Aquarium How-To | Using a Fish Tank Gravel Vacuum

Changing Your Aquarium Water and Using A Fish Tank Gravel Vacuum

At Jim’s Exotic Fish, we are big proponents of the need for regular water changes and also of making good use of a fish tank gravel vacuum. We all understand how difficult it can be to keep up with the regular required maintenance of a fish tank. That’s why gravel vacuuming is so important when servicing your aquarium. A proper gravel vacuum performed once a month can save you hours of headache and heartache down the line when it comes to your aquarium.

  • Step One: Start Your Syphon- The most difficult part of the whole process of changing your water in your freshwater or saltwater aquarium is actually getting the syphon to start when using a fish tank gravel vacuum. Partially  fill up the vacuum with water and invert it upside down to get the water flowing. This take s a little bit of practice and getting used to, but do it enough times and you will get the hang of it.
  • Step Two: Vacuum the Tank- Start from the back of the aquarium and work your way forward, being careful not to suck up any fish or too much gravel or sand in your freshwater or saltwater fish tank. Try to go as slow as you can when vacuuming the gravel, you want to get the maximum amount of dirt and detritus separated from the gravel without draining the water too fast. Pinch the gravel vacuum hose with your thumb and forefinger to control the water flow through the gravel vacuum.
  • Step Three: Toss out the old water, put new water in- You don’t want to change more than 10 to 20 percent of your aquarium water volume when changing water in your saltwater or freshwater fish tank. This ensures that you don’t shock the system too much and actually get all the benefits of gravel vacuuming your fish tank. Once you’ve drained all the water from your aquarium that you are going to change, replace it with previously prepared and conditioned freshwater or saltwater.

Gravel vacuuming your freshwater or saltwater fish tank is the most effective way to keep your aquarium clean and healthy when changing the water in your aquarium, and practice makes perfect. Be sure to repeat this process at least once a month (more so if you are keeping delicate freshwater fish or a live coral reef) always using a fish tank gravel vacuum, and you will always have a healthy tank full of lively exotic fish.

Come On Down To Jim’s Exotic Fish for All Your Fish Tank Gravel Vacuum Needs

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