Logistics of a Larger Aquarium
OK, so I've kept fish for a little bit now, but only in a small tank, less than 10 gallons. Mostly due to room constraints in my apartment. Well, I'll be moving shortly, and plan to upgrade to a larger tank, somewhere in the 30 gallon range. What I'd like to know is how do you deal with the logistics of a larger tank? For example, where do you get appropriate water, how do you store it, how do you perform water changes, etc? These may seem like dumb questions, but right now I just fill up a gallon milk jug with tap water, add declorinator, and use a designated plastic cup to dump the water directly into the sink. However, I know none of that would be feasible due to the size of the necessary water changes and the likely location of the aquarium. So, what do you all do?
When I had tanks downstairs, I was using a python (er..sink to tank contraption). Now that my tanks are upstairs, there is no hookup for the python, so I use a 5g bucket and a handheld siphon. I fill it in the shower.
I have a 67g tank. After turning the heater off in the tank, I use a large siphon from a pet store to drain water into a 5g bucket which is designated as the fish bucket. Once it's full, I dump it in the bathtub, and repeat until I've drained anywhere from 30-50% of the water (the amount depends solely on if I'm pressed for time, or just get sick of draining water hehe). Then I use the same bucket... Fill it in the bathtub (after adjusting the taps to make the temperature as close to the tank water temperature as possible) and add conditioner (I use Seachem Prime), and then pour it slowly into the tank. Repeat until the tank is refilled. Once the tank is full, I turn the heater back on and I'm done.
You can also get hoses that attach directly to the faucet, eliminating the bucket... But I personally have never used one, and probably wouldn't bother with the expense unless I had a much larger tank, or at least another tank as big as the one I already have.
If you use the siphon and bucket method, make sure it is a new bucket that has never had anything other than water in it. They are relatively inexpensive at most hardware stores.
If you don't want to use a python like system you can always use a small water pump and vinyl hose, just run the hose out a window or to a sink to dump the water then use it to fill from a 5 gallon bucket if you dont want to cup the water in or dump it in.
'The solution to pollution is dilution.'
I paid $6 for a hose adapter for my sink and use a standard 5/8" garden hose. To remove water, after unplugging heaters and filters, I insert the end of my gravel siphon into the garden hose that runs out the front door into the yard/flower bed. For the refill, I hook up to my sink where I used a permanent pen to place dots on the hot/cold faucets to index the water settings for 76-78 degrees or so. Works great!
Thanks all. Very helpful. Sounds like I'm on the right track. I was thinking I'd just fill up a bucket and condition it. That seems simple to me.
I use to use the 5-gallon buckets, but as I'm getting older (and have more tanks), I got tired of lifting the 5-gallon (35lb) water buckets. I still use 5 gallon buckets to drain, but I now use two 2-gallon "fill" buckets (Lowes paint Dept) and while one fills in the tub, I'm dechlorinating and adding the other bucket to my tank, then switch out. Another option is a small pond pump or powerhead attached to a hose to pump water from the bucket into the tank if you don't want to/can't lift the 5 gallon bucket. You can also pump the tank water out a nearby window using a small pump and hose (with protection to avoid sucking up your fish!).
FYI- iamgray was correct, before ever placing your hands into a tank, disconnect ALL the electrical. All your tanks electrical devices should be plugged into a GFCI wall outlet or using a GFCI extension cord! (not just a surge protector).
Fortunately, I don't plan to have many more tanks. Don't think it would be allowed by the wife. Oh, and yes, I do unplug everything before I touch the water. I enjoy life a little too much!
Yeah, about that # of tanks...
I got back into the hobby (20 years absence) after my wife suggested I get a 55 gallon tank, which was something I always wanted. I had never had anything larger than a 29g. That was January of this year.
As of today:
38g (custom acrylic) planted
40 breeder planted
29g (all plastic plants)
10g planted with 30+ angelfish fry (about to be moved to a larger tank)
It's not just a hobby, it's an addiction...:lol:
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