Bucketless water change system.. first attempt - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Bucketless water change system.. first attempt

Fed up with lugging buckets around I looked into the alternatives.

The Python system that this is based on with the length required worked out quite expensive so I looked to make my own verison.

This first attempt does take a long time to drain the tank due to being bottlenecked by the T piece I have in the sink.

I plan to change this for a device that connects to your tap to fill and drain waterbeds.

Here is the exploded view of the setup



The hose then runs to the fish tank



The orange part clamps down on the kitchen sink tap. You can get loads of different adapters for sinks but that suits mine.

To drain the tank you just connect it up and place the hose into the tank. Leave the part disconnected in the above photo.

Turn the tap on and it syphons the water. Once the flow starts you can turn the tap off and the tank will syphon naturally.

With this set up it is no faster with or without the tap on.



Connecting the last part of the system stops the flow coming out of that joint. Without connecting another hose to the hose adapter it stays in the locked postion allowing water to flow back to the tank.



This was made with bits of an old filter to hook over the tank. Just had to heat the hoses to get them to fit.

Whilst the tank is filling it is positioned next to the temp sensor to check the taps don't get too hot.

Prime is added during the very slow fill and I have not had any problems with spikes.

I plan on making a better hanger out of pvc pipe rather than flexible tubing

Here is a video of it working


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Last edited by jameshill247; 01-10-2016 at 05:47 PM. Reason: added video
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:32 PM
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Good idea =) I also did something like that because im lazy. I plumbed my siphon line directly to my waste pipes in the house.

Here is mine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4aE...ature=youtu.be

And this is where my water comes from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KCq...ature=youtu.be
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xFaKx View Post
Good idea =) I also did something like that because im lazy. I plumbed my siphon line directly to my waste pipes in the house.

Here is mine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4aE...ature=youtu.be

And this is where my water comes from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KCq...ature=youtu.be
Nice system!

I had to have something I could pack away after maintenance. I looked at setting something like that up back when I kept Discus

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 09:47 PM
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Very nice work and certainly better than the bucket. I'm afraid there are many who are stuck with the bucket but then there are lots who have options but just not looked seriously at alternatives.
I've done a lot of work on houses and I'm often impressed with how sturdy they feel while still being very flimsy at spots like walls. Most tend to think of walls as solid while in truth many walls are a simple sandwich of light materials. If we have an outside wall near the tank, running a drain to the outside can really save a lot of work dragging the bucket around.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice work and certainly better than the bucket. I'm afraid there are many who are stuck with the bucket but then there are lots who have options but just not looked seriously at alternatives.
I've done a lot of work on houses and I'm often impressed with how sturdy they feel while still being very flimsy at spots like walls. Most tend to think of walls as solid while in truth many walls are a simple sandwich of light materials. If we have an outside wall near the tank, running a drain to the outside can really save a lot of work dragging the bucket around.
Thanks I'm hoping to improve the system soon so will update it with new photos and videos once sorted. Unfortunately the tank isn't near an outside wall and wouldn't be able to run a drain outside.

I like the idea of having a tank completely plumbed in though

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 05:19 AM
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I've been bucketless for 8 months and would never go back. I found clear vinyl tubing pretty cheap on eBay which helped me learn something; it is important to dry out your tubing after use, especially if you use the same tube for fill and drain. After 6 months mine started to grow a horrible looking mold on the inner wall. I now use a submersible pond pump with its own tubing to drain (nice and quick) and a dedicated tube for filling. I use an electric air bed pump to dry the fill tube after each use.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 07:53 PM
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I've thought of this but I have to treat my water prior to putting it into my tank, hence the buckets. I think coming up with an inline water treatment module that adds dechlorinator at a certain rate would make it feasible, but that's so much work and lugging buckets isn't that much of a pain, so I'll probably just keep doing that. Nice job though.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
...I have to treat my water prior to putting it into my tank...
If it is just dechlor then many people add dechlor as the tank fills, dosing to suit the volume of the whole tank.

If there are other reasons to age the water, then you will have to keep using buckets or a garbage can, but you could use a fountain pump to get the water into the tank once it is ready.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 03:33 AM
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I had the aqueon version, but after the third pump went out I went diy. I got a Venturi pump from a mattress store, and a 1/2 hose repair end from westlake. Thia allows me to reuse the 50 ft of tubing from the aqueon kit.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 04:49 AM
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I never understood why you americans build matchstick houses with planks and wood... especially in areas with tornados and such...
Give me a brick house any day. maybe that is why you get so paranoid over broken and cracked tanks.

Really interesting setup you made...

I use a small pump and a hose to empty some of my tanks out the window, but it is such a water waste... I still end up using buckets and watering the garden with it anyway most of the time.
I can't believe how pretty some of my plants got since they get, slightly fertilised tank water... (I'm lazy, I use once a month Plantamin with slow release, and its adequate for my level of light)

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 07:06 PM
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I never understood why you americans build matchstick houses with planks and wood... especially in areas with tornados and such...
Give me a brick house any day. maybe that is why you get so paranoid over broken and cracked tanks.
Here in California we have to always be ready for earthquakes, and brick buildings are really a bad idea in that type of location. The best building techniques vary depending on what the environment is. For example, stucco works extremely well here, but in some parts of the USA stucco doesn't last very long at all. If we really wanted the best possible construction we would probably just use steel.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 07:15 PM
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Personally I want to live in a submarine somewhere in the countryside. No matter if its earthquake, flood or brimstone, I'd be ready.
timber houses give me the creeps with all their noises.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 07:19 PM
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Brick is actually more prone to collapse than timber. Even in tornadoes. Timber is more flexible. Even skyscrapers are built to flex a bit. Bend, don't break. Brick doesn't bend.

As for the water changer...I have a Python, and consider it money well spent. I've been using it for 20 years now. I replaced the plastic connector with a brass one, but other than that, it's been a workhorse.

However, I know a lot of people who use water changers sold for filling water beds instead. Work pretty much the same, but cost a fraction of what a Python costs.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 08:42 PM
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My goal is to someday build a water changer that will bring cold water to temp (tankless water heater), remove micro bubbles from the water, and doze dechlor all at the same time.

When I started looking at the tankless water heater options I realized I was going to have a problem, since the bulk of them require 220, and started at a few hundred dollars.

Think I'll have to find something to continue aging the water in instead, where I can slowly bring it up to temp with a $20 aquarium heater.

I would like to find a way to store and then use all the 'waste' water I'm pulling from my tanks though. It's a waste to dump it down the drain.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2016, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
My goal is to someday build a water changer that will bring cold water to temp (tankless water heater), remove micro bubbles from the water, and doze dechlor all at the same time.

When I started looking at the tankless water heater options I realized I was going to have a problem, since the bulk of them require 220, and started at a few hundred dollars.

Think I'll have to find something to continue aging the water in instead, where I can slowly bring it up to temp with a $20 aquarium heater.

I would like to find a way to store and then use all the 'waste' water I'm pulling from my tanks though. It's a waste to dump it down the drain.
I used to keep discus and had a waterbutt in my garage. An RO unit was connected to the outside tap and into the butt. To heat it I kept an old tank heater I had lying around and a cheap internal filter was dropped in along with an air stone just to keep the water moving. I would remineralize it and check the TDS was correct a few days before I needed to do my water change. turn the tap on the butt on and it would fill my containers for the water change. Still had to carry them to the tank but it allowed me to get the water perfect before it went into my tank.

I did create a 3 way tap on my old external filter to divert the flow to an empty container rather than back to the tank. Then divert the tap again so it sucks the water from the clean container into the filter and back into the tank.. if that makes sense. I found that the filter lost its prime a lot of the time and was probably more fuss than its worth. I'm sure I have a video somewhere of the divert system.

You could store the waste water in a butt to use in the garden. Not sure of any other uses for it..someone else may have more

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