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09-14-2013, 06:27 AM #1Member CoryCat
- Join Date
- May 2013
need to clean tank soon but need help first
I need to buy one of those vacuums/tubes to clean the gravel out and partially change the water. But don't know what one to buy , there are quite a few different ones. This is for a 15 gallon tank that is sort of on the tall side.
Any help much appreciated.“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
09-14-2013, 02:22 PM #2
There seem to be two main water change hoses that people use here. I have the Aqueon water changer hose, others seem to like the Python. I don't know enough about the Python to compare the two, so I will let others chime in (and perhaps you can read reviews of both on Amazon?)
The important thing is to make sure you buy a hose that is long enough. You need the hose to reach from your tank to a sink, and have some extra hose so you can move around your tank to vacuum, etc. Some people also like to run their hoses out the window so they can use their "dirty" tank water to water plants.
09-14-2013, 05:18 PM #3
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to a complete water changer, one of these should do.
The brand is not real important. This is a gravel vacuum and water changer. Start the siphon by placing the large end
of the plastic tube into the tank water and shake it up and down until water flows from the tank and down the vinyl hose into a bucket. Then work the end of the larger plastic tube down into the gravel and vacuum debris out of the gravel and into a bucket until the bucket is mostly full. Empty the bucket and repeat the process until you've vacuumed as much of the gravel as desired.When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
09-14-2013, 05:47 PM #4
Given the tank size (15g) the "manual" changer would work fine. I used to use this until I got my larger tanks (90g and up) and then got the "Python" type that attaches to the faucet.
Another thought occurs to me though, from the initial post. Water changes should be done every week at minimum. I change half the water in each tank once a week. Vacuum into the open areas of the substrate (gravel) each time. If you have live plants rooted in the substrate, leave the substrate alone near them.
Byron.Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
09-14-2013, 06:02 PM #5
09-14-2013, 06:14 PM #6
And some people build an entire drain system for their tank - I just finished my new twenty-three foot long, one and half feet deep trench to take waste water from my indoor drain line system from the tank. The lawn doesn't even look like I dug the trench there now - I removed the grass first and saved it. Putting it back and the lawn looks just as it did!
This system allows a constant drain from the tank; a flow pump with a ball valve control allow's the tank to exchange more than twice its volume every week. Living in the country can be a bear (snow is the worst) when you have well water issues that is not fun but when it comes to draining a tank, really nice. A relay controlled float device allows new water to refill the tank after it drains for twenty two hours (again, a well has advantages if the water has low/zero nitrates/nitrites; yes, some people can get those in their well water ... .)
This tank still requires a bio-filter but sure does keep the tank clean. Should have switched to this system years ago but I didn't think about the drain system till recently ... sure wish I hadn't tried that damn nitrate filter system ... live and learn.Knowledge is fun(damental)
A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.
For Fishless cycling:http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
09-15-2013, 02:14 AM #7
I'll share a word of caution about "over cleaning" the tank. Especially if you haven't cleaned recently, this can cause a build up of waste, but the bacteria of the nitrogen cycle may also be dependent on some of this gunk. When you clean your filter, rinse it in dirty tank water only, never change all the medium in your filter at once, and maybe don't even clean them all at the same time. Finally, I would vac half your gravel one week, and half the next. This gives the good bacteria in your tank a chance to recolonize the parts you've cleaned. They reside on the surface of your substrate and filter (and even glass and decorations too). Don't clean your decorations with anything but dirty aquarium water to as well (there are tricks to removing stubborn deposits that can be addressed later, but you can easily harm your fish if you do it incorrectly).
When you're cleaning weekly the bacteria reside on the actual surfaces, and less in the "mulm" or gunk you can pull out of the tank by vacuuming the gravel. But if those surfaces are coated in mulm, then much of the bacteria could be disrupted by too thorough of an initial cleaning.
As long as you don't mind carting a couple half to 2/3rds full 5 gallon buckets around, you should do fine with a standard vac and bucket system. The python type systems are great for removing the grunt work though. My other word of caution with a water change is to get the temperature of the new water close to that of the old, and check the ph of both the tank and the new water as well, if they are off by much you could have a problem doing a large change (this discrepancy is something that can be fixed, but only if you know about it).
09-15-2013, 03:13 AM #8Member CoryCat
- Join Date
- May 2013
Thanks so much for all the good info. I love my fish and want to take good care of them.“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
09-16-2013, 10:42 PM #9
See this thread about water changes -
Lots of good info.My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Zebra Danios, Wild Caught BNP
29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Harlequin Rasboras, Peacock Gudgeons
Future 40 Long - Fiery Black Shiners, Panda Garra
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"
09-19-2013, 12:59 PM #10
For a fifteen gallon, a medium sized regular gravel vac and a bucket will work well. Don't get one with the smallest head, or you'll have gravel clogs constantly, or the largest, or you'll suck out too much water and not get the gravel clean first!
I use a 2 gallon bucket and medium water changer for my 10's, 20, and 29 gallon, and do it in batches. The smaller bucket is just enough to clean an area, and be able to carry the thing to the sink. I also refill in batches which actually makes it gentler on the fish than whooshing in a giant bucket of water.2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.