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Old 01-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #11 
AyalaCookiejar
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I have a mini gravel vacuum for my five gallons and I've used it in my one gallon QT tanks. If a fish gets to close to it, I plug the end of the tube that is draining. It drains slowly, but works for my 5 gallons. I think it would be okay to use it to vacuum the gravel in a larger tank but it would take all day to drain half the water in a ten gallon or larger. The speed that it drains also kind if depends on where the bucket you are draining into is placed... If its higher up on a shelf it will drain a little slower than if its sitting on the floor.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #12 
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Hey, if you're worried about it hurting you Betta then you can take him out during cleaning. I'm never worried about my boys getting hurt but I always take them out anyway just so that when i add water back into the tank im not just dumping water onto them.


LadyVictorian, what on earth type of gravel vac were you using? I have never heard of one doing anything like that ever!
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:54 AM   #13 
Otterfun
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This is my favorite video to share on how to use a gravel vacuum.

http://youtu.be/6rny12X9KaI


Don't worry, once you use it once you'll get the hang of it immediately lol. I was worried and confused at first too but it only takes a second to figure out how easy it is. :)
Thank you thank you thank you, I was able to successfully vacuum and drain the water after watching this video.

I actually have my tank close to the sink, so the slower flow is perfect. I also put the out flowing side inside a small container/bucket so the Floramax that got siphoned out can be collected and returned to the tank.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:51 PM   #14 
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wow ladyvictorian freaked me out i literally had a mini heart attack

i think i will buy the small one... but Zuko is a bigtime fighter and will never be easy getting out of my tank so i will leave him in but keep a huge eye on him. i think he will be afraid of it anyways lol. and plus whenever i removed him from his tank it'd usually take me 10mins just to get him out and then he'd be laying on the bottom of his container breathing so heavily it was upsetting
thanks all!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:29 PM   #15 
LuvMyBetta21
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wow ladyvictorian freaked me out i literally had a mini heart attack

i think i will buy the small one... but Zuko is a bigtime fighter and will never be easy getting out of my tank so i will leave him in but keep a huge eye on him. i think he will be afraid of it anyways lol. and plus whenever i removed him from his tank it'd usually take me 10mins just to get him out and then he'd be laying on the bottom of his container breathing so heavily it was upsetting
thanks all!!!!!!!!
My betta got freaked out the first time I took him out for a wc. He hated the net. Now what I do is put his cup in the tank and when he swims in it or close to I start closing in with the net until he's in the cup. I use the net as a "lid" while I take it out of the tank and viola! He's out of the tank and not stressed I don't know if it will work for your Zuko (love the name btw) but it's a nice trick if you want to take him out while you gravel vac.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:28 PM   #16 
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ive tried that doesnt work he just tries to push his way out or escapes before i can cover it... i will just try my best to keep him away from the gravel vac.

thanks a bunch!!(and thanks :3 i'm a 15 year old girl and i still watch Avatar the Last Airbender :D... do you?
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:35 PM   #17 
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Just so you know...The Top Fin gravel vacs have a little mesh thing to keep gravel from getting sucked out, but the aqueon ones don't have that. Because of this I don't trust the Aqueon ones to not be to strong...
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:08 PM   #18 
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Just so you know...The Top Fin gravel vacs have a little mesh thing to keep gravel from getting sucked out, but the aqueon ones don't have that. Because of this I don't trust the Aqueon ones to not be to strong...
If there is a mesh, then the #2 cannot be sucked out, correct? Then how do I get the #2 besides using my hand which I prefer not to?

I tried using a Turkey Baster but it does not work too well.
Or is the purpose of vacuuming more about aeration versus picking up #2 and or left over food?

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:14 PM   #19 
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I have the Aqueon Mini vac and during wc i'll get about 10 pieces of gravel sucked out into the bucket. It cleans the tank very well and is amazing. If you don't want to lose any gravel at all then don't shove the tube into the gravel, you can move it over the top and it has a good suction so you should be able to get what you need out.

I go ahead and move all the gravel around with the tube anyway and if a bunch of gravel goes into it then you can just take the tube out of the water and it will drop the gravel back into the tank..

I've never heard of anyone else having an issue with a vac killing a betta like that. My friend FishehGoBloop (here on the forum) once had a female swim into the tube (a larger Aqueon vacuum) and hang out in it, so she brought it up above the water to get her out and started vacuuming again and the girl tried to race back into the tube again like it was fun.


Occasionally the Aqueon vacs will get gravel stuck in them since it has a stopper (kinda like a trap door) to keep gravel from actually getting down the tube, if that happens you just take it out and smack it and it should release.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #20 
AyalaCookiejar
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I got another mini gravel vac from earl may today (its earl may brand) for $6. It does not have a self start mechanism so I have to cup my hand over it and suck lightly to get the vac started, but I don't get water in my mouth. It also doesn't have the screen to keep gravel from getting sucked up but it siphons slow enough that it gets all the poo and food at the bottom but not the gravel, and it doesn't ever pull my fish into it. I use it on my five gallons and my one gallon QT tanks for 50% changes with no issues. It takes a bit of time for it to siphon a lot of water but it works at a nice slow pace and is safe. One of my young girls kinda got sucked into it once but I quickly plugged the end that it was draining out of and it did not hurt her a bit!

I also have a regular vac from Walmart (only size they had) and its like twice the size. It has a self start mechanism (not the pump) but its too big for my five gallon tanks and I still have to suck on the end to get it started. Unfortunately, this one is harder to not get water in my mouth! If I can't get it started the first time I have to drain the tube of water and try again (and the tube is so long its just a pain in the butt!).

I wanted to get separate siphons for each tank so I didn't risk spreading disease. Before I was cleaning it with vinegar and rinsing a whole lot between tanks. The earl may vacs are very simple but they are the best ones I have used, plus they're pretty cheap and small, easy to store, etc...
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