How to fill tank without disturbing plants and sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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How to fill tank without disturbing plants and sand?

Right now I have a homemade slate cave in my 60 gallon that is mostly used to pour water in on with my water changes. I have the Aqueon siphon but the sink adapter dont fit and I dont want to mess with the sink (girlfriend wont be happy). Is there any anything that I could do or am I stuck with this big slate cave?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 01:52 PM
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well if you are having troubles with when the water hits the subsrate or the rocks in this case? then put your hand under the water or put a little plate
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 01:59 PM
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I did the same as you with the cave when I wanted a cave in my tank. Other then the cave I've done shallow bowls that can be removed after filling or used drift wood in the tank to dribble water down until it was high enough to fill the rest of the way with out disturbing anything.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BettaBettas View Post
well if you are having troubles with when the water hits the subsrate or the rocks in this case? then put your hand under the water or put a little plate
The tank is heavily planted. I dont want to crush the plants. I'm not having problems, i just wanted to replace the rocks with driftwood or more plants
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottW View Post
The tank is heavily planted. I dont want to crush the plants. I'm not having problems, i just wanted to replace the rocks with driftwood or more plants
You could:
1) use a pitcher. I assume you're using buckets since the sink isn't hooked up. Still do that, but dunk a pitcher in the bucket then pour into tank, using your hand to shield the flow. Will take longer, but all you need extra is a pitcher

2) make a refill tool. If you decide on using the sink adapter later on, or if you ever use a power head to pump water back in, this tool will work. Basically, you just cap off the bottom of the siphon and drill holes in the lower area of the siphon cylinder. Turns Jet mode into Shower mode on the refill. Tweak it to customize to your needs, like size and amount of holes, secure the hose end and cap end so it stays together, etc. Can be as simple as modifying your Aqueon siphon, or make one from plumbing parts from the store. Can even make it with a J bend to hang on your tank for hands free filling.

3) get a shower caddy. The thing folks use to plant stuff higher in the tank, or have terrestrial plants above the surface of the water. You could strategically place a shower caddy inside the front or side wall (via its suction cups) and pour your water bucket over that to block the flow. Like and extra hand in the tank...

4) use a step ladder. If you have the room and supplies, place a step ladder next to the tank and elevate your water buckets higher than the tank. Now you can use a siphon hose to fill the tank slowly. Depending on the diameter of hose and height above aquarium this could still disturb your substrate. Make sure flow isn't too strong and/or clamp the hose to hold it parallel to substrate.

Good Luck, Hopefully something in there was helpful!

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 03:27 PM
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I made a PVC "tool" to refill my tank. It hooks over the edge of the tank and then drops about 1/2 way into the tank. From there it is a "T" with bars going out about 10". On each bar I drilled about 5 large-ish holes that face up toward the surface. This allows me to refill the tank without disturbing the substrate/plants and I also do not need to hold it. I can upload a picture if you would like but it is very simple and cost about $3.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwindansea View Post
I made a PVC "tool" to refill my tank. It hooks over the edge of the tank and then drops about 1/2 way into the tank. From there it is a "T" with bars going out about 10". On each bar I drilled about 5 large-ish holes that face up toward the surface. This allows me to refill the tank without disturbing the substrate/plants and I also do not need to hold it. I can upload a picture if you would like but it is very simple and cost about $3.
When you get a chance can I see a picture?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 04:31 PM
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I use a python to do water changes in my 120. Because I don't want to sit there and watch it the whole time, I got a brand-new, never used, knee-high nylon stocking and put it over the siphon/ vacuum and of the python. While I originally did this to prevent fish from swimming up the siphon while I wasn't looking, it is had a double benefit. When I reversed the flow to fill the tank, the nylon stocking does a great job of softening the impact as the water comes back into the tank.

Tanks a bunch!

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 04:56 PM
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Here is the picture. Sorry it is not on the tank, but this should give you a good idea of what it is. I actually did the water change yesterday. I use a pump in a trashcan to fill the tank when I do a water change (~27 gallons). The pump uses 1/2" tubing that I then connect to the PVC "apparatus" via a barb fitting.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwindansea View Post
Here is the picture. Sorry it is not on the tank, but this should give you a good idea of what it is. I actually did the water change yesterday. I use a pump in a trashcan to fill the tank when I do a water change (~27 gallons). The pump uses 1/2" tubing that I then connect to the PVC "apparatus" via a barb fitting.

The picture didnt show up
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottW View Post
The picture didnt show up
Strange, it is showing fine for me. Here is the URL, let me know if it doesn't work - https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...27_094049c.jpg
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 04:30 PM
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Well like was said before the hand breaking up the water as you pour it in the tank is the best way to bucket fill a tank. The upwards pointing T is great, when you get your house hooked up.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:17 PM
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I use a pitcher like mentioned above. I have a plastic cup that is just for tank use, I hold that just under the water and pour from the pitcher into that, it just ripples out without disturbing much at all. (Otherwise my long-leaved plants get tangled in each other w/the sudden water flow and I am particular enough about appearance I would untangle them all again afterwards). If the cup in the water is aimed towards tank wall it breaks up the flow even more. When water level is higher I just pour it onto my hand.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:45 PM
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easiest way to fill the tank if you are using a hose - just tie bag over it )) let it touch the ground and tie plastic bag over it... works great....
and also to refill your tank you can use 5 gal reusable polycarbonate bottle - much more comfortable than a bucket, you can control flow and its easy to hold ))
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:52 PM
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Can also use a colander. Some have handles that stretch wide enough to sit across the tank like this one

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...pf_rd_i=289761
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