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Cleaning gravel

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Cleaning gravel

Post by SiennaBay on Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:02 pm

Hi everybody. I have my betta in a 3 gallon tank with an inch-long snail (I think it's a mystery snail). The substrate is standard sized aquarium gravel, colored black. When I replace water in the tank I use a small airline hose to remove old water plus vacuum the gravel a bit. (I can't use a regular aquarium siphon to vacuum because my tank is too small.) My problem is this. Using the airline hose, it is either vacuuming up little gravel pieces or getting gravel pieces stuck inside it, which of course stops it up & slows the flow of water. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should use to do a good gravel vacuuming without simply sucking up gravel? I just added my snail today and I hear they produce quite a bit of waste so I really need to know what to do here! Thanks in advance for any tips!
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Re: Cleaning gravel

Post by 2tall on Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:11 pm

I use a small vacuum siphon hose on my 2gl. hex all the time.The vacuum portion is about 1" in dia. and approx. 6" long with a 1/2" hose. I drain water(1/3) from the tank into a small receptacle and return it through the net until I'm satisfied with cleaning and finally remove the amount I'm changing out. It works well so far!
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Re: Cleaning gravel

Post by KalandraJane on Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:18 pm

I have a gravel vac which is about 1" dia and is extendable from about 12" to 24" with a narrow hose so you can really get into a small tank without disturbing anything. You just need to shop around until you find something suitable Smile

Until then you could put a bit of something over the end of your tube to stop gravel going up but still let bits of dirt through - a plastic mesh with holes about 1/16" of the kind used for small nets should do it, held on with a rubber band.
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Re: Cleaning gravel

Post by Mesatalia on Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:50 pm

I normally do just partial water changes all week then once a week I do a full clean. I scoop my fishy up into a cup (with the old water in it) and I completely dump out the tank and give the gravel a really good rinse-through in a strainer. Then I put the rocks back in, set in the plants, then fill it with my jug of treated water I always keep ready and let it sit for about 1/2 hour then put fishy back in. The fish seem fine with it.
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Re: Cleaning gravel

Post by silverrabbit on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:42 pm

You can buy smaller sized vaccuums from ebay and some LFS's. I use a Biorb one on my smaller hosp tanks that are 11litres and it works fine, even when I had gravel in it
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Re: Cleaning gravel

Post by jessie1602 on Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:13 am

I use a large turkey baster in all my smaller tanks. I swirl up the gravel with the end, not too much, just so the debris and muck goes slightly into the water then I just siphon it up with the baster and squirt it into a jug and repeat. You can be alot more precise with a turkey baster than a siphon hose in small spaces and it doesn't take very long either. You can get them pretty cheaply on eBay too.
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