DIY Water Change Filter System
Okay, after setting up two 125 gallon tanks, and doing loads of water changes where the only thing to really benefit were the weeds in my backyard, I thought I needed a new way to do these things.
Here is what I came up with. I am still refining the idea a little, and will put up a new video in a week or so, I already see some tweaks that are needed, you will get the idea how this works, and how it actually saves a LOT of water. PLUS you can filter 100% of the water in your tank with very little input on your part. If your pump is set to handle your siphon, it basically just involves about 5 minutes to get things set up, and based upon your own calculations, gallons per minute for the pump, you can figure out how long it will take to totally cycle your water.
Oh, and the fish... they are happy as well.
Aquarium Water Change Filter System - YouTube
Sooo, the water that is being removed from the tank is being filtered, then returned to the tank? That's not quite a water change.
what you did is basically made a wet dry filter.actually more like a canister filter.no that is in no way a water change.a water change is as states a change out of old water for new fresh clean water that has no type of dirty bacteria in it.but nice!! Sorta cheap way to make a big filter for a big tank.
As I wrote in the other forum you posted this in, better water filtration/purification can reduce the required volume of the weekly water change. But make no mistake, you need FRESH WATER on a weekly basis to keep the tank healthy.
What you've done here is make a home made manual filter. You would be better off with a good filter using products you mention and continue to do a modest weekly water change.
"The solution to pollution is dilution."
There are many things in water that we cannot see, that need to removed with physically replacing the water.
Fish produce hormones, pheromones that need to be removed by replacing with fresh condition water.
As others have mentioned you have created a large WET/DRY filter and even then, all it is actually doing is removing solid waste and not acting as filter as there are no bioballs to allow bacteria to attach to, it would be more productive to add a drip plate, a few gallons of bioballs, that way it will act as a proper wet/dry.
The debris in your video, if allowed to sit in the "filter" for any length of time will send your nitrate levels skyhigh as it decomposes.
The concept of creating a filter is working BUT it WILL NOT remove the need for water changes. These as mentioned NEED to be done on a weekly or perhaps bi-weekly basis if you have a good filtration system and live plants.
now if you wanted to do a diy water change system.
1st. you would have to tap in to some plumbing for a drain.then add a pump to a timer for a set and forget type thing for once a week.
2nd.you need to tap more plumbing for hot a cold water then get a valve so you can joint the 2 hot/cold together but also be able to adjust the temp so it always stays warm or to ur temp of the tank.
3rd.get a electronic valve and another timer to attach to the hot/cold and line it to the tank.
4th.next you would want make a float type rig like a toilet so the pump will turn off when the water reaches a certain point.also wire it to the other valve for the fill so it will turn off when the tank reaches its desired water level.
5th.finally set your timers and pretty much for get it.also find a way to hide all this.
i want to also add that this is for water changes only. you would still have to get in at least once a month at least for a tank this big to gravel clean and filter clean and media change.
well good luck...
You guys are right, it might be titled wrong. But the amount of water that is lost to the system requires one to add more water. Just not as much water. Each time I use this, I normally end up putting in 5-7 gallons of fresh water. While I have been using this, the need to do sizable water changes has dropped greatly. I used to do a 20% change every weekend, which in my case is 50 gallons for the two tanks. While using a RO system, and a final water filter system before the water goes in, the time it takes to pull together 50 gallons was just eating my weekends away. Not to mention the storage was killing me. So this thing let me filter the water, I normally run it for about 2-3 hours and cycle the whole thing about 2 or 3 times, and I add 5-7 gallons to top it off.
This however does NOT take away the need for a sizable water change. Which I still do, but now I only do it about once a month. Which makes my total water change for a month actually pretty high. Around 95 gallons a month between the two tanks. Instead of the normal 200 gallons I have done each month. The grass in my backyard is missing the water..... but....
RO systems also tend to remove much needed nutrients in freshwater. Unless you have really high nitrates in your tap or some other reason, why are you not using tap water?
I do use tap water. We have a whole house RO filter, I have no choice in what to use, RO water is also what we take showers with, make our coffee, even wash the cars. It's just what we have in our house.
Our tank water more or less stays crystal clear and this system allows me to clean the gravel and get the much out without draining the tank into the backyard or down the drain. It also forces me to replace water each time I use it since the system itself sucks up probably 5-7 gallons of water, if not more. I seem to remember this past weekend having to pour 10 gallons into the tank after using this thing.
We do have a light load in the tanks themselves, I am not one for stocking the tank to the brim with fish. That would only lead to even more of my time being spent down here with the tanks. This system works for what it is intended to do, which is to remove the gunk without freaking the fish out or pouring untold gallons of water into my yard.
I assume I'm doing something right, our "shark" is about 8 inches long after only a year and all the rest, well they seem happy as well.
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