Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-26-2014, 02:05 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2
Automatic Water Changing and Top Off System

Hi, we're a team in a high school Project Lead the Way engineering design and development class and we're trying to create a marketable system that automatically changes aquarium water upon command and we need to get product specifications (rules the product must abide by) from current aquarium owners. These can be anything that you feel a water changing system should do or avoid doing, and please, don't make any assumptions. These specifications can be anything from incredibly obvious (i.e. product should not kill fish) to incredibly specific (i.e. product should not allow nitrate levels to exceed 40ppm). We need all of our specifications to be backed by apparent consumer demand, so any response, even an extremely obvious one, is beneficial to us. Thank you for your time.
__________________

__________________
FiltrationDudes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 02:43 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
dalto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,104
An ideal water change system would have the following characteristics in my opinion.

  • Work with any existing filtration system, canister, HOB, sponge, sump, etc
  • Add and remove water at a constant but configurable rate(Vary the amount of flow based on how much water the use wants to change)
  • Have strong safeguards to prevent an overflow
  • Work with a variety of hoods, canopies, lighting, etc
  • Easy to connect and install
  • Should not require drilling of the aquarium glass
  • Should be inert and not alter aquarium chemistry(outside of the water coming in)
  • Need a way to treat the incoming water with chemicals
  • Needs to handle large aquariums as well as small, the changing needs of aquarists vary between 100's of gallons per day to less than a gallon per day


I don't think you should worry about measuring nitrates. I think that as long as you allow for user configurable flow rates the nitrates will take care of themselves.


Just my thoughts, let me know if I can help.
__________________

__________________
dalto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Brookster123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 18,382
This is something that will need to be plumbed in for sure, I've dreamt of doing something like this. Hard piped into the tank, flip a switch and water is siphoned out into a drain system, flip another switch and fresh, treated water is pumped/gravitationally fed back into the aquarium. Options would be some kind of pulse action powerhead to kick up debris from the substrate right before draining began. If/when I have my fish room this will all come to fruition. .. for now buckets and cans just clap your hands...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________
I'm not really here... fell in the tank and my phone is just that smart
Brookster123 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 03:06 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
dalto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookster123 View Post
Hard piped into the tank, flip a switch and water is siphoned out into a drain system, flip another switch and fresh, treated water is pumped/gravitationally fed back into the aquarium.
The best systems don't simulate an actual one-time water change, they change water slowly over time.

Consider all the arguments here on what the right amount of water to change is. It would be hard to argue a 100% water change would be harmful to the fish if it happened over the course of an entire week. Also, consider the fry tank scenario. Here it would be great to change large volumes of water daily to keep your fry at max health and not inhibit growth.
__________________
dalto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 03:13 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Brookster123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 18,382
Ohhhh, i see... i wouldn't want anything like that, just something else to worry about failing, I'd want to be in full control of the system when it's running.. evaporation top off is one thing, draining is another..

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________
I'm not really here... fell in the tank and my phone is just that smart
Brookster123 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 03:55 PM   #6
come get me tang police!
 
jetajockey's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: In a swamp near you /Pensacola, FL
Posts: 12,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookster123 View Post
This is something that will need to be plumbed in for sure, I've dreamt of doing something like this. Hard piped into the tank, flip a switch and water is siphoned out into a drain system, flip another switch and fresh, treated water is pumped/gravitationally fed back into the aquarium. Options would be some kind of pulse action powerhead to kick up debris from the substrate right before draining began. If/when I have my fish room this will all come to fruition. .. for now buckets and cans just clap your hands...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Aquarium Advice mobile app
Mine does this, sorta. All of the tanks on the racks are piped with overflows, autodosers pump dechlor and ferts into the main water tank, and for 2 hours a day new water goes into the system. It ends up being about a 30%ish water change on each tank.

I still have to do manual gravel vacs periodically to clean the gunk, but I have time since I don't do water changes anymore.
__________________
Dont Forget to Join my FREE weekly Plant Giveaway.
Click Here!
jetajockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2014, 03:57 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Masha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 994
It should allow temperature control



Sent from my GT-I9190 using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________
Masha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
dalto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masha View Post
It should allow temperature control
Yes, great point.
__________________
dalto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2
Thanks, you guys are great. This will help immensely. If you think of anything else, feel free to either comment on here or pm us, and we'll keep checking this every few days. Thanks again!
__________________
FiltrationDudes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 40
Hi guys - sounds like a great project

From my point of view
  • shoud be relatively easy for someone to instal themselves - this might include good clear instructions
  • Work with a variety of plumbing systems
  • Allow temperature control and flow control
  • plumbing to be easily hidden behind tank on or in a cupboard below
  • Ensure tank does not overflow and any part of product does not leak
  • Materials are fish safe
  • outlet cannot suck up small fish!

I hope that's useful!
__________________

__________________
Sands_88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ate, auto, changing, stem, system, water

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
?? Automatic top off kit Lbfnp DIY Projects 0 08-21-2013 11:03 AM
Auto Top Off Switch DIY Top Off LarryS DIY Projects 3 10-07-2011 08:47 PM
Automatic Top Off Water ryshark General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 6 07-16-2008 07:27 PM
Automatic Top off from basement gordemer General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 02-04-2007 12:22 PM
Automatic top off question JoeA Saltwater Reef Aquaria 2 10-04-2004 01:36 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.