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Old 10-20-2007, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Python Question

I bought a Python this evening, after fiddling with a (drinking water safe) garden/RV hose, a 12V pump (for draining), and a garden sprayer with a fine spray setting (among other settings).

It worked great for topping up a large tank, but it didn't have enough suction when set to the siphon setting to pull more than maybe 1 gallon of water out of the tank after 5 minutes of running.

I'll probably need to call the company for a replacement water siphon valve, but just in case there's a common but easily fixed problem with these things, I thought I'd ask some of you about this to see if there's something I can do. I don't need to drain any tanks right away--I just needed to top up some--but I don't want this expensive thing if it doesn't drain the tank efficiently.

And what do you do to prevent small fish and shrimp from getting sucked up into the siphon chamber? A competitor has a device that goes on the end of their tube, like here:
http://www.aquariumguys.com/24tube.html

It has small slots to keep small critters out. I wonder if it would replace the siphon chamber on the Python?

I'll post this in one of the main forums also, but I thought I'd start with our club first.

Donald

Last edited by t2000kw; 10-20-2007 at 05:46 PM.. Reason: removed part about hose thread adapter
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

Hey Don,
I'm kinda confused with the setup you have... I just use mine with a faucet, and although I do waste water, it creates a strong enough siphon to do whatever I want... However, I do have good water pressure and I've seen people use Pythons who do not, and they don't have much suction.

I've rarely had issues with little fish going up the tube... usually it's the "dumb" ones like guppies, whereas Cichlids and such keep away. I don't know if I'd like the strainer, as I would imagine it'd get filled quickly with sediment, snails, etc.

I'm pretty sure the other brand would connect to the python's hose just fine... if they have the similar diameters...

HTH

Chris
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

The setup is a standard Python hooked up to the kitchen faucet. The other items mentioned were what I used before: The 12V pump was used to drain tanks, the garden hose used to fill them once I got the water temperature right. They're no longer part of my setup, assuming that I get a working siphon/suction valve.

We have a fair amount of pressure on our city water system. It's just that there's almost no suction with the valve that came with my Python kit.

I think it's just a bad device. The tubing is nice and flexible, much easier to use in the house than an RV hose. I like the shutoff valve that is conveniently located near the pickup tube.

I have the option of hooking the green valve that is supposed to create suction (once I get a replacement) to the outdoor faucet, which is lower than the bottom of any of our tanks, and get a siphon started, then cut off the water faucet and allow the siphon to work by gravity, which is what some people do. I won't use that faucet for filling tanks, since it is cold water only and I have to keep the door open partway and keep an eye on the cats so that they don't get out (or block the door with something heavy).
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

I've only hooked my python up to a faucet to drain my tanks once and it worked very well. I normally use my Python in a siphon mode and only hook it up to the faucet to refill the tank. Siphoning works very well for me but I like the convenience of the python and the shot off valve.

At the old house I just tossed the hose out the window when the tanks were upstairs and let gravity do the work. Probably do the same at the new place (if I ever get the tanks set back up) but toss the hose out the front door instead of the window. Hopefully our cat will run out the door too
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

The support person at Python Products is sending me a new siphon/valve (the thing that attaches to the faucet). She felt that if I was on a municipal supply that there should be plenty of pressure (and there is) to do the job right. Sometimes, she says, the venturi gets clogged in the manufacturing process.

I wonder why someone doesn't come up with a DIY kit for this but with a garden hose connection that owuld adapt to a standard gravel vac/siphon's tubing. Not that I'd recommend using a regular garden hose (it should be drinking water safe) but it would probably sell anyway. Maybe something to try on eBay sometime soon.

Anyway, I figured that the cost of enough drinking water safe RV "garden" hose would cost me most of the cost of the Python, and that was before I bought anything else, and the Python's clear tubing is VERY flexible, and therefore doesn't try to knock down things in the house as I drag it from the kitchen to the other rooms.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

Shelly has a similar problem with minimal suction from the green Python bi-directional valve & lower water pressure from the sink water on full blast. I finally showed her to get the water started from the sink, then disconnect the hose from the valve and put it somewhere below tank level to drain and it actually drains faster with more water movement than going back up into the sink with the water running. I now see that I'm fortunate enough to have higher water pressure. I have a 100' Python and can drain tanks from the 2nd story of my house down to the basement (where most of my tanks are) by getting the water flowing, then shutting it off at the sink and let gravity do it's work. The lowest tanks in the basement drain very slowly no matter what, water on connected or disconnected below tank level. For the low tanks, I like a pond sump w/ mesh material on one end and a long tube to the drain.

For the Python intake & small critters, try a gravel vac bag on the end or a synthetic mesh-like material from Wal-Mart's fabric section w/ a rubberband to secure it. This may help keep plant debris, moss, & snails from clugging up the green valve piece as well.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

Synthetic mesh fabric? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Sounds like the foot of a pair of pantyhose might work.

The Python people sent me out another valve. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking of using the outdoor faucet to start a siphon for draining, then back to the kitchen for filling the tanks. In times past, I would run water from the outdoor faucet into one of the tanks. As soon as the water made it into the tank, I owuld shut it off and remove the hose, then begin draining it. A natural siphon was set up that way. Melissa helped by telling me when water made it through the hose. I would cover the end with poly fill (like filter floss, but cheaper and probably the same material) and a rubber band.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Python Question

Sounds like you found something that will work for you. Pantyhose is this case is even more frugal than purchasing fabric since I'm sure some can be found around the house.

Shelly and I or her daughter are quite used to the 2 person approach of Python water changes with low pressure. Lot's of yelling, "Turn it off!" or "Ok, turn it back on!" Fun times indeed. I can't tell much difference between the Natural Syphon and the water running if the tank isn't too low to the ground/floor. It still gets the job done.
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