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Re: Water Changes

I have for years used a system to do water changes that consists of a few 
lengths of 5/8" vinyl tubing (with threaded hose connectors), and a Hagen 
802 powerhead. I have one "accessory" for my system, and that's a little 
male-male thread adapter screwed in one end of the hose. The adapter lets 
me connect the powerhead to either end of the hose. Sucking water out is a 
simple matter of dropping the powerhead into the tank (and the hagen 802 
has a built-in intake screen that will keep out fish, but probably not 
small fry), connecting it to the hose, and putting the other end of the 
hose into a suitable spot.

I recommend holding the discharge end of the hose in place with something. 
My cats love to chase the bubbles down the length of hose and have on 
several occasions knocked the the end of the hose down so that the water 
sprays all over. The 802 can move a lot of water, and makes a surprisingly 
large flood in a surprisingly short time, especially when you can't see the 
ensuing flood from the tank location...

For filling the tank, mix up some change water in a suitable size bucket 
and then move the powerhead to the other end of the hose (which for me is 
in a bathroom) using the adapter. Drop the powerhead into the bucket and 
pump in the other direction. I usually run the powerhead in hot water for a 
bit to "flush" the tube before switching from empty-mode to fill-mode. I 
usually just hold my thumb over the tank end of the hose to stop the flow 
between filling different tanks. Since I use normal garden-hose-thread 
connectors, I could get a little hose shutoff but haven't bothered. While 
the 802 powerhead can move a lot of water, it doesn't product much pressure 
and it takes little effort to stop the flow with my thumb.

I have on occasion just put the powerhead in a sink and filled the sink 
bowl, and let the powerhead run while the sink fills. The powerhead pumps 
almost as much water as the sink can move, so it ends up being a close 
match and works fairly well as a water reservoir to pump from when filling 

The one last thing I'll mention is that turning off the powerhead when in 
tank-draining mode does *not* stop the hose from continuing to siphon 
water. After the pump is shut off the filled hose makes a great primed 
siphon and it'll keep on going. I usually pull the powerhead up above the 
water line and let a bunch of air in to break the siphon if I need to leave 
the tank while the system is set up.


>Tom, and Everyone,
>I have a new bigger tank, and am already tired of hauling twice as many
>buckets, half the distance to the sink.
>I have been imagining  a DIY siphon like Tom's,
>but am really bothered by the idea of pouring all that nice clean tap water
>down the drain to get the neccesary suction.
>Any ideas on what sorts of hand (or foot) pump are available that
>could be installed in the circuit instead?
>Standing there squeezing is still less work than hauling buckets.
>Any suggestions out there?
>Steff Zimsen
>landlocked in New Hampshire

Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator