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Old 02-16-2011, 03:34 AM   #1 
baylee767
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Thumbs up starting a gravel vac

I heard a lot of people use their mouths to start their gravel vacs... that's just...

So how do you start up your gravel vac? There are actually many ways to do it I think 0.0 here's how I do it.

I fill the big cylinder thing you attach to the hose with water and take it out of the water. I face the opening up pointing towards the sky, and in my other hand I hold the other end of the hose also pointing to the sky. So it makes a U shape. Then the water will instantly flow, and when it almost reaches the end of the hose I put my finger over the end. Then the big cylinder thing drains all its water into the hose.

Next, still holding my finger over the end of the hose, I stick the cylinder back into the water (I make the air bubbles go away first) Then I put the hose end into the bucket. I let go and it starts sucking... this process usually takes me 10-30 seconds.

Just thought I'd share so that I'd save people from swallowing fish poop water. I lost the instructions and had to figure this out myself... took a long time.

So how do you do it?
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:05 AM   #2 
HarleyRigid
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Easier way I have found Baylee is to hold the 'waste' end in your bucket/sink/container and the vac end in your tank... carefully... making sure not to injure your fish 'pump' the vac end up and down (make sure the end stays under water and that your waste end is lower than the vac end). It will start in seconds
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:19 AM   #3 
Sherleelee
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With my 1st gravel vac i just watched heaps of youtube vids. I got fed up with how hard it was to start it so i went out and paid a bit extra to get the kind with the manual pump in it so you just stick the suck part in pump it and it goes on its own :) Hope you can figure they really are a Bi^ch to work out
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:32 AM   #4 
LolaQuigs
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Thanks for the tips; I'll definitely try that method next time. I was filling the vacuum part with water while the waste end was in the bucket, then holding it up so some but not all of the water would start to drain from the vacuum part into the tube. Then quickly, before it all drained out, I would invert the vacuum into the tank water and pump it into the gravel. It always took me several tries to get it right, and I always wondered how I would get a siphon going if I switched to sand since pumping would just suck up all the sand. And there's no way I'm putting the waste tube in my mouth!
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:17 AM   #5 
scootshoot
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I never use my mouth. Easiest way is to place your bucket that is collecting the old water at a lower elevation than the tank. Now insert the siphon fully submerged til it fills up with water then lift so the opening is out of the water. You will than notice the water flowing down filliing the exit tubing. Do this (all it takes is 2-3 tries) til the exit tubing is full of water or the siphon is close to empty and submerge again. Eventually a vacuum will form and the water will start flowing into the collection bucket.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:43 AM   #6 
boro
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I use my mouth, but I've never gotten a mouthful of water...

you don't have to draw it all the way to the end, just far enough so that it can start flowing on it's own. Bend the tube in a U-shape down from the tank and up to your face, once the water has reached the bottom of the U you can take the tip and put it in your waste bucket to let gravity do the work, and no worrying about fish poop as the U shape will keep the water down. I learned these tricks from siphoning automotive fluids which I've always done the same way, and it's a LOT worse to get antifreeze in your mouth.

I've never really had an aversion to doing it this way, but then again I'm a dude and we do tend to be a bit nasty. I do clean the end I use to start it with before and after using though.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:44 AM   #7 
Alex09
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I've never really had an aversion to doing it this way, but then again I'm a dude and we do tend to be a bit nasty. I do clean the end I use to start it with before and after using though.
lol lol. Same here. I have gotten (a little bit) of water in my mouth only once. Didnt really freak out. It was clean water, the siphon wasn't against the substrate or anything. Havent any of you guys ever gone swimming in a lake/ river? Cant be much different than that unless your tank is REALLY dirty.

Tried the dipping method to start the siphon but water dripped everywhere
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:41 PM   #8 
LolaQuigs
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lol lol. Same here. I have gotten (a little bit) of water in my mouth only once. Didnt really freak out. It was clean water, the siphon wasn't against the substrate or anything. Havent any of you guys ever gone swimming in a lake/ river? Cant be much different than that unless your tank is REALLY dirty.

Tried the dipping method to start the siphon but water dripped everywhere
But you don't open your mouth when you swim in lake/river water!

I'm not even really afraid of the water going in my mouth, I'm grossed out by the mere idea of putting in my mouth a tube that has had old fish water and waste flowing through it! If it's touched something nasty, I'm going to keep my distance!
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #9 
bettafish15
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To start my vac, I use Baylee's method. I tried doing the pump thing, but 8/10 times it didnt work and just made my arm tired, as well as scared my poor finny. I discovered what I do now on accident xD Takes me a few seconds to start it up, and I'm good to go! I never needed to try using my mouth xD
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:40 PM   #10 
Windblowswolf
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Originally Posted by LolaQuigs View Post
But you don't open your mouth when you swim in lake/river water!

I'm not even really afraid of the water going in my mouth, I'm grossed out by the mere idea of putting in my mouth a tube that has had old fish water and waste flowing through it! If it's touched something nasty, I'm going to keep my distance!
I don't know about you but I do open my mouth when swimming... it helps me hold my breath. I open my mouth when I go down and spit out the water when I come up. SO if, when I use my new gravel vac I will use my mouth if I can't get the other ways to work.
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