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Old 11-02-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
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The water change: Building a better mousetrap.

I've always siphoned my tank with one of this clear plastic gravel vacuums attached to a 1/2 inch diameter clear plastic hose, which is maybe 5 feet long. I fill a 5 gallon bucket and dump it outside or in a toilet, trying not to spill it. This process repeats until I've removed enough water from my 75 gallon tank, which can involve a lot of work if I'm going to be doing a 50% water change.

To refill, I have a few 5 gallon buckets I fill with 75 degree tap water and add start right as I go so it is mixed in thoroughly. Alternatively, I drop this alka seltzer like tabs (ha ha) in the buckets and wait. Refilling the tank requires lifting the buckets up to the edge of the glass with one hand and carefully pouring over the other so as not to disturb the plants.

So I've been thinking... "There's got to be a better way to do water changes for a large aquarium."

I've recently come up with my own solution to this which I am trying for the first time weekend. What do you do for water changes?
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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Same thing as you and it gets pretty painful as I refill my tank from the spigot outside and have to carry the bucket through the house and up a flight of stairs. I really wish there was another way but there really isn't.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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With tanks that large, I'd invest in a water changer... I believe they come in 25 or 50 foot lengths. How far your tank is from your faucet or spigot will determine which one you need. You can get the aqueon or python brand, I listed the aqueon here...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00CJ1...110_SY165_QL70
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:42 AM   #4
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+1 to the water changer. I have one as well but I don't really like to siphon the water with it due to my large number of very small shrimp and lots and lots of wasted water so I have 5 5g buckets that I siphon the tank water into and then refill it with a water changer.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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If you refill with the water changer, how do you make sure the temp of the water you are adding is correct? And how do you add water dechlorinator, after it is already in the tank?
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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If you refill with the water changer, how do you make sure the temp of the water you are adding is correct? And how do you add water dechlorinator, after it is already in the tank?
I match the water temperature by touch. The hand can sense a temperature change of a few degrees so it's a fairly accurate way to temperature match water. Doing it that way changes the tem of my tank by 1 or 2 degrees which is perfectly fine for the fish.

With using dechlorinator you just need to dose to condition the entire volume of the tank right before you start adding water.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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If you refill with the water changer, how do you make sure the temp of the water you are adding is correct? And how do you add water dechlorinator, after it is already in the tank?
+1 on the water changer, the temp doesn't have to be perfect, jus adjust to touch. And as far as the dechlorinator I add mine to the tank when I first start refilling my tank.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:21 PM   #8
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I make RO water in my basement for my 90gal. I'm having knee surgery so I invested in a water pump. Changes 50% in 20min.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:12 AM   #9
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I just use a powerhead to pump the clean water from a 20 gallon tub into my 75 gallon tank.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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What I'm trying tomorrow is: (1) to remove water, use a longer hose just to drain the water out a window onto the yard, (2) to refill, use buckets, but save all of the lifting by using a utility pump.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
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What I'm trying tomorrow is: (1) to remove water, use a longer hose just to drain the water out a window onto the yard, (2) to refill, use buckets, but save all of the lifting by using a utility pump.
Let us know how this goes. If possible, for step 1 perhaps you could fit a strainer of some type over the end of the hose that draws water (since it is going out the window). Or you could siphon water into the bucket(s) as you did before and then use the utility pump to pump it outside. Yes, this is an extra step but in the case you unintentionally vacuum something, you'll get a chance to return it to the tank rather than have it go outside.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #12
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I run my syphon out of the door and then refill with 50/50 ro and tap. For the tap I just treat the volume of the tank with prime and refill. Takes maybe15 minutes?
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:09 AM   #13
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Since i only have a 10g and 20g, I siphon about 5 gallons off the 20 , and just scoop 2-3 gallons of the 10 g and then replace it! Water changes are actually so calming
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #14
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Since i only have a 10g and 20g, I siphon about 5 gallons off the 20 , and just scoop 2-3 gallons of the 10 g and then replace it! Water changes are actually so calming
You really should be gravel vacuuming even your 10.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #15
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You really should be gravel vacuuming even your 10.
oh no I do gravel vacuum too just like every 2 weeks for the ten because it's a betta and two platys. I do haha!!!!
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:45 AM   #16
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Let us know how this goes. If possible, for step 1 perhaps you could fit a strainer of some type over the end of the hose that draws water (since it is going out the window). Or you could siphon water into the bucket(s) as you did before and then use the utility pump to pump it outside. Yes, this is an extra step but in the case you unintentionally vacuum something, you'll get a chance to return it to the tank rather than have it go outside.
I did siphon a couple of clumps of dwarf hairgrass this time, so I'll try the strainer idea next time. Overall the new method I tried doesn't go any faster, but it does cut lifting down to less than half (no lifting any waste water or carrying it through the house, and no lifting new water up to the tank).
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #17
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I love my syphon set up. Makes it so much easier to do water changes.

I love to sit in the basement (where my tanks are) do water tests, change water, drink beer, listen to music, ect.

So relaxing, plus my wife leaves me alone
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