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Using Pythons in planted tanks


I recently bought a python to use in my rather sad tanks (they haven't
recovered from a recent move in which many of the plants simply croaked
and algae took over...), and I find that it simply clogs all the time.
I've tried unhooking if from the faucet rig, which seems to be the
narrowest part of the system, which helps some, but the siphon just
doesn't get much suction without the pump. That is, I am unable to
vacuum up anything by the finest mulm.  Anyone have any suggestions on
how to use these properly?  Do they just use LOTS of water to get any
decent suction?  

Thanks a million!