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Old 09-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is your method of cleaning sand substrate?

I am considering a couple discus for my 52g but I have a good amount of sand as a substrate (which I will not be replacing soon). I know discus are big waste producers so I am trying to figure out if I would have the time to keep up with them.

So what are everyone's methods of sand maintenance? I don't want to stir up the substrate but I really can't imagine having the time to go in there every day with a turkey baster sucking poo off of 4ft of tank space.

I am hoping there is some form of unbelievable technology out there but I am sure I would have seen it by now...
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't keep Discus but I do have 7 Peruvian Altums in a 75g that produce a lot of waste. The sand quickly gets accumulated mulm on it. I clean this in one of two ways:

1 - I use my regular gravel cleaning equipment and hover it over the substrate. The mulm gets sucked up pretty easily during water changes.

2 - Between water changes, when the tank looks bad, I use a HOT magnum with a micron filter and stick the end of a short piece of tubing onto it. I connect a gravel vac to the tubing and let it hover above the substrate. This method works very well and doesn't require adding any water.
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Old 09-27-2006, 08:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There are battery-operated mulm collectors - I believe Eheim makes one. That would make quick work of cleaning the top of substrates like sand.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have cut out the bottom of a 1/2 liter plastic soda bottle and fitted a flexible pipe to the mouth of the bottle. I use the bottle to draw up the top half of the sand and then lift the bottle a little to allow the sand to fall back. all the dirt and the finer sand get syphond to tub at the other end of the pipe. I then wash the finer sand and put it back into the aquarium.
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