How to Fill a Tank with Water without Disturbing Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Bananableps's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,168
How to Fill a Tank with Water without Disturbing Substrate

What's your preferred method for adding water to your tank without disturbing the substrate?


About a year ago I discovered what I think is the absolute best technique: pour/pump/siphon the water over two large squares of filter foam. Place a ~5"x5" finely-membraned foam square over substrate. Place an equally sized larger-membraned foam square over that one. Add water over the foam. The foam slows and disperses the water flow very effectively. Using this method, I find I can add water to even a complexly dry tank very quickly without having to worry about pitting the substrate. This is important to me because I'm pretty much 100% dirted now, so substrate pitting is the bane of my existence.

Let me know what works for you in the comments below!
xmas_one and xmas_one like this.
Bananableps is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 05:51 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
KayakJimW's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 1,424
Filling new tanks: plate or bowl under plastic grocery bags depending on room/ hardscape arrangement

Topping off small tanks: pitcher poured into hand or ladle just under the surface
-for initially filling nano tanks, I'll rest the ladle on the substrate and pour gently into it

Topping off larger tanks: python just under surface parallel to water line/substrate

I dig the foam idea though, on new fills. Usually I go real slow filling new tanks until the substrate is saturated to avoid air bubbles attaching to substrate and whatnot. Then when its all wet, I just slam the water in there and the plastic bags do a good job.

92% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
KayakJimW is online now  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 05:57 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
jellopuddinpop's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: CT River Valley, CT, USA
Posts: 484
I lay a couple of layers of bubble wrap over everything, and fill on top of that. The bubbles divert the water into lots of small trickles, and it stays floating on top.
MadMensch and MadMensch like this.

If you ever think you're too small to make a difference, spend a couple of nights sleeping with a mosquito.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jellopuddinpop is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 06:25 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
d33pVI's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 370
I attached a 90* elbow to the end of my hose so the water flow is directed across the tank instead of down at the substrate.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
d33pVI is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 06:30 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Park City KS (Our House consists of, 4 glass boxes 5 miniature dachshunds and a black cat)
Posts: 431
I had always used the palm of my hand until I saw it being done with a sheet of bubblewrap that about 12" square, not a bit of disturbance on the substrate, bought myself a piece at the Fedex store for 50 cents, works like a charm and it is reusable, cheap and cheerful!

Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
StevieD is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 06:49 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
AbbeysDad's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Central New York, USA
Posts: 1,360
The bubble wrap sounds like a great idea for the empty/near empty tank. For partial water changes, I pump from an 18g Sterlite bin (I have to pre-filter water due to high nitrates in my well water).
I made a 'T' with 90 deg elbows from 1/2" pvc and use that to refill. The 90's hold it on the tank and the 'T' splits and reduces the force of the output. There's a quick disconnect to the pump hose.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20170915_144142.jpg
Views:	108
Size:	44.6 KB
ID:	789586  


Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AbbeysDad is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Bananableps's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,168
^Intense rig.

I haven't had a lot of luck with plates, plastic, and bubble wrap. In my experience, unless I go suuuuper slow the water still always finds an edge to fall off from.

For adding water to a partially-full tank, I rubber band a foam cylinder meant for a filter intake around a hose and just pump directly out of that, full blast. Foam is magic guys, I'm telling you.
Bananableps is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 08:35 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananableps View Post
What's your preferred method for adding water to your tank without disturbing the substrate?


About a year ago I discovered what I think is the absolute best technique: pour/pump/siphon the water over two large squares of filter foam. Place a ~5"x5" finely-membraned foam square over substrate. Place an equally sized larger-membraned foam square over that one. Add water over the foam. The foam slows and disperses the water flow very effectively. Using this method, I find I can add water to even a complexly dry tank very quickly without having to worry about pitting the substrate. This is important to me because I'm pretty much 100% dirted now, so substrate pitting is the bane of my existence.

Let me know what works for you in the comments below!
Hi Bananableps,

Dinner plate with wax paper under it.


Immediately after filling

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is online now  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:01 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Posts: 116
I use a deep rectangle ice cream box (holds about 2.5 Gallons), i float the box and kind of slip the water into the tank....(not pour it in) Works great for smaller tanks . (Mine is 30Gal)
NightHedgie is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Bananableps's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Bananableps,

Dinner plate with wax paper under it.
Oh I totally believe you. I've seen it on countless Youtube videos. But it never works when I do it.

Maybe because I use sand instead of gravel?
Bananableps is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 10:06 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,618
Hi Bananableps,

Actually the tank in the pictures has Safe-t-sorb as the substrate, much lighter than sand or gravel.

-Roy

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is online now  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Bananableps's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Bananableps,

Actually the tank in the pictures has Safe-t-sorb as the substrate, much lighter than sand or gravel.

-Roy
Oh neat, now I feel even more incompetant. Thanks!
Bananableps is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 06:14 PM
Algae Grower
 
notabob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Wilmington, MA
Posts: 76
During water changes, I just leave the pump in the tank once half of the water is out. Then refill through the pump. The pump hangs mid-level and disperses the incoming water flow nicely without disturbing the substrate.

For empty tank - my case is a bit less common. I fill by sticking the hose behind the 3D background, and as a result the tank essentially fills from below the substrate until the level behind the background gets up to the bulkhead/strainer. At that point, the strainer diffuses the water flow coming backwards through the bulkhead. Works well.
notabob is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 07:06 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 699
During water changes I fill my tank from a large, rubbermade trashcan using a pump. It is connected to a quick and dirty PVC setup that trickles the water upwards and does not disturb anything.

StevieD and StevieD like this.

Tank Journal -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
sdwindansea is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 01:12 AM
Algae Grower
 
paulbert's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 61
This thread inspired me and I got a little carried away. I used to use a pump, hose, and ladle. Now I have a hang-on-the side PVC system so I don't have to stand by the tank during water changes.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	15056105504521668563689_1505610603582.jpg
Views:	139
Size:	34.4 KB
ID:	789890  

Bananableps and Bananableps like this.
paulbert is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome