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Old 05-26-2013, 11:39 PM   #1 
ktmrox11's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Denver, Colorado
Gravel siphon not...siphoning?

I just bought a small gravel siphon for my 2.5 gallon tank and it transports water fine, but it leaves all the gross residue and stuff. It just stirs it all up like a bowl of soup in my tank and then it settles back down, it doesn't actually clean out the debris. Am I doing something wrong?
In addition, this may seem silly but I fear that I am going to siphon up one of my frogs or my tiny baby betta or my algae eater while siphoning. the frogs seem to like to relax right near where I am sucking things up so I have to avoid them. Does anyone else encounter this? What do you do to avoid it?
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:45 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Miami FL
it might be that a piece of gravel got into the valve and it is blocking the proper suction. Take it apart and check the valve, make sure it is completely clear.

That seems like a lot of animals in such a small space, but I am no expert.

As to keeping the kids away, I would put my fish in a cup while cleaning, keeps him safely away and also keeps him from having to "breathe" any muck that is kicked up by the process.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:11 AM   #3 
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Location: Tennessee
Do you put the siphon in the gravel or just vacuum the surface? I slowly go over the surface and never get into the substrate. I keep a handy dandy turkey baster for inbetween pickups.

When I used to vacuum into the substrate I did one part until the water ran clear and then moved several inches over and repeated. I did a small section of the substrate with each water change and skipped that area with the next one.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:20 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Australia
Yes I agree that there might be a piece of gravel blocking it so it won't work properly.That happens to me sometimes.Just take the tube off the end & push or shake the gravel out.It is a good idea to get into the gravel to get debris out,the gravel should just go up the spout a bit then it will just go down again.My little bettas often like to follow the vacuum around so I just make sure to keep the vac close to the bottom (so they can't get under it) and move it very slowly & gently.

P.S. It does sound like your tank is too small for that many fish & frogs.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:49 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
sometimes my smaller gravel vac gets some gravel lodged in it and I have to stop and shake the gravel out then start again. Also make sure to be aware of where everyone in the tank is and go very close to the bottom near them. Also..How many frogs do ou have in there?? Honestly African dwarf frogs( the smallest I own/know of) need 2-3 gallons each. They are poop machines and can polute water very quickly...not to meantion all the others you said were in that tank. Be carefull and test your water often as you are extremely overstocked.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:06 PM   #6 
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When you're siphoning stick the end of the siphon all the way into the gravel until you see clear water no debris, then move over an inch do the same thing etc. until you finish all the surface area. you might be just moving the gravel around and stirring up the nasty stuff but not sucking all of it up because you're moving to the next area too quickly. Don't be afraid to really get in the gravel with your siphon.

I'd take the baby betta out before you even start siphoning because one of my babies got sucked up last year and got really banged up, she was okay but it was horrible and so now I never siphon with any of my fish in the tank. I only took my eyes off her for a split second to move a plant over and it happened. Better to be safe.
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