Is There A Filter Setup That Could Do Auto Gravel Cleaning

ap4lmtree

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This time i did a WC, it took me 30 minutes instead of 90 minutes because I just ran the python hose through the backdoor / outside instead of monitoring it and using the siphon to clean the sand substrate and floor.

Now, i would like to do this 30 minute method more instead of my old ~90 minute method. Thus, i would like a setup that does floor cleaning for me. I think i could do this with something like a wave pump + hob filter, right? Or do you know of a better setup than that?
 
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Islandvic

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How large is your tank, and what % of water changes do you preform?

If the hose is long enough to run outside, invest in a cheap water pump from Amazon and use it to pump out your tank to the backyard.

I pump our 55g and 75g out to the plants in our front and back yard. We have a 25ft and 50ft length of 1/2" vinyl hose I found on clearance. I use a double ended barb to connect the two as needed.

To refill the tanks, I remove the aerator off our kitchen sink and screw on a fitting that allows me to attach a Camco brand drinking-water safe garden hose used for RV's and travel trailers.

I use a normal gravel siphon vac and 5 gallon bucket for quick cleanings of the substrate.

It takes no where near 90 minutes to do a 50-70% water change on our 75, including cleaning substrate.

Why did your method take 90 minutes? Also, how is your tank stocked?

If your fish do not mind the extra current, you could try adding a power head plugged into a timer so it turns off at night. During the day it can be aimed to flow water across the substrate over to the intake tube of your filter. It should blow the uneaten fish food and fish waste around, allowing the filter to stick it up. That may reduce your cleaning times.

I got that idea from Ben Ochart's YouTube channel. Very good fish hobby channel mainly dealing with African cichlids.
 

johnbirg

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Hi,
Many years ago ( more than 50) we used undegravel filters and I still do. If you have a planted tank or even if not you can't go past a properly functioning undegravel filter. I also run a canister filter in my heavily planted 84 gallon planted tank and never vacuum the gravel as there is no need to. it is almost impossible to foul a tank using an undergravel filter and your plants and fish will thrive. So no need to vacuum, tons of BB and a healthy aquarium.
 

CheshireKat

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Hi,
Many years ago ( more than 50) we used undegravel filters and I still do. If you have a planted tank or even if not you can't go past a properly functioning undegravel filter. I also run a canister filter in my heavily planted 84 gallon planted tank and never vacuum the gravel as there is no need to. it is almost impossible to foul a tank using an undergravel filter and your plants and fish will thrive. So no need to vacuum, tons of BB and a healthy aquarium.
Do you ever move your plants around? I'd imagine roots might cling on to the filter?
Growing up, like half of that 50 years, cheap tanks came with undergravel filters, so that's what I had... But I never new it until recently. It wasn't advertised as a filter like tank kits are now. There wasn't much emphasis on filters that I recall, not for the young, small-time, Petco/PetSmart/Walmart fishkeeper then. It was more about having air bubbles; that's what thought it was for. Wish I'd known the truth, would've been so helpful. I wish I would've known lots of things then... Like not to frequently clean out the aquarium thoroughly with scalding water. But that's what my mom did, so that's what I did.
 

CheshireKat

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If your fish do not mind the extra current, you could try adding a power head plugged into a timer so it turns off at night. During the day it can be aimed to flow water across the substrate over to the intake tube of your filter. It should blow the uneaten fish food and fish waste around, allowing the filter to stick it up. That may reduce your cleaning times.
Ooo, good idea!! I have to baffle the outflow as the younger, smaller platies still struggle with the overfiltration, but that means the substrate and plant leaves aren't being "swept" and the filter isn't completely effective. But a short time for a lower current to stir up debris once a day would be really helpful!
 
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