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Re: Battery Powered Gravel Cleaners
Cavan asked about the battery powered gravel vacuums.
I've tried the model which has the little sock that hangs on the side--it's
like the Hagen one but marketed under a different brand name. The suction
of the vacuum never seemed too strong, but there are other problems. It'd
work great if the sock (packed with filter floss) actually trapped the
debris, but it only stops large stuff and the impeller breaks up the dirt
and stirs the finer particles into the water column. The power vac
actually degrades the environment further rather than improving it IME.
I think a far better (and cheaper) solution is to do *large* water changes
as often as you need to until the detritus is under control. This ensures
that the dirt is being removed from the tank and not just stirred up. Do a
change every day if you have to. So long as your water is properly
conditioned, it won't hurt the fish or plants. However, you might consider
building up volume over a few changes if your fish are not used to large or
frequent water changes. Use a soft brush to gently stir the debris on the
tenellus and other plants into the water column where the water changes and
main filter can pull it out. Also, consider using one of the small 1-inch
dia. gravel vacs (non-powered) to do the changes. It takes a lot longer to
remove the water, but it also gives you much more time to suck up debris.
BTW, my large water change theory assumes the use of tap water. R/O would
make it an expensive option.
Knoxville, Tennessee USA
mailto:grendel at usit_net