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Old 06-30-2006, 10:02 PM   #1
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Partial Water Change - 10 Minutes Solution

Hey folks!

I've had my tank for about 1.5 year now and I have always found that water changes were tedious, slow and wasting a lot of water using the python. Anyone else feels the same?

Since I use a mag pump to mix my new water, I came up with the following idea and thought I would share it.

Pic 1 - Water going out of the tank.
Pic 2 - A vew of the sink.
Pic 3 - New water going into the tank.
Pic 4 - A view of the pump back in the mixing bucket.

Easy and quick. Total cost, minus the pump of course, about $30.00.

One thing to keep in mind when pumping water out of the tank is the syphon effect. If you don't pull out the pump as soon as you're done, water will continue flowing out of the tank.

Cheers!

8)
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:31 PM   #2
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Looks like a pretty good design. But if water is cheap like as it is here, then the python is the only way to go. But if water cost is a factor, then it looks like you have an extremely great idea there.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:44 PM   #3
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Just because water is cheap doesn't mean that flushing dozens or hundreds of gallons of good water down the drain is a good idea.
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Old 07-01-2006, 09:06 AM   #4
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That has been my main objection to getting a python. I don't like the idea of all the water that is wasted (and no, I don't pay for my water).

Could you describe a little bit more of how you put it together? It looks like there is a series of adapters, but I could be wrong.
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:24 PM   #5
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lol i thought it was a powerhead in reverse at first...
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:02 AM   #6
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i think this is a great idea
agreed.. just because something doesnt cost tonnes of money doesnt mean you have to waste lots of it.. one day we'll eventually have problems with water.. it's inevitable if you ask me.. good idea!
also.. you're able to treat the water in the garbage can before you put it in your tank.. let the hydrogen escape.. etc..
good call!
i like the idea.. you have my thumbs up!
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:52 PM   #7
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Also the time factor. Looks like this system would be faster than a python
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:26 AM   #8
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I use the same thing for adding water to my top off tank and to do water changes. A power head, a length of flexible hose and a bucket!! Works great!
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:20 AM   #9
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Part of a water change is the function of cleaning the substrate as it drains. This is where a Python would excel. You can't clean gravel when you're just siphoning water. I'll stick with the Python and waste a little water in the process.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:31 AM   #10
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u can syphon the tank without a python. just geta 5 gal bucket and clean the crap out of it. i dont syphon my tanks. i have sand in all of them and i only sift in my cichlid tank. the other 2 are planted so i dont even vacuume them. i always use my little jug o emoty out the water and then fill it back up and top the tank off. its a bit more work but it gets the job done. and i dont have 50 bucks for a python lol.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:49 PM   #11
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Did you know that reverse osmosis, even the BEST units, waste about 75 percent of the water used to make each gallon? I have one from LoWES with about a 16 percent efficiency rating meaning I make 16 gallons out of every hundred wasted... NOW THATS wasteful. Pythons probably don't even come close to that mark, and the benefit of their gravel cleansing properties makes it almost worth the cost. My water bill charges by the thousand gallons, so keep that figure in mind when you think about how much gets "wasted". If I use a 1001 gallons I get charged for 2000.. If I use 999 gallons the water bill is the minimum charge of $30. No big deal to me...
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:03 AM   #12
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Just because RO units produce waste water, that doesn't mean that water automatically goes down the drain. Many people have found other uses for the waste water, so that it isn't truly wasted.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicklid
Did you know that reverse osmosis, even the BEST units, waste about 75 percent of the water used to make each gallon? I have one from LoWES with about a 16 percent efficiency rating meaning I make 16 gallons out of every hundred wasted... NOW THATS wasteful. Pythons probably don't even come close to that mark, and the benefit of their gravel cleansing properties makes it almost worth the cost. My water bill charges by the thousand gallons, so keep that figure in mind when you think about how much gets "wasted". If I use a 1001 gallons I get charged for 2000.. If I use 999 gallons the water bill is the minimum charge of $30. No big deal to me...
First off - for most people, wasting water with a Python is a CHOICE. You can use a python without wasting water - get the siphon started, turn off the faucet, disconnect the hose, toss the end out a window/door/in the tub. Voila! A normal siphon, and very little wasted water.

Second, every gallon of water you waste REMOVES a useful gallon of water from the system. That gallon of clean water now runs back into the sewage system, where it is treated and usually dumped back into the environment. Meanwhile, the replacement for that gallon has to come from somewhere, and clean, drinkable (even treatable) water is becoming a scarce commodity in this world.

Wasting water is more than a matter of what shows up on your utility bill, and it's long past time for people started thinking about the consequences of waste.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:04 PM   #14
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Uh, why did you quote me? I was defending the Python AND the fact that it's loooong overdue for people to think about wasting water...



Quote:
Just because RO units produce waste water, that doesn't mean that water automatically goes down the drain. Many people have found other uses for the waste water, so that it isn't truly wasted.
That water will be extra hard water that doens'nt get filtered, no? My installation manual says to run the line to a drain, and that the water is not suitable to drink, I thought...
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:47 PM   #15
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Just because you can't (or wouldn't want to) drink the waste water from a RO system, doesn't mean you couldn't use it for other purposes. Some things that come to mind off the top of my head include washing car and watering plants and/or garden (although old tank water would be even better). With a little time and thought, I'm sure you could come up with some other uses that might be even better.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:36 PM   #16
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicklid
Uh, why did you quote me? I was defending the Python AND the fact that it's loooong overdue for people to think about wasting water...
I quoted you because your section about the water bill sounded like "I'm going to be charged for the water over 1000 gallons anyway, might as well use it." Sorry if I misinterpreted your remarks.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:11 PM   #18
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No sweat SRC, I don't take it personal and actually that IS what I was saying so shame on me! To narrow it down though, I was just saying that if the water utility people charge by the thousand gallons that me worrying about a hundred gallons seems futile, not like "I don't give a hoot and yeah come on yall lets all waste water!"

Quote:
Some things that come to mind off the top of my head include washing car and watering plants and/or garden (although old tank water would be even better)
I KNOW I can use it to water plants, and I DO use old tank water for just that purpose. I guess the real problem is that with a small RO unit under my sink, theres NO WAY IN HECK I am going to rig up a catch can for enough water to wash my PT Cruiser with. It's awfully conveinient to use that drain T that comes with the kit and forget about it.

Let me add that I have thought about things I can do with that water, but havent come up with anything. I make up for it in other ways like limiting shower time, shaving/toothbrush time, etc., and I have a dishwahing machine that I never use I do it all by hand and am conscious of how much water I do it with. I fix any leaks immediately in the plumbing of the apt., etc.

SORRY moderators if I have strayed too far off topic!
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:12 PM   #19
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For that matter, the python can be connected to a hose outside. The 1 gallon of clean hose water that is wasted can be collected together with the 5 gallons of tank water that come along at the same rate into a drum and used for whatever suits you.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:18 AM   #20
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2 minute water change!

I figure I would share this with you guys as well... I am lazy as a pig so even 10 min water change would be too hard for me!

Anyway, for ease of explanation, in reference to the photo lets first name the "tubs": from the top row, left-to-right is Tub #1, 2, and 3. The bottom row tubs are #4, 5, and 6.

Tube #1 is where the bioballs sits, water from the overflow drains through the flexible PVC pipe (white) into the bio ball and then into #1. The base of #1 is filled with aragonite for calcium supplement. Then its drained directly into #5.

#4, 5, 6 are connected via PVC pipes and bulkheads, and the combined holds about 50 gallon which serves as my sump. They are filled with live rocks. The metal halide pendent over #4 are for algae control (I have macro algae in #4).

#2 and #3 are also connected to each other with pipes and bulkheads, and are my holding / mixing tanks. Fresh water from the RO system automatically fill them up after each water change (there is a float valve to stop water production), and I pre-mix salts in it. There is a water pump inside #2 for water movement / mixing. Under #2 there is a dump valve that can drain the entire content of both #2 and #3 into #6 in about 15 seconds.

Finally, on #6 there is two additional bulkheads, one connected to the external pump which push water back into the main tank, and the other connected to a ball valve (which is normally closed) that connects to a drain pipe, which goes down... the drain!

Therefore, when I need to do water change, assuming the holding tank is filled and salt has been mixed, I would simply:

1. Open the ball valve on #6 and dump the water from the system straigt down the drain.

2. Open the dump valve on #2 and let it refill the water in the sump.

3. Party.



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