom tank, so I expected lots of poop. There were some but not much.
3. The pump is too far and not strong enough to pick up the poop, so the poop sat not moving.
4. Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, now this Nitrate = 80ppm

It seems like the poop sat on the bare bottom, no substrate to hide, disintegrated or dissolved in couple of days, then the foam filter pickup the floating particles.

Based on this observation, may one assume that so long that the detritus had no place to hide and accumulate, like substrate, they will dissolve quite rapidly and be picked up by filter.
 

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Based on this observation, may one assume that so long that the detritus had no place to hide and accumulate, like substrate, they will dissolve quite rapidly and be picked up by filter.
Very interesting! I guess there's really no other explanation. I find it hard to believe that a 200 gph p.head in a 15 gallon didn't move the detritus at ALL though. I'd imagine that by having no substrate, some of that current must have tumbled the poop around at least a little and in turn allowed it to decompose at a faster rate than as if it were trapped in gravel with no water movement. Only 15 ppm nitrate though? Very surprising.
 

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The detrious is still there. Thus the 80ppm nitrates. Nitrates that high don't do much to help healing a fish.

Just because you can't see something in the water doesn't mean it's gone. Have you rinsed out the filter cartridge? I find you are often suprised by what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
under_control said:
The detrious is still there. Thus the 80ppm nitrates. Nitrates that high don't do much to help healing a fish.

Just because you can't see something in the water doesn't mean it's gone. Have you rinsed out the filter cartridge? I find you are often suprised by what you find.
In case of a bare bottom tank, I believe that if the filter pad (or in my case, the foam) are cleaned or changed regularly, vacuuming is not a must for water quality purposes. The detrious will decompose and picked up by the filter. so if you can tolerate the sight of some "fresh" yet to be decomposed ones, you can get away with not vacuuming.
 
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