USING A GRAVEL VACUUM IN THE HOME AQUARIUM
- aquarium gravel vacuum
- plastic hose
- plastic bucket
- Check your vacuum to make sure that the plastic hose is securely attached to the vacuum head.
- Place a plastic bucket on the floor near your tank to catch the dirty water and drop the end of the plastic hose inside.
- Dip the head of your vacuum into the tank and allow it to fill with water. When it is full, lift the head out of the tank and allow the water to drain down the plastic hose and into the bucket.
- Before the head completely empties, push it back under the water. When you re-submerge the head, a pocket of air will form in the plastic hose which will draw water through the vacuum, down the hose and into the bucket.
- Sift through the gravel in your tank by driving the head of the vacuum into the substrate. The siphoning force of the vacuum may suck the gravel part-way up the cylinder and any uneaten fish food, waste and debris will travel up the hose and down into the bucket.
- Pay particular attention to the substrate at the base of items of aquarium decor. Waste and debris can collect under these items so, if possible, move them slightly or use the head of the vacuum to siphon the substrate underneath.
- When the plastic bucket is almost full, lift the head out of the water and allow all the remaining water to drain through the plastic tube. Empty the bucket in a sink or tub.
- Restart your gravel siphon by following the procedure outlined in steps three and four.
- Continue to siphon the substrate in your tank until you have sifted through as much of it as you can reach or until you have drained 25 percent of the aquarium water. Do not drain more than 25 percent of the water at one time or you may risk killing the beneficial bacteria that populate your tank.
- Rinse the vacuum well, letting fresh warm water run through the cylinder and down the hose. Store it in your aquarium cabinet or in a cool place with your other fish tank tools and supplies.
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