Interpet Prime Gravel Cleaner Not Working?
im using it as it guides but its a nightmare to start siphoning the water, it takes a good 5minutes until it gets going and even then it doesn't lift up the gravel and clean it as it says. in fact it doesn't even effect the gravel at all. am i doing something wrong?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Ah-ha! I had exactly the same problem with my gravel cleaner!
Is yours a vacuum one that operates via you shaking the tube vigorously?
If so - my only words of advice (unless the thing is actually faulty) - are persistence and more vigorous shaking!!
Mine wouldn't work the first few times I used it - and only elicited a weak flow that lasted a few seconds at most. However, when I started to shake it much more vigorously (with a much greater amplitude of each shake - not just frequency) - it started to work!
The key is - when you have the vacuum in the tank and the tube leading down into the bucket, a little arc is visible at the top of the tube (i.e. the water has to travel up the actual vacuum tube, up into the tube and over the arc and down into the vertical part of the tube, into the bucket). The water has to overcome gravity - so your aim is to get the water over that arc - as soon as you have shaken the actual vacuum cylinder wildly enough, a siphon will be created.
Here is a link to a picture I made to illustrate my point.
Once the water passes the green line (halfway in the arc of the tube) - you're set. The siphon works. The key is to shaking it madly enough to get it to work. Try large fast shakes (rather than small fast ones).
Hope this helps! Good luck!
- CynthiaLv 45 years ago
As mentioned by the others, it depends on the kind of siphon hose that you have. If you don't want to disturb your gravel (eg. if using light sand) too much, just angle it more horizontally than vertically and not too near the bottom. Only when the siphon gets going do you move it towards the bottom to suck debris there. NEVER ever use the sucking method, it is way way outdated & extremely unhygienic. If you shudder at the idea of using that method to empty a toilet bowl which has just been used, why do the same with a fish tank which also has fish poop & urine? And even without getting any tank water into your mouth, there are already plenty of germs on the hose end which you are covering with your lips. If you are referring to inducing a siphon effect with a normal rubber hose (eg. short length of garden watering hose), simply fill it completely with water until it overflows at both ends. Then cap both ends with a thumb on each end so there is no leakage. Put one end into the water in the tank and the other end into a bucket which must be lower than the water level in the tank (eg tank on table & bucket on the floor). At the SAME time, release both your thumbs. This action will immediately create the siphon effect to drain the tank water, which will not stop until you lift the tank end of the hose out of the water. Concentrate as you can easily suck out small fish or overflow your bucket if not paying attention. You can use this instead of buying a specialised siphon hose, but the latter usually has more features eg able to control flow rate & with added attachments like gravel cleaner.