Gravel Vacuuming Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-18-2009, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Gravel Vacuuming Question

Hey everyone,

Kudos to the FishForum! Lots of good info here!

I'm fairly new to fishkeeping, but I'm trying to do things intelligently after plenty of research. One thing I haven't found anything on is the proper vacuum technique.

I've got your basic siphon vac and use it to do regular water changes. The question is how thoroughly to vacuum. Do I want to simply bump the surface of the gravel and get the stuff off the top? Or do I want to push it down deep to get all the junk out? I had just been getting the surface garbage, but last week I went a little deeper and was thoroughly disgusted with the amount of crap that got sucked up.

What does everyone say? I've got a 30 gallon with a blood parrot, a kissing gourami, a tiger barb, a geophagus pellegrini, and several of those neon danios. Tiger barb is soon to join a school that my son has in his 29.

Thanks guys!

Eric
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-18-2009, 01:12 PM
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Hi! Welcome to the forum. Glad you joined us

As far as vacuuming...isn't it amazing the junk that comes up out of the gravel?? You are correct in shoving that vac down into the gravel. At each water change pick an area of gravel to clean. I don't do the same area twice in a row as you don't want to completely disrupt whatever biological that's in that area.

Looking forward to seeing some pics of your tank & fish.
PS. Kudos on doing research! It's key to successful fish keeping.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-18-2009, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for asking this question, I was wondering the same!

And of course, even bigger thanks for answering!

75 Gallon
4 Zebra Danios
2 Albino Zebra Danios
1 Pleco
16 Neon Tetras
Still stocking...
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-18-2009, 02:59 PM
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amazing how much gunk sits under the gravel. !
i guess that's one benifit of sand,it all sits on top.
look forward to pictures too if you can. :)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-18-2009, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Makes sense to do small areas very thoroughly on a rotating basis so as not to disrupt the bio filter. I'll post pics when I get a free minute.

Take care,
Eric
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-18-2009, 07:07 PM
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welcome to the forum.

i agree with everything that has been said.

how much/often/what do you feed? preventing yourself from overfeeding will reduce some of the "gunk" found in the gravel. not only is that food particles but its also extra fish poop that gets produced from eating extra food. make sense? regardless your going to have detritus and debris in your gravel but again preventing yourself from overfeeding will help this.

do you have neon tetras, or danios? (or glofish which come in neon colors but are actually painted danios)
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-19-2009, 02:59 AM
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since sand was mentioned... how do I clean sand? :D Same as gravel?
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-19-2009, 03:04 AM
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welcome to the forum lilgirlkat,

you can either attach a dowel to a gravel vac with rubberbands so it gently stirs the sand while cleaning, or carefully siphon along its surface sucking detritus and not sand
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-19-2009, 03:16 AM
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i tend to stir the sand after i vac,i just hover the vac over the top of the sand,
and the waste gets sucked up without too much sand loss,
i use a bamboo cain to stir up the sand after.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-19-2009, 03:25 AM
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how long should one wait to do the first cleaning?



(the bf threw a ton of extra food in the tank the day I set it up. there's probably 200 brine shrimp on the surface of the sand -- they didn't make it.)
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