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Vacuum Issues


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  • Regular Member

I am sure the answer to this is somewhere, but I can't find it. I have never vacuumed before so tonight was my first time. I decided to clean my power head at the same time and ended up with A LOT of debris floating around my tank. There was no way the vac was getting it all. I have a mostly bare bottom tank (few handfuls of marbles). So is there a better system for getting the yuck out of a barebottom? The tank is still cycling so I did a water change as well, but the vacuum seemed to be pulling water, but not debris. I will definitely NOT unplug the filter until after I vacuum it next time. But how do I remove it to clean it without everything in and on it escaping?

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  • Regular Member

I've never had a powerhead so I'm not sure how they work but I never unplug the filters. Whenever they are unplugged, the hobs at least, they let nasties back into the water. The debris won't hurt the fish but the tank won't be pretty until it all settles.

You don't need to clean the filter too often. That is where a lot of the bb will be so cleaning it can set back your cycle.

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Yeah, that's what I figured - I had NO idea there was that much gunk hanging out on the outside of the filter. I was reaading a post about using a turkey baster and I like that idea for the bigger chunks.

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  • Regular Member

I have barebottom - I basically just left the hose at the end of the syphon - that way the current is way stronger (watch for the fish) - and what I do is, wipe all the sides +floor - then pass the syphon. It is weird it isn't cleaning the dirt tho - my sucks up everything I put in front of it. (I am assuming you are talking about a manual syphon or a python right?) If that is the case you also use the syphon to do the water change - since it is sucking up water while it cleans.

hope this helps.

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I did use it for the water change, it just took out too much water and not enough debris. It is a manual siphon. It has a 'scraper, vacuum head' on the end. Maybe next time I'll just use the hose part- that would increase the suction power without taking much more water maybe. The tank does look WAY better this morning - not cloudy - but it freaks me out that all that gunk is in there. I do realize that a big part of the problem is my tank is not big enough for my fish (20 long with 2 shubunkins and a fantail - all pretty big), but as I mentioned in another post, I had no idea I was getting my big babies. I am still looking for a bigger tank and crossing my fingers that I get the teaching job I applied for and can use the 100 gallon tank that is just sitting at the school unused.

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  • Regular Member

I just syphon the bottom with the end (with out the attachment)It seems to work better that way for me... I also wipe the sides and bottom with a sponge at every w/c as well and I just turn off the surge protector while doing any tank maintenance :) I hope you get the job and the 100 gal tank that goes with it ;) Then Maybe you can keep the fantail in the 20 gal long at home :)

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OOOoooo, 100 gals of empty tank! That's almost CRIMINAL, lol. Fingers crossed and an extra prayer said for you getting the job, AND use of the tank :) Imagine the setup you could have with that, and use it to teach students (and their parents) how goldies SHOULD be kept! :D

Regarding the siphon, I was using a manual siphon that I got from a friend... it was doing exactly NOTHING for picking up gunk in my tank. I went out and got a new one with a larger-gauge (bigger around) hose and it works wonders! First make sure there's nothing stuck in yours, if that doesn't do the trick and you can't get the one you have to work, I'd suggest a new one with a "fatter" hose. A larger hose will suck the water through faster, making it easier to pick up any debris on the bottom.

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When I had a power head on another tank, I would always unplug it and take it out to clean it... For mine atleast I had a sponge attached to it and it was alot easier to take it out and clean it.

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When I had a power head on another tank, I would always unplug it and take it out to clean it... For mine atleast I had a sponge attached to it and it was alot easier to take it out and clean it.

The one I have has a sponge in a box on the bottom of it. The problem was, when I unplugged it to wipe it there was a ton of gunk in the box. So it was doing it's job to suck gunk, but the gunk was still there. On a good note, the tank is much clearer now so I must have done something right! And leaving the fantail in the 20 long was exactly my thought - she is holding her own, but I think she would like to slow it down a little. The shubs are pretty quick. All 3 are starting to come up to my hand when I feed though and don't freak out when I get close to the tank now. And my little eggie fish are so happy and adorable. I was using the net to scoop up a stray pea and the lionhead swam right in it...and stayed. I think he wanted to come out and play!

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I like the Python, it has a nice big barrel for cleaning. I don't even hook mine up to the sink!! Just using it like a regular siphon gives me plenty of suction to clean my tank while doing the water change!!

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