Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Max77 12-13-2008 10:51 AM

Gravel vac on small tank
I was wondering how you guys do your gravel vacs on smaller tanks. My tank has been cycled for a while and today i checked the parameters and they were fine Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and nitrate 40 but i decided i wanted to do my first gravel vac. I tried but it was hard to get the water to siphon in such a small tank. oh and i am not a big fan of the sucking method. If you guys will give me some advice that would be great.

Thanks in advance

Twistersmom 12-13-2008 11:27 AM

I use a gravel cleaner that has a hand pump to start the water flow.

Lupin 12-14-2008 01:28 AM

Same as above. I bought one vacuum cleaner with a tubing similar to ones connected to airpumps. Very efficient for my barebottom 2.5g betta tanks.

Twistersmom 12-14-2008 09:36 AM

You can suck on the end of of the gravel cleaner," like a straw". That will start the water flow. Be carefull, or you will have fish water in your mouth! Does not taste so great!

mischievouscat 12-14-2008 02:53 PM

There's a great demonstration video on youtube.
YouTube - Water Siphon Demonstration

On my 5 gallon, I used to put the whole tube underwater and shift it to get the air bubbles out. Then, I'd plug my thumb over the small opening, and keeping the broad end underwater with one hand, I'd lift the plugged end to my bucket and remove my thumb. It works, but now I use the method in the video. It's even easier.

jeaninel 12-15-2008 01:05 PM

That's a good demo on how to get the syphon started. However I don't recommend stirring the gravel around like that when syphoning. It stirs all the waste up into the water column and really mucks up the water and could cause a nitrite spike. Just plunge the vac deep into the gravel in one spot, watch the deitrus go up the tube until it clears, lift the tube up a little and move to the next spot and repeat. Your water will stay nice and clear.

iamntbatman 12-15-2008 01:29 PM

I use the same method as jeaninel. Also, as the comments on the video stated, you don't need to stop the water flow to get the gravel out of the tube. I just tap the tube gently against the glass or some decorations to get the gravel to fall out. Stopping the flow like she does in the video will make any detritus in the tube fall back out with the gravel.

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