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Old 02-07-2013, 10:41 AM   #1
BaltimoreGuy
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Automatic water changes and chlorine


So I am setting up the automatic water change system by using a DIY overflow and a slow trickle from an ice-maker kit. What is recommend for the chlorine? Would it even matter at such a small but constant trickle? I was looking at the EZ1 Culligan filter on amazon for $13 but was wondering if its even necessary.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Automatic water changes and chlorine

I would run the trickle into a large container (55 gallon drum) for treatment purposes, then run from there to the tank. Not sure how to accomplish this of the top of my head though.

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Old 02-08-2013, 12:55 AM   #3
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I ran a system like that for a couple of years or so, using a carbon containing whole house water filter. I had no problems that would be indicative of too much chlorine in the water. I suspect that running it without the filter would have been a mistake. Chlorine doesn't stay in the water very long, but chloramine, which is being used by more and more water companies, will last a long time before it breaks down. So, it would build up in the tank to a too high level. (Probably)
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:58 AM   #4
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I would definitely use a carbon filter to remove chlorine. Even at low dose, it's still a poison to fishes.

I am setting up for automated water change too, here is a thread where I asked about using carbon to remove chlorine.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=215706


Because carbon can cause HLLE disease, I would put a 1 micron sediment filter after the carbon.

http://www.reefsolution.com/catalog/...roducts_id=981
then
http://www.reefsolution.com/catalog/...roducts_id=294

In the end I decided to use the RO membrane too, to have softer water and low pH
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:30 AM   #5
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I've decided not to use a filter at all. Ill divide a weekly dose of prime by 6 and add it to my diy liquid ferts. As long as prime doesn't affect the fertilizers or glut, should be fine.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:11 AM   #6
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I have topped off tanks with as much as 10% new water, and the fish showed no problems from chloramine.
More than this is too much.
I would not do even that much with delicate fish.

You can auto-dose dechlor the same way you dose the fertilizers. I do not know if it can (or should) go into the same container, or needs to be separate.

How to make a DIY auto fill system using a 50 gallon drum:
Set a float switch to refill the barrel only after it is pretty close to empty.
Then set the dechlor to dose enough for 40-50 gallons of new water.
Set the fill-to-aquarium pump to turn off when the barrel is filling.

Net result:
For a week, the aquarium will be constantly topped off, using less than 10 gallons per day of treated water.
Then, for perhaps an hour this system stops. (Don't forget the anti-siphon device!)
Float switch allows water into the barrel and the dechlor pump runs one dose into the barrel.
Barrel is full, float switch turns off the incoming water.
Pump comes back on to deliver water to the aquarium.

You could also keep a small pump (table top fountain type) running in the barrel to be sure it is aerated.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Automatic water changes and chlorine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I have topped off tanks with as much as 10% new water, and the fish showed no problems from chloramine.
More than this is too much.
I would not do even that much with delicate fish.

You can auto-dose dechlor the same way you dose the fertilizers. I do not know if it can (or should) go into the same container, or needs to be separate.

How to make a DIY auto fill system using a 50 gallon drum:
Set a float switch to refill the barrel only after it is pretty close to empty.
Then set the dechlor to dose enough for 40-50 gallons of new water.
Set the fill-to-aquarium pump to turn off when the barrel is filling.

Net result:
For a week, the aquarium will be constantly topped off, using less than 10 gallons per day of treated water.
Then, for perhaps an hour this system stops. (Don't forget the anti-siphon device!)
Float switch allows water into the barrel and the dechlor pump runs one dose into the barrel.
Barrel is full, float switch turns off the incoming water.
Pump comes back on to deliver water to the aquarium.

You could also keep a small pump (table top fountain type) running in the barrel to be sure it is aerated.
With this method, I would use an air stone instead. This will remove chlorine (but not chloramine) without dechlorinator. Check your local water company to see if they treat their water with chloramine, of they do not, then you won't need to treat the water with dechlorinator at all, as the aeration will take care of the chlorine.

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Old 02-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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Well the good news is that my local treatment plant uses chlorine and because of the area he said there aren't any plans of switching to chloramine. I may try setting up a bubble style ladder for my water drip to trickle down to gas off some chlorine.

What are the signs I should look for if chlorine did start building up?

Last edited by BaltimoreGuy; 02-15-2013 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: included a quoteI didn't mean to
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Default Auto change system

I have been keeping about 100 tanks now for several years. I am slowly installing an auto change system, starting with the tanks that have the greatest need, that is 4 large tanks that take 20 gallons a day each or they cloud and begin smelling, then to the 75's, 55's and 40s. I currently have about 1/2 of the tanks running on the auto change system.

I pattern the system off of a friend of mine that keeps 160 tanks and also is the supervisor of a larger research lab at a university that keeps 200 tanks. Two other friends keep tank rooms of 100 plus tanks, all using the same basic system. All of us keep rare and endangered fish, fish very sensitive to chlorine and ammonia. It is my experience and the experience of all that with less than 15% water change a day, the chlorine is not a bother. If you take your water systems chlorine readings in ppm and dilute it into 85-90 more water, you end up with a very tiny decimal of ppm for chlorine. I have my water change system adding about 5% to each tank per day, I run it twice, 2 1/2% each time, giving me a 25-30% change per week on the average tank. I run the line into a bucket for a few days while I adjust the flow in order to regulate it. You need to be in the fish room to keep an eye on the flow to see if any of the lines have plugged up.

The real worry is ammonia, most water systems will have ammonia spikes from time to time, but they don't tell anyone. I test my tap water once a week for ammonia. When it appears, I use an eye dropper and add an ammonia neutralizer to each tank once a week.

No one has ever had a problem with chlorine, with slow steady water changes, tank areation, the chlorine dissapates into the air. No problems

Here is a link to one version of the auto water change system.

I have modified it, simplified it so that my fish room looks nice and neat, but it works the same. I have done away with the valves and I use 1/2 inch drain pipe hidden. I am using a landscaping drip irrigation system to fill the tanks, along with a timer and sprinkler valves. The whole set up is very cheap and easy. I think most fish rooms are far to complex, complexity tends to fail and make large floods. Simple functions day after day.

I will sign on later and add some photos of how the auto-fill siphon system works. I just can't find them on my computer right this moment.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverTankCollector View Post
I have been keeping about 100 tanks now for several years. I am slowly installing an auto change system, starting with the tanks that have the greatest need, that is 4 large tanks that take 20 gallons a day each or they cloud and begin smelling, then to the 75's, 55's and 40s. I currently have about 1/2 of the tanks running on the auto change system.

I pattern the system off of a friend of mine that keeps 160 tanks and also is the supervisor of a larger research lab at a university that keeps 200 tanks. Two other friends keep tank rooms of 100 plus tanks, all using the same basic system. All of us keep rare and endangered fish, fish very sensitive to chlorine and ammonia. It is my experience and the experience of all that with less than 15% water change a day, the chlorine is not a bother. If you take your water systems chlorine readings in ppm and dilute it into 85-90 more water, you end up with a very tiny decimal of ppm for chlorine. I have my water change system adding about 5% to each tank per day, I run it twice, 2 1/2% each time, giving me a 25-30% change per week on the average tank. I run the line into a bucket for a few days while I adjust the flow in order to regulate it. You need to be in the fish room to keep an eye on the flow to see if any of the lines have plugged up.

The real worry is ammonia, most water systems will have ammonia spikes from time to time, but they don't tell anyone. I test my tap water once a week for ammonia. When it appears, I use an eye dropper and add an ammonia neutralizer to each tank once a week.

No one has ever had a problem with chlorine, with slow steady water changes, tank areation, the chlorine dissapates into the air. No problems

Here is a link to one version of the auto water change system.

I have modified it, simplified it so that my fish room looks nice and neat, but it works the same. I have done away with the valves and I use 1/2 inch drain pipe hidden. I am using a landscaping drip irrigation system to fill the tanks, along with a timer and sprinkler valves. The whole set up is very cheap and easy. I think most fish rooms are far to complex, complexity tends to fail and make large floods. Simple functions day after day.

I will sign on later and add some photos of how the auto-fill siphon system works. I just can't find them on my computer right this moment.
That is reassuring! I would love to see more pics, and could you post the link? Looks like it wasnt included.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
use an air stone instead
Why?
The bubbles in the water do nothing but create a vertical current.

This is a flume, a rising column of water that then spreads out across the surface, then down the sides, to rise again in the middle.

This is the set up that a small fountain pump will do as well. But no noise (air pumps are noisy) and probably give you more water movement per watt of electricity.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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I am currently working on uploading photos of a auto water change system. I took a lot of photos, but for some reason I can't get them to upload so I can move them into this page. I will get help this weekend. It is a lot cheaper, easier and simpler than it sounds.
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