Question about gravel cleaners - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 09-04-2012, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
New Member
Question about gravel cleaners

So I have finally seen a gravel cleaner working in real life in almost a year after I first got my tank. I have used it for the first time.
My question is: is it supposed to take half the gravel with it? And half the tank water?

An update on my tank: I'm doing water changes once or twice a week. I decided to remove most of the plants because there were so many I couldn't even see the fish. I also discovered that the cleaner tube wouldn't even fit in the tank with so many plants anyway.
Kiwifish is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 09-04-2012, 06:43 AM
Fredsterbit's Avatar
I usually just hover the cleaner just over the gravel and that's enough to take some gravel with it. As for the tank water, yes you should watch how much water has been taken away from the tank :P
Fredsterbit is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 09-04-2012, 08:18 AM
New Member
Yes, that's how it works.

My method :
At the weekly water change, I quickly hover the gravel cleaner everywhere, to get at the fallen leaves and whatnots. I then do a more thorought cleaning of half the tank. I dig about 1 inch in the gravel. You will see it go up in the cleaner tube, getting agitated a lot and the gunk will come out. After 5-10 seconds of this, I plug the end of my cleaner (where the water comes out) and wait for the gravel to come back down. Lather, rinse & repeat. Usually, I aim for a 40-50% water change, and cannot do the whole tank at once. I do the other half the week after.

Also, I dont do this deep cleaning near the plants root.

BTW, how were you doing your water changes before ? It's so easy with a gravel cleaner...
Boise1024 is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 09-04-2012, 08:44 AM
First of all, using a gravel siphon in a planted tank, especially a heavily planted one, is counter productive. Plant and fish waste decays and creates organic fertilizer for the plants as well as establishes an extremely healthy eco-system in the substrate that helps clarify water. If you feel you must remove detritus/mulm, just hover the gravel siphon slightly above the surface of the substrate.

As for 'regular' gravel siphoning, most gravels are heavy enough so they will raise in the tube, but fall back as detritus is lifted away. And of course, you have to watch the water loss as you siphon it away, but even an aggressive gravel siphoning can be accomplished in less than or equal to a 50% water change.

Father Knows Best but Abbey knows everything! I once knew everything, then I asked one question.
` ...><((((>` . . ` . . . ><((((> . ` .. . ><((((>

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 09-04-2012 at 09:02 AM.
AbbeysDad is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 09-04-2012, 08:55 AM
New Member
I find that in small tanks (10-20gal) the water level goes down too quickly to deep clean all the gravel.

Also, in tanks that are not densely planted, I find that no roots reach some parts of the gravel, thus the deep cleaning. Of course, don't clean near your plants, they need that gunk !
Boise1024 is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question on Magnet Glass cleaners. ronin07x DIY Aquarium 2 02-17-2012 01:37 AM
Gravel question lrmaya Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 11 12-10-2010 02:40 PM
gravel question..... bearwithfish Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 6 11-24-2009 08:25 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome