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Old 02-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
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Vacuuming Sand Substrate

Is there a special way to vacuum sand substrate? I've been hesitant to vacuum my tank with the sand because I'm worried that the sand will get sucked out. Any tricks or tips I need to know? Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:28 PM   #2
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Hold the vacuum about 2" above the sand and make little swirling motions. This should stir up whatever's on top of the sand and let the vacuum suck it up without sucking sand.

If you're not adverse to snails, get some MTS. About the only time I vacuum my tanks is if I have dead plant leaves to remove. The MTS do a great job of stirring the sand and cleaning up.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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hmm.... i use a python (but just siphoning... not hooked up to a faucet)... and I can vacuum right into the sand and it'll only lift the sand a few inches into the large tube... none of the sand makes it to the flexible tubing... but lots of silt and dead leaves
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:22 PM   #4
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My python or DIY python on 30' of hose sucks sand out, and the tank is 2' deep.


swirl over it, if you want to get into the sand(why unsure with vac nothing gets down there) use a rat tail comb or a hair pik, attach that to the end of the vacuum with 2" between sand and vacuum and do it that way.

I just tossed the last of my sand yesterday, got tired of that mess all the time.


He should have some MTS, I sent him a bag.

also with MTS and sand, heh get a large fish net when its time to clean the sand good once a year, I got thousands of snails out of the sand yesterday, mainly small but I found a 1.5" in there. He stayed with the new substrate but yes the sand holds many of them, you will have many in no time.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
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i have pfs which is heavy enough that even with my python hooked up to the sink, i dont suck any sand up (i might add i have a 24" gravel tube)... if you get a longer tube, the sand wont suck up in there like it will with the shorter ones
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:41 PM   #6
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like everyone else has been saying, hold the vaccum above the sand (how far from the sand depends on what kind of sand you are using) and make little circular motions with it to stir up the debris on the sand. Just experiment and you will get the hang of it.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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I stick my actual vacuum all the way to the bottom of the tank, the pfs is too heavy to get sucked up. The siphon, I don't, I just do the swirling thing too.
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