How to fill tanks with limited vertical space with water - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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How to fill tanks with limited vertical space with water

I have limited space in my room, and finally got an industrial shelf to hold some nano tanks. The problem is that even though there looks like enough space above each tank to the shelf above, the 6" doesn't leave me much room for using a pitcher to put in water during water changes. I end up having to use very small containers and it takes forever to fill up the tanks. Is there some equipment I can buy that uses a hose to fill the tanks up?

I should add that the nearest faucet is our bathroom sink, over 30 feet away, and doesn't have room to hold a bucket. There is a tub near it, a further 6 feet away (so nearly 36 feet from the tanks).

Normally what I did before moving the tanks to the shelf is to fill a bucket in the kitchen sink (further away, down the hall) because it's less messy than the tub and I can get a more stable temperature reading. Then I carry the bucket to the tanks, and use a pitcher to scoop out water. I pour it into the tanks, directly onto a smaller container to avoid disturbing the aquascape. Now I just don't have room to use that pitcher and water changes have become very long and frustrating for me.

Edit: Also forgot to add, I do have a hose (I use it to remove water) but the tank is higher than the bucket on the floor, so won't fill the tank with water.

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Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 07-09-2019 at 02:20 AM. Reason: added last bit
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 02:17 AM
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2 gal watering can from garden center?



Most med sized power heads will lift water from 5gal bucket on floor to 4ft+ head, youíll just need a shut off valve or you can simply crimp hose.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 02:25 AM
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Look up an aquarium python. It’s a gravel vac with a 3 way connection that allows you to drain but then turn a valve and run water from the tap into the tank. They sell adapters to a normal sink from python or you can go to Home Depot and piece it together yourself. You have to remove the aerator on the end of the faucet. I made a diy filler by getting a sink adapter and a cheap garden hose. On the other end I used another adapter and pvc piping to make a spray bar that hungover the rim of the tank so it wouldn’t dig holes in the tank if you have substrate.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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I just realized, I have an extra water pump for my Fluval V (planning on replacing the other pump with it). Can I plug it up to a hose, plug it in, put it in the bucket, and use that?

Update: Plan failed. Pump is way too low wattage. I also tried a plant pitcher as suggested; took forever just to get four inches of water in the tank.

get out of my house

Last edited by Ryan Mosby; 07-09-2019 at 03:59 AM. Reason: Yeaaah didn't work
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:31 PM
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For nanos i usually use a 1 gallon water jug (when you buy poland spring or other brand.) I take off the cap and pour the water over it so it doesn't disturb the substrate.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:11 PM
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Pipe with a bend in it - you probably want vertical, horizontal, vertical so it goes neatly into the tank - I'd do it sized so it hooked over and was then free standing. Add a funnel on top for easier pouring. Might be able to get flexible funnels but you want something with a wide pipe underneath to avoid limiting the flow.

If you want a pump you'd need to work out the height you need to pump the water and what you need to manage it.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mosby View Post
I just realized, I have an extra water pump for my Fluval V (planning on replacing the other pump with it). Can I plug it up to a hose, plug it in, put it in the bucket, and use that?

Update: Plan failed. Pump is way too low wattage. I also tried a plant pitcher as suggested; took forever just to get four inches of water in the tank.
Take shower head off end of plant watering can if needed. Your not trying to use one of those little 1qt watering pitchers are you? Yes, that would be torture. The one I pictured above is a 2gal sized one. You can always drill out some slightly bigger holes in that rain head if desired but I find softer flow better because it keeps you from accidentally drilling holes in your gravel. Iíve used one for years with small tank water changes with no problems. Takes couple minutes to dump out 2gal water.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:00 PM
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Hmm. you said industrial shelf? and bucket is lower than tank, but what if you put the bucket on the shelf directly above and ran a short length of hose (enough to reach bottom of bucket and then to somewhere in the tank) and just siphon from bucket to tank? sort of reverse of how you get the water out? if the removal hose is long enough, you could use the same hose!

or said pitcher if you don't want to lift the bucket up ..


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 10:55 PM
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You guys are making this really complicated. Just siphon the water from your source bucket into the new tank like ipkiss said. Put it above the tank, like on the next shelf up or on a stool or ladder above the level of the tank. I do all my WC's like this.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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@Asteroid I used to use a gallon jug before I moved the tanks. It doesn't fit now that they're on the shelf, there's no way to tilt it upward.

@tamsin No way to push the water up through the pipe; I tried with my extra water pump last night but it didn't have enough force.

@ipkiss @mrjbacon It's not that I don't want to lift the bucket up, it's that I can hardly do so. I have barely enough strength to lug the bucket to the tanks, but not so much placing it up high. The only spot higher than the tank (its top is 4'5" from the ground) is the top of the shelf (5' tall. I tried other placements last night, like a cat tree and another shelf but they were too low to get the flow going.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 01:16 AM
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Can u, then, siphon from your gallon jug?

Otherwise, echoing others, maybe your other best option is to spring for a 20-30 buck utility pump from harbor freight or a Rio pump from Amazon or somewhere. This may incur cost but your body will thank u and u will be scolding yourself for not having done so earlier. Oh. Get a dolly for your bucket too so you dont have to lug it.

Then it all sounds so complicated. It's why pythons were invented. But I get ya. I dont wanna run 50 foot of hose that costs me 50 dollars either.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone, for the advice! And thank you for understanding. I was concerned I'd get picked on for asking (concerning my strength, or lack thereof).

I checked out Harbor Freight and then Amazon for Rio brands. With the Rio, it had good numbers but the size of the pump itself might be too big for my bucket (they're very elongated/long). I ended up looking at the PonicsPump 400 GPH. It has 264 GPH at 5' lift, tops out at 8' lift, and has 4.2 out of 5 stars (467 reviews).

I also considered the next series down, the 291. It's only slightly smaller and has a $6 difference, but the suction really drops out at 6' at just 26 GPH. Not that I have any tanks that high but I figure if I ever do, the 400 will get more suction. The lift I need currently is just under 5', and the 291 has 120 GPH at that height (not bad at all given my bucket is 3 gallons and my tank is 5). What do you think?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 04:28 AM
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Stronger is usually better but consider your situation a little where you might get too much flow since you're merely filling 3 gallons! and like you said, the smaller one sounds sufficient.

Could always get the stronger one and add a ball valve in front if its not over complicating things.

But yea, otherwise either of those looks decent for your purposes. Especially if u have the ability for free returns.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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You're right, I think the smaller one might be better for the task at hand. Thank you!

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 02:44 AM
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What is above your tank? A wooden shelf?

Can you just cut the shelf board so that a narrow section can be removable to perform aquarium maintenance?

Can you post a picture so we can see what you mean?
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