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Old 09-29-2015, 10:35 AM   #1
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Alternative to python for cleaning sand substrate?

I use my python water changer to clean my sand substrate but it always gives me one of two results: 1.) If I lift it too high over the substrate it doesn't pick up anything or 2.) if I put it closer to the substrate, it mostly sucks up the sand and not the waste as the waste is heavier than the sand.

This has left me with considerably less sand than I started out with an an ineffective way to clean the bottom. What are my alternatives? I've tried using a net to get the waste but that's fairly difficult and very tedious.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
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Swirl the python tube over the waste and it will kick it up. After 8 tanks with sand that's what's always worked for me


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Old 09-29-2015, 11:40 AM   #3
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You can also reduce the strength of the siphon so that you're not lifting as much sand. I've seen clips on YouTube of folks that kink the hose with one hand and sort of squeeze or release it as needed.


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Old 09-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
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Caleb, do you kick the sand up with the siphon on or off?

Coyne, as for lessening the suction, I've tried that and it doesn't work because it won't pick up the debris or the sand. The sand is lighter so that will always get vaccumed up more easily. The issue isn't suction, rather selection.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:10 PM   #5
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Siphon on... Not creating a whirlpool here. Usually a light swirl will kick up the waste. If it's too heavy I usually hand remove it but that's rare even with a weak siphon.


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Old 09-29-2015, 02:15 PM   #6
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I just pop my thumb over the exit side of the Python, this stops the siphon, but keeps the suction, let's the sand drop, and then remove my thumb and it'll drop the sand. I am having this problem too somewhat


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