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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a marina easy gravel cleaner, what a pile of crap!!!
I am so so angry.
I followed all the instructions and it took out at least half of my (perfectly clean) water and spewed all the rotten food and fish [censored][censored][censored][censored] into the water that was left, it sucked up virtually no mess.

My tank was so full of mess I couldn't even see my fish, plants, anything!
I have done 4 water changes so far and used the 'cleaner' twice more and although the murkiness has gone down its still really dirty and cloudy.

My water was PERFECT before using this, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate, ph 6.5, it was crystal clear and tannin stained and my fish were swimming happily.

Now I can't find one of my embers, my two cories just sit on the bottom, the albino one respiring heavily, now and then it seems to almost flip onto its side before recovering itself.

I am so upset, I just wanted to make their tank a bit nicer for them by cleaning their gravel, I think its poisoned them :icon_sad:

What do I do????
Will they be okay, what about my missing ember, what's happened to him???
These are my five year old's pets, he will be so upset if they die.
 

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Sounds like your using it wrong and that your tank was very dirty to begin with. How could it spew the dirty water back into the tank after siphoning it out?
 

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The percent which you change water brings down whatever by that same percent.
Just test your water for ammonia and if it's up more than .5 change some water.
Actually a water change will greatly help clarify that water also.
 

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I kind of feel that if your gravel was that dirty to begin with, you have a different problem than the gravel cleaner electronic thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used it exactly as specified.

No, my tank actually was not dirty!
The water was crystal clear and the readings fantastic.

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10

It said to rapidly move up and down to start, this took absolutely ages before I got any kind of siphon going.
Then it said to slowly move it, that it would suck up gravel and dirt then release the clean gravel and to keep going until that one area was clear then move on.
No gravel hardly travelled up, masses of clear water in my bucket and masses of mess in my tank floating freely.

Where exactly did I go wrong????
 

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this is just a regular gravel vac?

Sucking on the end till you get suction is a much faster way. If your good you don't even need to get water in your mouth.

Or else hold your finger over the end (the bottom end), push the vac part into the water, fill with water, lift up so its full of water.

Loose your finger and drain some of the water into the bucket, so that the hose and part of the vac still has water in it.

Put finger back over bottom of hose. Dip the vac part very fast back under the water, so that the air bubbles rise out and you should be able to get a suction that way. takes practice, but is very easy to get started.

Hope that makes sense.

As far what you did wrong. Your gravel must have had a lot of gunk in it to be able to spew it back out. If this is your first vac, I assume you have never cleaned the gravel before??

Either way it sounds like you got a clog, if the crap is not going down the hose, lift it out of the water (Break suction) and make sure the hose is clear of debris and start again.
 

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I finally googled this product and it seems there are a couple of youtube videos out there on this product that should help you. A couple of reviews I read said they were helpful at least. It may not be the most popular of the gravel vacs since I had to google it after not seeing in two different larger sites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm, I will try that and check out the videos.

Yeah, I have never used one before.
This tank isn't that old, when I used to keep fish many years ago I used to wash the gravel by hand.
I've only just got back into keeping fish and it's my first go with tropicals.
 

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They are pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. I have a siphon that attached to my sink for ease, but I still use the handheld manual one like you have in the summer. I save the water to water my garden.

Unless you are regularly cleaning your gravel with a siphon, even if your perimeters are perfect, you will have a bunch of mulm settled in there. Unless you are careful it will get stirred up and knock your perimeters out of wack.

This could be what happened to you, and this is something that I do when I use mine:
When I am done using the vacuum I tilt the vacuum upwards while it is underwater and take it out of the tank and let all the water that was in it drain into the bucket. If I don't do that and just pull it out, the dirty water that was in the vacuum will just drain back into the tank.
 

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There's no way a gravel filter can make your tank more dirty than it already is. You could use it improperly though, when you siphon dirt out of the gravel you have to make sure you dont go too quickly or you will just be stirring things up. vacuum in sections and go slow so that vacuum has time to suck up the particles. If you stick the vacuum into the gravel and stir things up, then move to another spot without waiting a second to catch it all, you will have a problem. But just give it some time, in about an hour or so the particles should settle and the filter will get some of it out, then just resiphon I don't really think theres a need to change the water for dilution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes 4 water changes.
What alternative did I have?
The water was literally so thick with mess you could see nothing.
I had to try and clear it.

I found the missing ember.

My albino corydoras has taken a turn for the worse, it just lies completely still.
Even when another cory bumped it, even when a flake of food fell on it, even when the glass was tapped.
This morning it was completely on its side, then it disappeared.
 

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A number of things could have caused his death. It could have been the year old gunk that was stirred up by the gravel, or the huge amount of new water that was put in (which you dechlorinated correct?), or the stress of the water changes, or the cycle was thrown off by the new water plus old muck, it could be a number of things but it's probably not a good thing to change the water so much in one day the gunk would have settled in an hour or two.
 

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Sorry about your fish, I know how awful that is. Especially when you feel like you caused it. Many (most?) of us have been there at some point.
 
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