i need to know if im doing this right

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lolagurl

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i got one of these..well not exactly this brand...but one of these manual vacs.. i know to pump it up and down to get the circulation going..but i dont think im doing it right...because i only got the gravel in the tube twice...and it makes more of a mess then helps...can anyone give me some suggestions or advice?
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Terry

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Hi lolagurl. It's not supposed to suck up & remove the gravel as you siphon. It's just to get the gunk out of the top layer of gravel - old food, fish waste, etc. while you're taking out water for a water change. I think that's what you were wondering about?  ???

Just go across the gravel slowly and you won't stir up so much junk into the water.
 
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lolagurl

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but dont i have to pump it..its human powered..lol.. so i have to pump it up and down..if i just put it in...wont it suck the water in first as it coming down to the gravel therefore the pump will be filled when it gets to the gravel part...i know im not explaining this well but its hard to explain
 

Terry

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OK. I think I understand your problem now. I'm not sure what size your tank is, but it doesn't have to be pumped up & down. In my smaller tanks - 6 & 12 gallon ones - you can move it back & forth with a sideways motion rather than up & down. Hopefully you have room in the tank to do that. Try to get that whole larger part of the top under water, and you have to go back & forth pretty quickly till you see the water start to flow into the tubing & down into a bucket or whatever.

Just be sure that the other end of the tubing is in your bucket or wherever you want the tank water to drain into. More than once I've looked down after getting the siphon going and found that the other end had gotten pulled out of the bucket and was draining on the floor!
 

griffin

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if you have one of those with the ball in the end, you can push it up and down to start it, but once it's started, it'll keep sucking even without the up and down as long as you keep it in the water. hope that helps
 
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lolagurl

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ok. thankyou to you both. I have a 5 gallon hex. so i donno if the back and forht motion will work but ill try.. i know that what happened yesterday water all over the floor. the tube slipped out
Also i htink ill look for one of those pumps with those ball things your talking about ..may make it easier for me to get it started
thanks to you both
 

Terry

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I think both types should keep siphoning once you get the flow started. Once you get it going you can stop the pumping part and it'll keep going.
 

Terry

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2 other things:

1) The bucket or whatever you're draining the water into has to be below the tank level. Siphons won't work if the bucket is at or above tank level - they work by gravity once started, with the water leaving the tubing pulling more water behind it from the tank.

2) If that large section on the end is too long to be able to pump it up & down in the tank, maybe get someone to saw about 1/3 of that large part off to let you get that large part submerged in the tank.

Hope you get it going.
 
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lolagurl

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no its long enough...the tube.. i was actually worried it wasnt long enough because the top of the tube thing ends right above the water. so i dont have to then (when i got water in the tube) take the tube out and put it upside down so the water goes out..it should do that outamatically with the suction? yea and i know the bucket should be below the tank or else the water doesnt go down in the tube
thanx
 

Terry

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lolagurl said:
no its long enough...the tube.. i was actually worried it wasnt long enough because the top of the tube thing ends right above the  water. so i dont have to then (when i got water in the tube) take the tube out and put it upside down so the water goes out..it should do that outamatically with the suction? yea and i know the bucket should be below the tank or else the water doesnt go down in the tube
thanx
It should automatically drain once you get it started, If the top of the wide part on the end that goes into the tank won't go far enough into the hex tank to be able to pump it up & down to get it started, I was meaning you may need to saw off 1/3 or 1/2 of it so that you can all of that part in the tank. Or, did you get it working? If not you may have gotten one that's too big for that tank?
 
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lolagurl

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no ok its like this..lol

_______x___________
l l l
l l l
l l l
l l l
l l l
l l l
l l l
l_l l
_________________ l
thats the best i can show it. the box is the tank the thing in the middle is about the size of the suction tube...and then there the little plastic tube that starts where the x is.
 

Terry

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Good drawing! It's as I thought it was. If you can't get the siphon started it's because that larger part below the X is too big to be able to submerge it enough to be able to pump it up & down to get the flow started. I'm thinking that if you can get that part below the X cut or sawed to a smaller length that will allow you to get it submerged with enough room to be able to pump it up & down to get water into the smaller diameter drain tubing to start the suction. That wider part below the X looks llike it's just too long to be able to get it to work.

Shortening that section below the X might make it a bit harder to get the water flowing but I'm not sure. I hate to tell you to modify it and still have it not work, but that's what I would do.

The only other option is to try to get a smaller gravel vac - one with a shorter & smaller section below the X - they have different sizes - did you get the smallest they had?
 

sgould

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I have a siphon like that as well. The vac tube on mine is also taller than the tank, but it still works just fine so long as I keep the open end submerged. The entire thing does not need to be underwater. The up and down pumping just gets the flow started, but once it is going you no longer need to pump. You do need to be fairly forceful to get it started however. When I am vac'ing the gravel, I usually push the open end down a short way into the gravel and leave it there until the water flow up the tube clears of debris, then move the tube to a new spot and repeat. I do about half the tank with each water change.
 

griffin

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another alternative might be to fill the siphon with water, and then put your finger over the small part, submerge the big part, and then put the small part in a bucket and remove finger.
 
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lolagurl

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Terry said:
Good drawing! It's as I thought it was. If you can't get the siphon started it's because that larger part below the X is too big to be able to submerge it enough to be able to pump it up & down to get the flow started. I'm thinking that if you can get that part below the X cut or sawed to a smaller length that will allow you to get it submerged with enough room to be able to pump it up & down to get water into the smaller diameter drain tubing to start the suction. That wider part below the X looks llike it's just too long to be able to get it to work.

Shortening that section below the X might make it a bit harder to get the water flowing but I'm not sure. I hate to tell you to modify it and still have it not work, but that's what I would do.

The only other option is to try to get a smaller gravel vac - one with a shorter & smaller section below the X - they have different sizes - did you get the smallest they had?
Thankyou so much terry for your advice, you have been helpful...i tried that swishing way and it works.. .. abo ut the drawing i did one on my paint program but couldnt get it on here, so i tried the next best thing..lol thankyou again

sgould said:
I have a siphon like that as well. The vac tube on mine is also taller than the tank, but it still works just fine so long as I keep the open end submerged. The entire thing does not need to be underwater. The up and down pumping just gets the flow started, but once it is going you no longer need to pump. You do need to be fairly forceful to get it started however. When I am vac'ing the gravel, I usually push the open end down a short way into the gravel and leave it there until the water flow up the tube clears of debris, then move the tube to a new spot and repeat. I do about half the tank with each water change.
....i guess i just wasnt forceful enough..thanks for the help
 

Terry

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Yipeeeeeeeee! I'm glad you got it working!
 

sgould

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Glad its working for you now!
 

jtinbc

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I bought one of these the other day, and got a demo at my lps - He showed me that by pinching the tubing while it is syphoning, you can slow down the suction. This helps when you start getting gravel in the lower half of the syphon intake, as you can slow down the suction, while lifting up the intake, and it will drop the gravel back down. The yucky stuff floating above the gravel, will suck on in. Does that make sense???

HtH -
 
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