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Old 08-29-2006, 11:04 PM   #1
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Cleaning Malawi Tank

Now that my 125 Malawi tank is up and running, finished cycling, and about 70% stocked, I have a question....haha.

I of course have rocks and caves built everywhere on the sand foundation in the tank. When cleaning/water changing, it is impossible to get the Python tube completely down in all the nooks and crannies between/behind rocks and under driftwood, etc. to where some of the waste is sitting. Any suggestions on how to get that debris "out in the open" or will it all eventually make it's way out with water currents, transport by fish, etc.? I have two Filstar XP3's on the tank with the intakes about 4-5 inches off the surface of the sand.

Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:23 PM   #2
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i used two strategically-placed powerheads on both ends of the tank to clear the dead spots and bring the debris out. people also use a under gravel jet -
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ug_jets.php
since the tank is already established, i'd recommend using the python as best as u can...i hope someone else can come up with better ideas...
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:31 AM   #3
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LOL - I've got a 125G Malawi tank that I used to have two XP3s on as well I agree with triazole, if you can't vac it out, use a powerhead to move the water over it so that it floats into the water column. Then get yourself a big (the bigger the better) AquaClear powerhead with a Quick Filter attachment (trust me, they're cheap) and run it for a couple of hours. The Quick Filter is a micron level filter and will suck any floating debris out of your water column in 1-2 hours and make the water crystal clear so you don't have to worry too much about stirring up the detritus. I use the biggest powerhead I could find (I think 400G/hour) to run the Quick Filter. It works wonders
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:34 AM   #4
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I have also used a 1" gravel vac to get in the small spots w/ a flexible hose over the end.
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:41 AM   #5
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AquaClear powerheads work very well for this.

Travis, I'm going to try using the quickfilter on one of my powerheads and see what that does. I'm using a HOT Magnum w/diatom powder for water polishing. I run it for about an hour on each tank and the water comes out crystal clear.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:55 AM   #6
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maxwell: I'm not saying that a powerhead/Quick Filter combo will outperform a diatom filter but it IS a cheap alternative
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. Someone else suggested just reversing the flow of the python after about 2" of water had gotten sucked out of the tank, then using that water flow to push the debris out and the sucking again. Both sound like good plans and I'll try them next week when I change the water. Moving these rocks would be a pretty big task and risky to the integrity of the glass as well!

A recent pic of the new tank...

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:06 AM   #8
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Oh wow, that's beautiful man I love the white sand and I'll bet the fish do too.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:11 AM   #9
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Thanks, everyone seems to be happy so far!
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:42 AM   #10
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Wow. I can't say that I have felt the need to make the debris come out from under all the lace rock in my 80 gal Mbuna tank. The way the fish are constantly moving the substrate and stirring things up, and the microorganisms that break down the waste, I get what I can and leave the rest. This very low maintenance solution has worked for years.
BTW Travis, nice to see you back!
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:56 AM   #11
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that's one tank i'd love if i were an mbuna
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:57 AM   #12
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Thanks Triazole...

Time to start thinking about my Discus tank now....hehe
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:07 PM   #13
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OT, but i couldn't find any local breeders for discus...shipping would cost me a fortune...and along with that, the cost of my dream setup was going to hit somewhere around 800 bucks, so trying to channel my energies elsewhere......(for the time being at least)
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:21 PM   #14
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I hear ya, there's one LFS here in town that has them, but I'd have to order the rest. We'll see what happens.
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