Originally Posted by BobtheSnail
Hmmm... I rather like "NOT Bob," but I guess I could give it up. My real name's Constance :)
Awe, that's my wife's name - is that you honey? lol
Okay Not Bob, back to the story. I was doing the 2 gallon (dedicated) mop bucket brigade for water changes before getting smart(er).
Now I was too cheap to get the long Python/Aqueon and draining water through my septic system (live in the country with well and septic system) just didn't make sense. I use a regular 50' 5/8" garden hose. I insert the gravel siphon hose into the end and the other end goes out the front door and into a flower bed along the driveway. I vary the extent of the gravel siphoning...some weeks it's pretty aggressive, other weeks I lean more towards just removing water.
For the refill, I purchased a hose adapter for my bathroom faucet for $6. (I coudn't get an adapter for my kitchen faucet (weird spray arm) and gave up until I later got one for the family bathroom faucet at the top of the stairs [aquarium in the living room]).
I played with the hot/cold to get the right temperature and pressure and used a permanent pen to place small reference marks on the faucet/handles so I know where to set them every time. it works really well for me and takes out all of the guess work. Even though I don't have chlorine, I use prime. When doing my weekly water change of 50%, I dilute a capful of Prime in a plastic cup and slowly add this as I am refilling the tank.
My fish tend to hang out in the opposite side of the tank from where I am working. I'm sure they're a little stressed by the process (I wonder how we would feel if once a week our roof was taken off, the furniture all moved around and half the air taken out!
) , but they sure seem to enjoy the fresh water coming in.
Following the WWC, I usually treat them with frozen brine shrimp (thawed first of course) and all is forgiven as they go nuts for shrimp.
In the end, as I think Byron also wrote, the healthy benefit of the water change outweighs any stress resulting from the process.
In your case, you would do fine with a couple of dedicated 2g mop buckets. Also, there are gravel siphons and other siphons where the siphon can be started without swilling tank water.