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Old 12-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #1 
4everaspirit
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Any way to clean gravel without a gravel vaccuum?

*sigh* Peeps at Petco don't tell me this stuff when I asked what I needed for my betta. V______V So...I either have to wait a few days or so before I can get a gravel vaccum, or if anyone knows any other way to clean gravel so as to get rid of the gunk, but not the bacteria, I'd be happy to know. Is it really bad if you wash the gravel? Would the bacteria come back?

Her gravel is already really food gunkish (mainly because at first she was spitting up her food until I cut it into smaller peices.)
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:05 PM   #2 
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What size tank, is it filtered or any live plants...
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #3 
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hahha sorry, forgot to mention that...it's a five gallon tank. I leave the filter on for most of the day. No live plants, just plastic ones.
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:30 PM   #4 
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I would either leave the filter running all the time or remove it....any good bacteria that has colonized in the filter media can die due to lack of oxygen in about 6 hours and the byproduct they will create due to death can foul your water every time you turn the filter back on.....

In a 5gal filtered tank-50% weekly water changes with vacuum-if you don't have a vacuum-you can do the stir and dip method.

Stir and dip method:
Wash hands before and after cleaning
Turn your filter off and unplug the heater
Give the substrate a slight stir-with a chopstick, wooden spoon or something to bring the mulm/debris up into the water column
Using a plastic cup-dip half the water out of the tank
Refill with like temp dechlorinater water
Turn the filter back on-the water should clear within the hour-if not-you are either over feeding or missed a water change at one point
Plug the heater back in and monitor the temp for at least an hour
Filter media need a rinse/swish in the bucket of old tank water a couple of times a month

If you decide to remove the filter all together-its optional with Bettas.....make weekly 50% water changes and 1-100% every month to maintain water quality-provided that you are not over feeding and remove any uneaten food within a reasonable time....
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:09 PM   #5 
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Not sure if it will be long enough for your 5 gallon tank, but a Turkey Baster makes an excellent spot vacuum, especially if you can see the debris in question.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #6 
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Thanks old fish lady and go soul!!! I never thought of a Turkey baster. My dad has one but I doubt he'd let me get all fishy dirty xD LOLZZZZZZZZZZ :P
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:25 PM   #7 
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I do this every other month.
I empty the water in to a 5 gallon drum I keep just for fish water. Then I rinse the gravel with about 1/2 the tank water. I spread the gravel on an old 10 gallon screen cover so the poo can drop through when I rinse it. The rest of the water goes back in the tank with new treated water. I mean a screen like this one:

Last edited by callmeconfused; 12-26-2011 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:31 PM   #8 
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cool....so it's okay to use the tank water to rinse the gravel?? just not new water right?
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:37 PM   #9 
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Yup, at least that's what I've heard. I have never had any problems :)
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