Cleaning Sand Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have tips on cleaning sand substrate?
My tank isn't densely planted yet and I was wondering if there was an effective way of cleaning up all the poo and garbage that
would settle to the bottom of the tank?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 07:43 PM
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I just use my Python water changer and vacuum the material off the surface off the sand.... Just be careful not to suck up all your sand.


120g, Flourite & Sand. DIY Stand and Canopy. CF lighting 3wpg, Pressurized C02, DIY reactor. 2-XP3's, 500watt heater.
Heavily planted
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 06:05 PM
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I'm bumping this up since I'm using sand and I'm now noticing how everything collects on it. Does anyone have an up to date way of cleaning the poop and stuff from sand?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 05:42 AM
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I use a regular gravel cleaner (self-suctioning/size dependent on your tank). Instead of sticking the one end into the sand, just gently swirl it on top of the sand (small little circles). The "poop/waste material" will start to lift off the sand and then just suck it up. You may suck up a little sand with it, but it's minimal. The flow from the self-suctioning gravel cleaner is just right. I find that the use of a python (as hooked up to your faucet) is too strong.

Hope this helps
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 07:42 PM
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here is the solution. If you kink the the syphon hose you will be able to touch the sand and prevent the sand from being siphoned. This will take some practice and if you see the sand getting to close to the top of the tube then kink the hose off completely and wait for the sand to settle back down. The purpose of the kink is to adjust the the rate at which the water is being syphoned. Hope I have made enough sense. Practice never makes perfection but you can some pretty damn close. Good luck.



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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 08:00 PM
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Many python models come with a ball valve, and this could be used to adjust the flow to get it just right. I usually use the "swirling" technique, and have found that it doesn't really get EVERYTHING up . . .
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 10:37 PM
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using a battery operated unit for right now.
its one of the ones that dumps the water back into the tank.
but it lets me get into tighter places and i can take my time without worrying about syphoning too much water out.
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