Jump to content

Query: Technique to clean small gravel substrate with a layer of JBL Manado substrate


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Sorry for the rather vague title, I am asking for advise on a process to clean my aquarium substrate which is covered with a large amount of algae without kicking up the soil below.

To put a bit of context, several months ago I set up a brand new aquarium, with this aquarium set up I bought 2 types of substrate,

JBL Manado soil for plants which sits at the base of the aquarium and some small gravel substrate to sit on top of the JBL Manado substrate, during the initial set up (putting water initially into the aquarium) I found that some of the JBL Manado soil made its way above the gravel and some of the JBL Manado soil even started floating in the water. This was not ideal.

Over the course of the months following the set up, i carried out water changes and tried to manage algae growth but it seems that algae is hard to control with algae being found in the gravel and seeping all the way through down into the soil, this has me worried that even if I keep the glass clean the algae growth  will get worse in the gravel leading to potentially worse outcomes in the near future, so I am looking for ways to get rid of the algae between the small gravel stones without kicking up the soil below, as I expect that some soil would end up floating in the water and possible cause the fish some issues.


I would like to get peoples advice in cleaning the substrate without polluting the water with soil or having soil which should be below the gravel simply be moved around by fish making things look less pleasing. Thanks in advance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Cory shows a “throttling technique” in one of his videos which might make gravel vacuuming a bit cleaner even with soil underneath. You would probably have to adjust depth and perhaps the size of the actual vacuum tube itself and be quite intentional but off the top of my head this sounds like a viable solution…


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...