I am new to plants and have always cleaned my aquarium with the trusty old python cleaner many of you probably have. A new problem for me was how to clean up food/waste etc after you have put your pricey fertilizers in the water when your water change day is far away.
I looked at a few of the popular non-siphon methods and see the Eheim Powervac and the Cobalt Aquatics Power Gravel Cleaner as big contenders. The problem with the eheim (according to reviewers) is that you have a screen that captures bigger waste but cloudy water seeps through the screen.
The Cobalt Aquatics Power Gravel Cleaner uses a cheesecloth-type bag to grab the water.
I was thinking of getting this one but it will cost you in the $110-$150 range after tax/shipping etc. As I looked more, I thought "this is nothing more than an HOB filter with a hose for an intake". Thus the idea......
I picked up a cheaper Aquatec 20-40 HOB filter from walmart for $40.
I cut the intake stem and attached a 17mm inside diameter hose to it (you could use a smaller 8-11mm inside diameter hose if you had a connector to join it to the intake)
I attached my python cylinder to the hose and filled the hose and cylinder up with as much water as I could and connected.
The Aquatec 20-40 HOB has a good flow rate that picks up waste and left my aquasoil alone on the bottom of the tank and as you can see from the filter cartridge, it got alot of algae and waste (it started off blue)!!