How To Start A Siphon Properly ?

nobifish

Hello! I have no idea how to use this type of siphon : Top Fin® Aquarium Gravel Vacuum | fish Vacuums | PetSmart
I've watched countless videos on how to start regular siphons (one with no ball pump) but I don't think it translates well with my siphon ha. My trouble is, I can get it to suck up water from the tank, but in the videos that I've seen, siphons suck up and agitate the substrate as well and you see all the gunk getting sucked up, but mine doesn't do that! Is mine just a bad siphon or am I doing it wrong?
 

mattgirl

You may not be doing anything wrong. The higher your tank is above the waste water bucket the stronger the suction will be. If your tank is low it is doubtful that these kinds of gravel vac's will have enough suction to agitate the gravel very well.
 
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Heron

It should be easy, place the syphon in the tank , place the other end of the tube in a bucket lower than the tank and squeeze the pump a few times until water is flowing down into the bucket. The only issue you may have is whether the pump bulb is the right way round, mine is a different make but it has an arrow on the bulb showing the direction of flow through it. I don't know if yours has or not. Make sure all pipe fittings are tight, if any air gets in a syphon it won't work. If these things don't make it work then it's probably defective and you should return it to the store.
 
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nobifish

You may not be doing anything wrong. The higher your tank is above the waste water bucket the stronger the suction will be. If your tank is low it is doubtful that these kinds of gravel vac's will have enough suction to agitate the gravel very well.
ah ! I think that may be the problem. My tank is at the same level as my desk. Just did a water change now, and the debris was sucked up but pretty meekly. I'm assuming propping up my tank somewhere higher will yield a better clean?
 
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mattgirl

ah ! I think that maybe the problem. My tank is at the same level as my desk. Just did a water change now, and the debris was sucked up but pretty meekly. I'm assuming propping up my tank somewhere higher will yield a better clean?
Yes it will. Some folks have their tanks sitting close to the floor and have to use a pump to siphon their tanks. I used to sit my waste water bucket on a little step stool but didn't get good suction so sat it on the floor and it worked much better.
 
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ProudPapa

ah ! I think that may be the problem. My tank is at the same level as my desk. Just did a water change now, and the debris was sucked up but pretty meekly. I'm assuming propping up my tank somewhere higher will yield a better clean?

Instead of propping up the tank (I can picture all kinds of potential problems), put the bucket you're siphoning into on the floor.
 
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Heron

If your tank is at desk level and the bucket is on the floor you should have enough head for a decent syphon. If the syphon tube has a removable wide end you can remove it to increase the flow. I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with this unit so I'm unsure if this is possible.
 
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KSo

I have this vac, it’s not bad to start as long as you have the height right, usually 3-5 squeezes of the pump. I do find that it has trouble vaccing the substrate, but that could be my mix. I have floramax and really fine gravel.
 
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cdw202x

I have the mini version of this item, made for >10 gallons. In addition to making sure the waste bucket is lower than the tank, I have found that if I make the larger end as almost horizontal in the water and squeeze the pump thing rapidly, it will make a much more powerful siphon to pull things out of the tank. Once the suction has started, you can move to a vertical position. (There used to be a youtube video showing this-- where I got the idea-- but I can't find it at the moment.)
 
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