Does anyone use a battery gravel vac? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone use a battery gravel vac?

With a pleco in the tank, I want to vac more than I want to change water. Or at the very least, if I vacuumed enough to get all the waste, I'd be performing crazy huge water changes. This, or something like it, seems like a solution. https://jet.com/product/detail/74f5b...A&gclsrc=aw.ds
Anybody use one? Is there a model or a kind that is generally considered better?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 05:38 PM
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I used on one for a while but did not find it worked as well as I wanted. Forget the brand and it may have been a cheapie that I got in swap. The problem was that the bag to hold the waste let so much dirt through that I wound up removing the dirt from the floor and leaving it floating in the water!
I also wanted to do lots of cleaning but leave the water in the tank. My solution was to build a pump/ filter combo that took water out, ran it through a house filter and then back to the tank. I get really good filtering in this way.
It was an expense to built and it does take some time to prime it as the pump is not flooded full time. But it does a good job on tanks where I've been working and have a dirt cloud going.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeh View Post
With a pleco in the tank, I want to vac more than I want to change water. Or at the very least, if I vacuumed enough to get all the waste, I'd be performing crazy huge water changes. This, or something like it, seems like a solution. https://jet.com/product/detail/74f5b...A&gclsrc=aw.ds
Anybody use one? Is there a model or a kind that is generally considered better?

Fluval has a gravel vac that I think might have better build quality? I wondering if you can get a bag that traps more dirt ?

75 Gallon community planted Aquarium. Pearl Gourami,Golden barbs, zebra, pearl Danios,black neon tetra, glow-light, denson barb, Rasboras, cherry barbs, fancy tail guppies, hachet fish, rosy tetra, flame tetra
29 gallon Gold fish tank(1 large fish)
55 gallon planted red cherry shrimp tank, otto, neon tetra, white cloud.
10 gallon betta tank
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 06:32 PM
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I've used this one a fair amount over the last couple of years:
https://www.amazon.ca/Aquarium-Maint.../dp/B003OYOPNW

Decently powerful, though the trigger mechanism is prone to being fussy (have to disassemble to clean the contacts once in a while).

The bag is good, but tiny, so it fills up pretty quickly. To clean a 20G tank you can bank on cleaning out the bag a half dozen times, or the suction drops way off.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 12:32 AM
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Do you think there could be a way to put a hose in place of the bag on one of these?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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BAAAHH! Wish I'd already bought one of these. My daughter dropped half a can of fish food "crisps" into the tank. Sure would have been easier than all the suck/settle/pour I did to get nasty cloudy water, but at least without all the food. And all the fish evacuated to a QT. And probably 4-5 more water changes over the next few days to get the chemistry and the food waste back where it belongs. This will probably be what it takes to get me to spend the buck for Fluval, even if I hardly ever use it.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 07:10 AM
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I hate battery operated stuff. Batteries are insanely expensive.
I wish someone would make a mains powered one though.
I sometimes use a small pump with a tube out the window, but the pump grate catches sand and clogs, so its only useful in the bare tanks.

With correct filter and stone placement, I have all the poop and debris collect in a 2" wide circle on my bare tanks. Its a bit of a chore to clean each morning sucking on the poopy pipe. I guess what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 01:52 PM
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I don't use one and I have a sand substrate and don't need one...but before I spent $40 or more on a battery vac, I'd use the regular gravel siphon with a kitchen type screen strainer with filter floss (or a filter sock like those used in sumps) on top of/into one or more 5g buckets. Then just pour the filtered water back into the tank. Cost maybe $10-$15 (less if you already had buckets or bins). Just be careful around plants so as not to disturb roots - also, no need to remove organic fertilizer.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 02:05 PM
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I've never tried this one specifically, but did try another one many moons ago when I had my 55. I thought it would save me time as my arms did not reach the bottom of the tank so I always had to use a chair to clean. Anyway, it sucked. No pun intended.

Like others mentioned, the mesh on the bag wasn't tight enough, so whatever went in it and was already fine in texture would go through it and make a even bigger mess than I started with.

Plecos are big poopers, so the bag acting like a strainer may not be a issue, but I can't say that I'd be willing to fork over the cash for another one regardless of the brand name on the box.
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