Help with Python Siphon...

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Aquarium Advice Freak
Jun 10, 2003
Okay... Call me STUPID, but how do you work this thing? :oops:
Yes. I have been using it to siphon the gravel and actually add the water back in too. My problem is, how do you get the water started with out having to stick your mouth on it and give it a quick 'Suck".. ha, ha
This is really gross... but, I use the python on my fish tank and suck the water no problem and it actually never gets to my mouth.
Well, Yesterday I had a hell of a time getting the water to siphon out of my turtle/goldfish tank. I didn't want to stick my mouth on it to give a suck, because of everyone scaring me about getting Salmonella (thanks guys :wink: ).. well, needless to say I couldn't get the darn thing to suck water, so i had to stick my mouth on it..........
Yup! you guessed it... Sucked a little to hard and ended up with turtle water in my mouth!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!! Yes. I totally freaked out and thought I was going to get terribly ill or grow a shell or something :lol: :lol: .
Well, I survived this time, but I know there has got to be a better way to start the siphon action. Help me please?!?! :roll:
If there is, i havent figured it out.
Yup! you guessed it... Sucked a little to hard and ended up with turtle water in my mouth!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!
This happens to me every so often. I wife says it looks like i am starring in Gay Porn. :eek: :mrgreen:

:D :D :D
Hold on here, a real Python No-Spill Clean and Fill hooks to the faucet.
Little knob for fill/empty tank, depending on which way you turn it. If your sink is much higher than the tank, it may not work right for draining.

A manual syphon, regular gravel cleaner requires suckage or submersion.

Which are you talking about, I'm quite confused?

or grow a shell or something
Now that is funny stuff!

Glad you aren't sick!
A manual syphon that self-starts by pushing it up and down underwater a few times in the aquarium works great! It is much better then trying to submerge the long hose in a small tank or sucking up water.
I have a manual one. It is quite large.
What I was told to do, was hold my finger over the small end (the one that will empty into a bucket) of the hose. Then i submerge the larger (suction end) into the tank, allowing to fill with water. then release my finger...
But nothing. The water never creeps up into the hose. I have also tried to allow no water when submerging and it sucks real quick, but never all the way through the tubing. I always :roll: have to end up giving a quick suck to start the water flow.
What you have to do is submerge the entire hose and assembly so that it is completely filled with water. THEN you cover the end of hose that's going in the buckets and release it, should flow nicely.

OK, much clearer now.

push the whole contraption under water, let it all fill with water. put your thumb over the small end, dont let any air in. just pull that end out, hold over bucket, but below tank level, and remove thumb. it should work.

Personally, i just suck on the dang thing! :mrgreen:
Hmmmmm.. Submerge the whole unit?? Haven't tried that one yet. Thanks reberly!! I am gonna do that when I get home... I can't wait to see if that really works. I hope, cuz' I don't want to suck tank water... ha ,ha :lol:
I have 2 gravel vacs that need to be started differently (because of the size I'm assuming).

The small one needs to be "pumped". Basically I hold the small end over the bucket, and push the larger end up n down at the bottom of the tank till water is pushed up the tube n over the edge of the tank and gravity takes over.

My larger gravel vac won't work that way. I cover the small end with my finger, dip the larger end into the tank, fill it with water and hold it high so the water displaces the air in the tube. I then stick the large end back in so its filled up again (under the water). THEN I let go of the small end and I better well have it over the bucket cause it come flying out LOL

I always paranoid I'm going to suck up a fish with that one; my small angel thinks its either some sort of adversary or the bits that are flying up are food. Either way he is infatuated with the thing LOL
Yes. I know what you mean about the water, once in the tube, comes flying out! ha, ha... My floor has never stayed dry. :lol:
I am definatly going to try these things as soon as I get home. Very curious if this all works. Thanks again!!
It is DEFINITELY worth the money to purchase either the kind of syphon with a "self-priming" valve inside, or the Python No-Spill Clean and Fill product that you attach to your faucet to initiate the syphon. There is no reason that you should have to be coiling 5-6 feet of hose into your tank and alarming your fish to fill the tube with water and start the syphon. I have a python and use it to both drain and fill my tanks, and I will NEVER go back to buckets and pails, and not a drop of water on my floors! For the tank I service away from home I use a syphon that you prime by submerging only the larger rigid vacuum portion and shake it up and down under the water, starting the syphon automatically. You will not have to spend much for that kind, and even the Python is a good value at most of the larger chains. Even Wal-Mart carries it now.
I always paranoid I'm going to suck up a fish with that one;

one of my white cloud mountain minnows went for a ride through the syphon. luckily was just using a manual one that day, he went into a bucket, only a 6 ft ride through the tube. He's still alive, none the worse for wear.
Oh sure corvuscorax; your minnow probably thought he was back in the stream ;)

Can't imagine my fat little angel being quite as happy about it LOL
How to use the python

Well, I work at Wal-Mart and we use the python that hooks to the sink, but here is how I use the older manual ones. Just put the vaccum part into the water at a tilt, let the water go into it and then pull just the top out of the water leaving the rest in...The water should be traveling down the tube now but before it completely leaves the tube...stick it back into the water, still facing up. You should hear some bubbles and stuff and the pull of the water going out should start the suction. This has worked everytime for us... :roll: Any more problems, let me know =)
Well, I am happy to report that it worked!!!
I submerged the whole Python unit into the tank to fill entirely with water. I put my finger on the small tube end, lifted it out of the water and over the bucket. I let go and the water actually was being siphoned out!!! I didn't even have to give it a suck!! ha, ha
Thank you everyone!!! :D
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