Critique my idea for vacuuming my sand

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by DarkSky, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    So I don't really ever run any mechanical filtration on my tank. The first and second chambers of my sump collect a lot of detritus, which I suck out occasionally with a hose.

    For my sand, I've been physically stirring it up to free detritus so it flows down my overflow. I'd like to occasionally vacuum it, but with my auto water changes going I don't want to do a large water change like I used to do when cleaning my sand.

    I've thought about building something like this out of a 5 gallon pail. Does anyone see any potential issues doing something like this?

    2.png 1.png 3.png

    Its basically a gravity fed vacuum that drains into my sump, so I won't need to dump water and replace it with new water as is the case with a normal water change.

    The only thing I can really think of is if the filter socks clog, I could overflow the bucket, but I could probably just drill an overflow line and bypass the socks at the top of the pail. Probably a smart idea. The siphon line was going to be 1/2" (basically just modifying my existing water vac with a longer hose).

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. ironman

    ironman Mr flabs of steel!
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    I run a roller-filter in my tank, my plan once I impliment AWC is simply to drop the vacuum drain hose into the roller filter. I find that most of my detrius settles in my refugium, so I'll be 3D printing a vacuum nozzle for a small pump and run a tube from the outlet into my rollerfilter. As long as you have an emergency drain of sorts in your bucket, I don't see why it wouldn't work.
     
  3. infinityends

    infinityends Senior Member
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    Off the top of my head the only concern would be filter socks clogging and overflowing the bucket. But since you will be right there vacuuming the sand anyway you can keep an eye on it.
     
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  4. cathorn

    cathorn Senior Member
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    I like your idea, I am going to have to see if I can do that. It is hard to just use a hose.
     
  5. Ben Nicholls

    Ben Nicholls TCMAS Old Timer
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    As long as the bucket is low enough to get a good pull on the siphon it should work well.

    I also don't normally run mechanical but I have a very shallow sand layer. I usually put a filter sock on the drain into the sump when I am doing the tank cleaning and I use a MJ1200 to blow around the sand so the crud gets suspended and goes down the overflow. I also do that when I blow off the rocks. I'll leave the sock in play for a couple hours until the tank water clears again.
     
  6. Jake

    Jake Junior Member
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    I did something similar when I was manually removing algae (bubble algae). mine was not as elaborate, just a bucket with a pasta strainer full of filter floss to catch the algae and other bad stuff. Once the bucket was almost full I would just dump the filtered water back into the tank. Your idea would get rid of having to stop and dump the bucket.
     
  7. Fishfoo

    Fishfoo I contributed!
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    Looks good, especially the "chair or something". Most people just run a gravel vac with the hose going straight to a sock in the sump, but with yours being in another room I can understand the need for a "middleman" bucket.
     
  8. BEAV9900

    BEAV9900 Senior Member
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    Cool idea. Keep us posted if you do this. I do something similar/simpler. Just siphon hair algae into 5 gallon bucket with filter sock on end. Then pour water back into sump. I would maybe try to get a 2nd layer of filtration though. Some filter floss or something after it exits the bucket. Just thinking the water could be pretty murky even after the socks.
     
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  9. Mordim

    Mordim Just keep reefing
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    I use a clamp to attach a filter sock to my sump. Then I run the gravel vac with the hose going into the filter sock. It has worked well for me.
    You could do the same thing, you'd just need a little longer hose to make it to your sump. Then you don't need to deal with 5 gallon buckets.
     
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  10. livestuff

    livestuff I contributed!
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    Looks like your covered, and made sure the drain line from bucket to sump is larger then siphon
    hose and can handle the volume of siphon hose to gravity drain. Looks good. But there's always something to tweak:confused:;)
     
  11. OP
    DarkSky

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    final.png

    Here's what I think I'm settling on. Simplified design based on some feedback from @jlanger
     
  12. livestuff

    livestuff I contributed!
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    I think the drain should stay 1" unless your going from 1st fl to basement with it. A 1/2 line will siphon water faster then a short 1/2 line will gravity drain.
    If the 1/2 drain line is long it may start a siphon affect somewhat.
     
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