“ Brand: Hagen / Animals Equipment Type: Fish Tanks / Aquariums „
My husband just loves gadgets, so when he spotted this in a shop I used to work in, he just had to have it.
The fact that he can never get a gravity feed going on a syphon hose and ends up sucking on one end ( and swallowing fish water) did make this seem like a good purchase. Not that mind seeing him drink from the aquarium - but I do kiss the man!
We have had this now for over 7 years and it still works, so I can not complain about its durability. The attachments are long since gone as I found them completely useless. There was a plastic bit that was meant to hoover algae from the sides of the glass. I say meant to, because it never actually did. I find a credit card far more efficient for algae removal. It also had a cloth bag which theoretically meant you just keep running the water back into the tank and all the debris would be caught in the bag. I did not find this to work either, the bag took more time to clean then it was worth and it was soon tossed. The small plastic pipe for cleaning gravel looked a much better idea, but unfortunately can not be used with gravel as it hoovers the gravel straight up into the neck where it gets stuck, which means you take this out and open it up and knock the gravel and start again, but of course it is blocked again immediately on coming in contact with gravel. So this joined the other attachments in the bin. I was able to rig an ordinary gravel cleaner to this for decent results, but found it too much hassle and never bother with it anymore.
The one saving grace for this little item is it will get a syphon hose going even when there is very little water left in the tank. Anyone who has ever emptied tanks know what a nuisance getting the last few buckets of water out is, and this is really very useful for that purpose. Its also very handy just for starting a quick syphon on a very small tank. So, while I have not found it much use for cleaning purposes, it is not a total write off. I think I paid about £8 for this with my employee discount at the time. It wasn't too bad, and I have had some use from it. Looking online though, they seem to be going for about £22 including postage. I would not pay £8 to replace this, so I think £22 is just mad.
On the plus side, this has lasted very well despite being tossed about in boxes for years. It works with batteries that have very little juice left in them, or the cheapest ones you can buy. It will get a syphon going nicely without putting your hands in the water. So I would recommend this for fish keepers who can not stand getting their hands in the tanks - or perhaps those who keep things like piranha. But for the average fish keeper, it really is not worth the money. A simple plastic tube with hose attached gravel cleaner will work far better for gravel, and as mentioned a credit card scraped against the side does a much better job for algae. Actually I am not sure if I should say a better job, because this does absolutely nothing for algae.
Well here we go again, me telling you all about my obsession with fish and fish keeping. This is a vaccuum cleaner for your fish tank, as anyone who keeps fish will know they are dirty creatures, with bits of old food, their waste, and old scales falling to the bottom of the tank, some of this is going to be captured and filtered by your in water filter but the majority will just fall and get mixed up with the gravel. As this waste breaks down it contributes to the deterioration of the water quality.
The solution as water changes wont affect much of this is to clean the gravel, there are a few ways to do this - remove it and wash it all, or you can use a vaccuum, these work in the same way as your vaccum at home or even the vaccum cleaners used in swimming pools.
There are different types of vac, those which like this are battery operated, some a rarer type are run my mains electricity and others rely on no external power at all and are simply a syphon.
This one has two main parts, the top has the chamber for the batteries and impeller unit which sucks the water up, as well as the outlet pipe, this can be covered by a white fabric 'sock' which will catch the dirt. The bottom section is simply the tube which the water is drawn up through, this widens at the bottom to form a 'bell' shape. Once the vac is clipped together it should fit closely and feel quite secure, you put in the batteries (2 C batteries are needed) it switches on with a button on the top.
It is best to not switch it on until the bottom of the bell is placed firmly on the bottom of the tank, at the bottom of the top section is a line marked water level, this is the optimum place for the water to reach any higher and the water will flood the battery compartment, any lower and the impeller will struggle to generate enough pull to suck the water up.
The idea is that the water will be drawn up through the bell, the base of which has gravel in and below it, the flow of the water will circulate through the gravel and pick up some of the dirt and bring it up with it through the tubes and then back down through the 'sock' but the tight weave of the fabric catches the dirt. Thus your tank is cleaned.
But for a tank like mine the area of the base is many times the size of the bell this can take quite some time, even just cleaning one area can take up to five minutes before the dirt is mostly sucked out. Also if you have small fish such as tetras or guppies (or any other similar sized fish) you have to be careful that you dont also suck up the fish.
For smaller tanks it is obviously a much quicker process to clean the fish, and for substantially larger tanks a larger vac may be needed.
Of course this doesnt remove all the dirt and the 'sock' should be removed from the outlet and rinsed regularly to ensure that between uses the dirt (which will contain bacteria) cannot become dangerous to the fish, nor get washed back in to the tank - after a lot of use and not cleaning the fabric it begins to look dirty on the outside evidence of the dirt beginning to work through the fabric.
As with much of the equipment I am using I got this second hand with my aquarium, so the extendable section of the vac has been broken, so it is a fixed length and held together with black electrical tape, but this is the only fault with it, it still works perfectly effectively.
If you are wanting to do a water change the 'sock' can be removed and a length of hose can be attatched to use this to remove the water.
This should cost you around £18 and is avaliable from most bigger stockists.
Vacuum / Powerful 3 in 1 aquarium gravel cleaner / algae remover and water siphon.