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How to siphon the soil in the aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

No matter how clean and safe an aquarium is, organic waste is necessarily generated in it. Remains of food, fish excrement, dead plant parts – all this settles to the bottom, accumulating on the surface or in the thickness of the soil.

How to keep it clean? Today we will talk about how to properly siphon soil in order to avoid trouble.

To pluses This procedure includes the fact that it removes from the aquarium excess organic matter that pollutes the water and prevents the soil from souring.

They release into the aquarium completely unnecessary substances that are toxic to fish, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, as well as rather unpleasant smells and nasty looking large bubbles.

Cons at siphon enough too:

  • the colony of nitrifying bacteria living in the upper layer of the soil is damaged, therefore its ability to biofiltration is reduced;
  • nutrients are removed from the soil that can be used by plants;
  • there is a risk of damaging the roots of plants.

Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the need for siphon cleaning of the soil differs in different aquariums.

A regular siphon is required primarily in aquariums with large fish and without vegetation. We don’t damage any roots here, nobody needs nutrients in the ground (except for any evil spirits like planarians and acroluxes, but we’re not going to plant them), and the main load in terms of biofiltration should be carried by a powerful external filter and a phyto filter.

A daily siphon is also required in aquariums where fry is grown. As a rule, babies are kept very densely, and they are often fed, and the biofiltration in such aquariums is not fully established.

Although there is usually no soil there, the remnants of food and excreta are siphoned away directly from the bottom.

The more plants in an aquarium (especially with root-type feeding, such as cryptocorynes and efinodorus) and the smaller the total weight of the fish, the more siphon is made less often and more carefully. In banks partially planted with plants, the soil is cleaned only in open areas – especially carefully at the sight-glass – and under the snags and decorations.

When harvesting near plants, the siphon is not buried much and sucks not all sludge: no need to wait for the water entering the hose to become crystal clear.

Practically, herbal aquariums do not siphon completely planted with plants (especially organized on nutrient grounds) with a small amount of small fish and shrimps.

The fact is that the roots of plants permeate the entire thickness of the soil and emit oxygen, although less than green leaves. This oxygen does not allow anaerobic zones to form in the soil.

Of course, if the roots of the plants are small and weak, and the soil is shallow and laid in a thick layer, then souring is possible.

In order to avoid this, it is necessary to check the condition of the soil, periodically slightly stirring it with a thin stick. If bubbles come out of the ground and there is an unpleasant smell, you need to thoroughly gnaw it.

Another case where the siphon is contraindicated is the first weeks after the launch of the aquarium. In this case, it is very important for us to grow a colony of nitrifying bacteria in the aquarium, including in the ground, as quickly as possible, so you should not bother with it.

Is it possible to accurately determine when it is time to siphon the soil?

Experienced aquarists can determine when to clean the soil by eye. And what should a novice who does not feel his aquarium so well, but wants to provide him with the best care?

A very simple test is used to determine the degree of soil contamination with organic matter. Potassium permanganate is taken (ordinary potassium permanganate).

A saturated solution is made: an incomplete teaspoon of crystals dissolves in 25 ml of water, and then more crystals are gradually added there until they no longer dissolve.

Then we make an extract from the soil: with a syringe without a needle, we slowly suck out water from the thickness of the soil, trying to get as little detritus as possible, and the syringe does not clog. It is necessary to collect in this way 50 ml of water.

Next, add 1 drop of saturated solution of potassium permanganate to water and put the sample in a darkened place for 40-50 minutes, after which they estimate the color of the solution.

It is quite natural that every house is periodically cleaned with the obligatory mopping of floors. The aquarium is the house where numerous tenants live, who leave various trash as a result of their activities: food remains, bitten off vegetation, excrement. This garbage settles at the bottom of the aquarium, mixing with the bottom substrate.

Therefore, in the fish house should be cleaned.

Its frequency depends on how many residents live in such a glass house, how much rubbish they leave behind. Someone cleans the bottom of the aquarium weekly, and some do general cleaning twice or even once a month.

As people in their homes clean the floors with the help of various household equipment, so in the aquarium the cleaning is done using special tools, one of which is a siphon for cleaning the soil.

siphon for aquarium

Novice aquarists, faced with the need to purchase a siphon, think that this is a very simple device that does not require instructions. But after the purchase, many have questions about the operation, which proves the need for knowledge of working with the siphon.

Based on this, it is necessary to understand the device of this device and methods of its use.

The aquarium siphon is a simple construction consisting of a straight or corrugated flexible tube and a funnel, which is sealed to one of the ends of the tube. Using the device can be done in two ways, but the first one requires quickness:

  1. So, the first way to “launch” the siphon is most familiar to drivers who drain gas from a tank with a drain hose. So do the siphon by inserting a funnel attached to the hose into the ground, and lowering the free side of the hose into a bucket or other container to collect dirty water. After that, the air in the tube is sucked by a person so that water can fill the vacant space. But just before the start of the water, it is necessary to sharply release the opening of the tube so that the liquid can flow freely into the bucket. If you do not show quickness, then you can sip polluted aquarium water.
  2. And some aquarists who know how to siphon the ground safely go a longer way. In this case, they siphon completely immersed in the aquarium, so that its entire cavity is filled with water. And then carefully, without removing the side of the hose with a funnel, lift the other side of the hose, tightly holding the hole with your finger. This is done so that the water does not flow back into the aquarium when the outlet is located above the water level in the glass container. After the clamped side of the hose is lowered into the bucket and open the hole so that the water began to drain. Knowing how the professionals in the aquarium siphon up the soil, beginners will be able to quickly overcome this not a tricky business, but how they choose to implement it at their own discretion.

Theoretically, knowing how to clean an aquarium with a siphon, the beginner lover of the water kingdom in practice faces problems that would not arise if he knew some of the nuances of this procedure:

  • in the process of cleaning the aquarium soil it is necessary to ensure that the end of the hose without a funnel, lowered to drain into a bucket, must be below the water level in the aquarium, and the funnel itself should not even be partially removed from the water;
  • water pressure will depend on how low the “drain” side of the hose is relative to the water level in the aquarium;
  • the funnel attached to the hose must be inserted into the soil throughout its depth for better cleaning of the soil layer;
  • the siphon for cleaning the aquarium should not be chosen anyhow, but in accordance with the capacity of the water world, since a large siphon is not suitable for a small aquarium and a small model will tire the aquarist by long draining large amounts of water;
  • In addition, a small siphon in a large aquarium will not be able to lift the ground in the funnel to clean it, and a large device from a small tank may suck fry and small fish due to the powerful outflow of water.

So, on the basis of the above, it becomes clear how to use the siphon. It remains the case for shopping trips in search of this simple but necessary fixture. Search for a siphon, of course, is necessary in the store, which sells aquariums and additional equipment.

Often in such places you can find an electric siphon, which greatly simplifies the work of draining dirty water. This model works on batteries, providing power to a small motor.

At first glance, everything is easy and simple, but what should those people who do not have specialized stores nearby do? In this case, you can make a homemade siphon for the aquarium, which will cope with the task better than the factory.

For this you need to get a rubber flexible hose and a small plastic bottle. It is worth considering that the device created by your hands will have to be used according to the first method, since you don’t easily attach a pear to pump water.

Knowing how to make a siphon for an aquarium with his own hands, an aquarist relieves himself of the cost of buying a device, but if there is an opportunity to buy it, then is it worth it? And yet, how the siphon aquarium decides every owner of the water world itself, because the situations, needs and opportunities are different.

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