20 Gallon Tank Correct way to vacuum tank?

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The other day I was watching videos on how to get a siphon going without having to suck the water out;:barf. After numerous attempts, I decided to seek help from my trusty turkey baster to get the suction going.

Anywho. After watching a few videos and reading all of the "you're doing it wrong" comments, I was wondering - what IS the correct way to vacuum a tank? I read in one of the comments you should only allow 1/2 inch of the vacuum into the gravel. Another comment said to move the vacuum in small circles. and most comments said not to let the gravel get too high into the vacuum, or to pick up the vacuum when there is a significant amount of substrate in the vacuum because you're just picking up all the junk and letting it fall back into the tank.

How do you vacuum your tank?
 

LyndaB

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I take it you're not using a python? I don't know what we'd do without it.... actually yes I do. My husband would be sucking his life away at the end of a hose....

As far as how deep into the gravel..... personally, I do 50% water changes every week. Every other week, I stir up the gravel with the python and catch as much debris as possible.

I also have a sand substrate in one tank. In that one, I stir up the sand with bamboo skewers and again, try to catch as much debris as possible.

Honestly, my tanks don't get that dirty. I don't overfeed, so I don't end up with food waste as part of the debris. And if you have a reasonably stocked tank, the debris shouldn't be that bad.

Where are you getting all your differing information?
 

H20girl

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Hello, I asked a similar question a few weeks ago and received a lot of good info:

I don't think specific techniques were discussed in that thread, however.

I don't have a python, but use a siphon that has a hand pump you squeeze to start the suction. It works great and cost less than $15.
 
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Hello, I asked a similar question a few weeks ago and received a lot of good info:

I don't think specific techniques were discussed in that thread, however.

I don't have a python, but use a siphon that has a hand pump you squeeze to start the suction. It works great and cost less than $15.
Thanks, definitely going here next. Essentially, that's what the turkey baster does, I just stick it in the end of the hose that's in the bucket to get the suction going.

I'm using the top fin version of a "vacuum."

I was getting that info from Youtube, which explains all the difference of opinion. I just wanted to see an easy way to get the suction going, but ended up seeing all sorts of people who were doing the cleaning wrong.
 

LyndaB

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Considering that youtube is basically a place where people try to find their 15 minutes of fame, I'm not at all surprised that you would get weird information there.
 
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Considering that youtube is basically a place where people try to find their 15 minutes of fame, I'm not at all surprised that you would get weird information there.
Ha, yep. Everyone had such different opinions, too.
 

blkdeath75

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I have a python but it still needs to be siphoned heh......you rich folks and your aut-toe-mat-ic sucking machines.
 

Kunsthure

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I'm a compulsive gravel vacuumer. The mollies and the fry are disgusting messes and until I switched out the gravel for sand, I would sometimes vacuum twice a week. I have the siphon kind and a battery-powered one that doesn't remove water so I break that out often. I go all the way down to the glass *and* vacuum the whole thing every time--and yet somehow the tanks never seem clean.

-Lisa
 
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Yes! I saw this one and found it insanely helpful getting the siphon started.
 
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