Diy auto watet change - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Diy auto watet change

I posted this in the invert forum but I think this area would be more suitable. I want to make an auto water change system for my 6 tank shrimp rack. I dont want tap into plumbing and im trying to keep this as simple and cheap as I can. Im think about putting a couple rubbermaid totes at the top of my rack. Im thinking I can use a couple tom aqualifters to pump the water down to the six tanks. Ill just put the pumps on a timer to change the neccesary amount of water. Each tank will have a simple pvc overflow that will connect to a main drain pipe that will flow into a tote that can handle the capacity of the totes at the top of my rack.

The 1/4 inch tubing will go down and tee off at each level of tanks. On the line going into the tank ill put a valve to adjust the flow to make sure each tank is getting a fairly even amount of fresh water.

To fill up the reseviors ill just pop the screen off my window and bring in the hose since its right outside my window.

Do you guys think this will work? Ive seen the same basic concept floating around the net but people alway tap into plumbing instead of using a pump and resevior system like I want to do.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 11:59 AM
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How do you drain the reservoir that gets the used water? Where does it go too?

Going through a window to fill a reservoir with a garden hose?? Is there no other way to fill up the reservoir?

You don't need the aqualifters. You could set the lines directly from the reservoir into each tank on a drip and just let it drip all the time 24/7. If its slow enough, it won't affect temps and you always will have a fresh supply of water coming in. If you dial it in correctly to each tank, Flow in = Flow out, so the reservoirs should technically never overflow.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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The old water would fertilize my garden :-) There is several other ways to fill up the fresh water reseviors but none of them seem very attractive to me. I could tap into plumbing which would cause my wife to murder me or I could manually lift 5 gallon buckets of water onto an 8 foot shelf which would give me a hernia. If anyone has ideas on how to fill up the resevior without the hose Im all ears. It seems really simple to plop the hose in there for a minute presto Im done for the week. I would definetly rather just set the lines to drip. How would I control the flow rate though? Could I use those 1 gpd drippers from home depot? Would there be enough pressure from gravity for those to work? Mabye go up to a 3 gpd dripper since the pressure will be lower? Any input guys?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 05:24 PM
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Why is tapping into the plumbing so objectionable to your wife? Seems far more home-friendly than dragging a garden hose through a window, across the floor, and splashing around during the fill...first time you get mud on the floor, she'll wish you had hard-plumbed it.

All you need is a $20 icemaker installation kit. even if you have to drill a hole to access the pipe, with those self-piercing saddle mount valves, it's a 30 minute installation.

Mine silently (other than the solenoid snapping open) and automatically fills every night around 3am. The wife never even knows it's there or that the work is being done.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 05:44 PM
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If the water line is in contact with both house and tank water there's always a chance of contamination.

I'm doing a changer based on filling a holding tank in the basement and pumping up from there. The fill of the holding tank is via a ice maker kit and a float with no contact to house water. Holding tank is a 32g roughneck with overflow.

I'm running a single line half duplex for drain then fill.

I can temper the water temp and adjust hardness if necessary before the water change.

Jim


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 06:44 PM
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Mine is constant drip (drains into sump in basement) with top off from an RO bladder.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 06:53 PM
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Ice maker installation kit is a five minute job. Come on. Install harness, screw tap in, put line on and done.

Cross contamination can be avoided by having an air gap, but even then, with the valve off, the risk is de minimis.

If the hose floats your boat and there is no other sink in the area that you can use a python or something, hey go for it. I guess in California you don't need to worry about the winter months.

(BTW, if you tap off the water line with an ice maker kit, chances of your wife finding out are pretty low, trust me, I know. But I would never be one to condone not listening or being fearful of your wife and her opinion, nor would I ever advocate for adding more fish tanks to ones home just because Petco has a $1 per gallon sale, nor would I condone buying plants just because someone offers a sweet deal in the SnS, Oh, I am sorry, was I typing this out loud?)


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
Ice maker installation kit is a five minute job. Come on. Install harness, screw tap in, put line on and done.

Cross contamination can be avoided by having an air gap, but even then, with the valve off, the risk is de minimis.

If the hose floats your boat and there is no other sink in the area that you can use a python or something, hey go for it. I guess in California you don't need to worry about the winter months.

(BTW, if you tap off the water line with an ice maker kit, chances of your wife finding out are pretty low, trust me, I know. But I would never be one to condone not listening or being fearful of your wife and her opinion, nor would I ever advocate for adding more fish tanks to ones home just because Petco has a $1 per gallon sale, nor would I condone buying plants just because someone offers a sweet deal in the SnS, Oh, I am sorry, was I typing this out loud?)


*like*

LOL.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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LOL gatekeeper. I dont doubt my ability to tap a water line I have the tools available and I have a friend that runs his own plumbing company. My wife is just deadset against me drilling holes in the wall. Believe me if I could tap a water line I would do a happy dance because it would definetly make my life easier. The problem is I would either have to tap the faucet outside my window and drill a hole through the wall or run a line from the kitchen and that would be a royal pita because of where the room is. There also is no drain available. Even if I have to dump some water and fill a few tanks once a week that still saves me a ton of time compared to doing manual wcs. The shrimp would also be happy with smaller more frequent wcs as well.

Its has taken alot of work to convince my wife to let me add six more tanks on top of my 90 gallon and my 29 gallon. Mabye if I work on her a few more months I can wear her down and tap a water line. Thats a mabye though so I need a viable backup plan at least.

So would I need some small pumps to make this work or could I gravity feed with drippers? Just the most simple solution is what Im looking for either way.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:23 PM
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I tapped into the high pressure side of my filter and ran the line to drain. It serves double duty: drip change and filter drain (when time to clean pleats). A fitting, a valve, & a bunch of tubing.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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these tanks will be running sponge filters though
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 09:43 PM
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Unless you have a low point to tap into, you'll have rely on creating/maintaining a siphon. Do-able, but will need to be monitored unless the siphon inlet is dropped well below the minimum fill level you expect to encounter during a water change. Also will meed to be filtered somehow so it doesn't plug.

Maybe inside the lift tube?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Ok I really appreciate the help everyone
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
Ice maker installation kit is a five minute job. Come on. Install harness, screw tap in, put line on and done.

Cross contamination can be avoided by having an air gap, but even then, with the valve off, the risk is de minimis.

If the hose floats your boat and there is no other sink in the area that you can use a python or something, hey go for it. I guess in California you don't need to worry about the winter months.

(BTW, if you tap off the water line with an ice maker kit, chances of your wife finding out are pretty low, trust me, I know. But I would never be one to condone not listening or being fearful of your wife and her opinion, nor would I ever advocate for adding more fish tanks to ones home just because Petco has a $1 per gallon sale, nor would I condone buying plants just because someone offers a sweet deal in the SnS, Oh, I am sorry, was I typing this out loud?)
*sinks behind the crowd covering face in shame and guilt*
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