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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default vacuuming gravel without removing water


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm on my third gravel vac - the first two just had terrible suction and didn't stay together well. Now I'm using an aqueon vac which is pretty good for the price, but it removes a lot of water. It's pretty useful for siphoning water, especially out of my bf's 55 gal, and it's fine for my 30 gallon, but it's not great for my 10 gallon. My shrimp really like when I keep my tank clean :P so I prefer to vacuum the gravel often, but I don't want to change the water quite so often. The first vacuum I tried was free, the second was half off, and the third was cheap, so I haven't spent much money on a vacuum and would like to keep it that way. So my question is, is there a non-expensive gravel vac that will clean the gravel without removing water? OR, can I modify the one I have to do it? Usually when I get one of my brilliant "hey, I can make this way better!" ideas, they turn out pretty messy lol, so I thought I'd see if anyone had any experience modifying vacs. My idea was simply to attach the end of the hose to the inside of the tank instead of a bucket and attach a nylon stocking really tightly to the end of that part of the hose, but I'm not sure how much the stocking will collect and the hose is pretty long, so it might be awkward enough for my master plan to crumble and soak my carpet :P Is there a better material to use than nylon or will nylon work? Or is there a better way to do this? Any ideas of suggestions would be great!

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    There's no way to suction out the gravel without water being removed. Do you have a planted tank since you have shrimp? Generally, planted tank substrate is not siphoned. The waste is fertilizer for the plants. Pretty difficult to suction out gravel without sucking up the shrimp, I would think.

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Keeping tank's clean mean keeping the water clean. i.e changing the water.

    gravel vac's function on the fact that they are sucking water out-creating the "vacuum" to pull the excess stuff out of your tank-hence the name-gravel vac.

    you're shrimp will and do enjoy clean water.

    if you are experiencing issues with excess stuff on your substrate, then you can correct that by feeding less.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    The shrimp hide in their little houses when I'm busy and there's only 3 of them, so they're not difficult to control. I prefer to vacuum the gravel every two days or every other day especially since I also have some harlequin rasboras in there as well as a pleco. It's just that the shrimp seem more sensitive to the water conditions. I do have a couple plants. I have some ludwigia which I was told I could just put directly in the gravel and it seems to be doing quite well, and I have a water sprite which is in its own pot and is doing almost TOO well lol. I don't think I have enough plants to wave off fish droppings and some extra food as fertilizer. I sit there at the tank 2 or 3 times a day for each feeding. I make sure my fish eat just the right amount, but sometimes they accidentally knock flakes to the bottom and thought they try to chase them, they can't catch them. I also use algae wafers. I just put in 1 at a time, of course and I like to remove whatever's left after 2 days and put in a new one. I use the wafers instead of pellets because I really like watching the shrimp and pleco all eating together- it's really cute. It's also pretty cute (although also frustrating) when the shrimp team up and wheel the wafer into one of their rocks so the pleco can't get it. Anyway, of course I change the water, but I prefer doing about a 35-40% water change once a week. I'd just like to clean the gravel more often. I've seen very expensive gravel vacs that clean gravel without removing water, so I must not be the only one who wants this :/

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Lightly stocked as it is, you wouldn't need to clean the gravel nearly so much. I often only clean the gravel in my fully stocked tank every other week.

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    hmm I guess I'd better start another thread with questions about my shrimp then. They behave oddly sometimes and I thought it was because I needed to keep the tank cleaner, but maybe it's something else :/ I'll post that later and try to include some pics. Thanks!

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    If that oddly is swarming all over the place... that just means there's a fertile female in there somewhere.
    With shrimp, at least caridina and neocaridina species, you should start worrying if they act sluggish.

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I understand your problem with too much water being taken out on small tanks with gravel vacuums. You barely get anything done and half the tank water is gone. I have a very cheap and easy solution for you. Go to an auto parts store and look for an oil change siphon. They may also be marketed as "fluid change siphons". I got mine at Harbor Freight, it looks like this:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/fluid-s...ump-93290.html

    Get the smallest one, which will restrict the flow rate. It takes a bit of use to get to terms with the squeeze bulb and to get it going but once you got it, it works like a champ. The small narrow tubing allows for getting into tight spaces, and water doesn't come screaming out of it emptying the tank before your done. Hope this helps!
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nia;1150155.
    I sit there at the tank 2 or 3 times a day for each feeding. I make sure my fish eat just the right amount, but sometimes they accidentally knock flakes to the bottom and thought they try to chase them, they can't catch them.
    Hmmm... me thinks you might be feeding too often? Fish really only need to eat once a day at the most - many people skip a day to fast fish (unless they're dealing with fry).

    If you are feeding the right amount, there shouldn't be so much excess to vacuum up - admittedly you have the fish waste, but vacuuming part of your tank and changing the water once or twice a week should be fine.

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    True that! And shrimp eat from the gravel so totally clean gravel all the time gives them nothing to eat. Give your shrimp a slice of cucumber now and then, too. (Stick a fork in a slice and drop it in the tank.) Keep in mind shrimp breed constantly and their babies are pin sized and almost clear. You can barely see them and if you are constantly cleaning that gravel, they will be sucked up into the siphon. They also appreciate java moss to crawl around and hide in.

    Using a nylon stocking doesn't work because it clogs up too easily but a fish net will. I bought a small net and it fits right over the end of the siphon tube. Prevents me from sucking up my shrimp. I'd also be moving the pleco out of there so the shrimp can breed and get around the tank without being bothered by the pleco. A 10 gallon is really too small for any pleco.

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