Aqueon Medium Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner
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- Perfect for quick water changes
- Efficiently separates debris from gravel
- Self-priming, using up and down motion, to start water flow
- Includes a clip for attaching the drain hose to the inside of a bucket
- Suggested for Aquariums: 15-35 Gallons
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Maintenance is a necessary part of a good aquarium keeping. Routine water changes and pulling debris from gravel helps maintain a natural balance in the aquarium environment. Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaners can help to make this job easier and take less time. Just a simple up and down motion with the intake tube will quickly prime the siphon to begin water flow. Debris is pulled away with flowing water and disposed of while gravel falls to the bottom of the aquarium.
Size: 9 in., 15-35 Gallon
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So we all know that water runs downhill, but water will actually run uphill through a siphon, as long as the end of the tube is lower than the top of the tube, and no water gets in. You can keep your thumb over the low end to stop and start the flow as needed. You don't need to suck the water through the tube with your mouth if you just fill it with water before you put it in the tank.
So with that in mind, prepare for siphoning by placing a bucket lower than the top of the fish tank water. I put it on a chair next to the tank. The water will siphon out faster if the end of the siphon is lower. After the bucket is ready and you have the lid of the tank off, fill the siphon with water by adding the water to the large end. Keep your thumb mostly over the small end and lower it below the level of the big end. Water will run down and push the air out. Use your thumb over the small end to control the air/water and seal it completely with your finger when the air runs out and the whole siphon is full of water. Keeping your finger over the small end, lift the large rigid end of the siphon into the tank. Its important not to let air in, so don't turn it over and put it in the tank because the water will flow out and air will flow in. Put the bottom of the big end (where it is attached to the tube) in the water first, and then turn it over once its completely submerged. The idea is to not let air into the tube. Otherwise you have to suck it with your mouth and who knows what bacteria is in there?
Keeping your thumb over the small end, put it in the bucket and release water to test the flow. Your thumb will act as a valve and let as much water out as you want, as fast or slow as you want. Don't let the water flow out freely into the bucket, in a small tank you need to focus on the dirtiest water and conserve the rest by releasing your finger only when you are actively vacuuming out grunge. The most organic material accumulates in the gravel, so let the flow increase as you push the large end into the gravel. If you hit a good spot, the brown grunge will rise up into the tube followed by gravel. Since the organic material is lighter and goes up before the gravel, you can prevent the gravel from clogging the tube by capping the end as soon as the brown water has passed through. As soon as the flow stops, the gravel falls down. In this way you can search for the pockets of organic material the generates ammonia. Be careful of your plant roots though!
While this item is convenient, I don't think it saves me any time over just emptying the tank, rinsing the gravel with some tank water via a strainer, and then putting everything back together.
Ultimately I think this is a decent product, but it did not save me the time I was expecting it to. If I had a larger tank (5-10 gallons) it would probably be more useful.
-Strong suction, can empty my tank in under a few minutes if I'm not careful
-Does a great job of separating the debris/waste from the gravel
-Pretty easy to use
-You will suck up some gravel with this, not much, but be prepared for that
-The "up and down" motion required to start the suction takes some practice to get perfect.
-The suction is so strong I feel it's best to remove my fish from the tank while using this.
-Like others have stated, the plastic tubing stays bent from the way this is packaged. I am sure it will straighten out over time, but it's difficulty to work with at first and requires that you constantly straighten the tube to keep the flow going.
In order for the siphon to work you just simply shake it up and down 6-7 times as quickly as possible and then use it to scoop up gravel into the tube and let the gunk siphon out with the water while the substrate falls back into place. A very useful tool at a very fair price. This will cost you $5-$10 more in a big, chain pet store.
I was buying my first gravel cleaner and bought this. If you look at the packaging, it says it is for 40 gallons or larger, but I couldn't find that listed anywhere in the actual information.
I'm the kind of girl who says, "I can make it work" and then tried to use it. It made real quick work out of my tank once I actually got it to work.
As I vacuum weekly with a water change, my gravel is in good shape, used more for the water change. No problems, no complaints. I needed to trim the hose, again, worked like a charm the tank site about 2 feet from the ground.
Used the Medium size for larger tanks never had any problems, I have been doing this for a while so my expectations of this type of device are set correctly. I manually start the syphon, entire cleaning done in minutes more interested in the size so I can fit it and my hand under the shelf the tank is sitting under.
Either I am not that experienced or I just keep it simple, the tanks are all clear and the fish and plants are doing great, so I believe these do the trick at a very low cost.
Would recommend for a small space/tank
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See pics of my old one compaired to this new one.