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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Python

Anyone have a good instruction article on how to build one? I did a search here and I saw the article over on cichlid forum, but I think I need more detailed instructions on the parts I need to buy. Also, anyone know where I can get tubing that is safe for the tank? I'd prefer to use clear tubing just so I can see when the siphon has started, etc.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 09:31 PM
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Here's what I followed to make mine.
http://www.aquariumlife.net/projects/diy-aquarium-tools/73.asp

You can supplement the hose with clear vinyl tubing (i think) from home depot. Just attach a couple of hose ends and you're good to go.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 09:20 AM
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I'm in the process of building one.
It's not that much cheaper than the real thing.

Basically I went to PetSmart, looked at the real Python, understood how it works, memorized the features, went to Home Depot, bought a 25 feet garden hose, and a garden Y-valve (the nice feature is that both exits have stop valves).

I used the garden hose instead of clear vinyl tubing because the vinly tubing is more expensive when you add in the cost of having to find end fittings. I think it's like $10-15 for a decent diameter of 10 foot vinyl tubing.

The only problem I have so far is finding a damn adapter so the hose will fit into the kitchen tap. I've bought individually 3 adapters already, and each time it doesn't fit. The first two times, I was too lazy to measure the size of the kitchen, the 3rd time the Home Depot plumbing expert gave me the wrong one. I'll go again and try later on.

So basically:
25 feet garden hose: $19.99
Y-valve with 2 stop-valves: 9.99
Adapter: $5-10

The total comes to about $40, so you actually don't save that much more money. The real python is 49.99 at BAs. Including the gas money for the 3x I drove to Home Depot, I would probably be better off buying the real thing. However, I hope what I did could help others make their own. It's pretty simple.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 12:12 PM
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That's funny, I did save money when I made mine. I bought the authentic Python venturi 'cause I could find it, and I'd never seen a water bed kit anywhere. I bought two 20 foot rolls of 1/2" ID hose for about $6 each, a faucet adapter for a couple of bucks, three plastic hose barb / hose thread fittings for $1-2 each and a hose ball valve thingy for a couple of bucks. I guess I didn't save that much money, but I did get a couple of extras that make mine nicer than the real thing: some hose quick disconnects that double as swivels and a U-shaped apparatus that hooks over the rim of the tank.

You don't need all of that, though. All you need is the faucet adapter, the venturi, a hose barb/hose thread fitting, and some hose. If I'd bought the minimum amount of stuff necessary I might have spent $15 or so.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:29 PM
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You can normally find waterbed kits at hardware stores. Like ACE or True Value. Just ask someone they will point you the right direction. I put together one almost exactly mabviper posted. It is nice because you do have that clear section at the beginning to see what is going on. Two thing I did different and would recommend. I used quick connects on everything. Between the gravel vac and the hose and between the hose and the valve. I also got a metal hose adapter for the faucet. The plastic one that came with the waterbed kit was a piece of junk the stripped out pretty fast. I will take some pictures tonight to show you my setup.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quick word of warning when using garden hose. Some hoses contain plasticizers which are basically chemicals that keep the hose from getting brittle and cracking when exposed to the elements. I've heard from other people in the CCAC that these plasticizers can sometimes cause problems for fish. That being said... I do all my water changes on my 110 with a cheap garden hose that I bought brand new, and never had any problems. I heard about the plasticizers only after I had bought my hose - my theory was maybe only the really nice thick and ridgid garden hoses get the special plasticizer treatment, and mine was just too cheap! Works just fine though


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up about the plasticizers (SP?). I'm not too worried about plasticizers since I read the maintenance part of the garden hose. Basically a lot of tips about not leaving it outside under freezing temperatures or leaving it out in the sun to prevent it from becoming brittle.

I agree on the finding waterbed fill and refill kits--they don't even exist. Probably because waterbeds were only a fad--nobody uses them anymore--thus no hardware stores stock them. I went to Lowes, Home Depot, and Wal-mart looking for it and none of them stocked it. When I asked the store employees they just gave me a confused look.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 05:35 PM
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I rarely trust store employees, and when I run into ones who genuinely know what they're doing and give me solid advice I thank them profusely.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 05:45 PM
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if you want something that looks exactly like a Python, it's not going to be much cheaper. If you want what you actually need, follow Swylie's method and you can save money.

One word of caution from my experience at least - the cheaper hosing kinks quite a bit and can greatly reduce your rate of flow.....

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
I went to Lowes, Home Depot, and Wal-mart looking for it and none of them stocked it. When I asked the store employees they just gave me a confused look.
Like I said before you need to go to real local hardware store. Find and ACE, True Value or Do It Best hardware store. The place I went that had them was called Rockhand Hardware. Just look in your yellowpages under "hardware". You are going to get way better service and people that work in these places actually know what they are talking about. They are hardware people not just home improvement people.

My first stop is normally the local Ace hardware. I have gotten to know a few a the employees. When they see me there they come over asking what kind of project have I dreamed up now. It seems I never use anything for what it was originally desgined for. They seem to enjoy the challenge of trying to help me out. A lot of the time they have inisght on parts that will get the job done better and easier. Give them a try I am sure you won't be dissapointed.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 08:29 AM
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Ok I finally found the female adapter. Went to home depot, the employee actually knew what I was looking for, found it for me quickly. But it was out of stock--so he told me to go to the other HD, which I did.

Hooked it up. I had the 55 gallon in basement, so I had to run the hose from the kitchen on the main floor.

For the water pumping part, it was no problem. But for the reverse part, the tap didn't have enough pressure to vacuum the water from the basement. I'll try it out again when I move the tank upstairs to the main floor.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
I agree on the finding waterbed fill and refill kits--they don't even exist. Probably because waterbeds were only a fad--nobody uses them anymore--thus no hardware stores stock them. I went to Lowes, Home Depot, and Wal-mart looking for it and none of them stocked it. When I asked the store employees they just gave me a confused look.

I read further and saw that you found what you needed. But, I used to own a furniture store and we sold the living CRAP outa waterbed supplies (mostly cause noone else in the area had them). The economy ran me out of business post 9/11 but I think I could still order these kits from my old supplier if you run into the need again. At least I ASSUME I can still order them. I can check if you need them.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdon1md View Post
I read further and saw that you found what you needed. But, I used to own a furniture store and we sold the living CRAP outa waterbed supplies (mostly cause noone else in the area had them). The economy ran me out of business post 9/11 but I think I could still order these kits from my old supplier if you run into the need again. At least I ASSUME I can still order them. I can check if you need them.
Yeah I got the thing working already. Thanks for the offer though, really appreciated.
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