Can the Python Water thing be "Gentle"? - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 02-16-2006, 04:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can the Python Water thing be "Gentle"?

Hello!

on my question about used buckets, folks brought up the use of the Python to do water removal, and/or changing.

One person mentioned it could be used on a slower faucet flow, so it was more "gentle", and that they see their shrimp hanging on the intake, catching debris as it comes in.

It seems like it is well liked by those who use it - and not lugging all the buckets around would be nice.

So...... Can it be used "gently"? I have tiny (BB-sized) algae eating snails, that constantly go up the vinyl tube when I'm siphoning. I retrieve these out of the waste water, as they are great little algae eaters, but don't multiply very quickly. Could something be rigged, perhaps a bucket in the sink, so that the water coming out of the tank went into a holding bucket, where critters would sink, or could hold onto something, and the discard-water could flow over the top - kind of a last-chance retrieval pit stop?

How do other folks remedy this? Do you just figure whatever goes, simply GOES.?

Thanks for any input.
-Jane

Last edited by Jane in Upton; 02-16-2006 at 04:17 AM..
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I drain my tank directly into the toilet as its the lowest drain I could find I remove the bulk of the wste water using some capped tubing with holes in it. Any gravel vacumning or delicate syphoning that needs to be done is done via a small vac and a bucket. I then refill the tank using only the hose attachment.

Generally I trim, rearrange adn replant the plants, fluff up the stands of plants, remove algae, and stir up the bare substrate in the front. I take my time and usually most of the detritus that gets kicked up settles out as I turn off the filter in the very beginning. Next I syphon out the junk from the front, usually about 5gallons worth. I do this using a gravel vac or 1/2" diameter hose and a bucket. Then I stick the hose attachment in the tank, connect it to the faucet pump and turn on the faucet, it usually takes about 15-30 seconds for the pump to start the syphon. I then turn off the faucet, pinch off the hose, remove the hose from the faucet and stick the hose in the toilet, using the lid to hold it there. I then go back to the tank and using scrapers/magnets clean the front glass while the tank drains. Once the tank has drained, I reattach the hose to the faucet pump and adjust the water temp with the pump still open, add some Prime to the tank and then close teh faucet pump so water is diverted to the tank. While the tank is filling I usually potter around fluffing up the plants and occasionally checking to see that the water temp from the hose is acceptable. Lastly, turn off the water at the correct level, open teh drain and remove the hose from the tank, rolup the hose, put the faucet back together and dose the tank, turn on the filter, etc.

It really easy. The tank take sprobably 5minutes to drin half way and a little longer to fill, maybe 10 minutes max. (its a 50 gallon) The size/number of the holes in your drain pipe dictate how fast the water drains.


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Old 02-16-2006, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Good Question. I just bought a python off of Bigals the other day. A 25' and a 20' extension since I wanted flexability with distance but not the added hose load/mess for shorter distances. It's on sale plus free shipping over $50.

Anyways for my shrimp tanks, I planned to drain it into a bucket that's closest to the "dumping" ground toliet or garden. After sifting through the bucket I could dump it. Since I think you mention that you already have some "laundry buckets" You can use two buckets, fill one, sift through it while the other is filling and repeat. In fact that sounds like a good plant for me too!

The other option I would imagine would be just be really careful of sucking stuff up or use a mesh to cover the intake.

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Old 02-16-2006, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Many people cover the end with panty hose. That does not suck up much detritus though.
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Old 02-16-2006, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I found for the shrimp tanks that if I siphon to a bucket, let the get close to filled and then use the python from the bucket to the sink then I can let what ever needs to settle to settle into the bucket yet not have to carry full buckets as the python mostly drains that away. Make sense?
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Not a bad idea to protect your shrimp from the sucking power of a Python. For us the equivalent of opening the escape hatch on an airplane. I once found an Amano in my faucet venturi an hour after the water change. He nursed back to health!
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for all the great details!

I like the ideas of either drawing the waste water into different buckets (to catch any retrievables!) or to use it to siphon FROM a bucket, to keep from lugging them.

I'm a total clutz, and can trip on a plain floor, especially when carrying a bucket of water, so these are good plans!

Also, I'm starting to set up tanks in my basement, but there is no faucet/drain there, so water would have to be carried up stairs.

Is the python powerful enough that I could attach it to the faucet upstairs, and siphon from secondary bucket(s) like Gnatster suggested - would this work? I'd love to not have to carry buckets upstairs, especially given my inherant clutziness.

On the budget wish list is installing a large sink in the basement, but the Python might be an affordable solution until I can get that larger plan in place.

Thanks for all the great replies!
-Jane
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Old 02-17-2006, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I guarantee that somewhere in your basement will be a test plug for the main drain. It will look like a Y, probably about 30" off the floor and probably either white or black PVC pipe. There will be a main drain comming down from the toilets/sinks, etc and this test cap will be on that line before it goes through your foundation wall. You can unscrew the plug and drain into that. You might as well just get the sink first and be done with it. You should be able to find a nice big, industrial duty one pretty cheap used. You can solve your creature loss by draining placing a screen of fine mesh over the drain of the sink. Then anything that gets sucked up will live in the sink until you can retrieve it.

The venturi pressure created by the faucet pump will not be enough to drain from the above floor, although you could certainly fill from the upstairs.
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply - I didn't think the venturi pressure would bring it upstairs. Yeah, sink is rising to the top of the wish list VERY quickly!

Thanks to everyone for all the great info and suggestions!
-Jane
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Does your basement have a sump pump? You could drain into that then fill from the upstairs faucet.
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