Is it the filter, or my gravel vac???

Carolann

So I'm soooo tired of seeing little deposits of debris and sediment all over everything. No matter how carefully I gravel vac, or how high I have my filter turned up, inevitably once the literal dust settles, it looks like this. What can I do to actually get my tank clean!?
Also, it will be a Betta tank, so I know leaving my filter turned up like that probably will wear him out. So I know I will need to reduce the flow.

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KingOscar

Is that debris stuck on there or is it loose and able to be blown around? What's it from / what's in the tank now? Maybe post a pic of the entire set up.
 

Carolann

Is that debris stuck on there or is it loose and able to be blown around? What's it from / what's in the tank now? Maybe post a pic of the entire set up.
It's loose, and is easily unseated.
I've also done at least 2 water changes/gravel vacs since it first started getting like this. I noticed particles of debris float after water changes before, but never to the dust bunny point.
I'm going to assume it is dead algae from wiping down the tank walls. As right now there are no fish. (waiting until I can afford some quarantine meds) And I did have a pretty significant algae bloom a week or two after a water change and thorough cleaning after my first Betta passed.
Right now, there's not much in here as several of the plants I had in there didn't make it(due to lighting I'm going to assume as I didn't have the best light, and then that light decided to die on me so I couldn't light it for a while besides ambient light as I tried to get some spare cash together for a nicer light). Right now there are the 2 small plants in the pic(a java Fern and a small variety of what the package said was Anubis). It's pretty sparse as I wait to see how the plants in quarantine come through there alum dip.
The filter and heater came with the tank as part of a set from PetSmart (yes, I know it's not the greatest), and I know the heater is working well as I can watch the thermometer. The filter on the other hand is another matter, as I'm questioning whether it may not be strong enough. And also dreading the answer if it isn't as buying a new hang on back is another thing to save up for lol. I've also been wondering about switching to a sponge filter, but I'm concerned about the same thing happening if the hang on back can't handle it.
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KingOscar

Looking at the full view pics it doesn't look bad to me, certainly not anything dangerous to fish. But if you want the clean look (which I really like!) maybe pull the foamy off of your intake on your next gravel vacuum or stir to allow better suction. Or, another thing I've done is stir up the gravel and then run a fine mesh fish net back and forth in the tank to collect the debris. This way the algae/gunk doesn't have to clog up your filter pad. If you try this you can remove the pot and bridge to allow full net sweeps.

Several back to back gravel vacs should remove most debris too.
 

Carolann

Looking at the full view pics it doesn't look bad to me, certainly not anything dangerous to fish. But if you want the clean look (which I really like!) maybe pull the foamy off of your intake on your next gravel vacuum or stir to allow better suction. Or, another thing I've done is stir up the gravel and then run a fine mesh fish net back and forth in the tank to collect the debris. This way the algae/gunk doesn't have to clog up your filter pad. If you try this you can remove the pot and bridge to allow full net sweeps.

Several back to back gravel vacs should remove most debris too.
I will try this! Thank you!
 

Flyfisha

Hey Carolann
While the information you have received is ok I would like to say something about the gravel you were sold.

In an ideal world gravel of 1/4 is most suited to a gravel vacuum.

A few large rocks are ok but it seems you have way to many for them to travel up the hose and drop down again as you block the suction off with the other hand.
While I don’t think this is the issue you are facing I would suggest you watch this video of how sand or gravel is stirred in the large diameter hose and then falls back down.

 

KingOscar

Good point Flyfisha, I agree! Thanks.

I'd swap out to a smaller sized gravel and place some of your larger rocks on top.
 

Carolann

Hey Carolann
While the information you have received is ok I would like to say something about the gravel you were sold.

In an ideal world gravel of 1/4 is most suited to a gravel vacuum.

A few large rocks are ok but it seems you have way to many for them to travel up the hose and drop down again as you block the suction off with the other hand.
While I don’t think this is the issue you are facing I would suggest you watch this video of how sand or gravel is stirred in the large diameter hose and then falls back down.

The video file won't play. Do you have the url or the name?
 

Flyfisha

That video is an old one.
Here is a newer version. Fast forward to 4 minutes.
 

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