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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fish have started digging like crazy! They have always dug a little bit, but all of a sudden they put it in high gear. They're digging all the way down to the glass and piling the sand up several inches high! I think it's mostly the Labs and Maingano. Acei not so much.

My question is, what should I do when I vacuum? Should I smooth everything out again, or should I leave the holes and sand piles undisturbed? Last week, I evened out the sand, and the next day the fish had dug new holes and made new sand piles in the exact same places! So, if I keep smoothing out the sand and the fish keep digging new holes, is that good or bad? I'm thinking maybe it's good because it gives them something to do, but maybe it just stresses them out. What's the conventional wisdom?
 

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Do whatever is easiest for you to clean, I usually even everything out because that is what happens when I vacuum. I don't think they are attached to their holes or feel stressed when they disappear. Rocks yes. Substrate, no.
 

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I used to play 'sand games' with mine.
The classic: Make a sand mountain in just the RIGHT spot (where a hole always is).
Or,
The twist: moving almost ALL the sand from the designated digging 'hole area', and piling it up really high somewhere else.
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Good times, yo'. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Auballagh said:
I used to play 'sand games' with mine.
The classic: Make a sand mountain in just the RIGHT spot (where a hole always is).
Or,
The twist: moving almost ALL the sand from the designated digging 'hole area', and piling it up really high somewhere else.
-
Good times, yo'. :lol:
Ha ha! I love it! Gotta mess with their heads. :lol:
 

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I always level it out for any of my cichlids on weekly water change day. I figure it gives them something to keep them busy and not focusing on harassing all their tankmates lol.
 

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Auballagh said:
I used to play 'sand games' with mine.
The classic: Make a sand mountain in just the RIGHT spot (where a hole always is).
Or,
The twist: moving almost ALL the sand from the designated digging 'hole area', and piling it up really high somewhere else.
-
Good times, yo'. :lol:
I think mine play sand games with me...once I level it out, it's back to the way it was when I get back from work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The other funny thing is I never actually see them doing it. They either do it overnight or while I'm out of the room for a few hours. It's almost like they are deliberately trying to be sneaky about it.
 

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Maybe they lost some secret ring or something precious, they don't want you to know about it.
 

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When you guys talk about vacuuming sand do you mean by hovering just above it with syphon etc?

I've not seen any gravel cleaner that may work similarly with sand in so much as the sand gets sucked up part way and then drops with weight.
 

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You can hover above the sand or get pool filter sand which is 20 grain and will ALL drop out of the siphon due to it's size weight. I do the latter.
 

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Mine is pool filter sand. Guess it depends what siphon it is the as a lot ends up in the bucket I empty into.

Have you got a link or image to the type you use please?
 

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Pool filter sand is SUPPOSED to be 20 grain throughout. I buy mine from a pool and spa chain store. I tried a branded type of "pool filter sand" one time because it was available at a convenient home supply store change and found much of the sand was too fine: Quikrete.

For a siphon I use Python no spill clean and fill. Mine is 50 feet but here is a link for a 25 foot version.https://www.amazon.com/25-Foot-Python-A ... B000255NXC
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I use a combination of both methods: (1) lightly skim the siphon over the top of the sand to pick up the big poop, and then (2) stick the siphon down into the sand to do a deep vacuum. I have Eco-Complete African Cichlid Sand. Yes, it gets sucked up into the siphon, but it falls out when I lift the siphon up a few inches above the sand.
 

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With the python you are reliant on connecting it to a tap to create that backflow? I only have a kitchen mixer tap although perhaps my outside tap may push through water in that way
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Arps1978 said:
With the python you are reliant on connecting it to a tap to create that backflow? I only have a kitchen mixer tap although perhaps my outside tap may push through water in that way
I don't use a Python. I just use a regular old aquarium gravel vac/syphon with a skinny (1") tube so I can get into narrow places between rocks and glass. But yes, I think the Python works by hooking it up to a faucet and letting the water run to create the suction. That's one of the reasons I don't use Python. Seems like a waste of water, especially in these days of frequent droughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Arps1978 said:
Hi Smeagol

So do you blow/suck on the tube to get siphon or just push up and down in water...
I do NOT suck on the tube. That would be gross! I just move it up and down in the water a couple times and it starts flowing. As long as your outflow (bucket) is below the level of your tank, you shouldn't have any problem. You can also buy a syphon/gravel vac with a rubber pump that you squeeze to get the flow going.
 

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You can do it either way with the Python. It comes with adapters...I connect mine to a basement sink and run the hose to the second level. You can drain via gravity out the window if you want to water the lawn/garden. I have tried a similar product but the Python hose is VERY flexible and you would be surprised how much difference that makes.
 

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I have two diggers! One one each side of the tank. I let them dig all week then smooth it out on Sundays when cleaning and doing my water change. I guess the holes make them feel special
 
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