Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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seriosbrad 01-12-2012 05:59 PM

Marina Aquavac 50'
I wanted a way to push myself to make smaller but more frequent water changes as the ol' bucket method was getting a bit tedious. I went to 3 or 4 local pet shops that stocked fish and came across the Marina Aquavac which looks and acts exactly like the Python NoSpill system (dig Hagen buy them out, or get a licence to this product?)

Anyways, the prices varied for this product by quite a bit between the stores. As if nobody was purchasing them and had no idea how to price them. I find my 50foot Marina Aquavac for $62CAD which was the cheapest I could find in town. Petland had one for $99, non-chain pet store had an Aquafin (or was it Aqueon?)kit for $89 and another place was $80 for the Marina.

The kit comes totally assembled and because of this includes somewhat vague but decent instructions.

Starting it up was a cinch, no more sucking on the end to start the siphon, just turn on the facet and away you go. If you have multiple aquariums just lift out and switch over and it will start siphoning on it's own again.

The siphon power is great, you get the normal siphoning force plus whatever your facet is adding to it. In fact, I accidently sucked up one of my dwarf gouramis, thank goodness for the shut off valve near the vac :lol:

Refilling your tanks is easy. You need to head over to the facet , estimate the water temperature and then switch it over to fill mode. If you have the valve near the vac in off position, keep your facet at low pressure, I felt as if it was going to blow a gasket lol.

I am very pleased with the purchase and really glad I can ditch the bucket method. I saved myself about an hour of work.

Here's a few photos

The box

An adapter

The gravel vac and shut off valve

The contraption that attaches to your facet

If you want to do a water change without a gravel vac, it comes with two suction cup attachments and a bottom guard.

Oh, and by the way - you can pull off the gravel vac it comes with and use an existing longer Marina vac if you have one.

SeaHorse 01-14-2012 03:23 PM

Aren't they great!! I have the original style Python but bought one of these for my daughter for Christmas one year. One thing that I do is....
Once you have finished drawing water out or vacummed the substrate, whatever your chore was for that day... Lock the shut off stopping the syphon and go back to the tap. Turn ON your tap if you had shut it off and using an old margarine tub or whatever.. low and wide opening, collect the water straight out of the tap and set your thermometer in it. Adjust the temp higher or lower and dump the tub and start again until you are reading a true setting that is sitting stable. I dump it out cause I want the new setting not the blended setting. follow me? And I'm impatient. lol
Once it is set to the exact temp of your tank, as close as I can get it, I add my dechlorinator (Prime) straight into the TANK. Byron says he squirts it straight into the tank and doesn't worry any more about it.
I go back to the tap, check the temp again, lock the valve and RUN back to the shut off valve at the tank and open it. Yes It feels like it will burst and probably could depending on the pressure. I sometimes move it around to help it circulate.
I just stay by the tank until it tops up, shut the valve again and run to turn off the tap. Then I remove the unit, take it to the bathtub and hang it over the shower bar from the middle, open the valve and let it drain out.
I love my python!!

seriosbrad 01-14-2012 03:29 PM

Thanks for the tips on adjusting the water temperature I'll be sure to try it out next time I do a water change. Which I'm actually looking forward too now!! haha.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees the problem with the pressure when the valve is in off position :-D

I have been adding Prime to my tank after adding all the new water, is this bad? Also, I may have been using the wrong dose. I have been treating for the whole amount of the tank (55g) with every water change, should I just be adding enough Prime to treat the amount of new water I put in?

SeaHorse 01-14-2012 04:19 PM

You MUST add the Prime BEFORE or you are exposing the fish to chlorine right? and you should use enough for the NEW amount of water but Byron says you can emergency dose up to 5X the amount without harm. It's kind of hard to tell when you are measuring with a CAP isn't it?
Another word of caution... if you don't dose with Prime until after.... and your city/municipality has done a chlorine dump to clean out your water pipes...often done in spring... you can loose your entire tank of fish in a matter of minutes. (We would have days that the stink of chlorine was so bad you could not drink the Koolaide or OJ you had just mixed.)
ANOTHER WORD OF CAUTION...... HEATERS!! Either set your heater (submersible only!) horizontal and low in the tank and NEVER expose it to the air or it will crack when the new colder water hits it, OR turn it off and remember to turn it back on again.
I've heard that some people even put their car keys by the tank when they do water changes so they can't leave the house for any reason and forget the unit is running..... (can you imagine?)

seriosbrad 01-14-2012 04:26 PM

Thanks again for the info. I've been doing water changes to two of my tanks adding prime in full aquarium size dosages after adding the new water for over a year and the tanks are healthy, but it's never too late to change habits and I will do now.

And yeah, I've actually just recently learned what can happen to a glass water heater. It cracked all over the place but thankfully it held up in one piece to pull it out of the tank lol. I wanted to upgrade anyways and picked up a new Fluval M200 on sale for $28

SeaHorse 01-14-2012 04:30 PM

Oh we learn the hard way don't we? :oops: :shock:

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