Water changes on 120+ gallon tanks - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Water changes on 120+ gallon tanks

What's your method?

Use 5 gallon buckets, so say 4 gallons a bucket to avoid sloshing would be ~5 bucket loads? (for 15%)

Use an attachment to your sink to drain & fill, requiring you to treat the entire 120 gallons for chlorine?

Use a trash barrel on wheels (say 35 gallon) with a sump pump to make a single trip? I have family that does this with their enormous salt water tank, it is at his office so smooth non-carpeted floors the whole way.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 11:46 AM
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Long hose to the out doors for the drain (use a small water pump to get siphon started) then use one of those faucet attachments to refill, if your using prime just dose for about 120-150% of the actual water changed and you should be fine.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 12:32 PM
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For a 120gal I would use the trashcan method. I actually did use that method and liked it much more. (As part of a part-time job while in college I had to clean and do water changes on a 120 gal freshwater tank with local species.) The trashcan was hoisted up on a strong table, filled with water, and had a nozzle at the bottom where I could drain the water into the sump. It worked very well and took me about as long to change as water changes on my 55 gal.

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post #4 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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I would be worried about the amount of time it takes to refill from a sink, probably at least 15 minutes or so where the water would be pretty toxic for the fish. Not fatal, but seems like it would be more stressful then I'd like.

I like the trash barrel idea a lot, but I would have some issues with a threshold between where the tank will go and a sink, don't know if I could get it up and over that both ways.

I'm just curious what the norm is since 100+ gallon tanks don't seem to be terribly common.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 02:14 PM
My tank is a mere 60g.
I use a 5/8" garden hose with a gravel siphon hose that slides snugly inside. The hose runs out the front door to the lawn/flower bed. After a pass with the gravel siphon, I switch to a recycled filter inlet tube and hose that also fits snugly into the garden hose (so I can do other chores like cleaning the canopy and servicing filters while the tank siphons out about half. For the refill, I have a $6 hose adapter for the sink faucet and I have the faucet handles indexed for the approximate correct temperature. Now I have country well water so don't have to worry about chlorine although others that do fill directly by adding Prime or other conditioner just prior to the refill. On the conservative side, one might use the hose to fill pre-dosed 5g pails.
Now I do a 50% water change weekly, but it seems easy...obviously, 120g would take more time.

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post #6 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 04:15 PM
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I'm a little curious on why you think the water left in the tank would be toxic? It should be the same water they were in before the water change started, just less of it, sure the temp will drop a few degrees but nothing to fret over, unless massively over stocked and crammed, the fish shouldn't produce enough ammonia to worry about in the 30 minutes you are changing water, plus alot of your bacteria is actually in the sand/gravel so they will still be busy at work. You can use a garden faucet too (should all be the same water) but just be careful of the temp of water that comes out.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 06:09 PM
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My pail and siphon method stopped when I acquired my first large tank, a 90g. Now I have three large tanks and several smaller. I bought a Python for the 90g and have never looked back. Aqueon also make them, and in my view they are better made; my Python faucet attachment had to be replaced 3 times, but the Aqueon is working fine after several years.

The faucet attachment lets you drain the tank or fill it by changing the valve. Squirt the conditioner into the tank when it starts to fill, and you are all set. Water conditioners work instantly to detoxify chlorine, chloramine, etc. I have been changing half the water in tanks like my 115g this way for 15 years and never had a fish loss or issue due to this method.

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The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 06:14 PM
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How much does a good python cost?

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 06:18 PM
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$25-$40 depending on where you buy it
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zof View Post
I'm a little curious on why you think the water left in the tank would be toxic? It should be the same water they were in before the water change started, just less of it, sure the temp will drop a few degrees but nothing to fret over, unless massively over stocked and crammed, the fish shouldn't produce enough ammonia to worry about in the 30 minutes you are changing water, plus alot of your bacteria is actually in the sand/gravel so they will still be busy at work. You can use a garden faucet too (should all be the same water) but just be careful of the temp of water that comes out.
I was thinking about the new water. I had assumed you drained, filled, then put conditioner in.

But after reading more comments I see it is drain, condition, then fill.

So how much conditioner? 150% of the change, or exactly? So if you remove 30 gallons, put condition in for 45 gallons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
My pail and siphon method stopped when I acquired my first large tank, a 90g. Now I have three large tanks and several smaller. I bought a Python for the 90g and have never looked back. Aqueon also make them, and in my view they are better made; my Python faucet attachment had to be replaced 3 times, but the Aqueon is working fine after several years.

The faucet attachment lets you drain the tank or fill it by changing the valve. Squirt the conditioner into the tank when it starts to fill, and you are all set. Water conditioners work instantly to detoxify chlorine, chloramine, etc. I have been changing half the water in tanks like my 115g this way for 15 years and never had a fish loss or issue due to this method.
Thanks, that sounds like probably the easiest. The kitchen sink isn't too far away from where we would be placing it.
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