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Algae Mower Vac User's Manual

Posted by Kong Ho
Kong Ho
I am an electrical engineer. Fish keeping has been my hobby since I was 4 years old. I owe it to the living or...
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on Monday, 06 August 2012 in AM Blog

Some buyers are eager to read the user's manual, so I posted it here:


-- ALGAE MOWER VAC USER MANUAL (Patent Pending) --

Assemble Instruction:   (Model #: AMV88)     -Keep for future reference-

NOTE1: If the pump doesn’t spin the next time you use it, it is likely that some debris was left inside the impeller area from last cleaning, just open up the pump and clean the area completely before use!

NOTE2: Keep your fingers dry when operating the ON/OFF switch on the handle, NO WATER SHOULD GET INTO THE SWITCH!

1)To remove kinks on the hose if present, submerse it into a bucket of very warm water for 5 minutes or blow warm air from a hair dryer. Use your fingers to smooth out the areas. Otherwise, the hose should still work fine even with kinks on it!

2)The rod is at 1-foot (30.5cm) long right out of the box; segment (C). To extend it to 2-ft (B) or to 3-ft long (A), follow steps 1) to 4) in the following diagram. Replace E with Stainless steel screw/nut if needed. To tighten the extended segments B to C and A to B, just twist and pull them out against each other until it is tight. To insert the extra cable back into rod (A), fold it into 2 equal halves and insert it into the rod starting from the folded cable tip. For the clamp (D) to fit tight onto segment B, wrap 1 piece of the supplied rubber cushion onto (B) first before securing clamp (D) over it. Use 2 pieces of cushion for segment A.




3)Plug the mating connectors G from the handle and the rod tightly together as shown in the following left diagram. Slide the red ring (F) from the handle onto rod (C) first. Now, gently push the matted connectors, cable and tip of rod (C) all the way into the handle H. Lock the rod in place by pushing the red ring F over the mouth of the handle H. To power the unit using the supplied universal AC / DC wall adapter, open the battery cover and plug the mating plug into connector (J). If you want to run with a battery, we recommend a 9V NIMH rechargeable battery (not included). A fresh battery runs for about an hour continuously.


4)TURN & PUSH the cup into the pump’s water outlet as shown in the middle diagram. Insert the filter foam into the cup. The drill bit has been installed by the factory. But to install the drill bit again after removing it, just Look into the water inlet hole of the pump, push the drill bit into the white colored center hole inside the pump tightly. Insert GENTLY the water suction extension tube onto the pump and adjust the height for optimum suction for debris. Adjust the angle of the pump as required.

5)Two hand screws are provided to you for easy impeller compartment access and cleaning! Just use the screwdriver to unscrew and discard the 4 screws on the pump & replace them with the 2 hand screws as shown in the above right diagram. 

Operation Instruction:                    ** (NEVER SUBMERSE THE HANDLE INTO WATER! YOU WILL DAMAGE IT)

                                                           *** (NEVER RUN THE PUMP OUT OF WATER FOR MORE THAN A FEW SECONDS)

Specialty cleaning with drill bit on: Holding the handle or the rod itself, point the drill bit to where hair algae, sticky slime algae or sticky detritus are located. Even hard coralline algae on tank glass walls can be easily removed! Adjust the pump’s angle of attack as required. Slide the ON/OFF switch on the handle forward to turn on the pump. Attack the root part to dislodge them. Debris will be sucked up by the pump and discharged into the filter cup. After algae cleaning, take out the filter from the cup for easy cleanup and reuse. (Note: The pump has a safety feature to turn itself off if you bump the drill bit too hard onto a rock or it is stuck by too much hair algae whirling onto the drill bit. If that happens, just slide the power switch to OFF position, lift the pump up from the rock or remove the clogged hair algae on the drill bit. Then slide to ON to start the pump and the drill again!)

Plant and coral garden trimming:Overgrown plants can be trimmed by attacking either the stem or root part. Soft corals like Xenia, star polyps and zoanthids can be trimmed by attacking the base to lift them off from rocks similar to hair algae extraction.

Specialty cleaning with the drill bit taken off  (Use a pliers to pull the drill bit STRAIGHT out if it is too much for your fingers): Direct suction inlet tube to slime algae, coral slime, uneaten food, suspending matters or spot detritus on rocks, plant and coral. They will be sucked up and discharged into the filter cup. To skim debris on water surface, point the pump’s water inlet upward! 


Big and long Aiptasia control: The attack has to be precise and quick to prevent the aiptasia from retracting into the rock. Aiptasia will be sucked and held into the water suction tube by strong vacuum current, then cut up by the drill bit and disposed into the filter cup or use the hose to direct the remains to an outside bucket.  Adjust the water suction inlet tube’s height for best result.


General Gravel Bed Vacuum Cleaning : Remove the water suction tube first then the drill bit (Use a pliers to pull it STRAIGHT out if it is too tight for the hands) before inserting the gravel cleaning suction tube attachment onto the inlet of the pump. For cleaning with no hose & water bucket, put the fine mesh sock over the EMPTY cup and tie the string on the sock to under the cup. To operate, get air out of the suction tube first during submerging it by turning on the pump for a few seconds when only the filter cup & bag are at the water surface. Then, lower the suction tube onto the gravel to start. Don’t over tight the hand-nut please, it is normal for the gravel suction tube to wobble a little bit! To perform water change while cleaning, just TURN & PULL to remove the filter cup before inserting the supplied hose onto the outlet of pump. Put the other end into a water bucket. You may also want to rubber-band tied the hose onto the handle for easy maneuvering during cleaning! To keep biological balance of your aquarium and health of your fish, only clean the top ½ an inch layer of the gravel bed. If you want to clean the whole depth, do only ½ the gravel bed every week. Alternate the side each week. 

Sand  bed Vacuum cleaning: Insert the black foam filter half way into the red-cap gravel cleaning suction tube first before doing the cleaning as above. Apply some scotch tape inside the siphon tube wall can prevent the foam filter from being sucked up to the top. The foam filter is there to block sand and large particles from getting into the pump. Just stire up the top sand layer a little bit and expect fine detritus to pass through the foam and pump before entering into either the filter bag or through the hose into a water bucket!  Hint: To keep the foam filter at its maximum size to fit tight in the tube, after cleaning, let it dry out in the air.


Maintenance Instruction & Hints:

If the pump stops spinning because hard matters are accidentally trapped inside the pump, unscrew the 2 hand screws on the cover of the pump to reveal the impeller for cleaning. Wash the impeller and the pump assembly in water to remove all foreign particles on them. Reassemble the pump to resume operation.

To reduce or extend the length of the rod, always pull out the extra black cable from the front of the rod first. To insert it back into the rod, fold the cable into two equal halves before inserting it back into the rod.

If the drill bit doesn’t fit into the impeller tight enough after months of use, wrap a little bit Teflon tape (from hardware stores) onto the drill bit tip before inserting it into the hole again.

If the handle accidentally drops into the water, disassemble it immediately using the supplied screw driver. Wipe or blow everything dry. (Note: water damage to the handle or damage of the pump due to dry running it out of water is not covered by the warranty!)

After every tank cleaning, it is good to run the pump in clean water for 10 seconds to remove any gunk left inside the impeller area that may prevent the pump from starting the next time you use it.


ALGAE MOWER VAC  Limited Warranty Conditions  

The ALGAE MOWER VAC is warranty for 6 months from the date of purchase against defects on non-consumable materials. During the warranty period, it will be repaired or have parts replaced free of charge with the following conditions:


1)   The pump assembly is warranty for 3 months only.

2)   Not covered if the pump has been damaged by running it dry or out of the water.

3)   Drill bit and its holder on the impeller, filter foam, filter bag and water inlet plastic tube are excluded from the warranty.

4)   Product was purchased for personal use only. Not for professional use such as aquarium servicing and fish stores etc.

5)   The product has not been misused or self-repaired or handled carelessly or not in accordance with any warnings or instructions provided in the product user manual.

6)   A copy of the receipt of purchase and complains are emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

7)   An RMA # is obtained back from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

8)   Product or part is shipped back at buyer’s cost along with the RMA #


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I am an electrical engineer. Fish keeping has been my hobby since I was 4 years old. I owe it to the living organisms that I have kept all these years for giving me another dimension of life where I can be totally at peace and escape from the pressure and issues in the real life. I do whatever it takes to provide the cleanest environment for them to thrive.


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