Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Stupid question about gravel vac. (

yippee 05-07-2009 02:01 AM

Stupid question about gravel vac.
How do you use it? I just bought the Hagen/Marina gravel vac. the reviews online looked really good so i bought it. So far it seems like a good product, i just havent figured out how to use it efficiently :oops:. I put it in, move it up and down and it starts siphoning. Are you supposed to have it fully submerged to start or partially out? once it starts are you supposed to angle it or hold it upright? Do you let it do the work or do you intentionally disturb the gravel (such as dipping it into the gravel)? I feel so bad for having to ask but any help would be great. Any reviews on this product?

Twistersmom 05-07-2009 07:36 AM

Looks like you are using it on a 10gal tank. The smaller the tank, the harder it is for me to get the syphon going. I preffer to use a syphon with a hand pump on my smaller tanks.
Once you get the syphon going, as long as the sucking end remains under water the flow should continue.
I stick the gravel vac down into the gravel, until it gently hits the bottom of the tank. I then raise it to let any gravel fall out, then move on to another area and repeat.
Lets see if I can explain how to start the flow.
One way is to use you mouth and suck on the end that goes into the bucket like a straw. Caution, doing it this way you are very likely at some point get fish water in your mouth.
Another way, put the gravel vac part in the tank, let it fill with water. Put your finger over the tubing end of the syphon. Raise the gravel vac straight up into the air, release your finger from the tubing, when the water flow starts to flow out of the gravel vac and into the tubing quickly put the gravel vac part under water.
One more way, if you have enough room to lay the gravel vac vertical under the water, rock the gravel vac end up out of the water a little, till you see water start to flow down the tubing, then quickly put the gravel vac end back under the water.

yippee 05-07-2009 01:47 PM

Yes ma'am, I'm using the gravel vac on a ten currently. I got the siphon going, i just wasn't positive if i was doing it right. I think i definitely need to shorten the hose though. I had to struggle to keep it all down hill so it wouldnt alter the flow. The stand i have is fairly low and makes it hard to have the whole hose downhill between the tank and the bucket. The picture on the box shows it is supposed to take the gravel well up into the vac, is this true? I was doing basically like you described and it disturbed the gravel and pulled some of the extra stuff out. It just didn't seem like it was working fully efficient. Thanks.

doctorb 05-07-2009 02:05 PM

Cut the hose so it reaches the bucket without drooping too far, that'll help suction. I put the whole thing in the water so it's full of water, put my finger over the hose end, and put it into the bucket. Very easy.

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