Water Change Technique? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Water Change Technique?

So I've been wondering this for a while. Whenever I do water changes, I can't seem to do it gently enough. Typically, I vacuum the old water out, and then I fill a 5 gallon bucket up, dose it, and use a small bowl to transport the water from the bucket to the tank. I try not to splash things around a bit, but I always seem to disturb the substrate and small plants a little.

Is there a gentler (and hopefully easier) way of doing this?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 09:38 PM
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I like using an old "TV Dinner" - Steamer type - to catch the water going into the tank and break up the blow. I just lay it on the substrate or float it on the water surface, and gently pour the water into it. The inner tray is best, since it has holes and slots in it to help diffuse the water flow.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 09:48 PM
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I find a small plastic plate or saucer works well. It will float on top of the water and you can pour (gently) right onto it and it will divert the strength of the flow from harming your plants or substrate.

To make water changes quicker, if you have a desk or other flat surface next to your aquarium, I put a chest cooler on the desk, then set a bucket on top of the cooler and siphon back from the bucket into the tank. As long as you can get the bucket water level above the tank water level (that's why I use the chest cooler) it will flow and I find it much easier than scooping gallons of water by hand.

I suppose another method might be to place a hook on the wall next to and above your aquarium, hang the bucket by the hook, and siphon from it back to the tank.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 01:13 AM
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I have never had such a big and high aquarium before, and even though mine's not full of water yet, I do have a ten gallon tote down inside the aquarium now with some plants in it. I drained the tote easily enough, but then I could not get the five gallon bucket high enough to siphon the clean water back into the tank from the bucket. The tank is in a recessed nook, and there's no room for anything nearby to prop a bucket up with to get it high enough. If I used a hook, I'd need a stepladder. Is there any other way to get the clean water in?

I saw this at the petstore tonight, and I wondered if a simple garden hose could somehow be made to work in a similar fashion... http://www.aqueonproducts.com/assets/008/11578.pdf
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 04:27 AM
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When i take water out i use my old 405 intake tube and valve and empty into 5 gallon pails. ( i just pull the lever down) And when i do a water change, i always do a filter cleaning on my aquaclear 110 , and when i put 110's back into aquarium, i fill them with the fresh, unchlorinated water, until tank fills up. It doesnt disrupt the water anymore than your filter running on full flow


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 04:52 AM
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Op- It sounds lime you are pretty gentle when changing water. All of the methods mentioned above will help and hopefully allow you to not disturb things too much.

In my 37g I move the hydor koralia pump I have so that I can dump water from the 5g bucket I use into it and it diffused the water enough to keep things planted. In my 60-p I pour water over the manzanita branches that are out of the water. I even use my hand from time to time if nothing else is available.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 04:56 AM
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How about a power head in the bucket and a length of vinyl tubing? A couple filter intake suction cups to hold it in place and direct the flow toward a wall or rock so as not to disturb anything.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 07:33 AM
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I usually just Pour it ontop of DW or a rock or just lay my hand down at a 45 degree angle and pour it on my hand. Or when I'm feeling lazy or grumpy I just dump it in and hope for the best. I'm sure in the wild fish are put into heavier flow situations than sitting beside where I'm pouring a bucket of water so I figure theyll be fibe
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:25 AM
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i hit the switch on the solenoid, done
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 11:30 AM
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Good topic.

For me, I have a powerhead pump and a topbox filter. There is a hose from my powerhead to my filterbox already. So when I wanna do a WC, i just disconnect the hose and direct the outlet to the bucket and turn on the filter.

To refill water, I have another spare powerhead (i bought it actually for WC purpose, and as a backup) and put it in my bucket and direct it into my tank. I often direct the water to a driftwood that i have so the current won't mess up the soil/other plants.


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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 12:10 PM
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on my 55, there is a built in "trap door" in the side of the cabinet housing the tank. The door is located a couple of inches above the water line and when open , becomes a shelf. I put a 5 gal bucket there and use the syphon technique.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 12:44 PM
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I use a colander, like for draining pasta. Depending on the width of your tank, you can get one with handles that may be wide enough so that the colander will sit across the top of the tank and you can use both hands for pouring water
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 09:47 PM
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A power head! That's exactly what I need! Thanks for the great idea! A colander diffuser sounds great, too.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:17 PM
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I siphon water out a window into my yard and fill up from a hose connected to my kitchen sink. I got the faucet to garden hose adapter from lowes for a few bucks and the hose was $5 at Walmart. Cheap, simple, and effective.


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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:23 PM
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I use a python for the most part. But if using a bucket I lean the edge of the bucket on the rim of the tank (using the ridges at the top of the bucket to prevent it sliding off) and then pour the water into my palm, just below the surface of the water. I shoots out sideways off my hand and never disturbs anything.

How big is the tank? All my large tanks I can power pour the water into without disrupting anything.


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