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Re: How to do water changes without really trying

Hi all,

            I have rigged up the following arrangement to do a continuous
water change.
I had a used Aquaclear hang in the back filter lying around and decided to
try something new.

Here's what I did
Hang the Aquaclear complete with the suction pipe and strainer to the back
of the tank. Mark the level you want to maintain in the tank on the
Aquaclear casing outside the aquarium. Some measurement may be involved.

Drill a hole and push in a 1/2 inch threaded Tee with the 2 straight ends of
the TEE vertical   ( you can thread the TEE in if you drill a slightly
smaller hole ) silicone the TEE fitting inside and outside of the filter
casing . Remember the water level maintained in the tank will be about 1/8
of an inch above the lower end of the hole on your TEE end connected to the
filter casing. Connect a hose from the lower outlet of the TEE fitted to the
filter and lead it to a drain or your garden. On to the upper end of the TEE
attach a small piece of hose to extend above the tank. Without this air vent
the water will not drain.

Lead a small 1/4 or 1/8 inch dia hose from your faucet or bathroom to your
tank and attach a ball cock or any ordinary valve. This makes the water

Fill up your tank slowly and when the water level rises above the desired
level in the tank plug in the filter and switch it on. The siphon will
start, when the filter discharges water into the tank ( the filter will also
discharge water through the drain) switch off the filter and the siphon will
be maintained. There will be a continuous changing of your tank water as
long as you keep the water inlet open and by the same amount as you allow
into the tank.

This eliminates the problem of sucking on a hose to create a siphon every
time you move the assembly to another tank or when you do a sudden massive
change without using the continuous flow arrangement. In both cases you only
have to switch on the filter again to establish the siphon. The filter is
more over mounted on the back glass out of sight.
With this arrangement you can easily maintain a water level of about an inch
below the top of your aquarium glass.

One important point -  the outlet hole drilled on the hang in the back
filter should not be below the level of your pump assembly within the filter
casing. This still gives you about 2 inches from the top of your aquarium to
choose your water level.

I have it in use now for 3 weeks and do a daily water change of about 80
liters in a 260 liters newly set up planted tank.

The main advantages are - 1) No need to be around to guard against an over
flow. You can regulate the inlet to slowly change the water over a period of
a few hours.
2) New set ups will have a continuous change water to get rid of GW and
3) Evaporated water is continuously replenished.
4) Fish love it.

The main disadvantage - While using any overflow system  you need to let in
3 times your tank volume in order to achieve a 98% change of the original
water in the tank with the water inlet at the top and you overflow suction
pipe extending to the bottom.

Madan Subramanian
Bangalore, India.