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Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default need to clean tank soon but need help first

    0 Not allowed!
    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.”

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    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.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    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.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    【ツ】 - korith So glad someone else takes KH seriously! - talldutchie most promising newbie award! - talldutchie Good advice. Stick around! - ~firefly~ A gift for your knowledge of Tetras. - steeler1 
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    0 Not allowed!
    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 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]

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    I like my Python, with the 25 foot hose, it reaches from my kitchen sink to both my tanks...some consider it overkill for a 10 gallon tank, but it makes water changes SO much easier than using buckets.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    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:

  7. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    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).

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    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.”

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    See this thread about water changes -

    Lots of good info.
    75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Silvertip & Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Pearl Gourami, Black Kuhli Loaches, Whiptail Cats, Wild Caught BNP
    Dual 29 gals - Diamond Tetras. Harlequin Rasboras, Bloodfin Tetras
    10 Gal - Mr. Betta's Fishy Paradise

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain"

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Bridgeport Connecticut

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    Cancer sucks and a beer won't replace what you lost ...  but here is one anyway. :-D - 850R Couldn't give you rep so sending a cookie instead for your betta advice! - andreahp 


    0 Not allowed!
    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.

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