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Old 01-21-2013, 09:26 AM   #1 
bettaluver14
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Question Gravel Vacuum help -,-

okay, i have no experience what so ever with these and because i am buying a 10gal for my male VT in the next week i WILL need one.

i'm interested in this one: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

but for a 10gal tank what size vacuum will i need? does it make a lot of noise?? i have so many questions
also, will all the gravel get sucked up through the vacuum or do i just get a small one for just debris? because i dont want to have to put all the gravel back in his tank and freak him out.
question 3: will the vacuum suck a lot of his water out?
question 4: how do i make sure HE doesn't get sucked in lol?
question 5: do i turn his filter and heater off while vacuuming?

thank you all so much
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #2 
sainthogan
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1.The gravel will not get completely sucked out, there is a mesh thing at the top that prevents that from happening. For a ten gallon, you'll probably want a medium size, otherwise, you'll spend most of your day vacuuming his tank with a small one.
2. It will suck out his water, so you would want to use it at the same time you are planning a water change - you can use it to siphon out his water while vacuuming his gravel. It shouldn't make any noise, it's simply using air and water to create suction.
3. While vacuuming, you may need to use your other hand to keep him away from it, they can and do get sucked into the hose, and it's not always a pretty sight (I don't want to scare you, but there have been deaths with overly curious fish swimming into the suction), so if you keep it mostly in the gravel and are always aware of where he is, you shouldn't have a problem.
4. Depending on how much water you are taking out, determines whether or not you need to turn his filter off. If you're going to be going below the intake valve on the filter, you should turn it off, otherwise, there's no problem leaving it running. You should turn his heater off to prevent it from getting dry and to be on the safe side to prevent any electrical shocks to you and him in case of malfunction due to it not being in the water (I don't always turn it off, and I really, really should)
I don't have a vacuum, but I only have 5 gallon tanks and I use a turkey baster to clean up the debris. But when I had my 20 gallon years ago, I never would have been able to clean it without a vacuum, they're very handy.
I hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #3 
shellieca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettaluver14 View Post
okay, i have no experience what so ever with these and because i am buying a 10gal for my male VT in the next week i WILL need one.

i'm interested in this one: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

but for a 10gal tank what size vacuum will i need? I bought the large, I think , because of the sized gravel I have, I looked at the size of the tube but I have 3 different sizes because I have multiple tank sizes. The small I believe says 1-10 gallons, the small works great if you have the small sized gravel or sand.
does it make a lot of noise?? There's no motor so no noise except water flowing through it.
i have so many questions
also, will all the gravel get sucked up through the vacuum or do i just get a small one for just debris? No gravel or debris go through it because there is a screen to stop it. Gravel gets sucked in the tube if you push the tube into the gravel, which you should to get the gunk that's settled into/under the gravel. ONLY very small stuff actually goes all the way through.
because i dont want to have to put all the gravel back in his tank and freak him out.
question 3: will the vacuum suck a lot of his water out? It'll suck out however much water you want it to. I do weekly 50% water changes on all my tanks, 3 are 10g tanks I use this on to vac & remove water.
question 4: how do i make sure HE doesn't get sucked in lol? Well it doesn't have that strong of suction, but you keep an eye on your fish, who will most likely be nosey about it, mine all are but if you keep the vac towards the substrate he's likely not to get sucked into.
question 5: do i turn his filter and heater off while vacuuming? YES . . . ALWAYS unplug those items when sticking your hands into the tank!!

thank you all so much
. . .
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #4 
Otterfun
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I got the thing,but I don't know how to work up a siphoning flow, my arms were sore and finger getting blisters from 20 mins. of pressing the pump.

I slightly tilted the vacuum at 75 degree angle from the gravel. Then all of a sudden water flow happens and I got a mini flood because my bucket has 1g capacity. Should I get the electric one?
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

I did not see any of his #2 getting sucked out, is it normal?

Last edited by Otterfun; 01-21-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:49 PM   #5 
shellieca
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If everything is connected correctly & you have the bucket lower than the tank then you only have to squeeze the bulb 3 maybe 4 big squeezes to get the water flowing. I would get a bigger bucket. I have a 10 quart I think it is, when its 3/4 or slightly fuller then I've changed 50% of the water in my 10g. I have a 2nd bucket filled & treated with my new, temp match, conditioned water.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:14 PM   #6 
daylily
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I had no clue how to use my Python siphon - it also does gravel vacuum.

I went to YouTube, looked up aquarium gravel vacuum siphon and there are a lot of very good videos that explain how to get the siphon going and how to do the vacuum.

That's where I learned about a little bulb shaped thing you squeeze with your hand to start the siphon action.

YouTube has lots of great videos on all sorts of things relating to aquariums. I use it a lot since I am new at this!
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #7 
TheCheese909
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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. :)
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:39 PM   #8 
daylily
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Oh, yes! That was one of the videos I watched too!!!! She does a great job explaining it!
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:54 PM   #9 
LadyVictorian
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I'm iffy about gravel vac's anymore, there are easier way's to drain water and suck up food and poo. A gravel vac sucked up and killed my best betta male, ripped all the scales off his side and sucked out his insides, it was horrid. If you get one take your boy out of the tank before using and any other animals like snails or other fish. If you have over 3 then try to get a divider and lock them up on one side of the tank and vacuum, when done with that side herd them to the other side and block them off then vac there. Those things have hard suction and depending on the vac may or may not have the mesh so it may or may not suck up gravel. Mine use to suck up my gravel and forced me to fish it out of the dirty water after it passed through the tube. Was sort of a pain in the butt with smaller gravel like my finer gravel for my 10 gallon and is now in 50 pieces in the garaged after taking a saw and hammer to it <.<

I prefer using a turkey baster for the poo and food and dirt on the ground, I suction daily when I see it and deep clean it once a week digging through the gravel, for the water changes I just take a tube much like the one for the gravel vac, suck on one side, and drain the water out. Causes less panic too and you can use to same tube to refill the tank and cause less stress on them. Takes longer but having lost a fish to a vac it's worth it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:10 PM   #10 
tnvol
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I regularly use a gravel vac with no issues. The suction isn't strong enough to suck up the gravel but sucks out all the waste with no issues. I'm pretty careful to stay away from the fish when he is in there. The opening should be oriented right next to the gravel so unless my fish is really trying to get in the tube and I'm not paying attention, he is in no danger. The opposite end of the tube clips onto my bucket so I can focus all my attention on the tank itself while vacuuming. The whole thing takes less than 15 minutes without rushing.
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