Water change: Direct from the tap vs. bucket - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
Question Water change: Direct from the tap vs. bucket

I have the siphon / gravel vacuum from Aqueon that attaches to a sink faucet. It's just like the Python. The manufacturers of both products promote the no-buckets convenience of removing and replacing water with these tools. To date, I have ONLY used the product to remove water and to vacuum the gravel. I have been reluctant to add water directly from the tap for two reasons: (1) it is difficult to control the temperature when mixing hot and cold to match the 75degF temperature of my tank, and (2) I am unsure whether I can safely add water containing chlorine and chloramine even if I dose the tank with Prime immediately after the refill.

I don't mind the extra step of conditioning water first in my 5-gal bucket, but I do find that pouring water - however slowly - from that bucket is a bit violent, i.e. it dislodges my banana plant every time and disturbs the gravel substrate. Note that I do not pour the water over a plate or similar baffle because I need two arms to wrestle the 5-gallon bucket.

Now, I certainly could use a smaller container to transfer conditioned water from the 5-gal bucket to the tank in multiple iterations. But that's less convenient still.

So before adopting that approach, I'm wondering:
1. whether it is safe to go from tap to tank if I add Prime immediately afterward, and
2. whether anyone has any tips or tricks for controlling the temperature of the tap water.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 12:19 PM
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Water change: Direct from the tap vs. bucket

You can use a cup and a thermometer to match the temp from the faucet.

Honestly though, it's not all that important to get it exact. If you did a 25% water change with water that was say 10 degrees warmer, the most it might change the temp of the tank is a couple degrees. As long as the water is close it'll be fine.

Dose te tank with water conditioner before you add the water.

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Last edited by jaysee; 02-17-2014 at 12:21 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
Thanks jaysee. Procedurally, are you suggesting:
1. Remove desired amount of water (e.g. 25%).
2. Add Prime, dose in accordance with full volume of tank (i.e. not just volume of replacement water).
3. Direct flow of tap water to a collection vessel; test and stabilize temperature.
4. Redirect flow of tap water to the tank.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Diver Down View Post
Thanks jaysee. Procedurally, are you suggesting:
1. Remove desired amount of water (e.g. 25%).
2. Add Prime, dose in accordance with full volume of tank (i.e. not just volume of replacement water).
3. Direct flow of tap water to a collection vessel; test and stabilize temperature.
4. Redirect flow of tap water to the tank.
If you are doing such a small water change then dosing for the entire volume is a waste IMO. For a 25% change I would add product for 25-50% volume.

You will eventually be able to easily match the temp without a thermometer. Take some old tank water in a cup and move your hand from cup to the faucet water (which will be running through the attachment into the sink) and back again. Takes practice though, but you would be surprised at how accurate your skin is. Not for telling the temp, but for matching it.
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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 10:29 PM
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I have a digital thermometer it is cheap from walmart. I take my tank's temperature, and then I run the water through opening (so it goes into the sink), and match the temperature by letting the water run over the thermometer. Then I shut the valve, let it start filling my tank, and immediately dose the entire tank's volume with prime. Intermittently, I will open the valve and check the water from the faucet to make sure the temperature hasn't changed, adjust accordingly, and continue filling. Note, I add the prime before filling the tank.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-18-2014, 11:36 AM
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A few degrees one way or the other isn't going to matter. Try to keep the water between freezing and boiling.

Neither is the exact time you remember to dose, as long as you do it in the process.




Actually, a large rapid temperature or water chemistry change is required for many fishes to spawn. Fishes are extremely adaptable, and our tanks are amazing stable compared to the wild.

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-18-2014, 12:03 PM
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as for using a buckt or not so you can treat the water ...

i use a 7-11 cup (large) so it's smaller amounts, poor each up in slowly so things don't get disturbed, ... yes time consuming, but gets the job done without hassle :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-18-2014, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Diver Down View Post

So before adopting that approach, I'm wondering:
1. whether it is safe to go from tap to tank if I add Prime immediately afterward, and
2. whether anyone has any tips or tricks for controlling the temperature of the tap water.

Thanks.
With the Aqueon gravel cleaner/water changer I use a thermometer to adjust the tap temp at the pump (the thing that attaches to the faucet) to within a couple of degrees of tank temp after dosing with prime for the whole tank (50% WC 29G tank).

For my Betta tanks I use recycled 1G distilled water jug for the makeup water. I heat 2 cups of the preconditioned water in the jugs in the Microwave to about boiling pour it back into the jug and add the jug of water to the tank. I get about a 2 deg F change in the tank temp. My guys don't seem to mind. I've been doing this for several months now.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-18-2014, 02:42 PM
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I dose for around the amount I'm adding back. I usually go a bit over just to be safe but I personally don't dose for the entire tank and haven't had an issue. I dose right after I've removed the old water, and before I add in the new water.

I fill differently, in all honesty. I fill using just the cold tap (I live in Florida, though, so it's not like it's freezing or anything), but I fill really, really slowly. Like...the smallest stream of water ever. It works well for me, and my Rasboras will frequently start spawning behavior after I do a WC like this.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-18-2014, 02:57 PM
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Buckets would far too much work for me. I use my bucket to hold my python and anything else i'd use for a water change.
Chlorine and such isnt going to hurt anything fast. I dose with prime at some point after i start refilling.
In the winter months when the tap is so cold i run it for a second before switching the valve to refill the tank. Just enough to run the icey water out and to be close enough to the tank temp. At this point with enough wter changes i know exactly what amount to turn the hot and the cold lever on the faucet . I will feel the hose as its filling at times to make sure it still is the right temp.
I generaly to rather large water changes so to simplify i just dose about the whole tank volume.
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