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how do these gravel cleaners work?

This is a discussion on how do these gravel cleaners work? within the FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions forums, part of the FreshWater Topics category;
Its for a 5 gallon. Here's the link: http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=2001 I'm not sure if I should get this mini of the ...

  1. #1
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Default how do these gravel cleaners work?

    Its for a 5 gallon. Here's the link:
    http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=2001

    I'm not sure if I should get this mini of the small. How exactly do they work? I've never seen anything like this.

  2. #2
    Teenie Weenie Fish Vancouver's Avatar
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    Essentially the gravel cleaner picks up the gravel about 1/2 way up the tube and then removes the gunk along with some water. The one that I have you get it started by moving the tube up and down to create suction and then the syphon starts and removes the water and debris. Others you have to pre-start like you would if you were syphoning gas out of a tank. Both work well as far as I can tell. The one thing to remember is to keep moving the tube around as the gravel can get all the way to the top of the tube very quickly.

    I almost found out the hard way that a gravel vac is an essential part of any fish keepers inventory as your gravel will hold the majority of the waste in your tank - especially if you have fish that produce lots of waste or you tend to overfeed your fish.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Mike
    6g tank - 3 neon tetras, 2 cherry barbs, 2 black skirt tetras, 1 panda Cory and 1 Otto Cat... plus lots of water changes. All young fish and moving to new tank soon.

  3. #3
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    So how would you go about starting the one I gave a link to?

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    MFT Staff Cichlid-Man's Avatar
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    Ok first feed the big end into the tank and keep feeding the tube until it is all filled with water. Stick the small end under the water and put your finger over it. Take that end out of the tank and hold it into/over a bucket and use the other hand to guide the big side (the vac). Move your finger from the end and water starts coming out and you move the vac down in the gravel and around and such to pick up the waste. Once you get a bucket full, and watch the water levels in the bucket and tank , just put your finger back onto the end of the tube and stick that end where it is under the water again, (Make sure you put it where it can't slip out!)
    -Matt
    Check out my YOUTUBE channel for videos of my fish and more! - http://www.youtube.com/user/Clemmatt

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    Moderator Lotus's Avatar
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    I would say the mini would be better for a 5g, by the way.

    There are usually instructions on the back of the pack, but C-Man just gave you the info
    Lotus and Ecotank's tanks

    "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

  6. #6
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    A turkey baster works really well to get the suction going on a gravel vacuum.
    Have A Nice Day!!
    Donna

  7. #7
    Teenie Weenie Fish Vancouver's Avatar
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    I know that the one that I have has an auto starter. Don't ask me how it works as I can't explain it but all that I do is make sure that the tube runs into the bucket, put the large end into the tank and then start moving it up and down very rapidly. It will start to suck the water out all on it's own. It is really rather cool. I can't tell which type you have by looking at the picture so it will either work the way that Chichlid-Man says or the way that I described.
    6g tank - 3 neon tetras, 2 cherry barbs, 2 black skirt tetras, 1 panda Cory and 1 Otto Cat... plus lots of water changes. All young fish and moving to new tank soon.

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    Wow...all these complicated ways of starting a siphon...

    Ever siphoned gas from a tank before? Same concept. Put the big end in the tank and give a quick uck on the other end. As soon as the water goes up the tube, and comes over the lip of the tank, gravity will take it from there.

    I tried doing the "complete submerge" method before and I just ended up with bunch of wet, dripping tubing to deal with. The quick suck method is much drier...

  9. #9
    Super Fish TurbineSurgeon's Avatar
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    I usually use the "JWright Quick-Suck Method" as well. Aquarium water tastes about like lake water, but saltwater is really nasty.... it tastes like sea water (go figure )

    Some folks tend to worry about pathogens in their aquaria, but I have never had a problem from that. <EDIT> If the tank has disease or medication, I would prefer the "Submerge-the-whole-thing-and-stick-your-thumb-over-the-end Method."
    Last edited by TurbineSurgeon; 05-01-2004 at 01:14 AM.
    I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous

    In this great pond we call life, it is important to remember how big a fish you are

  10. #10
    Moderator Lotus's Avatar
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    I really don't want to get that intimite with my fish. Actually, having spat out a fair amount of gas from a motorcycle tank, I think I have a phobia.

    I have never had any problem with siphoning. I don't even put the whole thing under water, just the end tube and a couple of inches of tube. Of course, you have to make sure the end of the tube where the water is coming out is lower than the vacuum part (somehow it seems they don't teach the principles of a siphon in school these days), whichever method you use.
    Lotus and Ecotank's tanks

    "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

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