DIY solution for faster water changes? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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DIY solution for faster water changes?

It currently takes me quite a bit of time to do water changes and I'm looking into something that would be quicker. Shower head in the nearest bathroom is off-limits since it's a PITA to get on and off. I was thinking about just getting some garden hose and a few PVC fittings to make a hang-over-the-RIM changer I can just run out the back door and hook it to the faucet outside after I'm done to fill it back up. Does anyone have any experience with a project like this?


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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 02:43 AM
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That is done by a lot of people. The only problem is that water from the hose bib will be cold, and in winter, in some locations, it will be much too cold. You can have a plumber put a tee in the hot and cold water piping under a sink, with shutoff valves, or you could install a shower mixer valve the same way, same location. But, the easiest way is to unscrew the little aerator fitting from the bathroom sink faucet, and temporarily install an adapter fitting to hook up the hose to. That lets you mix hot and cold water for refilling at much closer to the tank water temperature. That's the method I was using.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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I still live with my parents, so plumbing is not an option. Also, sadly the bathroom sink doesn't have a nozzle that screws off. It's a strange sink....I could use the one in the kitchen, though for filling the tank if a standard garden hose will fit it (and if not it's just an adapter away). Got any examples of the actual changer?


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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:34 PM
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I use one of these, and like it very well, and it comes with adapters.

I do sometimes think about building a tank hanger-oner thingy from PVC, as I could preset some things that way -- how far down to stop the drain, run the refill through a spraybar to difuse the flow, that sort of thing.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
I use one of these, and like it very well, and it comes with adapters.
I also use this! Definitely worth the money! Amazon.com sells them the cheapest that I could find. Got mine for $25 shipped.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
I do sometimes think about building a tank hanger-oner thingy from PVC, as I could preset some things that way -- how far down to stop the drain, run the refill through a spraybar to difuse the flow, that sort of thing.
This is the type of build I was going for. I want to do something that just hangs over the edge and would let me literally just drain it and fill it without worrying if the changer could slip and damage my HC.


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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 02:27 PM
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I think some hoses can contain toxins that aren't good for fishies so it might be worth finding out which hoses would be safe/less toxic.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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I think some hoses can contain toxins that aren't good for fishies so it might be worth finding out which hoses would be safe/less toxic.
No hoses would be in the tank. The entire overhang fixture would be PVC.


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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 03:12 PM
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If water sits in the hose it can be contaminated and it shouldn't be drunk. You wouldn't be leaving water in the hose between uses anyway. Since you have run water through during the dump there shouldn't be an issue unless that hose is seriously contaminated.

When you go to buy a hose there are usually RV hoses there that are safe for drinking water and the other hoses will have warnings on them to not use them for drinking water.


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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 03:21 PM
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The water has to travel through the hose in order to get into the tank. I think as long as water that's been sitting in the hose has been drained out of it or hot water(leaching) isn't run through it then it would probably be okay but imo it would be good to get one that's safe for drinking as Kathyy pointed out. From http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo.../t-116347.html

Quote:
Garden Hoses and other PVC products

Symptoms: General confusion, erratic swimming, spinning or resting upside down, redness of gills and gasping (not at the surface). Possible secondary bacterial infections.

Cause(s): PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), the plastic from which garden hoses and many other plastic products are made of, is well known to carry a plethora of toxic elements and chemicals. A small list of known PVC contaminants includes Lead, Cadmium, Chlorine, Dioxin, Phthalates, and Phenols. Fungicides are also often added for obvious reasons. Alone, each substance is dangerous enough, but when combined, they can form even more toxic substances. Garden hoses rank as one of the most dangerous PVC products, due both to fabrication methods, and to the fact that the softer plastic more readily releases its' components into the water. As well, any water left in the hose when not in use will saturate with the chemicals (as well as develop noxious bacteria!).

Be aware that there are a number of different kinds of plastic, PVC being only one. For the modern aquarist, plastics are must, and many products can be safely used, such as decorations, filters, containers and buckets for water changes, etc. A general rule that could be followed is if a plastic can bend easily, and gives off a "plastic" smell, it should not be used.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. I know many people on here hard plumb with PVC though...is it really THAT unsafe to use? I'm talking about hard piping/joints here, not the tubing. I guess I'm going to be using drinking water safe tubing for this.


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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 05:38 PM
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Hard pvc plumbing is fine.


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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 05:39 PM
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PVC has been the standard for household plumbing for a couple of decades now, I believe. Which leads me to suspect that the abovementioned concerns may be a trifle ... overstated, at least regarding hard PVC. :shrug:
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 05:53 PM
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PVC has been the standard for household plumbing for a couple of decades now, I believe. Which leads me to suspect that the abovementioned concerns may be a trifle ... overstated, at least regarding hard PVC. :shrug:
That was addressed in the post...

Quote:
Be aware that there are a number of different kinds of plastic, PVC being only one. For the modern aquarist, plastics are must, and many products can be safely used, such as decorations, filters, containers and buckets for water changes, etc. A general rule that could be followed is if a plastic can bend easily, and gives off a "plastic" smell, it should not be used.
I originally mentioned it because of toxins in some garden hoses since the OP wrote, "I was thinking about just getting some garden hose" , I wasn't talking about the hard pvc our water pipes are made with.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 06:10 PM
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Oh, I just remembered something about pvc. It's only a problem, that is, release large amounts of the harmful chemical, when it is heated. There was a recall of pvc baby bottles a year ago. Garden hoses sit out in the sun and gets super heated. So never drink out of the garden hose. Besides that, it should be fine.


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