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We have been keeping fish for approximately 18 months and during that time we have used a plethora of different products to help look after our fish. Some have worked great, others not so much. Some products have been discarded or sold on within just a few months of owning them for various reasons but this gravel cleaner is one item that we have used approximately once a week since we purchased it over six months ago and we will continue to use this for as long as we are fish keepers I'm sure.
We have more than one fish tank, not all housing fish, and we use this gravel cleaner solely for cleaning out one of the fish tanks that contain fish to avoid spreading any dangerous bacteria to some of our other pets. This gravel cleaner works for both cleaning gravel and removing water from the tank making it a time saver and a very useful product for cleaning our fish tanks.
The particular gravel cleaner that we have is the one pictured, the medium one, and it is available from Amazon for about £8.04. When we purchased ours we were in desperate need of one having got a large build up in one of our tanks and we paid nearer to £14 from our local pet store (that is usually quite competitive). But I wasn't too worried as long as we got what we needed on the day and could get one particular fish tank looking back to its best as soon as possible.
With regards to the product itself this is basically a large plastic tube with a slight sieve type fitting on the top and then a hose that runs off from it which has a flexible part at the top that reminds me of a petrol can nozzle. Towards the bottom of the hose that runs off the main body of this device that is a clip that makes it simple for me to fit over the large washing up bowl that is used for the purpose of removing or adding water back to our tanks. To use this we have found two methods that work, either add this to the tank, push it in deep and then shake it up and down lots (which can sometimes mean I catch my arm on a tank lid as I don't like to remove them when doing this - flying fish!) or I put this in the tank, lay it down tilt it backwards so the air is all removed then I turn it back upright and go up and down just a few times and it starts to work quickly. Once this is working and removing water it will suck up the gravel and swirl it around inside the thick wide plastic tube part and then it is simple to just move my arm and the cleaner around the tank picking up gravel and watching all the filthy water and debris being sucked away in to the bucket.
This gravel cleaner is so simple to use and when cleaning the entire 'floor' of our tank I would say that it removes between 20 and 30 litres depending on how thorough I am and this is ideal as it is a great amount of water for us to change in our larger tank (which this is used for). It works quickly at removing dirt and debris from the tank while allowing us to remove some water also. It works quickly and the 20 - 30 litres are removed within just a few minutes. The water drains down to the bowl we use (that is always on the floor to allow the water to drain out easily) and the clip that is provided can be pressed in firmly to stop the flow of water while the bucket is emptied and then placed back on the floor. The cleaner is very strong and I have never damaged it despite hitting it against ornaments and on the side of the lid when taking it back out of the tank.
Overall I am very pleased with this gravel cleaner. It works well, it is simple to use and it makes cleaning and emptying water from my fish tank a breeze. I am happy with the price I paid for how well this works, even if it is a little more expensive than I could have got it elsewhere for. This works fantastically well and I have never had a problem getting the vacuum effect going and for this reason and those mentioned above I am rating this gravel cleaner 5/5 stars.
I bought the Hagen Easy Clean Gravel Clean for my dad on fathers day. He's been so pleased with it that when I got my aquarium it was one of the things I knew I would be getting. This piece of equipment is such a simple idea yet it is really effective.
The gravel cleaner can be bought at most pet shops and on line shops. The prices vary quite a lot from £5.49 at www.gardencentre.co.uk up to £12 at other places.
Theres not a lot of packaging it just comes attatched to a card.
The gravel cleaner helps maintain the water in your tank, and keep the gravel clean for your fishy friends. After all no one wants to live with their own poop!!
The gravel cleaner works on the siphon method. It consists of a 15 plastic cleaning tube, and 1.8 meters of tubing. You also get a bonus bucket clip to hold the tube in the bucket. You need to have your bucket at a lower level than your tank. You take the cleaning tube and push it up and down in the water to get the siphon action going. It doesn't take many seconds before the water is flowing up the tube and into the bucket. You need to keep an eye on your bucket because once the water start to flow it goes quickly and the bucket soon fills.
There is a gravel guard in the gravel cleaner and this stops any stones going right up and blocking it. As the water is flowing out of the tank you can push the end of the cleaning tube into the gravel, this will stir up any uneaten food and fish poop which will be sucked up the tube and into the bucket. This is a great way to do a partial water change. You get rid of a lot of the rubbish caught in the gravel.
Using this gravel cleaner doesn't seem to bother the fish too much, sometimes when my dad has babies in his tank they get a bit too interested and go a little way up the tube but no harm comes to them. To stop the water flow just simply pull the cleaning tube out of the water.
I would recommend anyone with a tank to get this simple piece of equipment, it makes cleaning the water out of your tank very easy.
When you keep fish you soon realise that a little bit of care is needed if you are to stop your tank becoming dirty, unsightly and a bad environment for fish. This item is a two in one affair; it's a gravel cleaner but also a siphon for siphoning off water, something most owners will have to do every couple of weeks. It's available in different sizes, I own the medium one which is perfect for my medium 95 litre tank.
The gravel cleaner is a pretty simple affair, it consists of a rigid transparent tube which you put into your tank, this has a smaller long tube attached to it's top with a clip on the end which fits onto a bucket for easy emptying. There are no internal workings as such bar a little valve inside the top of the big tube to stop big things getting through, the whole thing works like a siphon would, you have to place the receptacle you use lower than your tank for it to work, lightly shake the cleaner up and down and the water will come out of the tank surprisingly quickly.
When using this I find the water flow does mean that the gravel at the bottom of my tank is swirled up and then settles, any dirt in it (usually leftover food and fish pooh) rises to the top and is siphoned off. As the tube is nice and strong you can push it around the tank into all the nooks and crannies, it's very simple to use and makes a very unglamorous job a bit easier. I've never actually used anything else to empty my tank so am not sure how this compares to, say, an electric gravel cleaner, this does seem to do the job well enough and because it's transparent you can see exactly how well it is working. I've never had any problem with fish getting into the body of the cleaner, they don't get too worried by the cleaner, which is a good thing. Sometimes small snails lurking in the depths can get sucked in but they don't get too far up the bottom tube and soon float back down again.
One thing I find a bit strange about this item is that it is billed as having a "free" clip. This is silly really as without the clip that goes onto the bucket I can't actually think this would work very well as the end of the tube would have to be secured somewhere unless you particularly wanted dirty fish tank water all over the floor! I really do think this is a strange and unnecessary selling point. The clip does have a little pusher on it, which is useful as you can press it to stop the flow of water as your bucket fills up. The cleaner has, by my measurements, about a 1.5m length of tube, which is generous enough to make the task of emptying your tank as easy as it can be. The main body of the cleaner is 39cm, if you have a bigger tank than me you may need to buy something larger.
Like I have already said this cleaner works really well, in over a year's use I have had one problem with it when some gravel got stuck in the top of it, which meant it stopped working. I found out that the top of it does come off, with difficulty, and since then I've not had any problem with the cleaner at all. I do think that it is a bit expensive really for what it is (I paid about £12 for mine, the cheapest I've seen it is £6), but then it is a branded item from a name that I trust, and realistically it's probably a one-off purchase. I quite like the fact that I don't need to worry about batteries or maintenance where this cleaner is concerned.
Overall I find that this cleaner, is simple, pretty well made and designed, and it makes the rather unpleasant of cleaning my tank as easy as it can be. For that reason I recommend it.