Eheim auto gravel vac

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by sawchynegger, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Anyone ever use one of these? Thinking about getting one just to clean up after my pleco in between weekly water changes/ full gravel vacs. I've read mixed reviews. The royal pleco dishes out some serious waste and I've been vacuuming a little bit mid week. I think the Eheim would be much easier.

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  2. DolfanFishlore VIPMember

    I have not used one before, but have looked at them a few times. Seems like a good idea and they may work well. I was just worried that it was sort of gimmicky and didn't work well in the end. Although Eheim usually makes quality things.

  3. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    I agree. I'm kind of trusting in the name. My only hesitation is that many reviews say the water permeable net blows out all the fine debri clouding the water. I'm trying to collect the larger pleco waste so I'm not too worried. However one reviewer claimed his fish would get sick after using the device citing the clouding of the water ad the cause. I would cause he was trying to use this device in lieu of actual water changes and therefore maintained poor water quality which was the real problem for his fish.

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  4. GenaWell Known MemberMember

    I've been wondering about this too! I love the idea but the reviews are awful. Maybe technology isn't ready for such an amazing idea? =/

  5. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    I was thinking of trying one of the really cheap alternatives first but those have even worse reveiws. I think amazon reviews actually come out to a little under 4.5/ 5 stars with 50% + giving it 5 stars so it's not terrible. However it seems the bad reviews are really bad.

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  6. GenaWell Known MemberMember

    I'm iffy about purchasing anything over say $15 that has lots of lousy reviews on multiple websites. Which is why I haven't purchased the Ehem Auto Gravel Syphon. It's like $50 and that's a lot for such a high risk product. And it's not like pet stores have amazing return policies. (The last time I returned something to Petco, it was very tedious. The item was unused, I just hadn't thought about the space the item took up and realized after I got home. I work in the retail industry so I understand why companies have to be so careful with returns. The company I work for has a pretty lax system and it eats into profits- mostly our bonuses. >,< ) It's better to just be cautious with purchases and research them beforehand to prevent any returns. End rant!

    I.E. reviews about this product:


    I'm having a major sludge and algae problem in my 30 gallon community and I need a solution. Recently I've been sport cleaning with a mini standard syphon(made for five gallon tanks) The water that comes out is nasty. All this gunk has infested the gravel.
  7. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Ya I've been reading the reviews. They are very divided. Seems like people are having different experiences depending in their expectations (aside from the product simply breaking). I still think that for my intended purpose (picking up chunky pleco waste between water changes) it might work. But I totally agree it's a big risk at that price. My alternative is just to use a regular siphon and do 1 bucket full. This is enough to get some of the waste out. It's just a slightly bigger hassle cause then have to dump another bucket in which takes more time, uses more water conditioners etc. What to do........

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  8. CanadianMadeValued MemberMember

    My cousin has one. He swears by it! Personally i just use a regular siphon but ive been going back and fourth about getting one. Apparently it is worth the money :)

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  9. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the feedback. Still debating it. I keep finding other stuff that takes priority.

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  10. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I thought about making a thread about this just last night but it seems there's already one, how convenient! Been thinking about getting one since I have two big tanks and one of them has a flowerhorn that poops a lot, worse than a pleco imo.
  11. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Pooping contest, flowerhorn vs royal pleco. I have an oscar in with the royal as well. I still haven't pulled the trigger on this.

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  12. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    I've have a similar product which is the Tom Mr. Cleaner. It's very cheap at about $10 average price. The suction isn't very good with the tip on so I just use it with just the tube. The filter sock is nice and fine and doesn't let the smallest particles back out into the tank. Also, the switch assembly isn't made very well and is the first to go if it breaks. I don't use it anymore since I've started using Tetra Pond Sludge Reducer. This product breaks down poop fast and you will not see poop last over a day. But please remember that the poop doesn't just magically disappear. It's just broken down so water changes, vacuuming, and filter maintenance is still a must do which we all regularly do anyway.
  13. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    How big is your tank?
  14. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    I have one and never use it, it is ok if you have large gravel, small gravel will jam it sand renders it useless.

    I found it cleaned the big stuff out but sprayed cloudy fine muck all through the tank making the tank cloudy.

    If you want to pick up some of the stuff between weekly water changes it is ok but it will not reduce the amount of water changes and if anything will give you extra work personally I think it's best to stick to the old methods.

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  15. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    That's the post I been looking for, I'm sure OP feels the same. Now the rest of us can save $50 and spend it on buying more fish (or tanks) instead haha.

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  16. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I haven't tried one, but your experience sounds like exactly what I would have thought would happen.

    When I do a gravel vacuuming, a lot of very fine cloudy stuff gets pulled up out of the gravel. And I'm sure some of it must be virtually microscopic. If I was just passing that through a coarse filter, it would just get recycled back into the water. Sort of like using your shop vac, but without any filter. You'd just be spreading it around, not actually getting rid of it. It might make things worse for the fish.

    I hate it when people sweep or dust dusty areas. It just raises the dust into the air so you have to breathe it. Then it settles, and all that's been accomplished is rearrangement of the dust!

    It seems like the same principal here.

    However, if you're just using it to pick up the big pieces of poop or uneaten food, and you don't disturb the fine stuff that's already partially broken down, it might be useful. You could use it carefully and frequently.

    But I think a better approach is to spend that money and effort hooking up a good aspirator gravel vacuum system like the Python or Aqueon systems.

    I've installed hoses and valves to make it easier to do gravel vacuuming without needing to lug buckets, string out hoses, etc., so much. That makes water changes with heavy-duty gravel vacuuming so much easier that I tend to do it more often and more thoroughly. And all of that stuff is positively removed from the aquarium each time.

    But I do understand the desire for a quick, easy way to spot-clean the tank.

    The technical problem I see with these units is that they cannot have enough power nor enough filter surface area to use an extremely fine filter like we'd really like to see. The weak pump necessitates using a relatively coarse filter that passes water (and fine debris) easily.

    In years past, so-called diatom filters were very popular. They still sell them. These are external to the tank, but you have a suction hose and a return hose, and you recycle the water back into the tank. The difference is that they filter down to an extremely fine level.

    If you connected a gravel vac tube, and a coarse pre filter to the inlet of a diatom filter, that might do what you want. But then we're back to an inconvenient and time consuming process, again.

    And really, just getting that vacuumed water out of the tank, and replacing it with new water serves additional purposes by getting rid of dissolved contaminants and replenishing minerals. In essence, we shouldn't be trying to get around doing water changes. And proper gravel vacuuming is a good excuse to do a water change. :)

    So if one of those will let you grab big poops and chunks of uneaten food without raising a dust cloud of fine debris, then fine., it might be useful. But I like to vacuum that water completely out each time. If I'm gonna get my arm wet, anyhow, I might as well do a water change while I'm at it.
  17. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Found an alternative to the Eheim auto vac if anyone is interested


    Not sure if it works or not and it's pricey!!

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  18. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    Looks like a much better system

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