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Thread: Vacuum Idea

  1. #1
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    Vacuum Idea

    I have an extra fluval 304 canister filter sitting here so I was thinking of just filling it with foam blocks and using it as a vacuum for cleaning off my rocks once a week or every other week. I will leave the sand bed alone but rather then blowing off my rocks and having the sediment settle somewhere else in the tank I was thinking that I could just suck it up and remove the sediment completely.

    Has anybody else tried this or see a problem with it?

  2. #2
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Interesting idea, crud building up in the sponges is the only issue I see. You'll need to watch that closely or the next time you vacuum you might be taking out sediment & adding what ever dead rotted, dried out gunk can get through the sponge between uses.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krugar
    Interesting idea, crud building up in the sponges is the only issue I see. You'll need to watch that closely or the next time you vacuum you might be taking out sediment & adding what ever dead rotted, dried out gunk can get through the sponge between uses.

    Cheers!
    Indeed, I am planning on cleaning the sponges after each vacuuming. On that note I may just use one good size sponge in the filter and have 5-10 of them laying around so I can just keep rotating in clean ones. Then I would only have to clean one after vacuuming and I would always have 3-4 clean ones laying around.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    Someone either here or on RC uses a ShopVac to clean his sump and rocks during every water change. I would think that using a Fluval even with sponges would allow some nasties to get through, thats why the ShopVac idea seems to be better to me.

  5. #5
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I think the idea though is to put the water back into the tank. So the inlet on the canister is used to vacuum, but the output goes back into the tank. The sediment sucked up stays in the sponges & you don't need to replace a lot of water...

    Or I could have misunderstood... oh look there's me coffee...

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    Putting water back into the tank was the idea but I'd be worried about whatever really fine particles would get by the sponges and free float in the water. The vacuum idea should work and you can make it part of your weekly maintenance.

  7. #7
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Okay so I'm just being particularily dense this Friday morning, but how do you put the water back into the tank if you're using a shop vac?

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    Ummmm you put water back when you do your water change. 15 gallon Shopvac 15 gallons of newly mixxed saltwater. Ofcourse you'd have to have the water ready for right after you ShopVac'd it out. Understand my meaning?

  9. #9
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    What Dark is talking about is using the Shop Vac to remove water for a water change.

    What bassman is talking about is a "service pump" type filter. Where you go in and pull out target "gunk". I don't see this as particularly problematic, as you will still be removing some unwanted matterial. If you are targetting hair algae or cyano bacteria, I would lean toward disposing of the sucked up water. For general waste and sediment, filtering and re-adding should be okay.

    The more general approach should be to adjust the pumps and flow to avoid sediment in general, rather keep it in suspension until some filter or skimmer picks it up. This seldom is perfect, but, the better approach.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cres
    The more general approach should be to adjust the pumps and flow to avoid sediment in general, rather keep it in suspension until some filter or skimmer picks it up. This seldom is perfect, but, the better approach.
    Perhaps you could shed some light on this for me. I am new to all of this, very new. Perhaps I am doing something wrong or missing something. I have a skimmer and a fliter at the end of my output line to my sump, it's just a box with some foam and a filter pad in it to catch debris as it comes in from the MT.

    My problem is that I used to use two canister filters and my tank was much cleaner, as in the crap floating in the water. However I did not have many tank occupants then either, I was just starting out.

    Now I have a sump setup in my basement, below my MT and I seem to have more crap floating around in the water then B4. I have plenty of water flow in my MT, 20x plus, so not much settles in the sand but it does seem to settle a bit on the live rock.

    I spoke to my LFS owner and he said this is why he has NO sand or gravel in his tanks, they stay cleaner. We discussed the possible solutions to my situation as I do have 1-2" of substrate that I AM keeping. He suggested siphoning out the sediment during water changes. That is fine but I prepare my water in the basement and remove my waste water from the sump when I do water changes, this is one of the reasons I put in the sump (no more water buckets etc., in the living room)

    This is why I thought it might be a good idea to use my Fluval that is collecting dust as a vacuum in the MT, just to clean off the rocks.

    I posted this subject on another forum this AM as well and one of the members suggested using felt in the Fluval from a fabric store as it would filter out much smaller particles. I thought this was a great idea because it is cheap and I could just toss the used felt after each cleaning.

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