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hbeth82 01-20-2010 12:11 AM

pump that can move water from bucket to tank???
My tapwater occasionally has very high levels of nitrate (ranging from 5ppm to about 30ppm) so I'm supplementing with purified water, typically 10-18gallons with each water change. Unfortunately, the top of the tank is about eye-level for me so doing these changes is quite tedious, rather exhausting, and I'm making a mess of the wall behind the tank. I'd like to find some type of a pump that can get the water from the bucket into the tank. Closest I can get in height would leave the bottom of the bucket about 15" below the bottom of the tank, so the pump would need to be fairly powerful.

Can anybody recommend a product which could do this, something I could adapt, or some kind of DIY solution?


Kurt_Nelson 01-20-2010 12:56 AM

Try a maxijet 1200. That's what I use, with the bucket on the top step of a step stool.

eatsomepopcorn 01-20-2010 01:00 AM

Another easy pump is a pool cover pump (pumps water off the top of a pool cover). These pumps range in power from not too powerful to very powerful and hook up to a standard hose and they are relatively cheap.

hbeth82 01-20-2010 12:06 PM


Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson (Post 1067513)
Try a maxijet 1200. That's what I use, with the bucket on the top step of a step stool.

Is the MaxiJet 1200 a power head? Can't find any that are water pumps. How do you use it?


Originally Posted by eatsomepopcorn (Post 1067516)
Another easy pump is a pool cover pump (pumps water off the top of a pool cover). These pumps range in power from not too powerful to very powerful and hook up to a standard hose and they are relatively cheap.

Thanks, wouldn't have thought of that option!

Also, does 'max head height' mean the maximum distance that the pump can move the water upwards?

austinsdad 01-20-2010 12:11 PM

I loved my 44g trash can on wheels and a 300pgh pump with a 6-8ft hose attached. Call it overkill if you want, but I left the pump on 24/7 for airation and would simply lift it to the top of either my 5 foot tall tank or my FW resorvoir for refilling. Got the water moved fast and the job done in shorter time. Same pump would pump from the trashcan to the sink when I changed water. I was doing 20 - 25g water changes and 30g refills to my reservoir.

Bige 01-20-2010 12:19 PM

maxijet 1200 is a ph. You get a hose for it and drop it in. It pumps fast and the ph is cheap and small.

austinsdad 01-20-2010 12:21 PM

And yes, that's what max head height means.

CaptainAhab 01-20-2010 12:24 PM

even cheaper if you look on ebay, CL, RC or your local clubs for used ones. I picked up a pond pump and a PH for $10. One's in my salt bucket , one in my topoff bucket. Now I need one more cheapie that I can drop in the sump for PWC's.. Then I can just sit back and watch the magic

hbeth82 01-20-2010 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by Bige (Post 1067717)
maxijet 1200 is a ph. You get a hose for it and drop it in. It pumps fast and the ph is cheap and small.

Do you just use regular garden / drinking-water safe hose? May go that way, looks like the cheapest option.

Thanks for confirming on 'max head height', didn't know what else it could mean but didn't want to buy it & learn I was wrong!

austinsdad 01-20-2010 12:49 PM

Vinyl hoses are better. They actually fit the output on the pumps.

Kurt_Nelson 01-21-2010 01:19 AM

Yeah... what austinsdad said. One with a 1/2" inside diameter slips right over the outlet tube of the pump/powerhead. Drop the powerhead in your bucket, put the end of the outlet hose in your tank, and plug it in. Voila... instant water transfer. Just make sure you're holding the free end of the hose as it will "kick" on you when the pump starts pumping.

mfdrookie516 01-21-2010 09:52 AM

some of the tubing like you get with a python would work great, and its only a few cents per foot at lowes and home depot

hbeth82 01-22-2010 11:18 AM

Thanks everybody for all the responses! Hopefully this past Wednesday was the last time I'll need to do things the old-way, or next to last, depending on how long shipping takes:jump: Looks like it's going to be the MaxiJet 1200 & a quick stop by Home Depot. Now if I could only get the good water free. . .

austinsdad 01-22-2010 11:40 AM

If I'm not mistaken, its might take some time for a Maxi-jet 1200 to move 18g of water. I used to just hate having to stand over the tank that long holding the hose. Your sure you can't do a larger pump?

hbeth82 01-22-2010 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by austinsdad (Post 1068416)
Your sure you can't do a larger pump?

To be honest, I'd planned on pinning the hose down with the hood and reading while 'pump-sitting'. Foster & Smith says that the 1200 is rated for 295gph, though I'm sure that's for circulating water horizontally, not pumping it vertically. It appears to be the most powerful PH made by Maxi-Jet. Is there another brand that would function the same way? Don't think any of the Koralia will but that's the limit of my experience.

Kurt_Nelson 01-22-2010 11:58 AM

Hmmm... didn't really think through the 18 gallon aspect. But I'm confused - in your first post, you said you could raise the level of the bucket off the floor. Now I know I'm a wimp, but raising an 18g container of water off the floor? Or are you doing this in multiple buckets? If using multiple buckets, you're not going to be getting much reading done since you'll need to be changing buckets - I use a MJ1200 with 4 gallons and it takes about a minute to drain the bucket.

You can always use one of the Danner Mag series of pumps, like a Mag3 or Mag5. Those are meant to actually pump vertically and can supply good gph with a good head. But you're also going to pay $50+ for the pump!

hbeth82 01-22-2010 12:49 PM

That would be pretty awesome to be that strong - golf would be SOO much easier & less angering. What I meant when I said that there was a 15" difference between the bottom of the bucket (ie., lowest level of water) & the bottom of the tank is that the bucket would be sitting on a step stool, which is what I thought you said you also used.

I typically use the Aqueon water changer (essentially the same as Python, just cheaper) but since the nitrate levels have been so high, have to resort to buying purified water in 5gal carboys. Right now, I set the bucket, a 5gal, on the step-stool & add the water to the tank, about a cup at a time so as not to mess up the gravel & the plants which refuse to stay planted - no bucket-lifting until there's less than 1.5 gallons left. Bucket emptied, refill from carboy, repeat till exhausted. Using the pump, I'd just add the water as the level in the bucket went down. I know doing it that way, there probably won't be much down-time but even if the pump is slow, figure it can't be much slower than the cup-brigade.

May consider the more powerful pumps down the road but for now, it sounds like the MaxiJet will do the trick.

cmor1701d 01-23-2010 09:21 AM

I have my 30 gal QT tank sitting next to my 125. I do arox a 20 -25 gallon PWC. I have a MJ1200 for circulation in the 30 and I use that to move water to the main. It takes about 15 - 20 minutes I think. I'm doing another PWC tomorrow so maybe I'll time it and let you know.
Keep in mind that I'm only pumping UP a couple of feet and then over even though I am using a 10' length of tubing.
Using the MJ to pump from a 5 gallon on the floor up the main tank is more of a trickle (about 4' HH).

hbeth82 01-31-2010 12:11 PM

Wanted to say massive THANKS to everybody! Got the MaxiJet 1200 yesterday, used the 1/2" ID, 5/8" OD vinyl hose, clamp, and got the water pumped in pretty quick!

One note, for those just as dumb as I am - turning off the powerhead while the other end of the hose is submerged in the tank water will actually cause it to act like a siphon, thus draining your tank into the bucket and flowing onto your floor. Had left to go get more water. . . :censor:

thincat 01-31-2010 03:22 PM

Happens to the best of us......I hope there wasn't any damage.

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