Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One of the most cumbersome task in this hobby is the weekly water changes. The hassles of using a hose and bucket are self-evident. :biggrin: The Python system has released us from the confines of the bucket. However, the Python system presents several problems: (1) costly, (2) waste a lot of water while draining, and (3) disturb gravel/plants/fish when filling. Well, I would like to present a relatively new water changing system: using a U-shape PVC device that is user-friendly, very inexpensive to build, does not waste water, and does not disturb gravel, plants, and/or fish. I do not currently have a digital camera, so I've made a drawing using MS Paint to illustrate the system as well as construction's instructions.



Its construction is EXTREMELY easy. Obtaining the necessary parts is a one-stop-shopping ordeal, as all referenced materials can be found in the "Plumbing Department" of your local hardware/home improvement stores (i.e. Home Depot and Lowes). Just print out the above illustration and a sales representative will help you locate all the necessary parts. Materials you'll need but are not listed above are PVC Primer/Glue ($3) to attach the PVC pieces and a Hack saw ($4) to cut the 1/2"-diameter PVC piece to size; all of which you should have left over from your DIY CO2 reactor project. :wink:

DRAINING TANK
Put one end of the hose in tank and the other end out a window/bathtub/etc. Simply suck on the window end until the water drains.

FILLING TANK
Attach hose to faucet and U-shape water changer assembly. Turn the faucet on and the tank fills.

Until I can get my hands on a digital camera, here are pictures of Rex Grigg's and Roger Miller's versions.

Roger Miller's


Rex Grigg's


I hope that this post will help make your weekly water changes simpler. Please post your question(s)/comment(s).

EDIT: Mike's post on his DIY Python/WC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
This little contraption is great. After building my first one I quickly realized that it would be great to be able to adjust the depth of the tube, this would allow me to adjust the amount of water removed each time and would also allow me to use the same unit for multiple tanks of different sizes.

What I did was make the intake pipe removable using a threaded attachment. I can now make different intake pipes for different tanks. I am also using some male-to-female threaded couplings to add an inch at a time to the intake tube, this allows me to increase the water changed without making another intake tube.

Here's a pic:


Cheers
Giancarlo Podio
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
I will definitely make one of those for my fishroom.

Giancarlo,

I noticed that you have closing valve implemented as well. I worked with normal python and when putting water back into my tanks and closing valve, it created so much pressure in tubing, faucet adapter fell out.
Are you using it only for draining water out of the tanks ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hi all and greetings from Sydney, Australia ...

just a quick couple of questions .... i first saw one of these gadgets on rex grigg's web site .... it looked such a good idea that i tried to make one myself by copying his design as much as i could (thank you rex .... you have saved my back! ) ...... my "version" works ok ... but i think it still needs some refinement

question 1: how aquarium save is that blue pvc sticky glue stuff .... can it contaminate the water/fish etc .... i wasn't sure .... so i just "jammed"my bits together real hard .... it seems to hold ok .... but i sure would be happier knowing that they were securely glued together ..

question 2: how did you guys get to drill all those holes soooo neat ... mine looks like it was attacked by an out of control woodpecker!

btw .... i discovered that it can also be used to drain the tank real easy ..... just slowly switch on the tap ... filling the hose with water ... as soon as the water starts to come out of the pvc pipe into the tank very quickly disconnect the hose at the water tap end from the water tap ... low and behold ..... the water drains OUT of the tank ...... i drain it into an old 20 litre h2o container that i keep strapped onto one of those fold away shopping carts ... then just wheel that out to the garden .... to stop the draining .... simply connect the hose back to the water tap ....

regards....
aussietanker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
Jay,

Besides the obvious.... like don't turn the tap on too much and make sure the hoses fit tightly over the barbs, I think I have yet to run into this issue because the entire PVC device has a larger ID than the hose I'm using, therefore it doesn't cause any back pressure. Now I haven't yet made the mistake of turning the tap on with the valve shut..... ;-) That would require far better connectors and possibly a stronger tube than I'm using.

I like the tap, I use it to stop the water during draining without breaking the syphon. I water my house plants while draining the water, can't beat it!

Aussie,

That glue stinks! A quick chug on the end of the pipe will quickly open up your sinuses, even a week after assembly. I kept mine submerged for several days until the smell or fumes were almost gone. If you let it sit around for a little while the smell does come back until the unti is a few weeks old, but seeing we use it to drain the tank first, it's usually nice and clean by the time you need to fill the tank back up. I was worried too but I haven't run into any problems yet. Plus millions of reefers use PVC for their plumbing and PVC solvents are pretty much all the same, my guess is that it's safe.

Regarding the holes, I cheated ...used a drill press :)

The advantage of this thing is mostly to drain the tank to the same level each time, the syphon automatically breaks once the water level reaches the first holes, so it's great for maintaining a regular schedule. You also don't need to calculate the amount of fertilizers, conditioner and buffers to add each time as the amount of water changed is always the same.

Cheers
Giancarlo Podio
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
temp. and conditioning.

Just wondering, how do you get the water close to the temperature of the tank? Also, when do you condition the new water?

-Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Re: temp. and conditioning.

To adjust temperature, I stick my finger in the aquarium. Then I stick my finger in the water output stream. Any perceived temperature difference is adjusted via the HOT and COLD knobs at the faucet. :mrgreen: To dechlori/aminate the water, I add Seachem's PRIME directly into the aquarium.

I finally am able to scan these two images of my water changer. It is attached to a coiled hose for easy compact storage. The shut off valve is there so that I don't drip water as I move from tank to tank. I also do not use this device for draining. Instead, a flexible hose is employed since it allows maneuverability w/i the aquarium for vacuuming up debris.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I regards to the conditioning of the water... do you drain, fill, and then add the conditioner; or drain, add the conditioner to tank, fill?

I am not sure it really makes a difference, I just assume that addind the water first and conditioning it later exposes fish and plant to some chlorine, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I use the python, and I drain, fill, and then condition the whole aquarium. I assume even if my fish are exposed to some form of chlorine, it's usually less than a minute or two till I get the conditioner in there.

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Never mind I figured out my question. I need a 3/4" with a 1/2" threaded female end that I can screw my 3/8" barb into. The hardware store across the street from work is going to order some for me since they didn't have that size. So cool!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top