How exactly do you vacuum substrate? (equip & method used??) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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How exactly do you vacuum substrate? (equip & method used??)


I am trying to figure out how to vacuum substrate with my new-ish 90gal planted tank. I used to have a Magnum350 which I connected to a hose and used micron filter in the magnum. I no longer have that filter.

I tried using a Magnum HOT (with micron cartridge) - but air kept filling the HOT body even though I kept vac hose under water.

I have a Python but my experience is that it clogs (small snail shell, bit of plant matter) and you have to run back and forth to the sink to unclog, turning water on/off, etc.; and, you're at the mercy of water pressure you have in house which may not be adequate.

A hose and bucket cannot work with a 90gal. That's a lot of bucket that would be needed

So how do you do it? What 'equipment' do you use and how easy is it to clean that equipment afterward etc.

Should I get another magnum 350? It was a little bit of a pain to clean, but seemed do the job. I thought the Magnum HOT would be "easy" but that hasn't worked.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 12:05 PM
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use your python, just remove the sink attachment and that stupid on off valve they give you with it and run it as an open tube straight out a nearby window or door, or even into your sink, though the lower you get it the faster it will siphon once you get the siphon started.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 02:18 PM
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I use the Lee Ultimate Gravel Vac - it works like a Python (hooks up to the sink and all), but instead of having an open tube end that goes into the tank it has a "claw", and the claw acts as a screen so things like gravel and snail shells can't get past it. Here's a pic of the claw and I'm not sure but the claw may fit on a Python as well.

Anyhow I just jam the claw down into the gravel. I use it mainly in the areas that aren't as heavily planted but even if I use it in the planted areas it doesn't really hurt anything - sometimes a bit of my dwarf sag will come up but there's so much of that stuff that i don't even care. For larger specimen plants i just vac around it.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 02:44 PM
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I've never had my python clog. And you really shouldn't be deep vacuuming a planted tank. Only do a surface skim and remove all the gunk off the top of the surface.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 04:09 PM
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Use a python, syphon to my garden with a long hose. Sometimes things get stuck so I try to suck out little by little. I only go into the gravel a cm so good nutrients are still in there. When filling, connect hose to sink faucet with adaptor. I've never lifted a bucket nor spilled. Easy peasy.

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