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Old 07-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #1 
LizzyP
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Gravel vac-still waste left over

Hey, guys & gals.

Just a quick question, when I use my gravel vac I stir up the gravel as I go along and suck out about 50% of the water & poop. Well, when I'm done there's still poop & whatever else. I don't wanna suck anymore water out so how do I get rid of it? I obviously don't want it in my tank, but I'm not getting ammonia readings either. Could I dump the water out into a strainer w/paper towel over the holes & a bucket/pot under it to catch water and dump water into strainer then put the now clean water back in? I hope that makes sense. That way it catches all the waste but I still keep the same water that he's accustomed too.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks :)
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #2 
MrVampire181
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You can't really :/ That's why my fish room is completely bare bottomed tanks.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrVampire181 View Post
You can't really :/ That's why my fish room is completely bare bottomed tanks.
I am beginning to lean toward the bare bottom tanks too. I'm still clearing all of the gravel I put in Buddy's tank when I got him. Bella has just larger round stones, much easier to clean. My newest Buster, has just stones in half of the tank, I'm thinkin' it may stay that way!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:07 PM   #4 
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But is it causing harm being in there? I mean I do 2 50% water changes weekly, 1 with just a cup, and another with a gravel vac. I like to think I get most of it but, I dunno.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:08 PM   #5 
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Sand is pretty easy to clean too because the waste sits on top so you only have to get the vac close to surface.
My smaller tanks are also bare bottom because IMO only 100% water changes and endless rinsing of the gravel will make it completely clean.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #6 
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I was doing 100% changes but dumping out 3 gallons of water once a week is tough, and takes a lot of time. But would my strainer technique work?
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:25 PM   #7 
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Not with paper towels.
You could get Brine shrimp nets at the LPS... it will just be more works for you.
You could place the net on top of the dirty water bucket and hold your vac hose over the net. That way you're straining at the same time you're syphoning the water and you just remove more water than usual?
I would probably never try this.... too much work for me considering all the fish & tanks I have.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:39 PM   #8 
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I only have 1 fish tank, a 3 gallon. So I don't know if it would be that hard. Then the water that I siphoned and strained, could I put that back in the tank? Or should I just dump it out completely into the toilet?
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:17 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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Besides waste, your water change also removes DOCs (dissolved organic compounds) and replaces minerals your fish uses. Don't pour old tank water back in.

If you're really concerned with having the cleanest possible water, you might consider cycling your tank. Yes, they can be cycled. Mine are.

I also run bare-bottom tanks and spot-clean with a turkey baster.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #10 
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Or throw a few plants in. Better yet, throw lots in!

I haven't gravel vacced deeply for six months or so. There's quite a lot of mulm (old fish and shrimp poo) in the gravel, but the plants love it and there's roots all over so I don't vac deeply except in the front of the tank where there's no roots.

Water quality? It's great. Trace amounts of ammonia after six days, the longest I've ever left it without a wc. I change 2 x 30% per week, could do 1 x but I'm just fussy that way.

A $17 Dymax LED clamp lamp provides enough light for a small tank, java fern, moss, low light plants. Wisteria and crypts, for the roots. Most of the poo lands in the java moss now anyway- much easier to see.
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