Cleaning made SIM­PLE

Animal Scene - - AQUA BASICS -

The gravel cleaner is a sim­ple gad­get. It is merely a hose with a noz­zle on one end, a plas­tic tube whose di­am­e­ter is at least twice that of the hose. It is used like a reg­u­lar siphon, with the noz­zle jammed into the sub­strate. The grains of sand or gravel will then spin and tum­ble as wa­ter is si­phoned off. Since the grains are heavy, only the dirt is sucked out with the wa­ter to the other end of the gravel cleaner. The sand or gravel fall back to the bed, clean and de­void of or­ganic waste. Af­ter about 30 per­cent of the wa­ter has been si­phoned, the tank is re­filled with fresh wa­ter. There’s no need to do the en­tire sub­strate bed; one can con­tinue next week. Weekly sub­strate cleaning will even­tu­ally achieve a com­pletely clean tank in few weeks. The im­por­tant thing is par­tially de­load­ing the tank of gunk. The key is the big di­am­e­ter of the noz­zle, which has a si­phon­ing force less than that of the hose. The sub­strate merely tum­bles and spins while be­ing sucked. If it was just the hose, it would have picked up the sub­strate. The gravel cleaner is a sim­ple tool that should be avail­able in most fish stores at a rea­son­able price. If not, you can con­struct one your­self. With a gravel cleaner on hand, there is no need to worry about cleaning sub­strate.

Sam­ple of a gravel cleaner

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