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Old 01-10-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
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Crazy stupid or crazy brilliant? Need a new water change procedure

It was so easy with a little tank -- just a few gallon jugs to move. Now, I have a 65 on the second floor. I looked at Python water changers but it's a freshwater tank so it's valuable organic fertilizer for my garden! I don't want to throw it away. But how to get 15-20 gallons from the tank to the garden?

So, I was pondering. If I just get a bigger siphon tube, couldn't I connect it to a long length of tubing from the hardware store? I'd toss it out the window as needed and then go put the end in a 20+ gallon bin in the garden. Easy enough to scoop water to plants from there. The only question then is how to start the siphon if the other end is so far away? And, is there a connector or a series of connectors that could be installed on that same tubing to get water from the faucet in the bathroom to the tank once I'm done siphoning and have pulled the tubing back inside? That way I'd only need to buy and store one long hose, not two.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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There is a pump that goes on a power drill, also I've heard there is a good syphon system at bass pro shops for boats
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:43 AM   #3
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I use my water hose and the water changer through a window or where we live now, the back door. I live in florida so water temperature isn't an issue. Its good for my grass!

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Old 01-10-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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There is a pump that goes on a power drill, also I've heard there is a good syphon system at bass pro shops for boats
I may have to buy my husband one of those drill pumps for transferring beer so he doesn't have to lift the carboy to the counter! That's awesome.

I think I can get the suction going with a simple valve, though. If I have an inline ball valve open while I submerge a couple feet of tubing and then close it, pull the filled tubing out, and open the valve, it ought to flow. Kind of like kinking the tubing but without the potential to damage it. And if I needed, I could also slow the flow with that valve.

Then it's just a matter of finding the combo of fittings for sink to tubing...
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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Haha I'm sure he'd appreciate that! If it's going out the window gravity should help quite a bit, when I do wc's I out a 5 gal bucket on a stand about 6" above the top of the tank and it basically flys through my 3/4 tube into the tank, very little suction needed to start it, luckily I like the taste of prime
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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That's how I did it. Gravity fed and about 50ft of hose. The bigger the hose the faster it will drained as well all know. I have a 1inch hose if I need to do a fast PWC.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:08 PM   #7
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Given that there isn't really all that much nitrate in used tank water, why don't you just make your life easier and get a python? It really is the easiest way to change water. I wouldn't dream of having a medium to large aquarium without one.

The used tank water is good for plants, but not as good as a proper concentrated nitrate rich plant food, that would have other things like phosphorus and potassium in it too.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:04 PM   #8
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Rich plant food?.....Aquaponic?
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:10 PM   #9
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Rich plant food?.....Aquaponic?
Did the OP say they were doing hydroponics? I didn't read it thoroughly...
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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The used tank water is good for plants, but not as good as a proper concentrated nitrate rich plant food, that would have other things like phosphorus and potassium in it too.

Just wondering how aquaponic works from what you wrote above that's all.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:09 AM   #11
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Given that there isn't really all that much nitrate in used tank water, why don't you just make your life easier and get a python? It really is the easiest way to change water. I wouldn't dream of having a medium to large aquarium without one.

The used tank water is good for plants, but not as good as a proper concentrated nitrate rich plant food, that would have other things like phosphorus and potassium in it too.
I'm currently using chicken manure which is rich in most everything except nitrogen. The idea is to improve balance. But, I digress.

Even if I bought a Python, I'd still rather put the tube end outside than run all of that water into the septic. But, let's say I used it as intended. I'd need the 50' model (which is $65) if I ran it to the nearest sink. And, I have a 25" deep tank so the stumpy little gravel cleaner included has me wet to the elbows and reaching from a stepladder or buying a 24" cleaner attachment for another $20. Honestly, it seems insanely overpriced for tubing and plastic fittings. Sure, it's a packaged solution but I'm pretty sure I can get what I would need for siphoning outdoors and filling from the sink for a fraction of that, assemble it in minutes, and then have a metal barb to hose end fitting rather than plastic that will withstand the repeated tosses out the window.

I'm always up for building a better mousetrap...
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:38 PM   #12
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For getting the fish water to your garden I put a garden hose connector on the end of my gravel vac then bring one end of the garden hose inside. All I needed was one house end connector and the joiner piece that wason the next shelf in the hardware store.
my gravel cleaner has a one way valve at the top of the tube so no need to taste test the water

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Old 01-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #13
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For getting the fish water to your garden I put a garden hose connector on the end of my gravel vac then bring one end of the garden hose inside. All I needed was one house end connector and the joiner piece that wason the next shelf in the hardware store.
my gravel cleaner has a one way valve at the top of the tube so no need to taste test the water

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I found those garden hose to barb connectors on a home brewing site and the faucet aerator to garden hose connector plus ball valves and quick connects... All sorts of pieces to make the perfect setup. I have lots of garden hoses so I can get water wherever I like.

But, which barb size to choose? I'm ordering a new siphon tube since my old one is much too small and the local store has such a pitiful selection. No information about the tubing size is given for any of them! Is it 1/2"? 5/8"? Something else? Is this standardized or varies by manufacturer? I'm pretty sure the new one will have a larger diameter than my old one since it's meant for much larger tanks.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:11 AM   #14
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Just wondering how aquaponic works from what you wrote above that's all.
I'll post pics once I get my aquaponic sytem set up. It won't be balanced, but that's why I'll still have the filter on the tank. It's purpose for me is:
1. Practice
2. To reduce water changes
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:24 PM   #15
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The Aqueon siphon comes with a hose barb on the output end. So you could just get some cheap hosing from a hardware store to connect to that and run to your garden
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