Water Change Assist - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-16-2015, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
Water Change Assist

So I have seen a similar concept before. Not sure where, it might have even been on this site. However I wanted to share what I made, even if it was an adaptation of what has already been made.

The idea is that the tool will hold where the siphon comes from in place, and forces the siphon to break at an exact level.

-3/4" PVC pipe, cut at lengths of:
-2 x 10"
-1 x 6"
-1 x 5.5"
-1 x 1.5"
-2 x 3/4" 90deg elbows
-1 x 3/4" Cap
-1 x 3/4" male threaded adapter
-1 x 3/4" female threaded adapter
-1 x 3/4" PVC to garden hose adapter
-1 x 3/4" Ball Valve
-Blue HOT PVC cement

Once you have all of the pieces cut and cleaned up at the ends, take the 5.5" piece and cut it at 1/2" intervals halfway through the pipe. The pieces that will go on fit about 3/4" down each end of the pipe, so the exposed pipe will end up approx. 4" long. On one side, make your cuts at 1", 1.5", 2", 2.5", 3", 3.5", 4", and 4.5". On the opposite side make your cuts at 1.25", 1.75", 2.25", 2.75", 3.25", 3.75", and 4.25". This should give you 8 cuts on one side, and 7 on the other.

Take that piece and clean up the cuts. Assemble it with the cap on one end and the male adapter on the other.

Next take one of the 10" pieces and attach the female threaded adapter to one end, and an elbow to the other.

Now time to assemble the "Dry side"
attach the 6" piece to the other elbow and to the ball valve, making sure the valve portion faces opposite of the elbow. After that, connect the remaining 10" piece to the bottom of the ball valve. At the other end of the 10" piece, attach the hose adapter.

Using the 1.5" piece, connect the two elbows together, making sure the two sides are lined up with one another.

Since you are using the Blue HOT PVC cement, it is ready within a half hour to be pressure tested. Screw in the piece you cut the slits into. This is acting as the filter for draining, and also as the baffle for refilling. I made it removable so I can clean the inside later.

Attach to your hose, and turn the water on. I ran mine for about 5 minutes on full to make sure anything that might be inside and not properly cleaned out would be flushed out.

After flushing it, turn the ball valve to shut it off. This is also a good time to check to make sure all of your joints are holding. The pressure should build inside of the hose, but the ball valve should hold it. I have a quick release on the other end of my hose, so I can quickly pop it off of my faucet. Turn the water off and pop the quick release, or unscrew it, and it should hold the water inside. You can now place the piece in the tank, and open the ball valve, starting the siphon. Once it reaches the slits you cut in the bottom piece, the siphon will fail, and the water will stop draining. Nice for when you don't feel like babysitting it.

Once you have drained it down and the siphon is lost, or you turned the ball valve off to stop it prematurely, you can reconnect it to the faucet and refill the tank. the slits act as a baffle to make sure that the water doesn't blast straight into your substrate or anything else, making a mess of your tank.

Let me know what you think!

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-17-2015, 10:09 AM
Warhawk's Avatar
Very nice, I have seen something similar but I can't recall where. I love the DIY projects on this hobby, and this one is on my list.

You can follow Old Fort Exotics on You Tube and on my Fish room thread.


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post #3 of 6 Old 03-18-2015, 08:33 AM
m919's Avatar
Yep, I am on this project! very nice!
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-26-2015, 08:11 PM
Neat project but I don’t get the reason for the female /male connection on the waterside. I would suggest using cpvc instead of pvc. Cpvc has a smaller outer diameter and is approved for hot water supply where as pvc is approved only for waste water removal inside buildings. Thinking about it I would use ridge plex pipe it is also approved for indoor potable water both hot and cold.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-30-2015, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
The male/ female connection on water side was actually supposed to be higher up, so I could make multiple ends for the piece, that way I could vary the level, and it would also work in my other tanks.
Thank you for bringing that up, in hindsight I now remember that I did make a mistake, the connection should have been 4" from the top, with the 10" section removable.
My other reason was for cleaning purposes, debris gets caught in that part, and needs to get cleaned out. I will fix my instruction post later to make the correction. I am also in the process of making a custom adjustable spray bar for my Marineland C360 canister filter.

Also, pvc is slightly cheaper, has the hose fitting adapter I needed, and is also approved for up to 140 degrees. I probably won't be adding water anywhere close to that temp. I guess I didn't mention that the entire project cost less than $10. I did already have the cement, which probably would have been an additional $5.

Understand?, I don't understand., I understand., Do you understand?, I don't understand, not understand, to understand, hard to understand, come to understand, try to understand, difficult to understand.

Last edited by chiefacorn; 03-30-2015 at 12:10 AM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-30-2015, 08:37 AM
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Thanks again for the thread. I built mine over the weekend, it cost me $10.

I bought the wrong connector so I had to go back to the store Sat evening to finish it. That meant I wasn't able to use it for my water changes Sat morning but looking forward to my next water change.

You can follow Old Fort Exotics on You Tube and on my Fish room thread.


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