Using Pump For Water Changes?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Using Pump For Water Changes??

I have a sink about 25 feet from tank (120gal), considering using a pump and hoze to sink for water changes (hauling buckets getting old).


Where do you put the pump, at the sink end in (ins the sink)?
Doesn't teh pump get clogged with all the debris/mulm/ldead leaves/from the tank?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:22 PM
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you can get a python and use the pressure from your faucet along with physics and it will suck the water out of your tank
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:22 PM
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You should be able to put the pump at either end. Some pumps have more suction then others, but almost all are better at supplying head then creating suction. With that being the case the closer you are to the tank the less suction force is needed and the more head force is needed.

Any filtration and most circulation pumps should work, though I would look for an out of the tank one because they are designed to not use the water to cool them, though I don't see most pumps having heat problems with just the few minutes they will be running for cleaning.

How easy they will clog with debris will depend on how big the holes are between the impeller and the water intake, which is generally fairly small.
If you are actually planning on using it to vacuum the substrate a lot then I would figure out a way build a PVC chamber in front of the pump to put a very coarse sponge filter or hard plastic intake to trap all of the big things then empty and rinse the chamber after water changes.
I think most people that use pumps use it for high volume water changes and not so much for vacuuming.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 04:14 PM
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I occasionally use a pump when a tank does not need a gravel vac. I use a pond pump. These have an outlet that can accept vinyl tubing. Garden hose works fine, too, if your pump can hook up to one. Pump inside the tank, not touching the bottom (yes, they get blocked with debris) end of hose where I want the water. Turn on pump. If the sink it downhill you can turn off the pump once the flow is going well and the water will continue to siphon out. If the sink is only a little lower it might go too slow. Clamp the hose in place so it does not jump out of the sink.

If the sink is low enough you could add tubing onto your gravel vac and drain it right into the sink.

You could still do a gravel vac into a bucket on the floor below the tank, then use the pump and hose to get that water to the sink. This is the way I do it most of the time. (actually water goes out to the garden for the plants.) I have a neat little extension cord that I found at Wal Mart. It has a large button to turn things on and off. Set up the pump with this on/off cord, then I do not have to plug in the pump when my hands are wet from the tank. Just step on the large button.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 03:18 AM
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I'm pretty sure most hobby type pumps aren't going to work sitting in a sink 25 feet away from the tank without a good amount of work. You will need to get the pump primed somehow before it starts creating any suction. The suggestion above about putting the pump in the tank does work, especially if you put a sponge over the intake to keep the impeller well clear of debris.

I am in a similar type of situation, and a Python is out of the question for me. What I do these days is drop a pump (Mag Drive 7) in the trashcan where I age my water. I still haul the buckets of old water to the sink, but the clean water gets pumped back to the tanks. When I was unable to carry buckets for a period of time I just let the change water drain into a Rubbermaid container and dropped the pump in there to move the old water to the sink.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 04:29 AM
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Put the pump in the tank and get a prefilter for the pump intake. I use a Maxi Jet 1100 (w/ a Zoomed prefilter) with a Python because I want to drain quickly.
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