Water change/gravel vacuum

belarskio

When I am doing a water change I also am vacuuming the gravel and so I don't take out too much wter I have kind of a time limit to get all the gravel but I don't normally have enough time, how do I get the gravel clean without taking out too much water.
 

Heron

I usually find I have enough time to vacuum the gravel when I do a water change but there are 3 possible solutions to your problem.
1.) Vacuum half the tank each time you do water changes and alternate which side you do.
2.) Add some of the water back into the tank and keep vacuuming.

3.) Invest in an electric gravel vacuum that filters the water and returns it into the tank. I have a fluval pro vac that I bought to deep clean my tanks. It's very effective and sucks up waste that a syphon can't but you do have to keep stopping to clean out the filter.
 

juniperlea

I keep vacuuming the gravel until the water that comes out is clear. You cannot vacuum gravel without taking out water. Even if you have no gravel or substrate of any kind, you still have to vacuum the bottom.
 

Repolie

I pinch the hose to slow the flow so that I have more time to do things.
 

belarskio

I have not done a very good job with my gravel vacuuming so there is lots of stuff in the gravel like food and poop, the food is from when I cycled the tank and there was no fish. Whenever the gravel is disturbed a bunch of stuff gets pushed up. I can't do a water change/gravel vacuum because I did one the other day, the water parameters are fine. Can I just take the gravel out and clean it? How do I clean it and get the stuff out without gravel vacuum?
 

mattgirl

If it were me I would just buy a gravel vacuum. You can buy one for $5.00 or less. That would be much easier than trying to remove the gravel to clean it.
 

BlackOsprey

Removing the gravel would just make all the nasty stuff go in the water and then you'd have to siphon it out anyways. I'd just wait a week and get the crud out then.
 

mattgirl

I don't understand why you can't do a water change again. You can do them as often as needed even if that is daily without doing any harm.
 

belarskio

If it were me I would just buy a gravel vacuum. You can buy one for $5.00 or less. That would be much easier than trying to remove the gravel to clean it.
I do have one but I can't use it because I can't do so much water changes

I don't understand why you can't do a water change again. You can do them as often as needed even if that is daily without doing any harm.
But doesn't that hurt the beneficial bacteria basically restarting you cycling
 

johnbirg

Hi,
If the crud in the gravel is mainly organic you can use Seachem pristine which will break down the organic material. I would double dose the tank to start with and then use the recommended dosage at every water change. I find I don't have to vacuum the gravel since I started using pristine at every water change.
 

mattgirl

I do have one but I can't use it because I can't do so much water changes
I guess I don't understand what you mean by this. You don't have to do the whole bottom of the tank each time. Just do part of it with each water change. Stop the vacuum when you have removed as much water as you need too. You can change out at least half the water with each water change. In fact I recommend changing out half of it every time you do it and then at least once a month change out even more.
But doesn't that hurt the beneficial bacteria basically restarting you cycling
No it doesn't. Once cycled, the bacteria is clinging onto every surface in your tank. Siphoning out the mulm that accumulates in the gravel just helps to keep your tank a bit cleaner. Your thoughts about taking the gravel out to clean it would kill off more bacteria than just siphoning all that "stuff" out.
 

mattgirl

You profile says you have a 10 gallon tank. Might want to try this:

Try here on how to build a Micro Gravel Vacuum/Water Polisher for small tanks that recirculates the water back into your tank.

Diy Micro Gravel Vacuum/water Polisher | DIY - Do It Yourself 394071
I understand how this works but I don't understand why anyone would want to do it unless they live where water is scarce. The main purpose of a water change is to lower nitrates (or ammonia/nitrites if present) and keep fresh water in the tank. Just recirculating the water won't do that. Maybe I am missing something?
 

Cichlidude

I understand how this works but I don't understand why anyone would want to do it unless they live where water is scarce. The main purpose of a water change is to lower nitrates (or ammonia/nitrites if present) and keep fresh water in the tank. Just recirculating the water won't do that. Maybe I am missing something?
Just a gadget as on a small tank the water is emptied during a water change too fast for you to perform the gravel vacuum. This allows you to take your time, drink a beer, and continue to vacuum the gravel even it it takes 30 mins. Works great as a water polisher too.
 

Islandvic

Vac the gravel until half the tank is drained

Refill tank and continue to gravel vac until half of tank is drained.

Refill tank again and repeat the following week.

When you get tired of always doing a gravel vac, switch over to sand. Much easier to clean
 

Cichlidude

When I am doing a water change I also am vacuuming the gravel and so I don't take out too much wter I have kind of a time limit to get all the gravel but I don't normally have enough time, how do I get the gravel clean without taking out too much water.
For exactly this problem...

Might want to try this:

Try here on how to build a Micro Gravel Vacuum/Water Polisher for small tanks that recirculates the water back into your tank.

Diy Micro Gravel Vacuum/water Polisher | DIY - Do It Yourself 394071
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
28
Views
1K
Kerfree
Replies
4
Views
462
Fishies95
Replies
6
Views
374
Nickguy5467
Replies
14
Views
671
Npk
Replies
11
Views
313
Arvil

New Aquarium Equipment Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom