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Cleaning up the mess in tall aquariums

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by MonkY, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. MonkY

    MonkY Junior Poster

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    Well, i just build my 160cm x 60cm x 60x tank and i stumbled upon a little/big problem: how to cleanup the gravel ? In my "old" 120x40x50 aquarium i was using a battery powered Eheim Automatic gravel cleaner, but as i switched to the new taller tank and got the Hobby Natalit gravel (1-3mm i think it is), i realised i can't use it anymore. First, it draws too much "sand", or at least the finer parts of it. Second, it runs like it doesn't have enough power for a 60cm tall tank.

    At a friend recomandations i got a Hobby Perfektus and then i realised i can't count that much on friends. The new one can hardly go to 35cm tall tanks...

    So now i'm stuck in finding a new toy for cleaning up my aquarium. Hopefully you found a sollution for that already. But please... pretty please, don't tell me about the method with a hose and a "toll" head that i have to suck in the water with my mouth... or anything like that :D

    I am sure there must be some tools designed for tall aquariums and finer gravel (after all, marines use fine sand usually). I just don't know where to find that tool.

    Thank you in advance for your advice !
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Siphon Anyone?

    These folks claim 60 cm Aquarium Water Exchange & Floor Cleaning at zooplus: Eheim Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner

    These have a system Aquarium Maintenance & Tank Cleaning: Aquarium Power Gravel Vacuum

    Me, I used to carry an old Magnum canister filter around, even had hooks to hang off the side. I had (have) a number of gravel vacuums different lengths of tubing handles of various lengths.

    Now days I make sure I can hook into the any tanks filtration or water change discharge.

    Failing that I stick a tube in and siphon.:rolleyes:

    Biollante
     
  3. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Strange the Eheim automatic one didn't work. Water column shouldn't disturb it. If it draws much sand, just vacuum higher.

    Otherwise, I also now only use Hose with manual vacuming while I change water. I use a small Ehaim immersed pump to replace manual starting the vacume. Definately, using your mouth is not needed to start vacuming :p
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Why not go for a DIY python and grab a few different heads? You should be able to stick an on/off valve near the head of the thing to adjust your flow rate.

    -Philosophos
     
  5. MonkY

    MonkY Junior Poster

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    Biollante: thank you, you gave me a great ideea. I think i'll get a small external canister filter (replace all the media with mechanical filtering), attach some kind of flexible head (to be able to get in hard/hidden places) with some kind of mesh on the head (to not suck fishes or invertebrates).

    What do you think, an Eheim Ecco Pro 2032 would be enough ? Details in here: Great deals on external filters aquarium products at zooplus: Eheim External Filter Ecco Pro
    I think it's rated at about 500l/h, although the height is not enough (only 1.4m, and i need to get it from arround 1.8m)... but i think i can manually prime it. Or maybe go for Ecco Pro 2036 that i see can suck from upto 1.9m ?

    jonny_ftm: i don't understand either. Must be the fact i use rechargable batteries and not giving it full power (rechargables are 1.2V while standard batteries are 1.5V)

    Philisophos: As i don't manually change water (i have some kind of automatic water changer) i don't want to siphon water also... so i guess that DIY is not for me.
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Powerful Is Better

    Hi,

    I think the Eheim Ecco Pro 2036 is a great choice, though I tend to think bigger or more powerful is better. Head height ratings are worth considering, it is always possible to amend the tool to deal with flow, strategically placed holes do wonders and it is far easier reduce flow than increase the flow.

    Self-priming or easy priming is something to consider, it can be a real pain.;)

    I have a variety of small probes or rakes that I clip onto gravel vacuums to stir up mulm and detritus without overly disturbing the plants or substrate. I use a mesh, actually it turns out that 'wedding veil' material is available in a variety of appropriate mesh sizes for around US 2 dollars a yard. :eek:

    I use a variety of handles, it is easier to use specialize handles for specific situations. I find it is handy to clip the hose to the handles.

    Biollante
     
  7. MonkY

    MonkY Junior Poster

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    Well, i finnally got the Ecco Pro 2036 (the biggest one)... and i am really dissapointed. I got all the bio media out and inserted only mechanical filtering (sponge and some nylon fibre). Attached the Eheim gravel cleaner set (i also got AquaMedic gravel cleaner set, just to be sure)... and started.

    First, i got REALLY BIG issues with self-priming. Biollante was right. It's a real pain. I only managed to prime it in two ways. One was using mouth (i hate this) and one was using an internal pump inserted into aquarium (also hate this, as it's a pain to mount one everytime i want to do cleaning).

    But, after i got it started... i was dissapointed with the suction power. Either Eheim really lies about that filter having 750L/h, either the suction power is lost because of too big Eheim gravel cleaner head...

    Well, i guess i spent over 100 EUR for nothing :mad: . So i'm lost again, hoping you will save me with some sollution, links, pictures and ideeas about how you did it.

    Philosophos, what did you mean by "DIY python" ? Can you give me more infos on that ?
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Try Try Again

    Hi,

    I am a little surprised; Eheim is usually one of the better ones. All of the canister manufacturers seem to be strangers to the truth when it comes to rated flow. I suspect they use zero head height, no filter material, and then lie.:(

    My silly beat up little Magnum canister filter worked for years, I would have thought a brand new Eheim, Ecco Pro 2036 would have kicked butt. Maybe you should exchange it. Have you emailed are called to see what they have to say for themselves.

    I am not sure which diy Python system Philosophos was referring to but this is the same as one I set up many years ago. ;)

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/2732-diy-python.html I guess it refers you DIY - Python Gravel Cleaner here.

    Well good luck, hope this helps.:)

    Biollante
     
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