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Has anyone ever tried this

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Hello all,

When I only had gravel in my 55G tank, I would clean the gravel during my water changes. I would let the water flow to a 5 gallon bucket on the floor. The problem is I can only gravel clean about 4 buckets worth because I don't want to do too big of a water change.

I was wondering if anyone has ever built or has heard of a pump cleaner?Hook up the gravel cleaner to a pump and a filter so I can pump the water back into the tank as I clean with the gravel cleaner.

So basically, the pump would pull the water from the tank through the gravel cleaner, through some sort of filter and then the pump would push the filtered clean water back into the tank. This way I can gravel clean for as long as I need.

What do you guys think?

Do they make something like this? has anyone built something like this?

I figure I can built a DIY system that could work..

Thanks for any comments!
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You can use a little canister filter full with floss. Just use one with an adjustable flow. If the flow is too high it will return some of the gunk back.

There are also battery operated gravel cleaners. Check them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can use a little canister filter full with floss. Just use one with an adjustable flow. If the flow is too high it will return some of the gunk back.

There are also battery operated gravel cleaners. Check them out.
Oh wow, I didn't even know they made these. I'm a look into them. Thanks!

Depending on the price I might build one myself.
 

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Well, lets be real clear. Vacuuming the junk out of the substrate is very important, to maintain good water quality. But the nitrates, and other toxic chemicals that are to small to be captured by the filter are still in the water. Water changes should still be high on the list of stuff to do each week.

You may look into DE Filters. Basically it uses Diatomic Earth to filter your tank water on a very fine level.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aquarium-diatom-filters.html
 

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Well, lets be real clear. Vacuuming the junk out of the substrate is very important, to maintain good water quality. But the nitrates, and other toxic chemicals that are to small to be captured by the filter are still in the water. Water changes should still be high on the list of stuff to do each week.

You may look into DE Filters. Basically it uses Diatomic Earth to filter your tank water on a very fine level.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aquarium-diatom-filters.html

I would have to disagree with this. Further, most people with planted tanks do not vacuum their substrates.
 

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Since going planted I haven't vacuumed my tank in over a year. There's no build up of crud, and my nitrates and nitrites stay well below 0ppm. I do a water change every 4 months though, only because I over filtrate all my tanks, and they evaporate about 1-2 gallons every two weeks, top offs are important,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the replies everyone!

Well, lets be real clear. Vacuuming the junk out of the substrate is very important, to maintain good water quality. But the nitrates, and other toxic chemicals that are to small to be captured by the filter are still in the water. Water changes should still be high on the list of stuff to do each week.

You may look into DE Filters. Basically it uses Diatomic Earth to filter your tank water on a very fine level.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/aquarium-diatom-filters.html
I know that water changes are very important and I plan on doing them as well. I was just looking for a solution for cleaning the gravel in my non planted tank that would be easier.

It looks like the majority of people with planted tanks don't gravel vac there tanks. I was thinking in a planted tank, an automatic vac might be good while trimming to catch all the debris's.

Anyone try this?

I'm new to this so thanks for the advice!

they actually make a gravel vac that is basically a vacuum hose attached to a hob.
I saw this earlier, I think it was $50 something. I wouldn't mind having one of these...
 

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I tried the canister filter method, you either run into the problem of poor suction and it takes you 4 hours or you return some of the gunk back. I tried this with an Eheim 2213 full of filter floss and wasn't pleased with the outcome. Finally dropped the idea. But, the 2213 is not a filter that allows flow control and I think it was much too powerful for this application.

This is just a heads up if you're willing to drop 50$ for that HOB contraption.
 

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Try going with out vacuuming your planted tank even when you trim, you can use a net if you would like, but eventually the trimmings that you missed will make their way to your filter intake or power head where they can be easily removed, if that does not work for you then try one of the methods you are describing, don't overcomplicate your life and just enjoy your tanks. I have tried almost everything and have cone to the conclusion that the basics are more than sufficient to grow beautiful plants. Here is a picture of a 1.5 year old tank that had never been vacuumed
Plant Vertebrate Green Rectangle Terrestrial plant



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I am trying to figure out why put back the same tank water. Go ahead and replace it. There is a degree to vacuuming the substrate. If you are referring to inserting a suction hose/wand into the substrate then no, typically its not done. Now skimming the surface of the gravel is a different story. Most do this. Just hover over the substrate without picking any of it up. Its fairly easy with a python. Good suction and drains at the hose connection point to eliminate bucket carrying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice Tank fplata, I love the whole rimless look. One day...

I was only asking because before I put dirt in my tank I only had gravel with no real plants. I would be limited on the amount of time I can gravel vac for because I didn't want to change out too much water at once. I've also never had a planted tank till a few weeks ago, so I'm new to the game. didn't realize most people didn't vacuum out there gravel.

I still think it could be beneficial to have though, because there might be cases when you could use it.

flight50 - Ya, I think skimming the surface could be one of the benefits, just to pick up loose stuff along the bottom. The reason why I was asking about having the water be pumped back into the tank is so that you can clean for as long as you want without having to stop.

Thanks for the input though.
 

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Cleaning or not cleaning a planted tank is a debate. There are some that do it, but there are others that won't do it at all.

There's the belief that organic residue accumulates with time forming the recipe for an algal bloom. I don't agree with this belief but others swear it fixed the algae problem. So, from this point on, you will have to choose a side :D
 

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In my 55 I vacuum half the substrate each week which is about 20 gallons. That is more than enough. Don't be too clean!
 

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The reason why I was asking about having the water be pumped back into the tank is so that you can clean for as long as you want without having to stop.

Thanks for the input though.
I understand the intent. But with regular tank maintenance, you won't really have to do a lot at once all the time. Clean concentrated areas first and graze thru the rest. Once you reach the point of water you want removed, stop and repeat on the next water change. If there is loads of debris build up, there is an issue some where. Plants are deprived of nutrients or light. Lower plants that are shadowed, loose their lower leaves. Plants that don't get the proper nutrient uptake, will shed it leaves. You don't have to clean the entire substrate in one tank cleaning. Its does no harm to leave some behind.

The cleaning substrate topic is definitely a debate. I clean mine due to my bottom feeders. I love my cories and will do anything I can to make sure they don't live in crude. Poor water conditions at the substrate level will erode their barbels. Its not sharp substrate like most claim with even having experience with it. I have keep cories with flourite for more than 10 years with no problems.

In my 55 I vacuum half the substrate each week which is about 20 gallons. That is more than enough. Don't be too clean!
+1. I vacuum more concentrated areas first. Then move around with the available volume of water I have left before my % of water I want remove is reached. Water level drops pretty fast when your in the groove of cleaning. Go ahead and stop once you reach the % you want remove and pick up where you left off at a later date.
 
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