Tell me about python water changing apparatus...and other fish maintenance helps - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Tell me about python water changing apparatus...and other fish maintenance helps

When all this covid-19 stuff started shutting everything down (I'm in Michigan), I let myself be wrangled into taking home ALL the fish & some of the tanks from work. I went from a 15, 2 5's and a couple little jarariums, to a 29, two 20's, a 15, a 10, and 3 jarariums... It turns out that changing water in multiple tanks is MUCH easier at work, where the concrete floor means I can drop a little water, and a big shop sink allows easy filling & emptying of buckets. Now I'm at home, trying not to drip on rugs, wood floors, etc. and having to heft & tilt buckets in the tub, while leaning around the sink.

I am not. a. fan! So... would a python work in these still-relatively small tanks? Do you gravel vac in addition? Help!! I'm overdue for a water change (though they're all heavily planted, so not horribly overdue), and I am really dreading it -- my back already hurts, just at the thought! lol

Any other advice welcome! I really don't want to get burned out on enjoying my aquariums!

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Last edited by Cinnamonamon; 05-13-2020 at 11:15 PM. Reason: title adjustment
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 12:18 AM
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I love my water changer. I have the aqueon version. We had to fiddle with it to work on our faucets, but it's a lifesaver and I run from 5 gallons to 100 gallons at the moment.

If the tanks aren't planted, you could stir up the gravel with your hand while you're changing it water and have the end there to suck up what comes out.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnamonamon View Post
When all this covid-19 stuff started shutting everything down (I'm in Michigan), I let myself be wrangled into taking home ALL the fish & some of the tanks from work. I went from a 15, 2 5's and a couple little jarariums, to a 29, two 20's, a 15, a 10, and 3 jarariums... It turns out that changing water in multiple tanks is MUCH easier at work, where the concrete floor means I can drop a little water, and a big shop sink allows easy filling & emptying of buckets. Now I'm at home, trying not to drip on rugs, wood floors, etc. and having to heft & tilt buckets in the tub, while leaning around the sink.



I am not. a. fan! So... would a python work in these still-relatively small tanks? Do you gravel vac in addition? Help!! I'm overdue for a water change (though they're all heavily planted, so not horribly overdue), and I am really dreading it -- my back already hurts, just at the thought! lol



Any other advice welcome! I really don't want to get burned out on enjoying my aquariums!




Heavily planted donít worry about gravel VAc


Zip tie a fish net over the end of a hose, start a siphon and drain it to the ground outside. With multiple tanks you donít do what I did which is use 4 elbows and some PVC from floor to tank, so it always drains to the exact same level and I can do whatever while it drains out the window.

Attach hose to a blue magic water bed filler on whatever sink is closest and fill tank back up.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 07:44 PM
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For simple water changes the python works fine in small tanks.

I find it's easier and more effective to use a cheap little hand-pump siphon hose to detail clean my heavily planted 5 and 20 gallon tanks, but I do use my python to refill all the tanks.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 09:02 PM
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I use a Python to drain all of my tanks, smallest is 5.5 gallon, largest are 125. Refilling water straight from the tap isn't a perfect scenario, but I've done it for many years on planted fish tanks without a hitch. When you get into more sensitive species and inverts, it may be worthwhile to have a holding vat for water to degas in before adding it to the aquarium. I do gravel vac all of mine, fwiw. Too much "dirt" accumulates otherwise in my own tanks, your mileage may vary.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 09:05 PM
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Youíd be better off using a brute trash can and mixing up your water night before then using a pump to pump water back into tanks.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 10:22 PM
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I use a python to do water changes on all my tanks regardless of size. I do not use the venturi faucet adapter. I run my hose to the nearest toilet. If I am not gravel vacing I rubberband a piece of old net, screen, or lady's nylons over the end of the siphon tube. With my new fish room having a floor drain it has changed my maintence positively. Another option is if you have an extra filter tube off an HOB that will fit into the python tube you can use that as a strainer so you don't suck up fish.
I do have a 30g trash can that I use for prepping water for my African cichlids. Tap water ph 6.8, their preference ph 9.
I will try to post some pics of my setup for you.

Drain on the left fill on the right
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-15-2020 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 02:08 AM
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Knowing what a Python style does for you is a start to decide if for you. It is a kind of deal that can help if you are somewhat mechanical challenged or if the right situation.
It does have the fittings to fit a tube on many faucets as there are a number of adapters included. So the fitting is screwed on the faucet and then the python screwed onto that. This allows one to start a siphon by running water from the faucet to fill the tube and then cut the water off and the siphon is allowed to pull water from the tank into the sink, etc. where the python is located. A way to fill the tube so that it runs back out when the pressure is turned off and that starts pulling more. Semi-easy way to start a siphon and do any debris pickup you want to do. I do very little as part of my routine involves having dirt in the tank for the plants, so I don't work very hard to remove the dirt which collects, except to keep it looking reasonably clear. Once done with that, turn the water on at the faucet to refill, using the same tubing and the faucet to control the temp. Very hard to do on small tank as a small miss on the temp is much more dramatic in small tanks.
So the question becomes one of personal setup. Is it tough for you to see getting the fitting from a local hardware, put it on the faucet and get an adapter to fit onto the fitting to attach a plastic tube? Is there a place to drain water like into a sink, floor drain or stool that is nearby enough to run a tube to reach and can you start a siphon running without trouble?
I buy the fittings and tubing as long as needed. Water does run downhill by itself and the lower the outlet, the better it runs. I siphon and drain to a drain of some sort and I have added a larger tube off E-bay which has a siphon starter built in. Then when done draining, I move the tube to a faucet with the fitting in place and refill.
Pretty close to what a Python does, except way cheaper and doesn't break every time I look at it! Python tend to break easy! I can also get tubing as long or short as needed rather than the set amount.
Do not carry buckets but something far less complex that a Python suits me better. If you go with buying fittings, there are dozens of styles so the most effective way is to take the existing aerator off the faucet and take it to match the threads and see it actually screws on where you take the aerator off!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 10:03 PM
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Siphon?....how quaint!

I use an inexpensive Eco396 submersible pump and python like hose. Just pump it out. I have pool filter sand substrate, and never touch it. A simple faucet adapter for refill.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 03:53 PM
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With 7 tanks ranging from 10g to 125, we keep a Python with 50' hose connected to the bathtub in a spare bathroom and we use it only for draining/gravel vacuuming. Like a couple of others mentioned, we age water in a brute type trash can (on wheeled base). With Texas hard water, we mix RODI in the barrel with our tap to lower ph, and declorinate with Prime in the barrel instead of doing as water goes into the tank. Aging helps offgas some of the crap the water company adds. We keep a low power pump at the bottom of the can and attached a sponge pre-filter to the hose on the end that goes in the tank so fish & substrate aren't disturbed when filling. We find this works better than the colander method you often see.YMMV.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 09:35 PM
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So you get a wide range of views and what will work best for each of us is going to come down to a lot of personal situations. There are no wrong ways to do the water changes as we do each need to find what works better.
Some do not like a DIY idea, while I find the trip to the hardware is one of the things I miss during my self- imposed QT.
With Texas state government overriding the local folks, I see both the infection rate and death rates are higher this week than last, so when I will feel safe to go out is likely further down the road now than last month. One interesting point I've observed is the way the rural folks at the edge of Austin are behaving now versus those who live in the more metro and tend to be more educated and realistic about the health situation. I drive by the Home Depot in Pflugerville and there is no way I'm stopping there as masks are not worn, while going into the more metro areas of Austin, I see nobody without masks!
Same situation on masks as how to change water? We are all on our own to figure it out!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 10:32 PM
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I provide maintenance on 3 aquariums at a friends place. I do not have the ability to connect to a faucet at his house so I set a 5g bucket in the kitchen sink and adjust for temp. I have a submersible pump that I connect to my python and use that rig to refill his aquariums.
Some modern faucets use push on connections with o-ring seals. These type are not able to handle the back pressure created by attaching a python.
If you lose the brass faucet adapter from python there are fittings available at the big box store that will work. I adapted to the shower neck in the fish room that way.
If your plastic hose fittings break go to the garden section and you can get metal hose repair pieces.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 02:50 PM
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@PlantedRich Hey neighbor, PM sent.

Walking the tightrope of discus in a high tech planted tank.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 06:58 PM
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Not getting it but return PM sent to you?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 07:12 PM
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Not getting it but return PM sent to you?
back at you, thanks!

Walking the tightrope of discus in a high tech planted tank.
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