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Old 04-17-2014, 03:08 PM   #1
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Do they have a gravel vac that doesn't remove water?

Does anybody make a gravel vac that catches the mulm without removing water from smaller tanks? I'm talking 20 gallon tanks with HOB filtration. I'm most interested in getting algae, uneaten food, dead leaves, etc. between water changes. Perhaps a recirculating pump with a catch filter of some type I could hook my python to would be a good starting point. If I was to make my own, what would be the best type of filter to build/use? It would have to withstand a full washout with almost every use.

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Old 04-17-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
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Yes they do here is an example Cobalt Power Gravel Cleaner™ Hang-On Aquarium Gravel Cleaner I believe there are several different brands and companies that do
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:44 PM   #3
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It's funny you ask today. Just this morning I made a comment in the 'new filtration' post about my Eheim.
I bought it from petco for just the same reasoning, in between gravel cleaning. Also the fact that water here is very expensive, so I drain, refill and be done. Gravel cleaning with a python uses a ton excess water, keeping in mind I have 5 tanks now.
I believe this is another mixed review item. I'm glad I have it, but it does have it's flaws. It has a crummy battery door. You also learn very fast to lift it straight up, over the tank while the water drains out!
It also has a fine plastic screen 'cup'. While it picks up all the big stuff great, it also sends the too fine particles through the tank. It says right in the manual to expect this and not to worry. Well I do worry, the tank looks like crap for a few hours! However the filters do get a grip and goes back to clear. My thing is I spent $70 for and item to pick up half the debris and send the rest of it through the tank to let the tank filters clean up. I could have saved the money and used my hand to rough up the gravel and let the filters clean it up anyway!
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:49 PM   #4
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Whether you have and hob or a canister, you can swap out the filter intake tube that sits in the tank with a flexible hose and use the filters pump to vacuum up the gravel as you move the flexible hose around. When complete, turn off the filter again and swap back in your normal filter intake tube and turn the filter back on. That's what I usually did with my old 55 and a fluval 406. But up had to eventually clean out the canister much sooner than if I didn't so it. So then I started doing it with the ac50 that was also used on the 55. I just put filter floss in and gravel vac'd away.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t4runnr View Post
Whether you have and hob or a canister, you can swap out the filter intake tube that sits in the tank with a flexible hose and use the filters pump to vacuum up the gravel as you move the flexible hose around.
Most HOB's I know of aren't built or intended to be used as vacuum pumps. Would an Aqua-Tech 30/60 have enough suck to be usable in this way? More frequent filter cleanings would be expected for obvious reasons. Also, it may be too much to ask of a filter to catch all the mud in one shot. I'm looking to get the dead leaves, algae patches, and other debris anyway, stuff the main filter can't get.


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Old 04-17-2014, 07:23 PM   #6
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Most HOB's I know of aren't built or intended to be used as vacuum pumps. Would an Aqua-Tech 30/60 have enough suck to be usable in this way? More frequent filter cleanings would be expected for obvious reasons. Also, it may be too much to ask of a filter to catch all the mud in one shot. I'm looking to get the dead leaves, algae patches, and other debris anyway, stuff the main filter can't get.


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P.S. I've often thought of doing this, I have several aqueon 10's hanging around. I think it's a fantastic idea, just for in-betweens and for planted tanks too. I don't seem to be able to find any good, flexible hose. I can just vision the hose too stiff and yanking the HOB off into the tank, or worse on my floors! Any tubing ideas?
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:34 PM   #7
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I'm about to check into that myself, but I'm wanting to start with my Python vac.

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