Water change dilemma. Suggestions? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Water change dilemma. Suggestions?

Unique situation. My tanks are in a finished basement and there is no hot water faucet. There is a hose near back door that I've been using to fill tanks.

During spring/early fall, ground water is 75*. During winter, much colder.

I've been doing the bucket brigade. Fill up 10 gal trash can, dump behind house. During summer, fill up is easy, I just mix the water in trash can with prime, AB and equilibrium, then use 1g jug to transfer to tank.

On fill up, I carry 5g of hot water from upstairs, and mix 25% hot to cold from hose.

This is very labor intensive so I built a python.

The dilemma is about adding hot water directly to tank. While the tank is slowly filling with cold water from python hose, I thought I could just add a few pitchers of hot water to offset this. But then I realized localized hot water could kill plants or fish. idk how long temp transfer would take.

Any suggestions to help in automating the drain fill process?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:08 PM
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Get a 30 gallon drum, put it in your basement, and fill it with the cold hose water. Let it sit a week so it acclimates to your rooms temperature. Use that water for your water change using a utility pump and a hose. Then just refill the drum at the end of the waterchange so its ready in a week for the next one.

A bigger storage tank is way better than lugging water around lol.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:14 PM
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If washing machine is also in basement, maybe hot water could be from the spigot there?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:16 PM
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Exactly what RyRob said!


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyRob View Post
Get a 30 gallon drum, put it in your basement, and fill it with the cold hose water. Let it sit a week so it acclimates to your rooms temperature. Use that water for your water change using a utility pump and a hose. Then just refill the drum at the end of the waterchange so it’s ready in a week for the next one.

A bigger storage tank is way better than lugging water around lol.
Can you link something suitable? I will soon have a 75g and a 50g tank, so would need a pretty big drum. Absolutely must not leak! Or pick up any chemicals from sitting.

30g trash can?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:26 PM
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I should add, I bought the largest garbage can I could find 50g and added a heater and floating thermometer.


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:30 PM
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Can you link something suitable? I will soon have a 75g and a 50g tank, so would need a pretty big drum. Absolutely must not leak! Or pick up any chemicals from sitting.

30g trash can?
home depot should have plenty of 55 gallon trash cans or rain barrels, you could even get some casters so the tank is mobile. If you wanted to sync up the temp perfectly (or get as close as desired), you could just get a heater for the storage tank.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:51 PM
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I use a Rubbermaid Brute trash can and a submersible pump for transferring to the tank.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 01:15 PM
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I use surplus 55 gallon plastic drums. You can get food grade ones off Craigslist around here for $10.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 01:32 PM
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Lots of different types of storage containers. Here is what I use.



The hose you see coming out of the right side one is a submersible pump (HD/Lowes). I have it piped to right behind the tank, but you could easily just drag a hose around.

I have circulation pumps, aeration, and heaters in the units. Heaters only come on day before water change. I also condition water for GH/KH hardness. I am using RO, but you could do the same for tap.

Once you get it set up, saves a lot of time and energy during water changes.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 01:51 PM
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I also use the plastic food grade barrels for several reasons. One is that they are designed to be sturdy so no leaks and no rust. They also are cheaper than trash cans. If one looks at trash cans, they can often seal where they were injection formed and there is a light spot in the bottom. A leak waiting to happen and they do flex as they are filled and emptied. That flexing will make cracks begin to show at the bottom. NOT good! Good sturdy barrels can also make them double duty as they will support up to a twenty without any question. I use mine as a tank stand and have room in front to mix ferts, ect. so that space is not wasted. Do a search of the local area for food grade barrels? Best $15 I spent for the hobby!
You may find it totally changes things to have a good solid supply of water, ready for most any emergency. Thinking of how many times we read about a crisis where a good big water change is the best solution? It really does change the way I operate. Even catching fish is much quicker , easier if I just dump half the tank and refill without lugging water around.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbert View Post
I use a Rubbermaid Brute trash can and a submersible pump for transferring to the tank.
+1
Me too.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 02:27 PM
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I also use the plastic food grade barrels for several reasons. One is that they are designed to be sturdy so no leaks and no rust. They also are cheaper than trash cans. If one looks at trash cans, they can often seal where they were injection formed and there is a light spot in the bottom. A leak waiting to happen and they do flex as they are filled and emptied. That flexing will make cracks begin to show at the bottom. NOT good! Good sturdy barrels can also make them double duty as they will support up to a twenty without any question. I use mine as a tank stand and have room in front to mix ferts, ect. so that space is not wasted. Do a search of the local area for food grade barrels? Best $15 I spent for the hobby!
You may find it totally changes things to have a good solid supply of water, ready for most any emergency. Thinking of how many times we read about a crisis where a good big water change is the best solution? It really does change the way I operate. Even catching fish is much quicker , easier if I just dump half the tank and refill without lugging water around.
In all the time Ive spent in the hobby Ive never seen a brute can break or spring a leak, Ive set some serious weight on and in them too. I used them for water changes on hundreds of tanks. I once cured nearly 200 lbs of live rock in 2 brute cans for a couple months, filled the whole time with filters and skimmers running on them. The dolly that locks to the bottom is a real back/time saver too. 50 gallon food grade barrels are handy as well if accessable locally (too expensive online to be worth it), but no locking dolly to help move around. Limited mobility is where the food grade drums lost my interest for all but a stationary reservoir. Brute also makes a food grade version of their can available through restaurant supply stores if you worry about things potentially leaching into the water.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Lots of different types of storage containers. Here is what I use.



The hose you see coming out of the right side one is a submersible pump (HD/Lowes). I have it piped to right behind the tank, but you could easily just drag a hose around.

I have circulation pumps, aeration, and heaters in the units. Heaters only come on day before water change. I also condition water for GH/KH hardness. I am using RO, but you could do the same for tap.

Once you get it set up, saves a lot of time and energy during water changes.
This gives me an idea. I could run one of those ice maker water attachment hoses from an upstairs utility sink, down the the basement and automate the fill of the barrel. It would need to have a shutoff when it reaches a certain level.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 04:19 PM
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If you have an upstairs sink why not get a hose adapter and either garden hose or Python hose long enough to reach your tank(s) w/shut off on the working end. Get the faucets set to close to correct temperature, then index with a sharpie on the back side (so it's easy every time. Refilling the tank(s) is then a breeze.

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