Gravel vac for sand?

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by kidster9700, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Alright... My 38 has been going for light two months and I have yet to gravel vac for two reasons.
    1) sand
    2) soooooo many plants and driftwood. I can barely get to the bottom. It's so heavily planted I've been trying to catch a glo light for two weeks.
    At this point I've destroyed my aquascaping and need to re do it so I figure what better time to vacuum the bottom? I'll take out my driftwood and stuff, so I can get to the bottom. Maybe rearrange things. Plus, then I can get the tank all clean for a school of harlequins and my bumblebee will lose its territory.
    So what do I use to gravel vac my sand? My normal siphon????

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  2. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    When I clean the sand, I don't put the siphon down into the sand as I do with my graveled tank. The siphon picks up a bit of sand then. Usually I get the suction going and hold it a few centimeters above the sand, and all the poop and nasty stuff gets sucked right up, without disturbing the sand.
  3. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah and if it starts to pick up sand, give th siphon a slight lifty shake and the sand will be heavier then the detritus and fall back out into the tank. I actually do this on purpose sometimes.
  4. KarenLMWell Known MemberMember

    I don't have sand but I remember somebody on here saying they attached a chopstick to the end of the siphon, maybe extending a couple of inches from the bottom and used it to gently stir up the sand a little while they vacuumed. You want to be sure the sand doesn't get sucked up.

    I did have pool filter sand for a while and it would not come back down the siphon for me but ended up in the bucket - thus I have gravel now.
  5. plecodragonWell Known MemberMember

    I have found that it also helps if you tilt your siphon tube at a 45 degree angle, The sand is heavier then the debris and water and stays to the side. I only have a hand siphon not a python gravel vac so I don't know how much suction they have.
  6. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    Yeahive never had a problem with pool filtersand, i can stick the tube all the way in and then lft it out, all the sand falls back in.
  7. raif281Valued MemberMember

    I'm thinking about getting a tank and was wondering about the sand, thanks for posting the question
  8. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Okay, so it sounds like if I use a siphon and just lift it when the sand gets in it I'll be okay. Thanks guys, I'm doing my first substrate cleaning on this tank today so I wanted to make sure I had the right equipment.

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  9. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Great tip! Hadn't heard of that one.

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  10. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    just make sure your tank isnt like mine with a soil level beneath it, lol
  11. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Good point ;) I haven't had a dirt tank for quite awhile.
  12. LucyModeratorModerator Member