Method of weekly water change - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Method of weekly water change

I suspect this has been covered, in depth, before - but my search-foo is weak this morning.

Last night was doing my weekly water change, and thinking - there has got to be a better way. I am draining to a 5 gallon bucket - carefully watering garden, and repeating 2 or 3 times. Then carefully adding a gallon of treated water, to prevent ripping up aquarium. This is repeated 15-20 times. Then replant the floaters.

So here are the questions. What do you drain into (5 gallon white bucket?), what to you treat your new water in, how do you introduce the new water to the aquarium without tearing it appart (pouring the water from the 5gwb seems to be pretty destructive for me).

I have considered having my canister just draw the water from the 5gwb, but that water is recently treated and without dilution was afraid I might mess up the bacteria in the canister. Have considered other stuff as well - but would prefer to here someone else has done them successfully first. Don't mind the weekly work - but doing unnecessary extra work just seem inefficient if better ideas are out there.

While I am on this fishing expedition. I use treated tap water. How long does everyone who treats the water wait before introducing it to the tank. Do any of you wait for the water to hit room temp or use a heater to bring the new fill water up to tank temp (in my case it would probably be a chiller - but tap and tank water are pretty close to the same temp right now).

Last edited by jgc; 08-26-2005 at 09:03 PM.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 02:02 PM
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I drain to four 5-gallon buckets, water the bushes and a seedling outside. I do this twice, to achive a 50% water change.
However, I refill with a DIY python, and on the end that goes in the tank, I made a little inverted U shaped filler from PVC pipe, with the end capped, and then drilled abotu 25 holes into it. this diffuses the water current as I fill the tank so I don't knock any plants loose. Add enough dechlor to treat the entire 75 gallons (so 1.5 caps of Prime) and I'm set.

I don't use the python to drain because I feel it's a waste of water, and the suction on the vac is greatly reduced compared to my normal vac.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 02:21 PM
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just buy a python it hooks right up to your faucet and all the water goes down the drain.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 03:50 PM
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I typically drain right to the front of the house into the planter there, and refill with a DIY python-ish from the faucet. I did the bucket thing for a while and just got sick of it after I added a 110gal to the collection. Just syphon it out the door if you can , when I lived DT Milwaukee, on the 5th floor I used to syphon it out the window at night But that was when I only had a 55gal.
When you start looking at changing over 100gal of water a week any shortcuts are worth it. The buckets for adding water was a mess, inside and outside the tank for me. If you have to treat the water get a pump and pump it from the treatment barrel to the tank. Other wise the python method works great.


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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 04:09 PM
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On my open tank 29 gallon, I do a 2 gallon waterchange every day just using a big pitcher.
Every morning, I take out a pitcher full and water the plants. Then fill the pitcher up with water, treat it and make coffee or feed my bird, then put the water into the tank after it sat for about 5 minutes.

So, constant waterchanged through the week resulting in about a 50% waterchange overall.

I have a homemade python, but currently it's being used to drain the shower tub during showers. Apparently, drains and aquarium gravel don't mix.....
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbysl
just buy a python it hooks right up to your faucet and all the water goes down the drain.

This is a very wasteful way to drain the tank. If you are draining say 20 gallons you are flushing about 60 down the drain. Just use the Python as a standard siphon hose and save some water. Then use the Python to fill the tank.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 06:26 PM
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In my 60gal. unplanted tank I get a 32gal. trash can drain 50% of my tank in to the trash can, drag it outside and dump it in the grass. I then put in a capfull of Prime and I put a bowl into my tank and then fill it up with with the hose into the bowl. In my 20gal planted I drain about 30% water and then use picthers of ro water and pour them into a Lee's Worm Cone Feeder to dispurse the water...
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
This is a very wasteful way to drain the tank. If you are draining say 20 gallons you are flushing about 60 down the drain. Just use the Python as a standard siphon hose and save some water. Then use the Python to fill the tank.
But the whole point is to eliminate buckets, isn't it? I always feel like I'm wasting water when I use it. Even though the house I live in, it is included with rent. I'm moving out some time in the near future however, so I don't want to make a habbit of wasting water. Even if I'm not paying for it, I still don't feel right wasting it. Eliminating buckets though, where there's plenty of chance to spill it on the carpet by accident on my way to the garage to dump it in a giant sink, is a more expensive risk. I guess each individual has to weigh their options.

If you could figure out a better way to get the suction started and keep going without having all the tubes completely facing downward, I'd really love to hear it! Actually, if anyone's figured this out, I'd love to hear it. I'm not looking forward to a big water bill when I move.

And for the OP, the way I do it so that nothing is messed up in the process is I drain the water using a Python, and I keep the hose really close to the ground. Then I refill slowly to get the temp right after already adding in the Prime. After I get the temp right, I increase the speed, and the tank is full in a short amount of time.The fish barely even notice anything except a giant hose thing that they come to investigate, and a giant pinkish hand at the nose of the hose feeling for temp.

When I first used it, I couldn't believe a WC could be done with so little stress, if any, on the fish.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 08:23 PM
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I guess I'm lucky because I have a utility sink in my basement and just run the python down the stairs to it. I start the python (diy) and then turn off the water. Five minutes later my tank is half empty. I then close off a valve upstairs and turn on the water till the temperature is just right close the venturi downstairs and open the valve upstairs. The water just fills up in another 5 minutes and I add Prime right to the tank. Easy as can be and doesn't waste any water. I can even capture it in a bucket for watering if I want.

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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 08:48 PM
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I syphon my tank into a 5 gallon water cooler jug. Then I fill the 5 gallon jug with fresh water an pour it into the tank. Its a good workout I carry the full water jug 10-12 times between the bathroom and my tank.
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 09:57 PM
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Small pump I bought at Lowe's mounted to side of tank. Run garden hose from the pump's output to sink. Attach hose that came with pump to pump's input, run that into tank. Fluval sponge attached to hose opening w/ rubberbands to prevent anything from being hurt or sucked in. Labels on side of tank for 10, 15, 20, and 25 gallons drained. Run pump to 15 gallon mark. Replace w/ RO/DI water in six 2.5 gallon jugs (distilled water jugs bought from local grocery). Add CaCl2, MgSO4, K2SO4, NaHCO3, and NaCl. Test each of these levels to verify they are the same as last week. Done.
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 10:24 PM
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Python goes out the sliding door, drains to outside. Connect Python to faucet, refill.


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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 12:13 AM
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If you need to start a siphon on the Python hose just give a good inhale. The water will follow shortly.
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
If you need to start a siphon on the Python hose just give a good inhale. The water will follow shortly.

LOL!!! I got a good mouthful ot turtle water last time I did that!
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 01:50 AM
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Python hose is 25' long. If you have lungs that good then awesome!
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