Siphon Water Changer - "Hands Free" - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Siphon Water Changer - "Hands Free"

This isn't my own original idea but hopefully someone besides myself benefits. I actually think I saw Tom Barr post a picture with a similar version of this.

I didn't only build this to make the occasional "I might be too busy for this today" water change easier to stomach by being more hands-free, but also because when I tried to do this with my regular hose-style python, I found that leaving the siphon in the water floating caused a significant decrease in flow due to the kink over the side of the tank. This "large" piping allows much more flow without having to hold a hose straight.

Doing 50% water changes in my planted tank, I don't always gravel vacuum, or if I do, it's usually not 20 gallons worth of time.

I built the contraption pictured here out of 1/2" PVC (with a 3/4" inlet) and 5/8" ID braided tubing which hopefully will not kink like my first attempt at a DIY Python with unbraided tubing.

I figure I'll vacuum with a standard siphon setup into a couple of my standard 2 gallon buckets and then start a siphon with this PVC equipment to my bathtub) to do the rest of the 50% WC.

It is built so that it will break siphon at the height of my filter inlet, so that I can trim plants - or watch TV - until it gurgles and then use the swivel hose attachment at the other end to hook up to my faucet waterbed pump and re-fill the tank.



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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 02:46 AM
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Nice! I may have to copy.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 07:52 PM
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I like it.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 08:42 PM
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Why did you make the out of tank part so long? I just make it a few inches long so it hooks on the tank and then goes to the hose. That long part just makes it harder to operate/store/etc....

Also, for gravel vacuuming just stick a piece of hose into the pvc inlet and it will gravel vac just fine.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Its long so that it rests on the floor (or did, until I shortened it by trying a modification, so now I use a book on the floor to prop it up)

I wanted as much straight pipe drop as possible to get a good initial suction going. I don't know if that makes a lot of sense but I also wanted to avoid any hose kinking, so by going right to the floor and then a 90, the hose doesn't need to bend at all until it gets to my bathtub.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 04:24 AM
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I do not think that having as straight a drop as possible changes anything for our purpose. I've never ever had a problem.

What i do see is more of a chance to torque it or break it or bang it around.

also, hose kinking isn't ever an issue for me either. I use ordinary garden hose.

I think we're over-complicating this.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 04:33 AM
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Thanks for posting,

seems like a good way to drain the same amount of water every time, without having to watch. You can go do something else and come back and the tank wont be empty!!!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 06:02 AM
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my only concern is with courious fish. I've had a few get sucked up my gravel cleaner when i would just leave it in the tank to drain. I could just see this sucking up a fish and spitting it down the drain.

I understand that its darwinism at its best but still i like to keep my fish in the tank at all costs
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 06:08 AM
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nice !! think i will make me one , tub not far from where tank is so be perfect for me . as for sucking fish up i bet u could fasten some sort of mesh on intake to prevent that . thanks for posting ^^
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 06:15 AM
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I would put some sort of net around the intake. And this would't work for me since I dechlorinate before putting water in the tank.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 07:20 AM
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surprised this suprises this many people lol.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazednSleepy View Post
I would put some sort of net around the intake. And this would't work for me since I dechlorinate before putting water in the tank.



I have a filter mesh on the end except for WCs following baby tears trims.

I squirt 4 mL of Prime dechlor into tank when I start refilling, not a concern for me.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 08:22 PM
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Time to copy this, I have a old pvc overflow pipe. Going to add hose to the end.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 11:26 PM
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I have a similar setup that I am working on, I have a shutoff ball valve sorta deal near the floor, the tubing runs into the furnace intake vent beside my tank, then runs into a laundry tub below the tank downstairs, it drops to the bottom of the tank and into the substrate that is wide open to collect the waste. It's not a sit and watch tv like setup but I am hoping it does the trick. Mine will be more of a permanent system that I can just turn the valve and hopefully there will be enough water left in the PVC to start the flow without priming etc. I am trying to figure out a quick release mechanism so that I can disconnect the PVC half way into the tank and attach another hose and vacuum out all the substrate. I won't be able to refill the tank again with this setup thou. The picture here has inspired me to change a few things thank you!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 11:39 PM
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I copied Tom's idea and just did the bend over the tank. Like Justin said, no need for the long pipe out side of the tank. I have a 55g drum of aged with prime water outside. After the water drains, I have a pump in the drum that I hook up for the refill.


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