Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

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THQ created the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

Hi all, I am setting up a 165G 6x2x2 SA/oscar tank with a Fluval FX6 and 2 AC110s.

With my stocking, I have been told I should be doing at least 50% WCs twice weekly to keep nitrates under control (ideally always < 20 PPM), especially for my clown loaches. No plants to use up nitrates.

I have considered a python water changer but it is too slow for my liking, especially as I don't like to waste water (I would turn the tap off once the siphon starts). Also, the bathroom faucet I need to use for this drains water pretty slowly, thus slowing progress to a crawl.

My proposal is this:
1. Gravel vac surface debris into a bucket. I think 10 gal should be enough.

2. Do the bulk of the water change with a submersible powerhead. The largest I could find was a 5000L/h (1320 GPH) one. Connect it to any 25 mm (1") tubing, run it out my window, and connect it to a long 25 mm PVC pipe that I have drilled numerous irrigation holes into, which will lie on my flower bed and water them. My intention is to drill as many holes as required to offer minimal resistance to flow. At max flow, this will achieve a 50% water change (approx 300L/80G) in 3 minutes. Give it 5 mins. My plan is to leave the powered-off pump in the tank 24/7 on a rock stand or something. I'll leave all the pipes connected to the garden through a gap in my window. Then all I have to do twice a week is flick a switch (maybe even one of those remote ones), and my water will start draining automatically and fertilize my garden.



3. Use my bathroom faucet with permanently connected hose adaptor to match the temperature, then run a food-safe hose (largest is only 12 mm, 1/2") with an aerator bulb at the end into the tank to refill, whilst dosing prime. This step will take the longest because of the small diameter hose. Let's say 15 mins. All I have to do is connect the hose to my bathroom about 10 feet away from the tank.

Add another 5 mins for miscellaneous stuff like rearrange deco, algae scraping, etc.

This plan should have the least mess, waste the least water, and also be the easiest and fastest (30 mins) to do. I have tried to streamline everything to minimize the setup and clean up time for each water change. What are everyone's thoughts?

Thanks.
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OFL replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

Water changes are probably the worst thing about keeping fish, so the faster you can do them a better it is. Also, you don't want your filters to be switched off for too long. So I reckon your method is pretty spot on and should work really well. Just remember to give the substrate really good clean as well.

I totally agree about the pythons,, design them obviously doesn't take into account people who use water meters. They are probably the most wasteful pieces of equipment I have come across. I did have one wants, but as soon as I realised how much water I would be wasting I got rid of it.

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Suprd71 replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

Heres what I do.. I use the Python for gravel vac. The added suction of your faucet is a bonus for getting all heavy debris off the substrate. Use the FX6 as a pump to drain the tank. The older FX5's actually came with an extra valve for this purpose. The newer 6's do not, but are available from parts suppliers(Amazon,Ebay). The FX will pull about 120gals out of the tank in 10mins. Careful not to drain below the filter intake, the can will empty itself.


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

Just another quick money saver for ya. Use Seachem Safe as a water conditioner. Its the powder form of Prime, more highly concentrated. 1/4 teaspoon, maybe even less depending on your tap water is all you need for a 180g. Dosing a 180 2x weekly with Prime is gonna be a good kick in the wallet.


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THQ replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

Suprd71 wrote: Heres what I do.. I use the Python for gravel vac. The added suction of your faucet is a bonus for getting all heavy debris off the substrate. Use the FX6 as a pump to drain the tank. The older FX5's actually came with an extra valve for this purpose. The newer 6's do not, but are available from parts suppliers(Amazon,Ebay). The FX will pull about 120gals out of the tank in 10mins. Careful not to drain below the filter intake, the can will empty itself.


Yes, but my sink doesn't drain fast enough for me to use the python at anything close to full flow, which would still be a lot slower than my 1320GPH pump through 25 mm tubing. Despite many attempts at cleaning it, my sink overflows in a minute with the tap on maximum. I think the design and plumbing of my sink is just quite restrictive.

I thought about using the FX6, but TBH I really don't want to mess around with detaching and reattaching pipes as it's a tight fit in my cabinet already and don't want to leak water everywhere. Also, like all mechanical bits, those valves and stops have a defined number of attaching/reattaching/turning off/on before failure or leakage at the attachment points, and they aren't cheap. I understand the FX5 was notorious for bits of plastic degrading and breaking off. My method will just need a flick of a switch and the powerhead I'm using is almost triple the flow of the FX6 motor.
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THQ replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

Suprd71 wrote: Just another quick money saver for ya. Use Seachem Safe as a water conditioner. Its the powder form of Prime, more highly concentrated. 1/4 teaspoon, maybe even less depending on your tap water is all you need for a 180g. Dosing a 180 2x weekly with Prime is gonna be a good kick in the wallet.


That is fantastic advice! :)

I never even knew this product existed as it's not on the LFS shelves here. I'm amazed I only need to dose 0.75g for my entire 165G tank! A small cheap 250g bottle will get me through 3 solid years of twice a week water changes. It's perfect as well because I have a super-accurate mini digital scale I use to dose ammonium chloride and bicarb soda during my fishless cycling.
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DRACO replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

me... i just use 2200LPH powerhead either to throw away water or vacuuming the substrate... and just open the faucet with hose in refilling.... half of 220 gal in 20 minutes... done
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THQ replied the topic: Fastest, easiest, least wasteful large WC method (non-python).

yep, that's what I plan to do, with a 5000LPH submersible pump
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