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Old 05-11-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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Home made Python questions

I am thinking about putting together a home made Python kit myself.

I read a few articles on how to put together a DIY version. How to connect this piece to that piece etc...I don't really need any help in the parts and assembly, as different faucet need different attachments and adapters those are really not an issue for me.

What I would like is to get some input and answers on how it works and specific details. So here goes.

(1) The main Python pipe connector, the three way green thing. The one that is pictured below...ss that basically a T-connector with a shutoff at the bottom to switch from empty to fill mode? Is there any backflow control in the line that connects from the left?



(2) The way it works on EMPTYING is when you turn the faucet on, the pressure of the flow shoots straight across the T, and creates negative pressure from the side connector of the T, pulling the water from the tank, right? If so, what is it that prevents the water from just splitting into the sink and the tank and the same time? Unless the side connector has some sort of a backflow preventer in it?

(3) This would work even if the faucet is higher elevation wise compared to the tank right? I assume water would have to run continuously to keep the flow and not just use it to get started in that situation?

(4) Various adapter could be used to connect to the faucet, depending on whether the faucet has a male or female threaded aerator etc...however has anyone tried a 1/2" fernco-hose adapter and you just clamp down on it? I wonder if that would work or that would cause water to jet off the side.

(5) Can I use a normal T connector instead of the green Python connector if I can hook up a shutoff valve at the bottom? Is it not a matter of cost just I think I can build a more robust unit with brass parts.

(6) My closest sink is the kitchen sink, it's 28 feet away. The next closest sink is a bathroom sink, and it's over 35' away. My wife says there is no way I can drink "fish poop water into the kitchen sink" that is used for food preparation. So I need to drain into the bathroom sink, do you all drain into a bath sink?

(7) I also saw a few DIY kits that some built with a PVC portion on the tank side to stop it from moving or shifting when you turn the water on. If I do the same, and use PVC pipe primer and solvent that is rated for potable pipes, is that ok or still may be toxic for fish after it cures?
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:41 PM   #2
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I don't have answers to all of your questions only few number 3, 6, and 7.

Once the water starts starts to drain from the aquarium I turn off the water in the sink and it keeps going just fine. Making sure there is no air in the line is the most important thing to keep the syphon going.

I use my kitchen since to drain the water because I figure the food that I rinse off has pesticides and bacteria on them anyway, I figure the aquarium water is no worse. I do wash out my sink after cleaning fruits, vegetables and meat the same way I do with aquarium water.

The PVC glues and solvents are fine as long as they are cured.

One word of caution brass parts, there is copper in it so if you have shrimp or snails it is possible to wipe out your population if you use to warm of water to put back in the tank.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:02 PM   #3
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I did mine on the cheap/smart I bought the Faucet Pump (Lee's BTW) and a dedicated Garden Hose then attached a Gravel Siphon Tube to the end of the Garden Hose.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #4
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The Garden Hose is fine for emptying but if used for refilling make sure the hose is drinking water safe.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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One word of caution brass parts, there is copper in it so if you have shrimp or snails it is possible to wipe out your population if you use to warm of water to put back in the tank.
Question regarding copper. My entire house's water supply system is made of copper pipes, and I never had problems with shrimps or snails. All my faucets will dispense water that has been through hundreds of feet of copper pipes. Are you saying that is toxic to shrimps and snails?

I only use the cold water feed. Being in Miami, Florida our water is quite warm year round so I never have to warm the water.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:21 PM   #6
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Once the water starts starts to drain from the aquarium I turn off the water in the sink and it keeps going just fine. Making sure there is no air in the line is the most important thing to keep the syphon going.
Thanks. Is your aquarium higher than the sink? In my case the sink is higher so I believe I would need the water to be on continuously to have that siphon effect.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:45 AM   #7
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I know I have read a lot on shrimp before getting any because I don't want to make anything suffer for my stupidity. This is a couple of references Question: at what point does copper become harmful to shrimp? here is another one At what ppm does copper become toxic to shrimp? - Shrimp & other Invertebrates - Aquatic Plant Central When I broke the middle connections on my python I went to the hardware store and they were asking questions as much as I was. They said to be sure to use cold water when changing the water, since my shrimp tank right now is 5 gallons I just let 3 gallons set out for changes. I haven't checked my water for copper.

My sink is higher than my tanks but I am still able to use the python without a problem. It is harder to start on a tank that is higher than the sink so once I get it started I go from tank to tank siphoning then I go around and fill them all back up. Some day I don't have a problem and other days it is a totally different story.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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I have assisted a friend of mine cleaning his aquarium and Koi pond. The style that you are using is mainly used for very large tanks or ponds. There is another T connector that fits onto many sink faucets and would be ideal to use for aquariums.

As far as the questions go: yes the main part (green pictured item) is a T connector with a 'shut off' for outgoing water. While yes, you can use it to refill, it isn't that great (it never shuts off completely). When I did his pond, we had the part that the water comes out in his garden area (did great in fertilizing and such) we refilled by hooking up a hose to a small 'tank' bucket that had a small carbon filter. We also used a small UV light to treat the water as it ran through the tank (which warmed it slightly) and would then use a small hose to to refill the pond or aquarium slowly (not to change the water temp causing the fish to go into shock). Although we did not need to worry about the Ph of the water for the pond, the aquarium was a different matter. After the aquarium was almost full, we would check the Ph and add any declorination into the refill tank and slowly fill the tank the rest of the way. Checking again after about an hour or so.

Question 2 I cannot answer because I do not know the physics of the item, we never had a problem with any of the water back flowing...it did a really good job pumping out the junk from the pond (we used the big one on the pond and a smaller one that hooked to the kitchen sink for the aquarium) so I never questioned the how or why it didn't back flow...the pressure was enough to move some of the decoration rock at the bottom of the pond.

Question 3: Yes, but you will need to keep the water turned on if the elevation is too much. Again, I am not taught on the physics of how it works, but it does. If the elevation is too much, it looses pressure without the water turned on. The outside faucet for his Koi pond was elevated around 3 feet off the ground. We usually hooked a hose in between the connector and the faucet so we can direct the water better into the garden. His koi pond was around 4 feet deep and was in the ground. His aquarium was a tall 30 gallon (I believe) tank and was on normal height stand but this was all sitting in a low part of the house (the living room had 2 steps to get into the kitchen), the kitchen sink was typical height. We had to keep the water on low to keep the suction because of the elevation difference but nothing too major.

Question 4 I cannot answer because I have no clue as to what that is exactly so that means I have no experience with it.

Question 5, NO. I have seen the insides of a broken one and it is shaped different. The part that forms the base of the T (the part that actually forms the pump) has a slight curve in it that curves toward the out part. This may be the physics of how it works (to create the negative pressure). I have heard that it also is curved on the inside further down toward the hose part that forms the pump section (like a toilet bowl) but did not see this. I have tried using a regular T connector for another project (to pump out without electricity). It didn't work. I'm not understanding of the physics but I just know from experience. You may be able to create this if you have understanding on the physics of the unit and knowledge on how to put it together, but just a T will not work.

Question 6 was basically answered, we drained all water right outside into the garden, but there were times that we just drained right into the kitchen sink. To assist with splatter though, we used a collar/boot thing that held the shut off right down into the drain part itself (just wet it and twist/push into the primary drain of the sink). The further away the hose is, the more water is needed or the slower the draining will be (also the pump looses suction).

Last question..check the primer and glue to be sure it isn't toxic...most are not though. The solvent is glue and the primer just preps the pvc for the glue. When the glue cures it will bond the two pvc parts like one piece. The water will never touch it. Another Pastor friend of mine built a pond that was used for turtles, plants, and although it was designed to have Koi he just never got them in. He built his own filter unit and water fall and used PVC pipe for the water. Most people do not realize that the modern homes use PVC pipe from the main pipe to the meter and then from the meter to the house/building. I do know that there are some glues and primers that are not good though (my brother in law is a plumber and states that if it isn't good for landscaping then it won't be good for aquariums).

I may not have experience with keeping fish, but I do have experience in assisting in the cleaning of a 500 gallon Koi pond and a 30 gallon aquarium. I hoped this helped a bit. Maybe you can figure out the physics and show us non physics people how to make one for ourselves.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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For Question 2, The flow and pressure does not do anything for draining the water... It is used to FILL THE HOSE TO THE TANK, then you shut off the faucet, oped the drain at the bottom of the t connection and it now siphons all the water in the hose and the tank water begins to siphon out with it...
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:07 AM   #10
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When I shut off the faucet the hose stops draining. It may be because of the fact that the faucet is higher than the tank. The faucet has to be running for me to be able to drain the tank.
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