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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today was the first day I used my tom's aquatic vacuum on my now fully planted 2.25 gallon vase. It didn't work well. Didn't get a lot of debris up and I accidentally got the little sock outside the bowl once and got water on the table. The batteries, which are pretty new, may have needed to be changed. When I used this on the bowl when only partially planted, I thought it worked quite well. I change the water with a dixie cup to a milk jug. Takes two minutes. My question is: Am I going to have a problem using the vacuum now that there are so many more plants, etc.? Should I go the airline tube siphon route? Anyone's thoughts or experiences, esp. with the vacuum at such smaller sizes would be appreciated as the other vacuum works great on the 5 gallon with 3.5 gallons of water in it. If you suggest airline tubing, how would I do that? I only have one horned nerite in there now, so livestock is not much of a factor. After it gets done helping me clean up, I may go straight to just a planted tank. Or may do a few shrimip. Happily undecided right now.
 

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I use airline tubing on my vase, even though it takes forever to drain the vase halfway. It keep the substrate nice and undisturbed, you can snake it around plants, and unless you leave it sitting on the bottom on the tank and go wander off for a half hour, there's no danger of draining too much water. The downside is it's slow, and you have to start the syphon...I end up using my mouth since I don't have a fancy-shmancy syphon starter.
Still, cheap, easy, no danger of hurting anything...it's worth it!
 

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You can pre-fill the tubing if you don't want to use your mouth. It's such a small volume of water you can easily pre-fill at the sink or existing water.

I use my mouth, I use it on my bare bottom S/W to remove the detritus but pain in the rear when something the same size as the tubing gets sucked up and stuck inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use airline tubing on my vase, even though it takes forever to drain the vase halfway. It keep the substrate nice and undisturbed, you can snake it around plants, and unless you leave it sitting on the bottom on the tank and go wander off for a half hour, there's no danger of draining too much water. The downside is it's slow, and you have to start the syphon...I end up using my mouth since I don't have a fancy-shmancy syphon starter.
Still, cheap, easy, no danger of hurting anything...it's worth it!
Hey, you're back from spring break!!
 

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i use airline tubing for my nanos and my 1.5 gallon cylinder bowl. Since all are planted i also use a small rake tool to slightly ruffle the substrate and suck with the tubing from there. its no more than a few minutes of work on each tank and allows me to spot clean each tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
lol nah, still on spring break, but just chilling at home from school. Is it sad I'd rather be at school and playing with my tanks?
In one word: no.
Thanks guys. The rake and straw suggestions were particularly interesting. I will be trying the air line siphon in next few days--see how it goes! Been a looong time since I used a straight siphon.
 

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If it's too slow for your liking and you want to put it on autopilot for a bit, you can just put the end of the siphon in as far as you want the water to be taken out and then tape it to the edge of the vase.

I use a clamp in the same fashion on my tank so that I can leave it unattended without having to worry about too much water taken out.

Just be sure to fashion a sponge on the end if you have any critters.
 

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A suction cup to hold it in place works well for an auto-pilot solution, too.
 

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I use a short piece or rigid tubing with my airline tubing, it makes it easier to get into the corners and pick up specific items. I hold the free end of the tubing so I can block it with my thumb when I need to pick up a leaf or other item that is too large to go into the tubing or might get stuck. The suction holds it on the tubing so I can pull it out of the bowl and remove it from the end of the rigid tubing.
 

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I have a bamboo skewer taped to my airline tubing so I can control it and put it where I want it in my planted bowl. And I put a medicine syringe on the other end so all I have to do is pull back on the piston and pop it out to get the water to flow. As much as my cat seems to like it I don't think I want to drink fish water haha.
Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tried it yesterday and it worked great. Even used the more flexible silicone tubing since it is what I had here and no problems. Liked the small amount of water flow so I could really clean the debris without having to worry about draining more water than I wanted. If a piece of gravel started climbing the tubing, I just pinched the flow off with my finger for a second. One narrow piece stayed in, but I flushed that out with water in the end. I looked for a medicine syringe at drugstore a week ago. Couldn't find one. I'm going to ask at the counter. I put the whole tubing in and got it full this time, but a syringe sounds simpler. It is a curved vase, but will keep suggestions in mind for when I just want to drain it--although a dixie cup into an old water jug takes just a couple of minutes too. :)
 

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Sometimes you can find medicine syringes with the baby meds. My wife is a nurse so I can usually find one in a drawer lol. It's working good so far only problem I have is the tubing will stop up where it connects to the syringe sometimes but I usually pop it off after I get the water running and hold my finger over it if I need to stop the flow. It works good for sucking up nematodes and planaria too.
Anthony
 
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