looking for an easier way to do water changes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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looking for an easier way to do water changes

So I'm looking for a new way to do water changes from the way I'm doing it now. What I do now is a long and tiresome process. Is Syphon water out the window next to the tank so that is easy but to refill the tank I fill 5 gallon buckets of water. Then I use a tea pitcher to scoop out of the buckets and into the tank. I don't have room to set up a place where I could just siphon from the bucket into the tank. This takes a lot of buckets seeing as I have a 75 gallon and a 55 gallon. Not only is it a long tiring process but I usually spill a little water on the floor which is not good.

My idea is to get a 30 to 55 gallon plastic drum like the one in the picture that I can fill and let it to dissipate the chlorine. That will also save me on needing to use prime. This drum would be outside and we do have high temperatures here during summer months so I would only be able to do water changes at night. Not really a problem. The winter months though may be an issue. I would have to get a heater for the drum. After I set water parameters I could send pump the water back inside and into the tank.

I'm looking for any feedback on this. Has anyone ever tried something like this? If you have a better idea of how I could go about this please post.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 07:47 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 10:16 PM
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Can you be more specific? Checked out their site and all they really have is gravel vac systems and some accessories. If you were saying to look at the no spill system I can't do that. Bathroom is to far away and I have to change water parameters before it goes in the tank.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 07:47 PM. Reason: .
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 11:52 PM
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Can you be more specific? Checked out their site and all they really have is gravel vac systems and some accessories. If you were saying to look at the no spill system I can't do that. Bathroom is to far away and I have to change water parameters before it goes in the tank.
why not get a drum with a bottom hose attachment? could still use the no spill for emptying the tank to a regular sink. I use the 75ft one to get from across the house downstairs to the basement slop sink. if you had a drum with the bottom hose attachment just hook up the python direct and let the gravity feed fill the tank. Throwing things out there. Few other options..
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 11:58 PM
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If you can't use a hose or python type device because of distance or water parameter needs, pick up a Rubbermaid Brute 32 gallon trash can, lid and dolly. You will also need a pump to transfer water to the aquarium. I used one for my 75G tank for a year before switching over to direct fill with a hose from the faucet. You can fill it up to the handles and still easily roll it around carefully without spilling water.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 12:33 AM
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Get you one of these, if the sink is to far you can always add line to it. Same thing as a Python. Just hook it to the sink set your water tempature at the tap to close to tank temp and fill away.



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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 12:42 AM
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What are you doing to your water? How are you changing it?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Really the only thing I do is add baking soda and prime.The water out of the faucet is around 6 ph and 1 or 2 kh. My community tank I need at 7 ph and closer to 6 to 10 kh. My cichlid tank I need a ph of 8.2 and a kh of 10 to 15. I know ph is not that big of a deal and i could get the fish adjusted to a new ph but i try to keep it close to what their natural water would be. Can cichlids go from living in a high ph like 8.2 to a 6? I thought you weren't supposed to go straight from the faucet because it can cause changes in your water parameters? If I do gravity feed doesn't the bucket need to be above the tank or close to it?draining the tank is not an issue. I use a siphon right out the window that's behind the tank.


Thank you deed for the trash can idea. That would be cheaper than buying that blue barrel.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 07:47 PM. Reason: .
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 02:24 AM
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Not knowing your situation and your DIY skills, but, for me the easiest way was to plumb hot and cold water from the crawlspace under the tank to a 20 gallon sump tank sitting under my 75 gallon tank. I also plumbed a drain stand pipe to the same area. (pics are in my build thread)

For a water change I simply siphon water from either the 40 gallon or the 75 gallon tanks to the stand pipe drain. Then use a pump to move water from the 20 gallon sump up to either tank. Probably spend about 10 minutes doing a 40-50% water change on the 75 gallon tank.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 02:39 AM
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You could probably just treat the water in the tank. If you want to go the barrel, can route you can use a pump and a hose. Just make sure you can turn it off! I myself use a hose with a shup off valve these days but I just add prime to the tanks. I know some people use garbage cans mounted on rollers and small pumps.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Not knowing your situation and your DIY skills, but, for me the easiest way was to plumb hot and cold water from the crawlspace under the tank to a 20 gallon sump tank sitting under my 75 gallon tank. I also plumbed a drain stand pipe to the same area. (pics are in my build thread)

For a water change I simply siphon water from either the 40 gallon or the 75 gallon tanks to the stand pipe drain. Then use a pump to move water from the 20 gallon sump up to either tank. Probably spend about 10 minutes doing a 40-50% water change on the 75 gallon tank.

You know that doesn't sound like a bad idea. I would go with a little larger sump though. maybe 30 or 40 gallons. thanks everyone for the recommendations.Now I basically have 3 different routes to go and just need to figure out what the best is for me.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 07:48 PM. Reason: .
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 06:44 AM
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Save ur self money and just get a water bed fill drain kit and a garden hose. You might need an adopter also depending on the airatoer on your sink. I find the extra pice in the water bed kit(used to conect to the bed) useful on the end. Gives me the right distance to suck up dead plant matter but not disturb my gravel (sorted tank)
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by goatnad View Post
Really the only thing I do is add baking soda and prime.The water out of the faucet is around 6 ph and 1 or 2 kh. My community tank I need at 7 ph and closer to 6 to 10 kh. My cichlid tank I need a ph of 8.2 and a kh of 10 to 15. I know ph is not that big of a deal and i could get the fish adjusted to a new ph but i try to keep it close to what their natural water would be. Can cichlids go from living in a high ph like 8.2 to a 6? I thought you weren't supposed to go straight from the faucet because it can cause changes in your water parameters? If I do gravity feed doesn't the bucket need to be above the tank or close to it?draining the tank is not an issue. I use a siphon right out the window that's behind the tank.


Thank you deed for the trash can idea. That would be cheaper than buying that blue barrel.
Lots of people go straight from the tap, myself included. If you know how much you need to dose to treat your tap for the amount of water you change you can just dose the tank direct. I dose prime and N,P,K plus at WC I also have to dose baking soda & a gH booster.

Yes if you gravity feed the bucket needs to be higher than the lip of the tank.

I don't know what Chiclids can handle in the way of pH, but if you dose the tank, or replacement water to bring the parameters back up to what they are use to it's not an issue. Though if you try to acclimate them to a different pH value I suggest you do it slowly over the course of several hours if not a couple of days. Slow changes will go over better than 1 big sudden change.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Well now with everything said I am leaning more towards the no spill system with some extention line.ty Bruce for recommending it. It will make my water changes way easier then what I'm doing now. Just hope the system isn't to expensive.checking that now.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 07:48 PM. Reason: .
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 06:58 PM
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I go straight from the tap. I drain my tank using a hose hooked up to an Ikawi water pump into my tub. Then i reverse the pump, put a bucket in the tub, under the water spout which is continually running to keep the bucket full and put the hose into the bucket. Then i turn on the pump and water gets pumped into my aquarium. I dump a capfull of Prime into the tank. Do this once a week, with a 50% water change. No problems and no hauling buckets.
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