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Discussion Starter #1
I am just wondering if I am doing my water changes in the easiet way possible. I have a 55 gallon tank with one Oscar and a 29 gallon community tank. I change 30% of the community water and 50% of the Oscar water weekly. The Oscar water gets siphoned right out of the tank and down the drain. The community tank water gets siphoned into a rubbermaid container and carried into the bathroom and dumped down the drain (we live in a third floor appartment). Then I fill another rubbermaid container with fresh, dechlorinated water on the counter and siphon it into the Oscar's tank. I fill another one of these containers and hand carry water into the community tank. It pretty much takes 1.5 to 2 hours. I saw a water siphoning system at the LFS today and was wondering if it will actually siphone water from a lower area into a higher area. Does anyone have experience with these or a good idea for easier water changes?
 

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water change

Hello

I would get a rio pump hook it to your python then put pump in tank and plug in and out it goes, the when done hook up the other end to sink and fill tank, I do my 180gal in about 35 min, start to finish, hope this helps
 

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Buy a lees or python. I only use mine for filling the tank but there the best thing ive every gotten for this hobby. Id drain it the same way you do or if you have a window near by that you can toss the hose out that way it will drain your tank super quick. I used to do that when i live in a dorm, open the door and toss the hose over the rail and it had huge power.
 

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I have a 29g and 55g and a few 10g that I clean weekly - the python is the best thing since sliced bread!!! I hook it up to the sink, clean all the tanks, clear the line, then refill them all. Used to take hours, now only minutes. Don't know how I got by with out it.

http://www.pythonproducts.com/aqprod.html

Hope that helps,
-jim
 

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I agree with the python, I've worked at a bunch of fish shops and thats what we use to clean all of the display tanks...and not some super industrial python...the one right off the shelf! It has a valve that screws into your sink. WHen you open the valve and turn the water on it creates a low pressure system that siphons water out of your tank very well. Then to refill the tank just close the valve and water flows the other direction into your tank. You can pour it straight into your tank and add dechlor as you go just to be safe.
 

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Two things bother me about this python thing..

1) you are filling the tank with water straight from the tap, no way to dechlor it first, nor temp stabalize, and the O2 qty must be pretty low.

2) you are dumping your wastewater down your sink drain...seems a bit dirty for me. Considering you are probably washing that night's chicken in the sink before you cook it. Plus any rocks, etc are bound to cause future drain problems.

I use 5 gallon buckets and I would love a better way to change the water, but the night before I make the change I fill the buckets with water, add dechlor and put a bubbler in it overnight.

Then I siphon the old water out into other buckets and dump it down the toilet (where waste should go)
 

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I just got a python and struggling with how to dechlor it too. In another thread asking if you do dechlor the tank after its going in (ignoring the temp issue right now)... do you put enough in for the full tank dose (seems like big waste of conditioner) or just for the amount you add in? Seems like either way is not an exact science. My wastewater not an issue since I am putting it to a bathroom sink that is rarely used, not a kitchen sink or anything.
 

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I love the python, but I can't use it because any form of pressure on the faucet makes it leak underneath.

But, the temp thing is easy to control once you get the hang of it. I can get down pretty with in a few degrees just buying tinkering with the hot and cold until I got the temp and pressure right. Once I figured it out, it's really easy.

The dechlor is easy in my opinion. Just add the amount of needed for the water change while it's refilling. I usually change about twenty gallons each time I do my water change. Unless you have really delicate fish, dechlorinating the water shouldn't be that much of a problem.

As long as you wash the sink with hot water and any cleaning solution, it's not worse than anything else in that's been in your sink. I've never had rocks get sucked up with the python either. I don't know if it's my water pressure from the sink, but it's not as powerful as a regular hose hanging out of the tank. I have eco-complete substrate which is finer than most gravel and it is easier for that gravel to get sucked out of the tank.
 

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Elahrairah said:
Two things bother me about this python thing..

1) you are filling the tank with water straight from the tap, no way to dechlor it first, nor temp stabalize, and the O2 qty must be pretty low.

2) you are dumping your wastewater down your sink drain...seems a bit dirty for me. Considering you are probably washing that night's chicken in the sink before you cook it. Plus any rocks, etc are bound to cause future drain problems.

I use 5 gallon buckets and I would love a better way to change the water, but the night before I make the change I fill the buckets with water, add dechlor and put a bubbler in it overnight.

Then I siphon the old water out into other buckets and dump it down the toilet (where waste should go)
If you are changing a large portion of your tank then yes, you do need to be concerned with the chlorine, O2 and temperature levels. Generally you should only be doing 15-25% changes though and the chlorine and 02 that will come in won't be extreme. Plus you mentioned that you put a bubbler in the bucket so you are actually putting more o2 into the tank than you probably would straight from the tap. Temperature is pretty easy since most sinks allow you to adjust that but if you have to use an outside spicket or something then you might have problems. If for some reason you have to change a huge portion of the tank then the best way is to use buckets or take the fish out while you fill the tank back up so you can dechlorinate and let temps adjust.

Others have asked if you need to treat the whole tank with dechlor or just enough for the new water and I think it depends. If you are using buckets then just dechlorinate the water in the buckets before it goes in. If you are using a python and filling straight into the tank then I would use enough for almost the whole tank since the chlorines and heavy metals will have dissipated into the entire tank and using a little more ensures that the chlorine will be detoxified fast. Personally I use Prime by Seachem since only one capful treats 50 gallons and the product is pretty cheap compared to Amquel or other good products which use one capful for only 10 gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just made a DIY python, and I LOVE it. It makes life so much easier. I find that they temperature is really easy to control, my temp out of the faucet stabalizes at a perfect 78 degrees easily. When I dechlorinate I treat for the whole tank directly after adding water, O-man and the shrimps seem to be fine with it, so I dont worry about it too much. I don't really worry about what is being dumped down the drain. I have dumped much worse things down the drain before, not to mention in chemistry classes! The cleanliness thing isn't an issue either, I just sponge it down with hot water and soap, any bacteria get burned off in the cooking process any way, and I dont know about you but I dont put cooked food down in the sink anyway. As for the dissolved O2 content, are we sure the dissolved content is that much lower out of the sink? I often think it must be higher, due to the huge amount if air being mixed with the water at the tap. It is evident that it doesnt bother the fish (and trust me Oscar would tell me) so I don't worry about it. If i had to use five gallon buckets and lug it to the toilet, I would be doing that about 15 times, and it would take me hours. I'm really happy with the DIY python!
 

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Is there anything wrong with siphoning the water from your tank, then making the new water and adding conditioner and immediately adding to the tank? Other than temperature issues...
 

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Teddy what do you mean about "making water"?

Elahrairah- to give you an idea for your second problem when i was in a dorm and didn't want to use my sink you can siphon the tank water into the toilet with out problem.
 
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