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Wasserpest 03-26-2006 02:36 AM

Wasserpests cheap auto water change
 
Inspired by Steves sophisticated approach to getting this done, and lead into the right direction via many PMs from Robert (Naja002 --> many thanks!) I have started my own, of course very cheap, water change setup.

After getting a pressurized CO2 and my cheap fertilizer autodosing, the next big time consuming thing is the weekly water change. Luckily, the room where my tanks are is next to the garage, in vincinity to water pipes.

(I am in the middle of the setup, not finished yet).

So here is how I imagine it will work: A float valve connected to a water pipe keeps the tank topped off, and a vinyl hose connected via T to the outlet of the XP3 will work as a drain. I have an unused 43 gal tank in the garage that will be catching the water for now (to be used for watering the yard).

For now, a ball valve will shut off the draining water. Later I will perhaps install another float valve in the collecting tank, so each time I take water out of it a water change will be done. Or use some irrigation timer valve for better controlled water changes. For now, opening a ball valve and watching the tank seems so much better than the weekly garden hose ritual.

So here is how it starts... a $8 ice maker connection kit, which comes with a wonderful reinforced 10ft hose, and a self-piercing saddle valve.

http://www.plantedtank.net/imageh/im...2/6032320b.jpg

I am not a plumber, and had modest difficulties to get the self piercing thing to pierce (or are my copper pipes too fat?), but with lots of swearing and a drill it finally worked:

http://www.plantedtank.net/imageh/im...2/6032321b.jpg

Drilled some holes into walls, pulled the hoses through, and need to connect the T to the outlet of the XP3.

And patiently waiting for the $9 float valve...

ginnie5 03-26-2006 12:42 PM

cool idea......wondering how much persuading I would have to do to get dh to do something like that for me..........

Wasserpest 03-26-2006 03:32 PM

It comes down to saving time. I usually spend at least 4 hours every Sunday to drain, refill, prune, scrape and fertilize 3 tanks. With the water change reduced to opening a ball valve, this time is cut considerably, which might be a good reason for your other half to help you set up something like this.

endparenthesis 03-26-2006 06:40 PM

So with that tiny hole being the source of the new water, it fills slowly enough that the temperature probably doesn't matter much?

What about dechlorination? Do you have well water?

toofazt 03-26-2006 06:55 PM

Where did you get the $9 float valve?

Wasserpest 03-26-2006 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by endparenthesis
So with that tiny hole being the source of the new water, it fills slowly enough that the temperature probably doesn't matter much?

What about dechlorination? Do you have well water?

The self-piercing saddle valve is adjustable... you can drip, trickle, flow or blow with the turn of the little lever.

There's a couple of things about dechlorination. First off, I didn't use any dechlor for two years because there isn't much added where I live, and apparently they don't use Chloramine. With adding water very slowly I never noticed any stressed fishies. Now I am adding Prime, just to be on the safe side. If I continue my once a week water changes, I will just add the correct amount of prime when the changing begins.

If I go to daily water changes rather than weekly, I need to think about it a little more. If they are small enough (say 10 gallons per day in a 100 gal tank) I don't see any issues as long as our water provider doesn't use Chloramine (got to call them and find out if there are any future plans for this).

Wasserpest 03-26-2006 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toofazt
Where did you get the $9 float valve?

Here!

blablablablanowIgottheminimumcharacterlimitforpost ingthis.

Naja002 03-30-2006 03:55 PM

Glad to see You are making progress on this.....

Please do us all a favor and keep track of every dime of cost, so the next person will know before they decide whether or not to do this.... :thumbsup:

Wasserpest 03-30-2006 04:03 PM

Will do! Waiting impatiently for the float valve to come in. Fast Big Als shipping. :icon_roll

toofazt 04-01-2006 06:40 PM

When you get the float valve, could you take some pics of the setup? I don't really get how it works. Thanks.

Wasserpest 04-02-2006 05:43 AM

Definitely. I'll also do some MS Paint drawing, that's sometimes easier to grasp than a photo of some dark equipment corner. ;)

Even now, without the float valve, water changes are more funner. :) Open a lil ballvalve to drain the water, then open the saddle valve to fill 'er up. Just need to remind myself to turn it off again.

Still waiting for the float valve. I love Big Als, takes them only like 3 weeks to get something to you. This is how you learn to become patient!

Wasserpest 04-07-2006 10:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Even Big Als orders arrive one day, and as soon as I got the float valve, I thought about ways to attach it to my tank. Drilling a big hole into one of the sides wasn't an option, so I drilled some holes into the tank rim and the valve itself, and connected the two as shown.

Interestingly, it seems like the way I attached it gives me a perfect level in the tank... without further adjustments. This kind of dumb luck always worries me. There is a tiny leak between the black and white connectors, which I can fix with some pipe tape around the threads or let it drip as another way of auto topoff.

Can't wait for my next waterchange!!!

Wasserpest 04-07-2006 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Naja002
Glad to see You are making progress on this.....

Please do us all a favor and keep track of every dime of cost, so the next person will know before they decide whether or not to do this.... :thumbsup:

So... the refill side is complete, and cost me less than $20 (icemaker kit, and float valve)

The drainage side cost was a few dimes for a plastic T and the hose barb (inline with XP3 outlet), and I had a good length of vinyl hose laying around, for $5 you should be able to get that.

Now I can decide how far I go on the outlet automatisation. Right now, I open a little dripvalve and the water drains into some holding tank.

My though is to add another float valve to the tank where I keep the drained water, so each time I remove water from it I get a tiny little automated water change. Like removing 6 gallons a day... every day... that would give me about what I am changing now weekly.

At this point water changes are effortless, and I can take my time to finetune things further.

toofazt 04-08-2006 01:07 AM

Could you hook the float valve up to smaller diameter hose... Like airline hose? Becuase I would like to use the float valve on my ro water holding tank.

Wasserpest 04-08-2006 02:24 AM

Definitely, that is what it is really made for, refilling RO tanks, and it connects to airline tubing via a compression fitting.


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