Ideas to Improve the Aquarium Experience - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas to Improve the Aquarium Experience

So a friends recently created a prototype, and we were talking about components that could make the aquarium experience either salt or fresh water easier for the user. It can be for experienced or inexperienced users.

We have several ideas but would like to hear more. What are some struggles that you have while working, purchasing, or developing your tanks.

Think of how to improve a previous product or products. Turning multiple products into one product.

Looking forward to hearing from you guys and I hope this was the right place to put this thread.

Last edited by HortGuy; 09-01-2014 at 03:30 AM. Reason: I was wrong
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 04:50 PM
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A cheap, easy clean portable filter would work for some. Something like a canister filter except easy to open and clean. Have to have an easy way to start the siphon so it could be moved from tank to storage without hassle.
Used when temporary extra mechanical filtering is needed. Occasions like when wanting to get extra debris picked up that isn't removed during the regular water change and siphon or when things are stirred during planting or other work.
I did a DIY but there might be a market for a really effective one. A step up from the low power of battery operated but still very easy to set up and use.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 05:12 PM
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A siphon with a built in pump. Right now as I see it I have three options when changing the water on my tank.

One I siphon into the buckets and then fill the tank back up by hand (Ugh).
Two I buy a long hose siphon which connects to the faucet to fill it back up (Scary to have that long of a hose across a living room carpet.
Three I buy a submersible pump to pump water back up from my clean water buckets into the tank (What I am doing now).

If my siphon had a built in pump so after I siphoned I could turn the siphon in reverse and pump clean water out of the buckets/trash can back into the tank automatically that would be a life saver.

Most of us cannot get our buckets high enough above water level to make the siphon work in reverse with auto flow. If all that makes sense.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Citrus View Post
A siphon with a built in pump. Right now as I see it I have three options when changing the water on my tank.

One I siphon into the buckets and then fill the tank back up by hand (Ugh).
Two I buy a long hose siphon which connects to the faucet to fill it back up (Scary to have that long of a hose across a living room carpet.
Three I buy a submersible pump to pump water back up from my clean water buckets into the tank (What I am doing now).

If my siphon had a built in pump so after I siphoned I could turn the siphon in reverse and pump clean water out of the buckets/trash can back into the tank automatically that would be a life saver.

Most of us cannot get our buckets high enough above water level to make the siphon work in reverse with auto flow. If all that makes sense.
Great idea!
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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this is a great idea. I will keep it in mind and start trying to develop something with my friend!

Keep it coming
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Citrus View Post
A siphon with a built in pump. Right now as I see it I have three options when changing the water on my tank.

One I siphon into the buckets and then fill the tank back up by hand (Ugh).
Two I buy a long hose siphon which connects to the faucet to fill it back up (Scary to have that long of a hose across a living room carpet.
Three I buy a submersible pump to pump water back up from my clean water buckets into the tank (What I am doing now).

If my siphon had a built in pump so after I siphoned I could turn the siphon in reverse and pump clean water out of the buckets/trash can back into the tank automatically that would be a life saver.

Most of us cannot get our buckets high enough above water level to make the siphon work in reverse with auto flow. If all that makes sense.

Isn't this what you would have if you put a quick connect hose fitting near the pump? Disconnect when doing the siphon, then connect to do the pump back?
Or maybe just put the pump in the tank to drain and then in the bucket to refill?
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 03:50 AM
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Well if you are wanting to actually siphon off mulm from the the bottom putting the pump in the tank wouldn't achieve those results.

I believe a quick connect would work in those situations but you still have two pieces.

If you could basically flip the siphon around and the bump is already built on and you just have to turn it on that simplicity makes me smile.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Citrus View Post
Well if you are wanting to actually siphon off mulm from the the bottom putting the pump in the tank wouldn't achieve those results.

I believe a quick connect would work in those situations but you still have two pieces.

If you could basically flip the siphon around and the bump is already built on and you just have to turn it on that simplicity makes me smile.
If you mean run the water through the pump backwards, there may be a real slowdown as the impeller is in the way? But then that would be their problem to design around the bumps in our suggestions? No harm in wishing for it!
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 04:30 AM
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An on/off switch for many of the pumps, filters and even heaters.
So many of these must be unplugged, or plug them back in, and my hands are already wet from being in the tank. I go through so many towels!

A SEALED on/off switch would be really great. Does not have to be water proof to the point of being submersible, but safe in wet hands would be great.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Water changing with pumps:
1) to start the siphon, or to keep on going if the tank is on the bottom shelf, yet the debris can go through it. I have used fountain pumps for this, but as noted by many people, this does not provide vacuuming, except in the very coarse method of moving the pump around the tank. (Been there, done that, before I had plants) Also, they clog up too easily if they are on the floor of the tank.

2) Long enough discharge tube that it will reach the floor (bucket or waste line). I have used longer tubing so that several tanks in one room all get drained to one central container. Filters get cleaned in this water, then the water is pumped out with a higher powered sump pump with debris handling ability. Siphons never come with a long enough tube, had to buy the longer tube at the hardware store. I have also worked with tanks on high shelves, and had to put the bucket on a chair. (At least it was easier to pick up!)

3) Better clips to hold the tubing in place, both on the side of the tank, and in the waste water container. Best I have come up with: Clips available in hardware stores and add a thick rubber band to actually hold the tubing. I think there ought to be some sort of quick connect/quick release. If I am actually holding the tube, vacuuming the tank it is no problem, but if I am just doing a drain and fill, the tubing has come out of the tank more than a few times. Perhaps a Velcro wrap (sold for cord organizers) bolted to a clip?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
An on/off switch for many of the pumps, filters and even heaters.
So many of these must be unplugged, or plug them back in, and my hands are already wet from being in the tank. I go through so many towels!

A SEALED on/off switch would be really great. Does not have to be water proof to the point of being submersible, but safe in wet hands would be great.
I use my power strip switch to kill all the equipment in the tank with one flip


Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
3) Better clips to hold the tubing in place, both on the side of the tank, and in the waste water container. Best I have come up with: Clips available in hardware stores and add a thick rubber band to actually hold the tubing. I think there ought to be some sort of quick connect/quick release. If I am actually holding the tube, vacuuming the tank it is no problem, but if I am just doing a drain and fill, the tubing has come out of the tank more than a few times. Perhaps a Velcro wrap (sold for cord organizers) bolted to a clip?
I will use my glass top to hold a tube in place when filling, but if one does not have a top I can certainly see the need. I need a clip for my drain bucket, my kitten has pulled the end out a time or two
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 03:50 PM
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I use a siphon to drain and then a pump in a reserve barrel to pump back. The tubing has to be way long to go to the other room so a quick connect is necessary and since it is laid on the carpeting, it has to be pretty close to leak proof as well as idiot resistant!
For a quick but totally reliable connection, I use a union of PVC . Best couple dollars I've found for ease of use. A PVC hook at the end keeps it from flipping out of the tank.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 04:09 PM
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To PlantedRich, if you are looking for a easy to maintain portable filter for temporary use when doing tank maintenance, look for a Marineland Magnum 350 with the micron filter cartridge. Great mechanical filter for what you were describing.
The power switch on the power strip is a good idea, but if you are like me, I don't want to turn off everything when doing maintenance. I do like to be able to leave lights on and really don't want multiple power strips. Individual power switches on products would be nice.
What I would like to see is a reasonably priced set of test kits that are actually accurate, easy to read. Instant Ocean makes a set for saltwater that contained the most needed tests that works great (has great see thru color charts that fit in a slot beside the test vial). Something like that would make testing more enjoyable.


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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 05:01 PM
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I have used the glass lids to hold the tubing. Works fine until I see something in the tank I want to grab and lift the lid...
Now, most of my tanks do not have lids, so I am back to the 'clip with rubber band' system.

Never mind the kitten, I have inadvertently removed the outlet tubing from the bucket too many times. It has even twisted in the clip more than once.

All right... just thought of something...

You know those clips that hold a flag? A plate that is screwed to the wall, and a tube that holds the flag pole. Something like that, mounted to the bucket, then slip the tubing into the hole to keep it aligned in the bucket. Now add the clips that I already use so it does not have to be permanently mounted on a bucket, but can be moved to other buckets. Hmm... how to secure the tubing in place?

Testing: I like the quickness of the dip sticks, though I do occasionally see some odd results. If I knew they were going to be more accurate, I think I would be willing to pay more. Are there any controlled studies actually showing how accurate (or not) the various testing sets are?
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Citrus View Post
A siphon with a built in pump. Right now as I see it I have three options when changing the water on my tank.

One I siphon into the buckets and then fill the tank back up by hand (Ugh).
Two I buy a long hose siphon which connects to the faucet to fill it back up (Scary to have that long of a hose across a living room carpet.
Three I buy a submersible pump to pump water back up from my clean water buckets into the tank (What I am doing now).

If my siphon had a built in pump so after I siphoned I could turn the siphon in reverse and pump clean water out of the buckets/trash can back into the tank automatically that would be a life saver.

Most of us cannot get our buckets high enough above water level to make the siphon work in reverse with auto flow. If all that makes sense.
This is a really great idea.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gavin Citrus View Post
Well if you are wanting to actually siphon off mulm from the the bottom putting the pump in the tank wouldn't achieve those results.

I believe a quick connect would work in those situations but you still have two pieces.

If you could basically flip the siphon around and the bump is already built on and you just have to turn it on that simplicity makes me smile.

pretty much what Im looking for, a pump which flow can easily be switched directions without having to dissconect the tubing.


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