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Re: Battery Powered Gravel Cleaners

Cavan wrote:

 >>I was checking out bigalsonline and noticed two
different battery powered gravel cleaners (removal of
detritus without taking out water).  As you may know,
my tank has a ton of gunk.  One is by Hagen and the
other by Penn Plax.  Both are under $10.  I would
consider the Eheim sludge extractor, but it's $80!!
Ouch!  Does anyone have experience with either of the
first two?  It would be nice if they're gentle enough
so that I can clean out my micro tenellus stand.
I had a squueze pump thing a long time ago, but it
stunk. <<

I think I had bought the Hagen one. Biggest waste of money ever. All the 
thing did was stir up the water so violently, the tank was cloudy for 
hours. Plus, with my fish being curious more than frightened, I was afraid 
the thing would suck one up and chop it up in the very powerful impellor. I 
never used it again after the first time, and I eventually threw it away, 
keeping only the extension tube with algae scraper. There was nothing 
"gentle" about it, I can assure you...

I have only small tanks (largest being a 10-gallon) and in my non-planted 
ones, I use a kerosene siphon to vacuum the gravel. I think it was under $4 
at ACE hardware store, and you don't have to do gymnastics to get the 
siphon action started. Just squeeze the bulb that's already attached. 
You'll probably want to add an extension to the flexible tubing, enough to 
coil a few times in the bucket you'd use. It gives you total control - you 
can stop the siphon action and gently work around the tenellus, using the 
bulb to manually generate slow suction. I like it because my hands never 
have to get wet. I think you'll have better luck doing this, and then 
decanting the clear water back into the tank after the junk has settled at 
the bottom of the bucket. However, if the tank is a large one, you may need 
to get an extension for the rigid tubing, too.