Tricks for removing gravel??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Tricks for removing gravel???

OK, don't laugh too hard. I need to remove the existing gravel (natural pea stone) that came with my 35 gallon. I'm kind of short and have a really hard time reaching the bottom of the tank, and I don't think I can tilt it and dump it out...

Tips? Tricks? Tools? (I was thinking a plastic kids sandbox shovel!)

Doh!

Laugh it up, fuzzball...

37 gallon community; 10 gallon S-SS CRS; 2x10 gallon guppies; Specialties: Japan blue guppies (wild type), Ginga sulfureus guppies, Blond platinum LS guppies with purple mutation.
Non-aquatics: Off-track thoroughbred racehorse; 2 Maine Coon-type cats; 2 fluffy house rabbits; 60 orchid plants.


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:40 PM
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Get a pair of chopsticks. Long ones.

I even have duckweed in my water bong!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:40 PM
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i use large gauge tubing and siphon it out.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:44 PM
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wet/dry vacuum works well.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:45 PM
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Shop vac is by far the easiest way if you have one laying around.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:45 PM
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Easiest in my book: Wet dry vac. Every aquarist should have a dedicated wet dry IMO.

Large gauge tubing as was mentioned is probably next.

Buckets if you have nothing else.

-Charlie

Edit - Doh. looks like I was beaten to the punch.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 03:47 AM
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Stepstool and plastic dust pan plus plastic spatula. Bucket to receive the gravel on a table raised up so you don't have to go up and down so often.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 04:52 AM
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metal ice scooper or small dust pan like the ones use for cars.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 03:25 PM
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Gotta love the Wet Vac for this job.

Here's one trick I use with acrylic tanks. I use large zip lock bagges to fill with the new gravel. Easy to use, much more control than a bucket and also most impossible to scratch or knick the acrylic.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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I was going to suggest a step stool


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msjinkzd View Post
i use large gauge tubing and siphon it out.
+1 Quickest easiest thing to do if you cant reach the bottom of the tank easily. (Even if you can reach bottom it still works great)

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 06:15 PM
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I've had great luck with the siphon.....I use a 6' length of 1" vinyl tubing for gravel, and 5/8" for sand.

I also agree with the shop vac; I use one of the small $30 handheld shop vacs (2 gallon capacity I think?) and it may be one of the best purchases I've made for my aquarium habit.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 07:46 PM
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i just used a regular fish net to scoop out the gravel when i did it a couple years ago. works well as long as the net holds up to the weight.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 08:08 PM
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I must be the cheap guy here. I just scoop it out with an old square food storage container like the rubbermaid ones.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_Z View Post
+1 Quickest easiest thing to do if you cant reach the bottom of the tank easily. (Even if you can reach bottom it still works great)
I am short, like 5'4" and have three rows of tanks. I use a rolling ladder and large gauge tubing that I buy at home depot. Its cheap as can be and you can make it any length you want (to reach sink, buckets, etc).

The reason I like to use hose instead of a scooper is it removes the dirt and mulm at the same time, keepign the tank from being a cesspool.
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