I can't figure out my siphon! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-07-2008, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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I can't figure out my siphon!

Hi, I'm new here. I have a 10 gallon tank and it's been set up for about a month. I'm new to fish and have probably overfed the poor little guys. And my tank is probably over populated. I have an algae eater, a loach, and some tetras. Anyway....I need to syphon the gravel out badly and have tried on 2 separate occasions. I can NOT get it to work properly! The first time I used it,I moved it around too much and stirred up so much gunk that it took a week to clear up. But at some point, the water started pouring through it very rapidly. That's what I needed it to do, but I don't know how I did it! I just tried again....a week later, and I couldn't get it to do more than a trickle. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. It's just a manual syphon with the part that goes into the water being oval shaped. I forget the name brand of it and I threw the container it came in away because it had no instructions on it. It just told me to put it into the water and move it up and down. Ok, I did that. Continuously. Nothing. It was sold to me by a reputable local, privately-owned pet store...so I assume it's a nice one, I just don't know how to use it! Any suggestions???

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post #2 of 16 Old 02-07-2008, 08:55 AM
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I do it the old fashioned way; I suck on the end until the water comes up over the tank lip and then let it drain into the bucket. Moving up it down didn't work for me either so I went with something I knew would work and not upset the tank inhabitants either :)

If it's a Chinese Algae Eater they get really big and they also get aggressive to other fish as they get older.

What kind of loach? I believe many of them get rather large as well.

The Tetras sound more appropriate for this size tank; how many do you have and do you know what kind of Tetra?
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-08-2008, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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I have a Pakistani loach, from what I understand, they don't get very big. My algae eater is a Gold Marble. They all seem to get along very well. That's not the problem. The problem is the siphoning. I actually did suck on the other end to get it started, but that didn't help. I wish I knew what I did the first time when the water really started pouring through the tube. I just can't seem to get it to do that again. As for the tetras, I have 3 Penguins and 3 Diamonds.
Thanks for your reply....so what did you end up going with that you knew would work?
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-08-2008, 09:50 AM
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I just suck on the end of the vacuum until the water starts to flow. Just make sure you keep an eye on the water flow and are near the bucket so you don't get a mess or a mouthful...make sure the bucket is lower than the tank.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-08-2008, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I did all of that. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep practicing. Thanks fishhead
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-08-2008, 02:49 PM
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I have an auto-start gravel vacuum, and I start it by putting the siphon in the tank. Then I rapidly move the siphon up and down in small movements. The water trickles at first, but if I keep doing it, after a moment it starts flowing at full force. Mine has a little ball in the siphon so you can hear it clicking when you shake. Make sure that the container you are siphoning the water into is lower than the water level of the tank, or otherwise the water won't flow. Also, it flows faster if the container is completely below the tank.

Also, once you get it flowing, stick the siphon into the gravel, rather than just sucking open water. This should start sucking up the debris inside the gravel. Then scoot the vacuum around in the gravel to various places, carefully lifting up if you need to move a long distance.

Fancying the fish world!
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-09-2008, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Jasey
Now that I think about it, I can hear a clicking noise when I move mine. So i wonder if figuring out that ball in there is the secret to my success? The tank is about chest high and I did keep the bucket on the floor, so it was defintely below water level.
lol....I feel silly asking such a stupid question. I thought this would be one of the easier aspects of keeping fish. I'll get the hang of it eventually.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Willow518
lol....I feel silly asking such a stupid question. I thought this would be one of the easier aspects of keeping fish. I'll get the hang of it eventually.
,never worry about asking questions,that's how we all learn,
give yourself a chance to get the hang of things,you will soon
pick up things,and wonder how you ever had a problem lol :)
if you worry about how rapid the water comes out,you could always put your finger slightly over the end of the hose and that will restric the
amount of water comming out.
water change day is never overly exciting i have to say,
but the tank always looks nice after.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 07:45 AM
When I am force to use my older smaller siphon, I "scoop" water into the large end, tip it up to get the water flowing and QUICKLY put it back into the water once it begins to flow. I've had my fill of the taste of aquarium water.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 06:38 PM
With my siphon, I stick everything under the water for about 10 seconds. I then take out the bottom half, and stick it in a bucket under the tank. Vaccum with the other hand.
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