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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm about to start cycling my new 46-gallon bowfront. I think it'll be about a month before I feel comfortable enough to add livestock. I'm trouble-shooting at this point!

I can siphon out old water with an aquarium vacuum just fine. I have a large bin with handles that I can just barely carry outside to dump it.

But when I have fish in there, how am I going to put water back in? I thought about using the hose, but 1) it's awfully cold out, and 2) I'd have to condition the water after it's put in.

I could put it in using buckets, but isn't there a better way? That's an awful lot of water to be dumping in bucket by bucket. The tank is quite high up, I have to either get into my bunkbed or use a chair to access the top. (the tank is on top of a dresser, at the end of my bunkbed)

Suggestions? Something obvious I'm completely missing?
 

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Hardware stores sell adapters for faucets, hook the hose to that. Temperature match, by feel is fine, dose the tank with dechlor & fill.
 

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They make siphons that attach to your faucet so you can siphon out tank water and siphon in new, clean water.
 

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They make siphons you can use (Amazon.com: 25 Foot - Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System: Pet Supplies) or if you're handy (or know someone who is) you can make something similar yourself.

Like Tolak said, hardware stores sell faucet adapters you can use. Attach on piece to your faucet and the other to the end of your siphon. Hook it up and you can temp match and fill your tank.

To drain my tank I use the same hose and hook it into the tank with a suction cup and drain old water into the shower drain/out a window. Then add dechlor in the amount of water you'll be adding back into the tank (say you drained 20 gals, add 20gals worth of dechlor).

Then hook your siphon up the faucet and fill. Much, much quicker than buckets! :D Hope that was helpful. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I put water conditioner in the tank before I siphon the clean water in? Is that OK for the fish? For my 10-gallon I add it back gallon by gallon and dechlorinate each one before I put it in the tank. I figured it would take a few minutes for it to work?

It's quite a ways to the kitchen sink (25 feet?). I'm assuming they make hoses long enough for that?

Thanks so much! I feel less intimidated by this large tank now. :)
 

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Yup! Put the dechlor in before you fill. I've never let it sit, I just dump it in and fill. What brand are you using? I don't know if some brands need time to sit...I've never heard of that. I use APIs Stress Coat like this just fine :) Perfectly safe for the fish.

They should! Worst case scenario it's always possible to connect two hoses together!

Until I made my siphon I was using buckets on my 38. That was a nightmare xD I'm too lazy and weak for that hahaha.
 

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Sometimes I like the exercise of filling it by buckets lol. But yea you can also get the Aqueon water changer for half the price of the python. I got it and it has worked well the past month so far. It smelled terrible at first though (plastic)... But yea I put dechlorinator in for the whole tank volume (not just what I remove, as per the prime instructions), and then fill it up with water I match temperatures with a thermometer.
 
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haha i must be a dinosaur
i fill a large bin with water,attach a heater and a power head,then add
the dechlorinate,and leave to get to main tank temp,then add the clean water
back in by jug .
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Yup! Put the dechlor in before you fill. I've never let it sit, I just dump it in and fill. What brand are you using? I don't know if some brands need time to sit...I've never heard of that. I use APIs Stress Coat like this just fine :) Perfectly safe for the fish.

They should! Worst case scenario it's always possible to connect two hoses together!

Until I made my siphon I was using buckets on my 38. That was a nightmare xD I'm too lazy and weak for that hahaha.
I use Prime. :)

Thanks again, guys.
 

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I connect my siphon to the garden hose, run the hose out the door onto the lawn to empty.
To fill i hook the hose to the tap and fill, adding prime to the tank before the new water hits it
 

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I attached a pump to a hose and pump the water out. It would take FOREVER to drain 80-90 gallons of water from a 125 without some help.
 

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I also do things the old fashioned way.. I mostly use 5 gallon buckets to fill the tanks back up (or gallon pitcher on the smaller tanks). I dechlorinate the water before it ever touches the tank. I also refuse to use hot water while filling the jugs for the tanks, just straight cold water and a heater to bring it within range. I have heard rumors that older houses used copper pipe and running hot water can cause the metal to leach things into the water.. Sooo, better safe than sorry, i just avoid hot water all together when it comes to the tank. Maybe I'm too paranoid, but It's been working all this time so why change now?

Also, i know lots of people that use pythons to refill their tank. They always dose prime for the whole water volume of the tank then add straight into the tank out of a sink. Again, I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to that as well.. I have way too much money invested in fish that i am attached to to give it a try. I know it works cause i know too many people that do it with good results, but i just cant bring myself to do it on my personal tanks. So i just stick with what i've known all these years.
 

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A lot of people who use water changers do not dose for the entire volume of the tank, including me.

I've got almost $500 worth of fish just in one tank. I look at my fish and see dollar signs. I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize my investment.
 
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A lot of people who use water changers do not dose for the entire volume of the tank, including me.
Oh, I'm sure that's true, I didn't mean to imply it wasn't. I'm just saying the people i know personally who do water changes that way all use prime dosed for the whole water volume. I'll be the first to admit there are tons of different ways to do the same thing in this hobby. Of course dosing for the water added vs the whole water volume would be more cost effective for sure. What conditioner are you using? That way we know what conditioner you have been using to successfully treat the water you are adding back.
 

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I use prime. I change like 350 gallons when I do water changes, so I like that a 500ml bottle treats 5000 gallons.

I misspoke earlier. I DO dose for the entire volume of the tank for a normal water change because I change 80% of the water. When I do a small water change I dose between the amount being changed and the total volume - I'm not exact in my measuring. I would agree it's better to dose a little more than needed than not enough which is why I just go ahead and dose the whole tank when doing my 80% changes.

I think it's silly for someone doing a 20% change to dose the whole tank, but it's cheap and if that gives you peace of mind then it's worth it.
 
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