How do you do water changes? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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How do you do water changes?

I have three tanks, two 30 gallons and one 5 gallon. I do weekly water changes of 30 - 50% on all of them. My method is to use a substrate vacuum to empty dirty water into a mop bucket and then refill the tanks with water from 3 gallon jugs that I fill from the bath tub tap. So, for each 30 gallon tank I fill the mop bucket, carry it across my front room, through the dining room, down a hallway, through the kitchen, and into the bathroom, where I dump it in the tub. I do this about three times. When it is time to refill the tank I fill the 3 gallon jug in the bath tub, add dechlorinator, carry it through the kitchen, down the hallway, through the dining room, across the front room, and pour it in the tank. I do this 3 - 4 times. I repeat all of this for the second 30 gallon tank. The 5 gallon can be done in one fill/refill trip. Then I wash the bath tub.

It has occurred to me that people with 100 gallon tanks or 10 different tanks are probably not filling mop buckets and carrying them the length and breadth of their home every week. There is probably a better way for me to be doing this. I've heard of the Pythons but I don't know if they would work for me. I live in a city apartment so I cannot dump water outside and I can't do any plumbing modifications. I also have a long way to travel between my water source and the aquariums.

So, how do you do water changes?
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 08:47 PM
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I'm in a city apartment too (only 750 square feet) with a 75 gal and a 29 gal. Luckily since the apartment is small I probably don't have to walk as far as you do to dump the water.

In the back room I have a 50 gal aging water tank. I fill it with a 25 ft long python and dechlorinate at least two days before I do a water change. In your case, you could always add to the length with a coupler and extra hosing.

During the water change I don't vacuum if not necessary (MTS do a pretty great job at keeping it clean). I let the goldfish help me stir up the excess filth by feeding them frozen brine shrimp. After they're finished I drop in my hydor pump and let it flow to the bath tub. I have to clean my filters every week too with the goldfish. I use the draining water to spray out the gunk in the canister's sponges. After that I just refill with aged water with the same pump. I'll do the other tank on a different day because I have to wait for more water to age.

With the python you don't need a pump to drain the water. You can use it to drain and refill the tank in the same go. My water has a lot of dissolved gas that causes the pH to drop as it escapes the water column (from 8.6 to 7.4 over 24 hrs). I've noticed my fish hate water straight from the tap so I've gotta age it.

I didn't do buckets for long. Your back and safety (I've slipped in the bathroom before) is definitely worth buying either a python or a pump/hosing combo.
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 08:57 PM
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Python is probably the easiest way. It doesn't require any plumbing modifications, you just temporary attach it to faucet when needed. Most probably at least one of the faucets in your apartment has a thread that will allow to attach it. AFAIR shortest Pythons start at 25 ft and can be much longer - you'll need to select an appropriate length.
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 10:01 PM
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Yeah +1 on the Python...

It's 50$ or whatever, but well worth it.
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 10:25 PM
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i tried to experiment with various systems, including yours. To ease your method you can use a pump to add water from the bucket to the tank. That's what i use on 5lb, where one bucket out one bucket in does the job.
For large tank, or multiple tanks, that becomes very time consuming. The good part - you exercise

universal solution - Python. You can buy a ready build one, with hose and everything, but a cheaper version is to buy only the python adapter http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-06092-Water-Control-Assembly/dp/B002DVTG4K/ref=sr_1_13?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1443475281&sr=1-13&keywords=python+water+changer and some hoses, as long as you need, from local hardware store, or ponds store. They sell the tubing for 30cents/foot or so. with $25 you have a super long python cleaner. You can use the vacuum cleaner you already have, just attach it to the tubing that goes to the python. The good thing is that you do not need to prime it, you do not need to care buckets and spill water on your way etc. Give it a try.
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 10:48 PM
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Shana,

there are at least a dozen of YouTube videos on water changes with various size tanks. Have you checked them out?

I'm sure you will find a method that works for you.

Cheers!
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 11:09 PM
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Go on amazon and buy a Python replacement pump for like $9.

Go to home depot or lowes and buy a 25 or 50 foot hose.

Figure out which faucet you want to use in your house and buy a thread conversion fitting for it at home depot. (take the python and the fitting off your sink in with you)


all said and done i think i spent something like $25 for mine.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 11:30 PM
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Python out the window and then this to fill up.

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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
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Go on amazon and buy a Python replacement pump for like $9.

Go to home depot or lowes and buy a 25 or 50 foot hose.

Figure out which faucet you want to use in your house and buy a thread conversion fitting for it at home depot. (take the python and the fitting off your sink in with you)


all said and done i think i spent something like $25 for mine.
+1 on the Python/Aqueon automatic water changer, I love mine. I haven't totted a bucket during WC in many years Though you only really need to get a aerator to garden hose adapter from the Lowes/Home Depot. No need to take the aerator and/or the Python with you
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Youtube is a morass of useful, informative videos, pretty, uninformative videos, and utter wastes of my time. I prefer the forums to digging through that mess for anything good.

And I wish I could just empty the water out the windows, but that would work for about 30 seconds before I doused a pedestrian on the sidewalk below and got evicted. And THEN I would have to move three aquariums to a new place. I wish I could, but that isn't going to happen.

The Python sounds like it might work. I've just never heard of anyone using 50 ft of hose to do a water change, but hey, it sounds like it might be worth a try. It probably beats all of the water-carrying, though that does keep me in shape. Sort of.

Thanks for the advice!
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 12:20 AM
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Youtube is a morass of useful, informative videos, pretty, uninformative videos, and utter wastes of my time. I prefer the forums to digging through that mess for anything good.
So you come here and dig through this mess

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And I wish I could just empty the water out the windows, but that would work for about 30 seconds before I doused a pedestrian on the sidewalk below and got evicted. And THEN I would have to move three aquariums to a new place. I wish I could, but that isn't going to happen.
Just tell them it's raining

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The Python sounds like it might work. I've just never heard of anyone using 50 ft of hose to do a water change, but hey, it sounds like it might be worth a try. It probably beats all of the water-carrying, though that does keep me in shape. Sort of.

Thanks for the advice!
10' or 50' it sure beets lugging those buckets.

I run my line from the tank to the bath tub (unless I'm sucking out leaf matter ect., then it goes into the toilet), start the siphon, light a cigarette, pour a cup of coffee, when the water gets to the level I want I close the valve on my Python (at the tank) go into my bathroom take the hose from the tub and hook it onto the Python hanging from the bathroom sink, get the water temp within a degree of the tank temp (I have a digital thermometer for this), I go back to the tank open the Python letting the sink draw out the air bubble from the end that was in the tub, I go back to the sink close the pass through valve on the Python, back to the tank add declorinator, light another cigarette, finish my coffee, watch the water level on the tank till it gets almost to the top then I run for the bathroom because I got distracted and almost over fill my tank (), open the pass through valve on the Python go back to the tank remove the Python, roll it up as I drain the water out of the line, unhook from sink....

So see you'll still get exercise doing a lot of walking... Actually my bathroom is 20' away from my 3 tanks so it's not that long of a trip
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 12:34 AM
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...
The Python sounds like it might work. I've just never heard of anyone using 50 ft of hose to do a water change, but hey, it sounds like it might be worth a try.
I use a Python with 50 foot of hose. It absolutely beats using buckets on my 75 gallon. Only issue I've had is the cats "chasing" any air bubbles or debris in the clear hose. The good part about the Python system is it uses standard garden hose connectors, so I have just purchased a garden hose certified for drinking water to prevent any mess that the cats may cause with the clear.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 12:41 AM
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Do a test run of your python before you use it. I ended up having to add some teflon tape to mine. Flooded my basement when it sprayed out when set to fill and I had the valve off.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 01:32 AM
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I have been wanting to get one forever but I'm to lazy to go to amazon.com and buy one. It takes me 3 hours to change water on two 5gallons, two 10 gallons, one 20 gallon, one 29 gallon, one 38 gallon. And I am planning to get 2 more 10 gallons. I haul 5 gallon buckete abck all night long. Starting at 8:00 to about 11:00.
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 01:47 AM
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I live in a city apartment too, but that doesn't stop me from dumping 30 gallons via 50' python out the side door and into the alley. Our unit is next to the buildings hose faucet, so i just refill from that. Aquarium Placement was definitely a factor in apartment selection.


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