Has anyone ever tried this
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
discoveringmypath
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Has anyone ever tried this


Hello all,

When I only had gravel in my 55G tank, I would clean the gravel during my water changes. I would let the water flow to a 5 gallon bucket on the floor. The problem is I can only gravel clean about 4 buckets worth because I don't want to do too big of a water change.

I was wondering if anyone has ever built or has heard of a pump cleaner?Hook up the gravel cleaner to a pump and a filter so I can pump the water back into the tank as I clean with the gravel cleaner.

So basically, the pump would pull the water from the tank through the gravel cleaner, through some sort of filter and then the pump would push the filtered clean water back into the tank. This way I can gravel clean for as long as I need.

What do you guys think?

Do they make something like this? has anyone built something like this?

I figure I can built a DIY system that could work..

Thanks for any comments!
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
danielt
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You can use a little canister filter full with floss. Just use one with an adjustable flow. If the flow is too high it will return some of the gunk back.

There are also battery operated gravel cleaners. Check them out.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielt View Post
You can use a little canister filter full with floss. Just use one with an adjustable flow. If the flow is too high it will return some of the gunk back.

There are also battery operated gravel cleaners. Check them out.
Oh wow, I didn't even know they made these. I'm a look into them. Thanks!

Depending on the price I might build one myself.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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Well, lets be real clear. Vacuuming the junk out of the substrate is very important, to maintain good water quality. But the nitrates, and other toxic chemicals that are to small to be captured by the filter are still in the water. Water changes should still be high on the list of stuff to do each week.

You may look into DE Filters. Basically it uses Diatomic Earth to filter your tank water on a very fine level.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aquarium...m-filters.html
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:50 AM   #5
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they actually make a gravel vac that is basically a vacuum hose attached to a hob.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...1&pcatid=24111
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmt321 View Post
Well, lets be real clear. Vacuuming the junk out of the substrate is very important, to maintain good water quality. But the nitrates, and other toxic chemicals that are to small to be captured by the filter are still in the water. Water changes should still be high on the list of stuff to do each week.

You may look into DE Filters. Basically it uses Diatomic Earth to filter your tank water on a very fine level.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aquarium...m-filters.html

I would have to disagree with this. Further, most people with planted tanks do not vacuum their substrates.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:08 AM   #7
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Correct, you only need to deep vacuum a heavily planted tank one a year if at all


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Old 10-13-2013, 02:55 AM   #8
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+1 no regular vacuuming

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Old 10-13-2013, 03:28 AM   #9
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never ever gravel vac my tanks
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:31 AM   #10
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Since going planted I haven't vacuumed my tank in over a year. There's no build up of crud, and my nitrates and nitrites stay well below 0ppm. I do a water change every 4 months though, only because I over filtrate all my tanks, and they evaporate about 1-2 gallons every two weeks, top offs are important,
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:56 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmt321 View Post
Well, lets be real clear. Vacuuming the junk out of the substrate is very important, to maintain good water quality. But the nitrates, and other toxic chemicals that are to small to be captured by the filter are still in the water. Water changes should still be high on the list of stuff to do each week.

You may look into DE Filters. Basically it uses Diatomic Earth to filter your tank water on a very fine level.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aquarium...m-filters.html
I know that water changes are very important and I plan on doing them as well. I was just looking for a solution for cleaning the gravel in my non planted tank that would be easier.

It looks like the majority of people with planted tanks don't gravel vac there tanks. I was thinking in a planted tank, an automatic vac might be good while trimming to catch all the debris's.

Anyone try this?

I'm new to this so thanks for the advice!

Quote:
they actually make a gravel vac that is basically a vacuum hose attached to a hob.
I saw this earlier, I think it was $50 something. I wouldn't mind having one of these...
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:56 AM   #12
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I tried the canister filter method, you either run into the problem of poor suction and it takes you 4 hours or you return some of the gunk back. I tried this with an Eheim 2213 full of filter floss and wasn't pleased with the outcome. Finally dropped the idea. But, the 2213 is not a filter that allows flow control and I think it was much too powerful for this application.

This is just a heads up if you're willing to drop 50$ for that HOB contraption.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:32 PM   #13
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Try going with out vacuuming your planted tank even when you trim, you can use a net if you would like, but eventually the trimmings that you missed will make their way to your filter intake or power head where they can be easily removed, if that does not work for you then try one of the methods you are describing, don't overcomplicate your life and just enjoy your tanks. I have tried almost everything and have cone to the conclusion that the basics are more than sufficient to grow beautiful plants. Here is a picture of a 1.5 year old tank that had never been vacuumed
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #14
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If your substrate is inert I could understand a regular vac cleaning but why would you vacuum anything else? What is the point?
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:52 PM   #15
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I am trying to figure out why put back the same tank water. Go ahead and replace it. There is a degree to vacuuming the substrate. If you are referring to inserting a suction hose/wand into the substrate then no, typically its not done. Now skimming the surface of the gravel is a different story. Most do this. Just hover over the substrate without picking any of it up. Its fairly easy with a python. Good suction and drains at the hose connection point to eliminate bucket carrying.
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