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Re: Water Changes
Daphne described an automated water changing system.
I toyed with that too and found that there were too many potential failure
points to depend on it. Simple things like the grains of sand that hold open
a valve. Also technical things, like the reliability of the float valve.
There are at least three ways this is done. One is a direct cutoff valve
like the valve in a toilet, where the rising water eventually closes the
valve. Another is a floating electrical circuit that trips the power off
when the water reaches a certain level. Another is a water sensing device
that turns off the water when it gets wet. Not sure how those work
internally, I think it has something to do with the electrical reisistance
across two points. All three are subject to drift in terms of the final
water level. That might be okay if you have a large sump to make up the
difference. Not okay if you are trying to hit the exact water level in a
You might try installing a 'J' tube at the back of the tank and pipe that to
the outside. Then switch to flexible hose that terminates at a ball valve
with a hose connector on the end. Connect it to a hose bib to fill, then
close the ball valve and leave all the piping full of water until water
changing time. Open the ball valve and the siphon will start by itself. Use
a long enough hose and you can drain the aquarium water to any location you
want, as long as it's lower than the aquarium.