Water changes...

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by StevenA, 19 Feb 2008.

  1. StevenA

    StevenA Member

    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire.
    I'm just starting an EI dosing program on my Rio 180 using dry ferts, so i shall be doing a rather large water change every week. Normally i change probably about 15-20% per week at the moment, by using a gravel cleaner with a hose and fill a bucket a few times, and then add treated water with a large watering can. Probably a bit antiquated i suppose.

    I would be very interested to know what other people do with their water changes, how much, what equipment is used, any DIY methods used etc.....

    Basically i need a much more efficient method to do a 40-50% change each week. Is there something i can buy or maybe make that will help?

    What do you all do?
     
  2. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
    a very handy tool for this is a python
    its basically a long length of hose with a valve on the end which you attach to a tap, turn the valve one way and turn the tap on and it sucks water out of the tank along the hose and down the sink, then turn the valve the other way and it fills the tank again (you would obsiously need to add dechlor to the tank as it was filling)
    the Python brand can be a litte on the expensive side I think, but they are also DIY'd reasonably easily too

    HTH
    JC :D
     
  3. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Theres a product called a python which can be used to drain and refill, i've not used one myself my tanks so small that 2 3 gallon buckets drained and refilled manually does me.
     
  4. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I have two 25 litre water containers and a 25 litre wine making 'bucket' and use those for the water. Then I fill them with RO water from my barrel and pour it in! I am looking at using a pump to pump the new water from the floor to make it even easier.

    Of course if I was using tap water a python, or equivalent would be easier, if it would stretch to where my tanks are!!!
     
  5. StevenA

    StevenA Member

    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire.
    Just had a look at the Python, anyone know where to buy it in the UK?
     
  6. john starkey

    john starkey Member

    Messages:
    1,593
    Location:
    worcester
    water changes

    Hi Tourney, i change 50g every week in my 5 x 2 x 2 the way i do it is cheaper than a python, buy some pond hosing with quite a wide bore make sure you get enough so you can take out through the nearest window or door, i run mine out through the patio door and onto the garden, i then refill with the garden hose but i do this slowly, during the winter i have to also boil the kettle because the tap water is colder at this time of year, make sure you dont use hot water straight from your tap as this will contain TDS total disolved solids which is not ggod for your fish hope this helps regards john.
     
  7. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
  8. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I think the python can be bought from Aquatics Online. Cheaper version is a Lee's Ultimate gravel vac for about £30, or I gather there's also a JBL In-out (bit rare in the UK AFAIK). I looked at all of these and whilst i like the idea of one hose to do it all there are two things which niggle me...

    1. water wastage whilst draining (unless your sink is lower than your tank, you must have the water running for it to syphon)
    2. getting an adapter to fit a mixer tap. I understand these things are based on US faucets, so they'll screw in to the tap, but not all UK taps are like this. After a bad experience with a mixer tap adapter for a hose (and a very wet kitchen) I'm not keen to rely on them again.
     
  9. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I siphon out my tanks with a long rubber 1/2" hose attached to an eheim filter crook piece, and then just let the water run outside into a bucket. The bucket then catches any little shrimps and tetras that get in the way.

    Filling the tank is either with buckets of prepared water lowered into the tank, or the same hose system attached to an eheim pump from some old tanks of stored water.
     
  10. stevet

    stevet Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    London
    I use RO water from a water butt stored outside with a pond pump submerged in it attached to a large guage hose. I have another similar length hose for the waste water straight onto the plants in the yard.

    I could not be doing with lugging x amount of buckets back and forth.

    Only problem with my system is the water coming in can be bloody cold in the winter - not great for discus! So more smaller changes take place in winter.
     
  11. Hoejay

    Hoejay Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Berkshire
    I do similar for my large tank. I heat the ro / tap water mix stored in a 200 ltr water butt in the garage overnight, fitted with an aquarium heater and a sump pump I pump it from the garage into the house/tank through garden hose.

    For draining the tank I attach a garden hose to the outlet from external canister filter where it returns into the tank and pump it straight to the garden. I attach the hose to the tank glass with a couple of spare Heater brackets on suckers.

    I do a 50% water change weekly using this method about 180 ltrs. I can now do general maintenance on the tank whilst I'm emptying or or filling. I still use a bucket and siphon to take of some of the sediment.

    You can't use the pump out method whilst you clean the filter. So if I need to clean the filter I usually scrape all algae first, do the filter then start pumping out and start tidying up the plants while the tanks emptying. By which time I'm probably down to about 50%. If I'm planting I will plant now, saves dipping my arm up to my armpits, then I start to refill.

    I currently have no control on the rate of fill ( its as fast as it pumps) like you say there is a cooling element to consider especially in winter. I am finding it difficult to get the source water up to temperature overnight.

    Next step is to work out how to auto shut off the RO before I overflow on the water butt. so I can make enough & mix in advance and heat the water for longer.

    I was finding maintenance a bit of a pain with buckets on this large tank. I've taken at least an hour of my maintenance time now, probably two. Still takes at least an hour and a half.

    I think I got the idea for the filter pump out method off this site, its quicker than siphoning with my filter Rena xp3.
     
  12. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    You need to get an auto shut off kit! Like this! I've got one on my water barrel so that once I take water out it refills itself and then stops running automatically.
     
  13. Hoejay

    Hoejay Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Berkshire
    eds,

    Could you post the link.

    Could someone explain how you insert quotation .

    Thanks
     
  14. Hoejay

    Hoejay Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Der just hovered over "this" and found it tahnks also worked the quote bit out too. :oops:
     
  15. Vase

    Vase Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    I used to have this problem when my main tank was set up before. I overflowed the water butt (in dining room) twice and then overflowed the tank by pumping water into it and forgetting to turn the pump off. Animal house do an alarm with a probe to alert you of rising or falling water levels. I think you can get cheaper ones elsewhere too. I'm going to get some!

    For the tank this time RO/HMA is going into a tank in my main tanks cabinet. This water will be pumped out using an Eheim pump.
    I was going to tee off the return from an external and use a long piece of hose to reach outside. Using taps to 'control' the t-piece. Dont know if it will work though.

    eds, do you have any details of how yours is fitted/works please?
     
  16. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Sure guys, here are the details, and pictures!

    My RO set up is in the garage. The feed comes from the mains pipe with a self piercing fitting and a ball valve to quickly and easily turn off the unit if needed (I added this and found it a big improvement when I need to turn the unit off - far superior to the self piercing valve's).
    100_1670.jpg

    The RO Unit situated high on the wall in the garage, this means it is out of the way and unlikely to get knocked or damaged. The white object on the pipes to the bottom right is part of the automatic shut off valve that cuts off the feed to both the waste (green) and product (blue) water lines.
    100_1667.jpg

    The product water feeds into a 100l slimeline barrel with a hose pour tap fitted near the base. This tap only needs a quarter turn to turn it on like a ball valve and is quicker to turn on and off, reducing spills.
    100_1671.jpg

    This is inside the barrel showing the float valve. When this cutts off the product (blue) water line then it raises the pressure in the white valve by the RO Unit and cuts off the Green water pipe too, stopping the flow completely.
    100_1672.jpg

    The Waste pipe goes outside and is buried and goes into the pond filter so no water is wasted.
    100_1673.jpg
     
  17. Vase

    Vase Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    Did you have to make a hole in the water butt for the float valve etc?
     
  18. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Yeah, just used a hole cutter on a power drill set to a low speed. It was only a 20mm hole or something like that.
     
  19. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Man this must make things so much easier. I have to run my ro unit during the day into 20lt Jerry cans. A self filling water butt would be a vast improvement, just need to find someway of convincing the wife that I need to add a small extension to the back of the house to keep it all in ;)

    Sam
     
  20. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    How about a shed, so "the house is more tidy" as the fish stuff will be outside now :lol:
     

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