Gravel washing bucket - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Gravel washing bucket

I started thinking about the gravel I need to wash for the 75 I'm setting up & I realized it's going to take awhile with my standard method. Put the gravel in a bucket, add water, stick my hand in the bucket & swish it around. Pour the water off, add more & keep repeating untill the water runs clear. Here's what I came up with.
Cut off the bottom of the bucket & cut a strip about 2" wide.
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Next, cover the bottom of the bucket with a mesh material. I used landscape fabric because I had some on hand, you could also use window screen. Next, slide the strip into the bottom of the bucket trapping the fabric between the strip & bucket.
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Since I used a square bucket, I cut the bottom into strips to use for the next step. If you are using a round bucket, you can cut a second strip for this step. Fold the fabric towards the inside of the bucket & sandwich it between the backup strip & the bucket strip. Fasten the strips & bucket together with bolts or rivets & carefully trim any excess fabric.
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Your layers should be as follows; the backup strip, a layer of fabric, the bucket strip, another layer of fabric and the bucket. All that's left is to place your gravel into the bucket, add the water & let it run until clear. It only takes a few minutes & by letting the hose do all the work, your hands won't even get wet.

HEY! Your sleeves are wet.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 04:48 PM
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Nice work Neonmkr. I like it.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 05:23 PM
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This is a good DIY, so don't take this the wrong way, but I think you've overthought this whole procedure. All I do is pour the substrate into a 5g bucket (fill it about a 1/3rd full), shove a garden hose in there, turn it on, and let the bucket overflow. While the bucket is overflowing, just keep sticking the hose down into the substrate and swishing it around every minute or two. Once the water is running clear, you're done (unless you're working with a lot of substrate, in which case just repeat until finished).

I've done this on used Eco-Complete, and on 3MCQ (both used and new), and it takes no time at all to do. I also don't have to get my hands wet if I don't want to, although the process is sped up drastically if I stick my hand in there and swish it all around continuously with my hand while the water is overflowing.

But your DIY is definitely cool!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 06:40 PM
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I do it like Church does, but this is a great idea for those really PITA substrates like SMS, that cloud up continuously. Pouring through can be an easier more efficient way to do it sometimes. Nice DIY.

Pasta strainers work good too.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 07:33 PM
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Very nice idea! I always say to myself, this is probably something I won't do again for a few years, so I don't need to make anything to make it easier just for this one use. Then 3 months later I say it again, and 3 months later, again...... My current method involves a spaghetti strainer lined with a double layer of fine netting from a fabric store. It works, but not nearly as nice as this would.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
I do it like Church does, but this is a great idea for those really PITA substrates like SMS, that cloud up continuously. Pouring through can be an easier more efficient way to do it sometimes. Nice DIY.

Pasta strainers work good too.

^^

but i put cheese cloth down in em first to help catch the fine grits, my garbage disposal doesn't care for rocks


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 08:25 PM
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I have been using a fine meshed net to rinse gravel for a while. Seems to work pretty well. You do loose some of the really small stuff but I am alright with that.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 10:15 PM
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I'll take two. Great diy. Wish I had this last summer.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 10:54 AM
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Go buy a 5 gallon paint strainer .

You can p/u a paint strainer from most hardware store (OSH, Home depot, Lowes) cost a couple of bucks and you can re-used them as much as you want. They come in different sizes ( 1 gallon -5 gallon) anf they have elastic that streches around the top of your bucket. Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 10:59 AM
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or you use an old pillowcase and a bucket , just don't dunk the gravel as you are looking into the bucket unless you want a wet face lol
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 06:24 AM
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5 gallon paint strainer works great over a bucket.
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