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Water Change techniques for larger tanks

This is a discussion on Water Change techniques for larger tanks within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> On my tanks right now I use the same method as described by Abbeysdad at this time. I have a 5 gallon bucket that ...

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Water Change techniques for larger tanks
Old 08-26-2011, 11:34 AM   #11
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On my tanks right now I use the same method as described by Abbeysdad at this time. I have a 5 gallon bucket that I siphon the old water into. When I refill my tanks I have a few 2 gallon buckets along with some empty gallon water jugs that I have usually already filled before taking the old water out. It is a few more extra trips, but I find it easier than trying to pour a 5 gallon bucket full of water into the tank, and it allows me more control in how fast the new water goes in. Within the next few weeks I am planning on getting one of the water changers that others have suggested, which will make things easier with the 5 tanks that I have going. Also think of it this way if you are using the bucket method you can add it into your daily exercise routine, you can have your cardio and muscle toning wrapped up all into one
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
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Just me, understanding that others have had success, but if I had chlorinated water (on a well and so I don't), I would not be comfortable overdosing with conditioner and then adding chlorinated water directly to the tank. I believe that there needs to be 5-15 minutes for the conditioner to neutralize the chlorine, heavy metals, etc.
Water conditioners work instantly to neutralize chlorine/chloramine. After doing 60% water changes in my tanks for 15 years with the hose running direct from the tap, and with my very heavily chlorinated water (turning on the tap I can smell it), my fish would have died long ago if this were not so. I start the tank fill, then squirt the conditioner in next to the hose, and that's it. The fish even play in the stream of water, which they would never do if it was heavy with chlorine that burns their gills very fast.

As for the heavy metals, I can't say how long a conditioner takes to detoxify them; but in planted tanks this is irrelevant since plants will take up the minimal amount of heavy metals, either as nutrients or as toxins if the level is beyond what the plants need for nutrients. The chance of this in domestic water supplies is very slim, as heavy metals are by law only in trace amounts. I now use a conditioner that only handles chlorine/chloramine.

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Old 08-27-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
As I said, many report success doing it, but I would not feel comfortable adding conditioner to a tank, then adding water directly from a chlorinated tap source. 1) Unless you considerably overdose, the conditioner is diluted; 2) The water introduced is displacing aquarium water so is not treated 'immediately' to neutralize the chlorine until it mixes with the water that has the [now] diluted conditioner.
Each to his own, if it works for you fine - I would rather treat water in a bucket with precise amounts of conditioner ensuring detoxification, then pour into the tank...
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:57 PM   #14
I actually have changed out many a kitchen faucet because they didn't have the right threads on them, I'm actually getting ready to probably have to put something together to get my python to attach to my shower in my basement for tanks no way I'm doing 125, 90, 55, 10 gallon tanks with a bucket. For my draining I use gravity and just run the python hose out the door or window as I don't like wasting all that water may as well water the grass. lol For the fill you can hook up to a sink or laundry hook ups I've even used outside water hose hook ups and ran it threw my house in a pinch (it is a little cold). Go to lowes or home depot they will find a way to get you connected somewhere in your house.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:40 AM   #15
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Water conditioners work instantly to neutralize chlorine/chloramine. After doing 60% water changes in my tanks for 15 years with the hose running direct from the tap[...]
How do you control the temperature? Or do you just know where the sweet spot is? When i do shower fills for the 5g buckets i know where each faucet needs to be set, but i double check with 2 IR thermometers just to be safe.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:48 AM   #16
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Aqueon or Python

I have a 67 (255 L) freshwater tank and I use an Aqueon. Over the years I've used a Python, but I've moved to Asia and had a friend bring me the Aqueon because I couldn't find a Python in stock anywhere before he headed out to see me. The Aqueon really saves your back, and no problems refilling the tank. I make sure to point the tube across the water's surface when refilling, and add conditioner to the flow as I'm filling the tank.

As for the temperature, let the water flow in the sink and check the temp there before flipping the switch to fill your tank. BTW, you'll also want to do some tests on your water coming out of the faucet, to know what you're putting in the tank. My water here is a little hard with a high pH, so I know how it is affecting the water already in my tank before adding it.

Last edited by Stewby777; 08-29-2011 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:56 AM   #17
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Use a thermometer to know the tank's water, then test the tap water until you get the same temperature. Then open the valve or fill the bucket.
I'm sorry but I have to ask... how do your faucets not have a thread on them? There must be a final piece on the end that has a little screen/filter inside, often rubber washers too. If it has a little 1/2 inch sized cap/piece on the end, use a pair of plyers and grip and turn. Once that end piece comes off, the threads are often up inside the faucet unit. Feel with your finger up into the end of the faucet... Not one of your faucets has a piece that comes off the end? Hmmmm....?!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:09 AM   #18
Jackiebabie raises an interesting point. Although most kitchen faucets have an aerator that threads on/off, many lavatory faucets do not. Also, not all aerators are created equally. I took mine to the local HEP (Heating, Plumbing, Electrical) store to obtain a hose adapter and found about a dozen different thread sizes for aerators. Mine was not one of the dozen! (special perhaps due to the combo stream/spray head.).
Eventually I may change the fairly new faucet so a hose adaptor will fit.

There are two points to be made here. 1) Jackie is correct that one might overlook the aerator that threads on the tip of most faucets - deserves another look; 2) if you have a way to siphon water from the tank (e.g. a hose to outdoors), you can often get a hose adaptor for less than $5 for your faucet and use a standard garden hose.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #19
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The modern "decorative" faucets do not have threads or any way to attach a hose. I use the faucet on my laundry room sink which I had fitted with one that will take a garden hose, same idea. It means 75 feet of hose from the sink to the fishroom, but that is no problem as the Aqueon can be extended with 25-foot lengths.

On the temp, as another member said, i use my hand. I take a small container of water from the tank I am changing into the laundry sink, run the tap water until it is about equal by my hand (slightly cooler), then switch it to fill. I go back into the fish room and add the conditioner to that tank.

Slightly cooler temp during a water change stimulates the fish, same as tropical rain; many species will be more active and even spawn the morning following solely because of the temp change.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:30 AM   #20
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I have a siphon that I use for water changes, however I only use it for filling the tank. For emptying I just hang the end in to the tub, then I kink the tube and fill it up with water up to the kink. Then I stick the tube under water and release the kink and the water will siphon out into the tub without the faucet.

Even if you cant hook the tube up to the sink, IMO the hardest part is emptying so one of these siphons will work well for that at least. Or you can buy the shorter gravel siphons and just fill buckets.
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