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Old 07-18-2009, 08:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

Hey now! That is a good idea! I suppose I would have to fix the loop of the pipe outside the tank extremely well to the wall to make sure the water level doesn't change there and cause a problem, but that sounds good. I think I might try that one out on my 90g, or the 180g later on seeing as though I've already epoxied the tube together.

I am worried that it might overflow though. I think I might just add another overflow onto the 55g like the one you posted for insurance. If one gets clogged the other underwater probably won't be.

I think I'll also add an alarm. I think I can easily make one with parts from radio shack that will let me know if the tank is overflowing.

Something like this
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

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Hey now! That is a good idea! I suppose I would have to fix the loop of the pipe outside the tank extremely well to the wall to make sure the water level doesn't change there and cause a problem, but that sounds good. I think I might try that one out on my 90g, or the 180g later on seeing as though I've already epoxied the tube together.

I am worried that it might overflow though. I think I might just add another overflow onto the 55g like the one you posted for insurance. If one gets clogged the other underwater probably won't be.

I think I'll also add an alarm. I think I can easily make one with parts from radio shack that will let me know if the tank is overflowing.

Something like this
Looks good! I'm interested to see it work!
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

Ugh, unfortunately I won''t be here for the next 5 weeks. I might be able to log onto APC on and off, but I won't be making the alarm itself until I get back from vacation.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

Nice work. Thanks for this detailed post! I saw something similar in a fishroom that I visited recently. I am surprised that nobody manufactures anything like this for sale.

Where are you going on vacation--someplace tropical, with lots of biological diversity?
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

Nice writeup!

Any reason that the tube needs to be so big? I could do this with extra canister filter parts. Much less visually intrusive.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

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Nice writeup!

Any reason that the tube needs to be so big? I could do this with extra canister filter parts. Much less visually intrusive.
Smaller tubes = less flow, faster clogging, more likely to fail in the long run.

On the other side will it work, yes, smaller tubes will work.

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Old 07-23-2009, 09:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

Hmm, well, it seems that someone in the neighborhood has wireless internet here in Greece so I'll be able to check my email on and off when we aren't hitting the beaches/sites!

A large tube diameter will make clogging the pipe difficult which makes overfilling the tank and flooding more unlikely. I think I'm going to take bpimm's idea of putting the intake pipe below tank level on the next one I make for my 125g or 90g. Seems less likely to get clogged.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

Check out ebay for float switches, I got mine for under $5. hardly worth messing with building one.

EDIT:
Thay're even cheaper now.
Float Switch

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Old 07-23-2009, 10:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

One risk with using big pipes is that the water velocity in the siphon part will be slow enough for air to accumulate over time and break the siphon. If you look at the design of overflow boxes used on saltwater tanks they usually have two or tree smaller pipes that carries the water through the siphon fast enough for tiny bubbles to be swept out of the bend.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Easy DIY automatic water change system for less then $50

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One risk with using big pipes is that the water velocity in the siphon part will be slow enough for air to accumulate over time and break the siphon. If you look at the design of overflow boxes used on saltwater tanks they usually have two or tree smaller pipes that carries the water through the siphon fast enough for tiny bubbles to be swept out of the bend.
That is why the suggestion for the barb at the top of the loop, these are only flowing the waste water, a few drips a minute, so the flow will never be enough to stop air from accumulating.
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