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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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