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Re: How does one vacuum.

I don't vacuum the substrate per se, as in sticking a tube into the gravel. 
What I have is a 3-4 ft length of 3/8 inch ID vinyl tubing, which is then 
slipped over the end of a 2 foot length of rigid PEX tubing (same ID-Home 
Depot type item). I use the PEX piece in the tank to spot vacuum the surface 
of mulm, and any accumulated debris. This will pull most stuff out. Do this 
in conjunction with a water change, or siphon thru a brine shrimp net to 
separate the debris and pour the water back into the tank.