Tool to clean up surface gunk on substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Tool to clean up surface gunk on substrate

Has anyone ever used one of those battery operated tools that syphons water up a tube, removes the gunk, and then re-deposits the clean water back into the tank?

I am thinking of redoing my 'scape in the next month or so and HATE to see all that gunk sitting on the substrate as the result.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 05:11 PM
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Never tried one. Only $6.99 for sale at Drs. Foster & Smith:



http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113165
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 06:26 PM
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Gravel wshers are only good if what is in the gravel is inert at the time that you begin using it.

Meaning if you are pulling out large peices of junk, dead plants, leaves, fish, etc. you would be ok.

However, you should understand that if this is replacing your regular water changes, this is a bad idea. Yes, it will put out the junk, but it puts back in the tank the ammonia and nitrites that may be present in your tank. Also the very fine stuff makes its way back into the tank and back into gravel or suspended until the filter gets to it. Assuming it is not too small to get caught by the filter cartridge.

I use the one that actually removes the water from the tank along with the junk.

So I guess the answer is part yes and part no.

Yes if your water quality if good, no ammonia and no nitrites and you just need to get out large debri.

No, if you are looking to get rid of doing your regular water changes or if your water quality is not up to snuff.

Remember it is always what you can not see that kills your fish.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shackscs
Gravel wshers are only good if what is in the gravel is inert at the time that you begin using it.

Meaning if you are pulling out large peices of junk, dead plants, leaves, fish, etc. you would be ok.

However, you should understand that if this is replacing your regular water changes, this is a bad idea. Yes, it will put out the junk, but it puts back in the tank the ammonia and nitrites that may be present in your tank. Also the very fine stuff makes its way back into the tank and back into gravel or suspended until the filter gets to it. Assuming it is not too small to get caught by the filter cartridge.

I use the one that actually removes the water from the tank along with the junk.

So I guess the answer is part yes and part no.

Yes if your water quality if good, no ammonia and no nitrites and you just need to get out large debri.

No, if you are looking to get rid of doing your regular water changes or if your water quality is not up to snuff.

Remember it is always what you can not see that kills your fish.
Well, the point is to pull out the detrius (old, ALL brown-colored leaves, "crap" near plant base). See what happens is that I pull a plant out of the substrate and up comes all the crap left over in the gravel. No problem, I think, except that it rests and accumulates on the surface of the substrate. It turns my beautiful dark substrate into a gunky mess.

I only plant/re-plant/trim once the water level is down some. In other words, I perform my water change to get the water at a good level for trimming/water change and THEN I began to trim/plant.

So I'm thinking this "device" would work well to clean up the surface substrate ... since I don't want to do ANOTHER water change immediately after the one I just performed, just to get the gunk off the substrate surface!

20G High planted "cliff" aquarium
Dwarf Gourami, Cardinal Tetras, Julii Corydoras
Coralife T5NO (2x28w), DIY Yeast CO2
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 08:31 PM
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That machine is a piece junk IMO.
Get a python and do a good H2o change and gravel clean after the rescape.

Oh ya .. take before and after pics too !!

"If music be the food of love; play on"
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 05:51 AM
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Eheim Sludge Extractor. Battery powered and about $70. I don't have personal experience with it (yet) but I'm sure it's got to be better than a Python Clean-n-Fill (those are huge water wasters).

Bruno
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 08:35 AM
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i've been looking for a battery operated one so i picked up the one from the link above. also ordered a few other items also since i'm already paying for the shipping. wallet is $65 lighter once again thanks to the fish hobby.

i'm using eco complete in my aquarium and trying to get all the debris out is kinda hard without 1) sucking up all the substrate and 2) taking too much water out. we'll see how this thing works out for me.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSo
i've been looking for a battery operated one so i picked up the one from the link above. also ordered a few other items also since i'm already paying for the shipping. wallet is $65 lighter once again thanks to the fish hobby.

i'm using eco complete in my aquarium and trying to get all the debris out is kinda hard without 1) sucking up all the substrate and 2) taking too much water out. we'll see how this thing works out for me.
PLEASE reply to this thread with your review - I really appreciate it!!

20G High planted "cliff" aquarium
Dwarf Gourami, Cardinal Tetras, Julii Corydoras
Coralife T5NO (2x28w), DIY Yeast CO2
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 01:37 PM
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I tried one, was not built very well so did not last long, did not do a good job of cleaning the gravel either (cannot remember the make/model). Was going to try the Eheim, read a lot of threads of people that did not like it.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 02:20 PM
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I've used one of those before. Does Not Work.

Now it looks like a lazy mans dream tool for the tank But it really doesn't work that well at all. It only traps the larger pieces of crap in the tank and surprisingly lets a lot of debris and waste into the water column. The best thing for you to do is attach a hose to the outlet where the little bag is and you have a self priming water changer. Trust me if you drudge that thing through your gravel your going to end up right where you left off with alot of crap in the water thats gonna settle on to your gravel again.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 06:57 PM
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i used something similar but it used an air pump....i thought it was a piece of crap
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 06:39 PM
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i gotta say, i love this machine.
for my application, its a godsend.
i have dwarf hairgrass and micro chain swords where tons of debris likes to accumilate. trying to syphon and get every nook and cranny is hard, but this machine lets me take my time and fine tune where i need to suck up the gunk.

like i said above, i'm using eco-complete and i cant just stick the syphon straight into the gravel because i'll just suck up alot of sand. also, you can detach that botton bell part of it (cuz it connects to a thin tube) and i can navigate into small areas where debris likes to hide in my tank.
the nylon bag it comes with is nice. it doesn't let stuff back into the aquarium. it'll actually hold air in the bag underwater unless you squeeze and force the air out.

the power of the unit is respectable for its size, its got a good flow.
the only bad thing about the unit is the propeller isn't that big so if i suck up dead leaves or java moss, it'll clog the propeller, and i'll have to stop for a second to pull it out. but that only takes a second to do. i would reccomend this product. its cheap, effective, and perfectly suits what i need it for.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSo
i gotta say, i love this machine.
for my application, its a godsend.
i have dwarf hairgrass and micro chain swords where tons of debris likes to accumilate. trying to syphon and get every nook and cranny is hard, but this machine lets me take my time and fine tune where i need to suck up the gunk.

like i said above, i'm using eco-complete and i cant just stick the syphon straight into the gravel because i'll just suck up alot of sand. also, you can detach that botton bell part of it (cuz it connects to a thin tube) and i can navigate into small areas where debris likes to hide in my tank.
the nylon bag it comes with is nice. it doesn't let stuff back into the aquarium. it'll actually hold air in the bag underwater unless you squeeze and force the air out.

the power of the unit is respectable for its size, its got a good flow.
the only bad thing about the unit is the propeller isn't that big so if i suck up dead leaves or java moss, it'll clog the propeller, and i'll have to stop for a second to pull it out. but that only takes a second to do. i would reccomend this product. its cheap, effective, and perfectly suits what i need it for.
Great! Thank you so much for the review!

Where did you buy it and for how much? You mention it was "cheap" yet somebody else said the Eheim (if that is what you purchased) was around $70 !?

Thanks again Miso!

20G High planted "cliff" aquarium
Dwarf Gourami, Cardinal Tetras, Julii Corydoras
Coralife T5NO (2x28w), DIY Yeast CO2
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-22-2006, 06:55 AM
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http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc... =2004+113165

got it from the link above. $6.99
for such a low price, there's no reason not to get it.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 10:03 PM
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I made my Hot Magnum hang on the back canister filter into a gravel cleaner using the water polisher filter insert (you could also use the regular filter media, but it won't filter out the fine stuff). Just attach some tubing to the intake for a fairly powerful suction or attach the gravel cleaner piece from a python or whatever on the end if you want a little less suction (i.e. you have light sand you're trying not to suck up). Works pretty well.

David
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