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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
no plants. Water is clear except that junk which can not be seen unless i push my siphon tube deep into the gravel. do want to kill good bacteria, just wondered.
 

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I vacuum about 15 gallons for my water changes and my parameters are stable, so either it isn't bacteria or there is enough in my filter media to do the job. Also it makes your substrate look squeaky clean when you give it a good cleaning. :thumb:
 

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Unlike Sand Gravel has a very bad habit of catching and trapping detritus deep in its base.

You need to be assertive when vaccing to remove this buildup. Thing is do not do more than half the substrate aggressively at one time. Deeply vac one side this week the other next week along the back or front the next, rinse and repeat.

After a few months or so you will find that some spots do not collect as much as others and when you determine the nature of your system it will become apparent where heavy maintenance is needed and areas where a slight vac is suffecient.
 

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If you leave it, it will gradually build into a real mess as it decays. I never worry about how much bacteria I've removed with the vac'ing. I remove all I can to reduce the bio-load on the filter. Even using a portable power filter to really deep clean all I can, I've never seen a spike from vac'ing.
 

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I do aggressive cleaning once a week and even though my nitrates never go above 20 ppm the water that comes out of my sand is a medium yellowish color. I'm always amazed what comes out.

You're going to love how clean your substrate will look once all your water clears up, it's like it's brand new.
 

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its good to vacuum the substrate because it can help maintain clear water.
 

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What is the reason for only gravel vaccuming half the tank at a time? I hear both sides. Some people say only do half at a time while others say you can do all the gravel in one go. From my experience, the bacteria stick firmly to the gravel and the brown detritus is not bacteria. I have wondered if the bacteria feed off of the detritus and this is the reason not to vaccum all of the gravel in one go. Plants certainly like the detritus because when I removed it from my planted tank, the plants really suffered.
 

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What does everyone use for vacuuming gravel? I picked up a Lee's 25' tube system and tried for a bit today but there was hardly any suction. Right now it's filled on the floor to test for leaks and the tube was still coiled, can I expect better results once it's on its stand?
 

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Malvos said:
What does everyone use for vacuuming gravel? I picked up a Lee's 25' tube system and tried for a bit today but there was hardly any suction. Right now it's filled on the floor to test for leaks and the tube was still coiled, can I expect better results once it's on its stand?
I'm not familiar with that brand, but I have the Aqueon changer. I noticed that I get better suction in my basement sink than I do in my kitchen sink. It has alot to do with the water pressure, to work effectively.
 

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For water out of the tank, I hang mine out the window and water the shrubs in my front yard. There is a considerable difference in the shrubs that get "fish water" and the shrubs that don't. This weekend I bought a longer hose at the orange big box store to even things out a bit. To fill it back up, I hook it up to my garage sink and drag the hoses thru the house. I do a 20% water change on (currently) 8 tanks and a jar, takes just over an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would like to find a reasonable price "quicky" vaccum. Maybe a battery powered or air powered to get the poop off my black sand between my regular cleaning.

Any ideas?
 

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Eheim makes a battery powered vaccuum.....maybe one of the members who has one, can give their opinion about them. I'd like to know how good they are myself. :lol:
 

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You know I saw this at one of the chain stores and was interested myself. It's like a dust buster for the aquarium, but at $50 I figure I would wait for reviews.
 

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There are reviews of the battery powered items and as all reviews, there are mixed results. I'm thinking the Ehiem would have a good chance, others, I'm not thinking they work as well. Been tempted but not tried one.
For the suction on unpowered vac'ing the difference in height between the water level in the tank and the end where the water comes out is what determines the flow. Like head height on pumps only in reverse. A larger "stack" of water runniong down creates more force. If you want more force, put the end lower even if it means using more tubing or hose. When I wanted the quickest, I used to use a hose and run the end out to the street which is 6 feet lower than my house.
 

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I have the Eheim battery vac and it works great for my plecostomus and my oscar as well. It is not for vacuming substrate as the pores in the vac bag are too large. Its great as a morning and evening cleaner to pick up the solid waste before it breaks down.

Since starting to use it my water has stayed clearer longer.
 
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