What to look for in a siphon gravel cleaner

Aquavaj

New member
I have a 40g at 15" height. When looking for a gravel cleaner should I get one with the large tube short so it stays below the water level or a long one so its at or above the water level? I would imagine a longer tube will be easier to control the tumbling of the sand and reduce being sucked out of the tank.
 

mcgyvr

New member
I would suggest you avoid disturbing your sand bed entirely..
Siphoning detritus,etc... from on top of the sand or rocks,etc.. is one thing.. Digging down into it is another..

There are those that do and those that don't..
A sand bed is typically managed properly simply by the microfauna,etc... that grows in/amongst it and does not need human intervention..
Many can cause additional problems when they start messing with the sand bed (diatom issues,etc...)

And to follow will be those that do vacuum it and say its fine..
 

AlSimmons

New member
The longer tube will probably be more effective/easier to use, but you still might have to squeeze the hose on occasion to slow down the flow. If you are going to vacuum your sand bed though just pick a date and stick with it from the start. Just as an example vacuuming it every 3 weeks would be a good starting point. See how the tank responds to this routine and go from there. GL.
 

d0ughb0y

Active member
the longer the better, but make sure it is not longer than the width of your tank, otherwise it will make it harder to fill the tube with water and turn it vertically.

as for controlling flow, mine originally was a python (or maybe another brand) water change setup and comes with a really long hose and came with a shutoff valve. I just reused that. but you can make one using fittings like in the above link.

I initially shut off the valve, fill the long tube with water, lifting it upside down so water goes down the hose up to the valve, fill the tube again with water, then position it hose end up, then open the valve to start the siphon, then vacuum away.

if the tube is longer (and smaller diameter), sand will have longer hang time in the tube before it starts getting sucked into your bucket.
 
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Aquavaj

New member
I would suggest you avoid disturbing your sand bed entirely..
Siphoning detritus,etc... from on top of the sand or rocks,etc.. is one thing.. Digging down into it is another..

There are those that do and those that don't..
A sand bed is typically managed properly simply by the microfauna,etc... that grows in/amongst it and does not need human intervention..
Many can cause additional problems when they start messing with the sand bed (diatom issues,etc...)

And to follow will be those that do vacuum it and say its fine..

I'm battling an outbreak of dinos right now so it'll just be for cleaning the very top to try and get rid of as much algae as I can.

I'll just go with the cheapest one. The python one seems overpriced for what it is.
 

d0ughb0y

Active member
I got a python small 1"x20" gravel vac for $9 from saltwateraquarium last January. It looks like they don't sell it anymore. You can get them cheap if you shop around.


I have a 24"x24" tank and got the 20" long tube.
 

lapin

New member
I'm battling an outbreak of dinos right now so it'll just be for cleaning the very top to try and get rid of as much algae as I can.

I'll just go with the cheapest one. The python one seems overpriced for what it is.
Ya the python is priceeeeeeeee
All the fitting work really well. They have different accessories, interchangeable tubes, hoses and the bulb thingie to get it started. I like mine and have not sucked down any tank water for a while now.
 

billdogg

Well-known member
I cannot imagine doing a water change without my trusty Python Siphon. I only use it on the sand if absolutely necessary, but I still find it an invaluable tool on water change day. Just attach it to a faucet, turn the water on, and stick the business end into your tank or sump. My utility sink is in the basement, so after the siphon starts I go down and shut off the water and disconnect the hose, letting it drain into the sink. Total water usage is minimal that way. I haven't schlepped a bucket in at least 15 years, so no spillage of nasty tank water or having to worry about overflowing the waste bucket in the living room.

Is it a bit pricey? Sure. And well worth the $ IMO. I've had mine for 30 years.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
The one with a squeeze bulb. Swallowing tank water to start a siphon is not good, and it happens, if you use a plain one. I use one to start a drain for water changes.
 

AlSimmons

New member
If you just want to remove some algae from the top layer of sand you might as well just get some vinyl hosing from your hardware store and call it a day. If you happen to siphon out some sand along with the algae just give it a good rinse and throw it back in the tank. Piece of cake.
If you are planning on cleaning your sandbed on a regular basis though a Python is definitely a great tool to have.
 

Uncle99

Crab Free Zone
Premium Member
Python is pricey.
Mine is more than 20 years old,, never a proble,, all original.
Was a great investment....get what you pay for in this case...
 

mako61

New member
I have a python. Get the 20 inch tube it works great. The 10 it comes with is very easy to suck up sand.

I use the bernoulli facet adapter to suck water out of my tank. You just need to know how much you tank drops per gallon.

They are a bit pricey, but money well spent. You can get replacement parts if you break something. Had mine many years.
 
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