Diy Micro Gravel Vacuum/water Polisher

Cichlidude

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So the past week I've read about folks having issues trying to vacuum the gravel in a small planted tank. Well I have one of those small short siphons but in a 10 gallon tank it empties the water too fast during a water change to actually vacuum and do any good.

I did make one of these for my 75 gallon.


But never used it because changing 30 gallons or so, I have plenty of time to gravel vac with a Python.

So, how about a much smaller one? I just built this and it works perfect! Using the same principal but just a smaller pump, tubing and pill bottles. Recirculates the water back into your tank!

Parts:
1. Submersible water pump with screwed in impeller cover so the tubing can't come loose. This is a 74 gph pump.



2. 12 volt power supply, 1A with removable tips. This will work.



3. ¼” tubing from Home Depot.
4. Empty pill bottles.
5. Fine filter floss.

filter1.jpg


I have plenty of spare power supplies laying around but any 12v dc power supply will work.

Use one of the tips with a large opening and a small screw and screw it into the center so it sticks out about 1/4" or so. This is to solder the 12v Positive end to. Connect the +12v red wire of the pump to the screw and solder. Now wrap the Negative lead around the outside base and solder both of these. I used heat shrink tubing to insulate this connection. Also good if your power supply ever fails, just get another and plug it back in.

filter2.jpg


Now would be a good time to test the pump. Make sure to set the output voltage to 12 volts. Just submerse it in water and plug it in. Water should come shooting out the top outlet a good foot or more.

Now using the 1/4" tubing, place one end in a cup of hot water for about 15 seconds to soften the end. Once done push it onto the inlet of the pump. For a 10 gallon tank, I used about 2 feet of tubing.

Here it is mounted in the tank.

filter4.jpg


Drill a hole in the top of the pill bottle to fit the tubing. Cut the bottom out of the bottle too. I suggest using 2 pill bottles because these clogged up in minutes and I just unscrewed the top and had the next one ready to go. Add your filter floss.

Hold the pill bottle under water to fill the entire tube with water. Now just submerse and turn on the pump!

filter3.jpg


Now start your gravel vacuuming!

Here is my filter floss after only 15 minutes. Changed 4 times.

filter5.jpg


What a mess! You can leave it running and now stir up your gravel and let it do it's thing!

When done, just set it in water polishing mode...

polishingmode.jpg


Perfect for water polishing as you just set it and forget it! Let 'er go for as long as you want.

Enjoy!
 

Coradee

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Nice write up, thanks for sharing
 
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Cichlidude

Cichlidude

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Just found out they now have the same pump with a 5v USB interface that will work just fine too! No wiring at all. You can build this in about 10 minutes.
 
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Cichlidude

Cichlidude

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You can also use pumps that have a 5v USB interface so you don’t have to wire anything anymore. Here are a few:

Echpow [USB Version] 5v - 12v Small Submersible Water Pump 63 GPH

Solar Fountain Water Pump, MinI DC5V Brushless USB 66 GPH
 

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