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For extra dirty aquariums; includes 14”- 50 micron cartridge as well as additional 10” -20 micron cartridge.
For extra dirty aquariums; remove carbon container cap & add 14”-50 micron filter & tower to allow for max filtration. After this initial use, add carbon container and 20 micron cart in order to polish water. Additional equipment; not required for normal operation
*Extension Tower - $37.99
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(use this for additional capacity during cleaning process, this allows for two 20 micron cartridges and double capacity for large aquariums before the micron cartridges would normally “clog” with debris).
*Also available, Ultimate Gravel Vacuum Pump Kit and faucet adapter (replaces Python Pump as well) -$8.99
Please Note; The APVG-100 Aquarium Cleaning Machine is permanently Discontinued by manufacturer.
We have NO plans to pursue this device further due to poor communication from the original manufacturer, we simply do not feel comfortable selling their products while still maintaining our standards of customer service and selling QUALITY products.
• Please note that the machine rarely needs to be run at full as per the “aqua” valve on the top as this machine is very powerful and except for the largest tanks I have found that about 2/3 suction is all that is needed. In tanks with sand, I generally will adjust this valve to find the “sweet spot” so as to run the machine at a slow rate that will still lift debris, but not the sand; generally this is at a VERY low flow rate.
Also note that the valve on the top when “open” means the bypass is open not the valve is open, as full power is achieved with the valve set to closed (meaning bypass closed)
• I have found in marine tanks in particular (due to lighter sand), that even if I plan to expel water (via a garden hose & garden hose attachment) that it is easier to start the machine with the valves in a re-circulating position at a slow rate (as per the aqua valve). Once I have found a flow rate that is easy to manage WITHOUT picking up sand/gravel too easily, I will then open the valve to eject/drain water until I am ready to go back to a vacuuming and re-circulating mode.
• Once I have drained/ejected the water I feel necessary (usually 25%) and then continued cleaning through the cleaning machine (to get out as much mulm as possible).
After this vacuuming process I will often leave the Cleaning Machine running even long with the vacuum bell just above the gravel to continue and polish the water with the fine particulate 20 micron cartridge that comes with the machine.
• By simply attaching a standard garden hose to your machine; then draining (ejecting) the water out of the machine as part of your water change /aquarium cleaning regimen (as noted in the previous paragraph), I find that once your Cleaning Machine is switched to re-circulate mode through the micron cartridge (& carbon), that the machine take much longer to get “full”. This in turn allows for extended cleaning times even in large aquariums (such as a 150 gallon) even with the standard micron cartridge (not using the extension tower or starter kit). This is due to the fact the “dirtiest” water has been already expelled in the initial vacuuming and draining process.
This is the reason I make the claim that the basic machine can handle aquariums up to 300 gallons.
• In tanks with ANY sand, the sand pre-filter (as per machine directions) must be used.
As with any vacuum/siphon used in sand (especially fine oolite #00 (sugar sand), it can be much more difficult to vacuum). HOWEVER this can be done with this machine or similar device, here are a few tips:
*As earlier noted, running the machine at a much slower rate is important.
*Adding a valve inline or kinking the tubing can allow you to stop when sand is getting too high in the suction tube.
*Adding a ½ inch layer of #3-5 crushed coral (SW) or similar sized pea gravel (FW), makes it much easier to vacuum in deep sand bed aquariums as this trap much of the detritus/mulm in this top layer which is much easier to vacuum.
*I have also drilled 3/16 to ¼ inch holes about 3-4 inches up the bell to allow sand to fall out much easier (especially when a strong suction makes it difficult shake loose trapped sand). This also works for standard gravel vacuums/Pythons too.
• I have used this machine extensively and have tried to see what can and cannot go wrong so as to help any one who purchases this machine. I have found it is IMPORTANT to put the pre-filter tower and other parts EXACTLY where the directions state (this machine is color coded and VERY easy to put together), however if for example you swap parts around for the pre–filter tower and the main tower, you will never get a proper siphon.
This all said, this machine is color coded and very easy to operate, it is just very important to follow the directions as stated.
• IMPORTANT; Please remember to rinse out the main unit thoroughly after each use. If the motor does not come on after storage upon next use (or delays in starting), it is most likely the impeller assembly that has been impaired by crystallized salt particles or other foreign material. Simply pour WARM water into the main unit and let it sit a few minutes. Tap the unit on the floor a few times and plug it in. The dissolved salt or foreign material should dislodge and you can setup and prime the unit.
I have also found that straight white vinegar placed in the machine (with it open and at an angle so that the vinegar flows into the motor impeller assembly) can help for difficult cases of lodged debris, salt deposits, calcium deposits, etc. Simply flush and precede as described above after leaving the vinegar in for 15-30 minutes.
• I soak the filter cartridges after use in a 1 part bleach to 5-10 parts water (although the owners manual suggests a higher bleach solution) after each use for 1-2 hours (longer or overnight is OK too), then rinse (I often use a common de-chlorinating product such as Start Right during the rinse to better remove the bleach), and then dry before the next use (I generally air dry in a warm dry room or outdoors; weather permitting).
The filter cartridges are nearly as good as new after this for at least 20-25 bleach, rinse, dry cycles.
Basically this process is the same as for any pleated micron cartridge such as those found in the LifeGuard, Magnum, or Ocean Star Filters, so if you have a favorite method for cleaning these types pleated micron filters from previous use with other filter units; by all means use what works best for you.
• Use of the filter bag that now comes with newer models prevents many of the above problems, although the machines I have used are mostly older and yet with proper care these problems are rare as in reality this is a VERY simple device to operate provided you follow instructions (this is not to say I have not encountered problems even with proper use, however mine and colleagues use of this machine is high with so the likelihood of something going wrong is statistical probability, yet even then we have yet to have to return one machine under warranty)!
• If you have achieved suction, yet little debris is being picked up in the micron cartridges, double check your assembly to make sure no water is by passing these micron cartridges.
In particular, make sure that the Micron Cartridge fits snuggly on top of the carbon container and that the Filter Cap is placed firmly on top of the Micron cartridge. Without this cap, your water will flow by the cartridge and you will achieve poor results.
Here (below) are videos from Ancient Mariner of the Aquarium Cleaning Machine
Please note that I have read some rather anecdotal comments about this video on many forums, commenting how the narrator is not to be trusted because the aquarium shown is basic and 15 years behind what is popular in many marine tanks. This is s silly non sense argument on whether or not this machine is a worth while product. I HAVE used this product in FW and marine tanks of many DIFFERENT set up styles including this 1980s style set up which is STILL popular among many of my business clients who prefer a basic no frills marine tank. This machine is admittedly not for everyone, however it certainly fills a major niche for MANY different aquariums and can lower DOC and even Ich Tomites in advanced reef, as well as basic marine and freshwater aquariums!
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Also replacement sponges and parts for Hydro Sponge
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