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Old 04-20-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
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How do you properly do a water change?

Hey guys, I'll admit I'm a real noob at this. I got a siphon from petco that you basically shake underwater and it's supposed to start siphoning water out. My problem is (I have a 20 gallon) that it works well for the first few gallons but when my water level gets lower it refuses to prime properly. Consequently I end up having to use a pitcher to get more out if I want to do more than a 25% water change. Anyone else have issue's with their siphon? Next problem is putting water back in. I use the same bucket I took water out with and when I'm pouring water back in no matter how gentle I try to be it ends up displacing the gravel at the bottom. Considering I'll have to be doing lots of water changes the difficulty of them has me slightly discouraged. help!
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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I'm using a similar set up. Petco bought siphon and a couple of 5 gallon buckets. I've used my mouth to get the siphon going when the water level gets low. I have a big stump in the middle of my tank that diffuses some of the splash from messing up the gravel too bad when refilling. A python or similar is in my very near future.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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You can also look into getting a Python Clean and Fill. It's a bit of overkill for a 20 gallon, but for me it was the best $30 I ever spent.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treym563
Hey guys, I'll admit I'm a real noob at this. I got a siphon from petco that you basically shake underwater and it's supposed to start siphoning water out. My problem is (I have a 20 gallon) that it works well for the first few gallons but when my water level gets lower it refuses to prime properly. Consequently I end up having to use a pitcher to get more out if I want to do more than a 25% water change. Anyone else have issue's with their siphon? Next problem is putting water back in. I use the same bucket I took water out with and when I'm pouring water back in no matter how gentle I try to be it ends up displacing the gravel at the bottom. Considering I'll have to be doing lots of water changes the difficulty of them has me slightly discouraged. help!
Sounds like you might have gotten too big a vac. They have varying sizes and it's better to have one a bit smaller than larger for the issue you're having and with less water volume being drained per minute you have more time to vacuum the tank better.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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Ok maybe I'll just get a separate standard hose and old school siphon once the water level gets too low to use the siphon I bought. I already wanted to get some driftwood so now I even have more incentive since it will work to disperse the water better. Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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I use this:

IKEA | Bins & bags | Waste paper bins & baskets | FNISS | Wastepaper basket

and

Gravel Cleaner by Pets at Home | Pets at Home

I just sit the bucket(thing) on the floor, put the siphon in the tank suck the other end, let it fill the bucket while i suck from the gravel. Then empty it in the bath, fill the bucket with water from the tap and add the water conditioner. Then I carry the bucket back in and ask my dad to put the siphon in the bucket suck the other end and put it in the tank.

When you siphon the water it has to go into something lower than the tank and if you want to siphon it back from the bucket into the tank, the bucket has to be up higher than the tank.
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