I have TWO questions.. lol
-Alrighty.. so I have a 10 gallon tank.. but for the longest time, I have been thinking to myself.. "How am I going to do a 50% water change for a 75gallon tank!? Does ANYONE have some tips? Maybe of a gravel vac that reaches to your sink or something?
-My second question is... Eco-complete... How are you suppose to gravel vac that!? I mean.. come on.. I dont want a 50% gravel change.. I want a 50% water change! Everytime I gravel vac this stuff it ends up in my bucket haha. Some tips on this would be helpful too.
These questions came up after I did a 50% water change for my 10gallon.. Thought of how much harder it will be to do with a 75.. and a 2.5G bucket.. lmao.
Now as far as vacuum the substrate. Well I am assuming since you have eco complete you are going to have plants? If so and depending on how many. Then you don't have to vacuum the substrate to a point. You just want to barely hit the surface of the gravel to get some of the big debris for the plant if there is any. In my tank this i how I do it. If you siphon the gravel like most people do who don't have plants in a planted tank then you are taking out the nutrients and the plants need and the bacteria needs. This is my understanding anyways there are some people here that can explain it better. Hope this helps some.
Definitely consider buying a Python (or equivalent) water changer which hooks up to your sink and allows you to drain and fill your tank much faster and easier than using a bucket. It's the best purchase I made when I bought my first 55 gallon tank. I have a Python which I love but I just recently ordered an Aqueon brand since my cat put holes in my Python. The Aqueon is basically the same thing and was a little cheaper.
Aquarium Maintenance and Water Changes: Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer
Aquarium Maintenance & Water Quality: How to Use the Python No Spill Clean 'N Fill
I've not used the Eco-Complete before so someone else can help you there. I'm thinking you'll have to treat it similar to sand and just hover the gravel vac just above it rather than shoving it into the substrate. If you have a lot of rooted plants you won't vacuum as thoroughly anyway since the plantsl use the fish poo as fertilizer.
I have a special hose I purchased from Home Depot for removing the water from the tank. It's a braided flexible plastic hose (I attached together 10 ft. sections together with couplings) long enough to reach the flowers beds out my front door. For refilling the tank I have a fifty foot lead free marine hose. With these two hoses I can do a 50% water change on a 100gl tank in 20 minutes flat. Scrubbing the tank walls and cleaning the filter?? ...that takes a little longer, lol.
I have a garden hose which I run out the back door onto the garden. I bought retic fittings for the end of the gravel vac so it can be clipped to the hose. I had a tap fitted to the laundry sink which takes the hose fitting so when I want to fill, I put the end of the hose onto the laundry sink.
+1 to the extra long gravel vac, i dont think pythons exist anymore, but aqueon makes a good one.
Like some of the others, I push the gravel siphon hose into a garden hose that I run out the door. In my case, my current sink faucet won't take a hose adapter, so I fill using buckets. Actually not bad since I can measure Jungle Start Right (a StressCoat like product) into each bucket and as I fill each I can get the temperature just right (I have well water w/no chlorine so I have an advantage not having to treat for chlorine.
As far as the substrate, I have regular gravel and plastic plants, so I get aggressive with the gravel siphon during the WWC. In your case, a simple matter to just hover over the surface to get visible mulm.
I would recommend the Aqueon over the Python. I consider the Aqueon faucet part to be better made, having used both [a Python faucet attachment gave out twice]. Otherwise, operation is identical.
On the substrate, I would not vacuum an enriched substrate. Contrary to the manufacturer's claims, they do not last forever; but they do last a long time (or should), largely due to continuing organics getting down into the substrate. I have Flourite in my 70g and I never touch it.
In planted tanks, the substrate should not be vacuumed even if it is gravel or coarse sand. I do the area in front in my gravel tanks, where my corys feed, but nothing more.
Wow all of these posts are very useful, thank you! I was worried that there would be to much Bio in the Eco.. and would lead to high nitrites/ammonia. I think the bacteria in the substrate break bio down tho.. I will be having a carpet of plants, so there shouldnt be an issue with that. Im more worried about filling and changing my tank.. :shock: As I will be living in a 3rd floor apartment.. haha. From the living room to the kitchen or bathroom it's maybe 25ft? Or less? Or more? not sure.. I havent checked.. Ill be moving into my new apartment soon haha. Not soon enough however :cry:
I use syphons for my 10g right now and put it into a 2.5 bucket haha. Guess that means Im old school? Funny about that is.. Im probably the youngest on this site. lol
At any rate, Ill find a cheap hose to use for syphoning out of my 75, and for filling.
Thanks for the replies! ;-)
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