Making water changes (30g at a time) easier..... designing something much easier? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Making water changes (30g at a time) easier..... designing something much easier?

Time constraints have delayed me setting up my 70g tank, and today I had a thought..... and I have time to plan this .


How on earth am I going to do 30-50% water changes on this thing?


I live in a small apartment and keep a 40g Rubbermaid type trash can on the back porch filled with mineralized RO water for water changes.

I do not want to have to do remove the canopy (which will sit tight onto the tank on all 4 sides to prevent jumpers).

I am thinking of drilling the back of the tank (1/2" glass) and putting in an overflow bulkhead near the top of the tank, and use this for my water "output".


When I start pumping in fresh, clean water, the overflow will automatically push out "mostly" the old water (I realize this is somewhat inefficient and the exhaust water will be mixed, not 100% old water). For the sake of ease, this is nice.

Normal water levels will sit below the bulkhead/standpipe, so it won't drip after a water change.


So how do I plumb this? I'd like to just pull a hose of some sort out of the closet, quick-connect it to something on the bulkhead and toss the other end into the bathtub, and turn on a pump in my 40g water reservoir. Allow displacement to do the rest.



The 70g tank will sit about 30 feet from the back porch.


I can drain the tank into a bathtub (about 30 feet also).



Any other suggestions? I do not want to use something like a Python to drain it, since I'm already wasting a lot of exhaust water with the RO unit.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:23 PM
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Python or equivalent. If you live in an apt, leaks are a liability risk. Plumbing means potential risk.

You can connect it and drain into a sink. Put it away when done.


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:27 PM
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I would make a supporting base for the rubbermaid, something you can wheel around.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:29 PM
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Why not use a splitter on the water pump in your reservoir, and pump the water directly out of it and into the bathtub? Then you get another good-sized pump or powerhead to pump the water out of the Rubbermaid and into the reservoir.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Finglonger View Post
I would make a supporting base for the rubbermaid, something you can wheel around.

Why wouldnt you just use a python?

If you do drill it. You should make the drain hole a 1/4 or 1/2 way down the backside of the tank. Then have a valve to open and close the drain.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:56 PM
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Why wouldnt you just use a python?

If you do drill it. You should make the drain hole a 1/4 or 1/2 way down the backside of the tank. Then have a valve to open and close the drain.
So you can heat up the water to match the tank's water? Also, if you want softer water, you can age water overnight. I think redfishsc said he uses RO water not water straight out of the tap.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:04 PM
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I didn't read all of your post, so some details might be missing...

But I would install a T into the intake line of your filter, with an on/off. You can both use this to drain and to fill the tank. Do 1 at a time, as you will get better water changes and LESS chance of failure.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Finglonger View Post
So you can heat up the water to match the tank's water? Also, if you want softer water, you can age water overnight. I think redfishsc said he uses RO water not water straight out of the tap.

he did mention the RO but he needs a way to easily drain it, A python seems like a better option than drilling it. He could still hook up the python to the return pump to fill it.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:15 PM
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Draining the water using some tubing into the rubbermaid with wheels is ideal for his situation since he uses RO. I do agree that drilling is not the way to go.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:20 PM
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Why would you drain the water into the Rubbermaid? i don't get it at all. RO has nothign to do with that... only that you would need TWO rubbermaids, one to drain into then one to use to fill it back up. All that aside, why move large, very heavy containers of water around when you could just pump it over. A cheap sump pump will do that job VERY cheaply and quickly.

You could buy an aquarium pump, but since it does not need to be quiet the sump pump is a faster, cheaper, stockier option.

Draining the tank using a T in the Filter line with an on off attached is a super fast and easy way to do water changes. You can leave the hose attached at all times and just roll it out when you need it.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 12:14 AM
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I still think my wheels for the rubbermaid is ideal for moving around your RO water. Whether you use a python or the above mentioned techniques is up to you.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 12:17 AM
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The ro water will be IN the tub till you drain the tank.... it takes a while to fill the tub with RO(all day or days) and then mix and mineralize it. You would half a half empty tank for a long time.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 12:54 AM
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When the use of RO water for changes gets to be a problem, isn't it a good idea to re-examine your reasons for using the RO water to see if the gain is worth the pain? I like the idea of putting a tee, with a ball valve on the side outlet, leading to a hose outdoors, for draining the tank. And, I like plumbing tap water to the tank to fill it by just opening a valve or two.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Not using a Python for draining purposes. Had them before, they are GREAT, but they waste a LOT of water for draining. I can use siphon action just fine .


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Originally Posted by The_Finglonger View Post
I still think my wheels for the rubbermaid is ideal for moving around your RO water. Whether you use a python or the above mentioned techniques is up to you.
I've thought of this, but have you ever tried to move a wiggly, wobbly Rubbermaid trash can full of 35 gallons of very heavy water? I can barely tip it over by myself if I need to dump it.

Getting the wheels over the back door's threshold would be murder lol...


Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
I didn't read all of your post, so some details might be missing...

But I would install a T into the intake line of your filter, with an on/off. You can both use this to drain and to fill the tank. Do 1 at a time, as you will get better water changes and LESS chance of failure.


Hmm. A very good idea. Put a good quality gate valve splitting off my intake, and possibly put a cap of some kind on it so it NEVER leaks (I do not ever trust a valve to not drip....).

So to drain the tank, I'd kill the filter, pop the cap off of the inlet T.... plug in some tubing, and allow the water to siphon into the bath tub. It would automatically prime right up when I turn the valve on.

To refill it, I'd probably just poke the SAME drain hose over into my big rubbermaid container, attach a strong powerhead, and turn both it and my filter on. (Rubbermaid water temp willl be the same, I have a 300w heater for that ).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
When the use of RO water for changes gets to be a problem, isn't it a good idea to re-examine your reasons for using the RO water to see if the gain is worth the pain? I like the idea of putting a tee, with a ball valve on the side outlet, leading to a hose outdoors, for draining the tank. And, I like plumbing tap water to the tank to fill it by just opening a valve or two.
I may eventually go to a 50/50 mix, but I have several reasons for using straight RO water that's been re-mineralized.

1) Ultimate control over what I put in my tank. As I look at my overstocked, overfed 10g tank, and see nearly no algae in it, I smile and suspect the RO water, properly mineralized and fertilized, has a lot to do with that.


2) We have copper pipes. Even one slip up on my part (not flushing the lines) could kill my shrimp.


3) We have chloramine, and lots of it (water smells/tastes like bleach often). One slip up and forgetting to use water conditioner, and I'll spend the night crying. I have done that over the years. Last year I killed a clown fish and 6-line wrasse, and about 6 years ago I killed a different clown and a pseudochromis (and this was only top-off water).


4), MOST importantly. I spent $200 on that RO unit. If I don't use it, you got any idea how much trouble I'm in with my lady!!???
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 01:28 AM
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what i did is hiered a plumber and conected a pump that slowly releases the water to a drain and connect a tube going up that puts water in the tank that is good water cause i put a container that releases the water cleaner stuff it did a 30% water change a day in a 100 gal
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