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Old 07-18-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
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Gravel Vaccum + Pump + Filter = Reuseable water?

Hello. So I have a gravel vaccum I use weekly to do my water changes with. The problem is I never feel like I get "It all". I can only change out 20 gallons of a 55 gallon tank. I have 3 inch gravel. Using the gravel vaccum as a siphon I can drain 5 gallons in about 1 min. This is also a planted tank so I have to be careful and go slow.

My Idea is to use the gravel vaccum, pump and a small canister filter, to be able to filter the debris out and pump the water back into the tank some what clean.

Does anyone have a system like this?
What are the con's to a system like this?
What kind of filter should I use? or just make a gravity fed floss filter out of pvc?

Even if I got a ro/di system I still would have to pre filter the water of debris, right?

Thanks Keith
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:32 AM   #2
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Is your plan is to put the water back to the tank so you can siphon the rest of the substrate?
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #3
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Yes, right back into the tank. The goal is just to be able to clean it better, also not worrying about spilling water is a bonus.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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You are only suppose to clean part of the substrate at a time. I think 30-40% every time you do a PWC. This is to not lose a lot of BB when vacuuming the gravel.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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This idea sounds a little risky so it may not work. If you have canister filter you could buy some tubing that fits on the intake of the canister. Then you could attach a gravel vacuum to the end of the hose. (No clue if that makes since). That way you would be able to use your canister filter as the pump and the filter, BUT the thing that concerns me is if a rock gets sucked up it could damage the filter (even though the mechanical filteration should stop the rock before it gets to the impeller)
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:19 PM   #6
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When I said canister, I meant something that doesn't have a pump in it, like a pvc tube with media, or mesh inside it, also gravitiy fed. The filter/canister will be before the pump so no chance of rocks coming all the way threw.

never heard the 30%-40% rule about vaccuming. I'll have to look into that. Although about 40% - 50% of my 55gallon tank is covered with plants, and 2 peices of drift wood. Without moving anything I guess Its really only possible to vaccum 40%-50% of the bottom now. Its rare for me to move the plants.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keybler
When I said canister, I meant something that doesn't have a pump in it, like a pvc tube with media, or mesh inside it, also gravitiy fed. The filter/canister will be before the pump so no chance of rocks coming all the way threw.

never heard the 30%-40% rule about vaccuming. I'll have to look into that. Although about 40% - 50% of my 55gallon tank is covered with plants, and 2 peices of drift wood. Without moving anything I guess Its really only possible to vaccum 40%-50% of the bottom now. Its rare for me to move the plants.
You should be fine with what you just can vacuum. Just do the rest next time. You can do larger water changes than 22g. I do 50% twice a week. My tank is 90+% planted and I don't vacuum my substrate.
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