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RE: Using Pythons in planted tanks
After seeing several posts about Python water changers I have decided to
post a few notes on a DIY water changer.
I once looked at a Python water changing device and immediately wondered if
they made one in a larger hose diameter. The size they use is just too
small for moving a larger volume of water; takes too long to do a 50% water
change in 75 gallon tank or even a 50 gallon tank. Furthermore, the
transfer rate is reduced if the tank your trying to remove water from is
below the level of the sink faucet where the Python is attached. The
greater this difference, the slower it goes. And, all the while, you are
wasting water down the drain as it is being used. After not finding a
larger version, I decided to make my own although I knew it would cost more.
My DIY water changing device consists of nothing more than a 3/4" garden
hose, a large powerhead/pump, and a drain/return spout made of PVC plumbing
The pump is a RIO 2500 or 2100. The hose attachment is made by a 2" piece
of 3/4" tubing and a 3/4" hose barb X female garden hose fitting and two
#10 stainless steel hose clamps. This goes on the pump output. The sponge
or screen that comes with the pump goes on the intake to prevent things you
don't want to go down the drain from being sucked up.
The drain/return spout is made of the following PVC plumbing parts(in the
order of their assembly): 3/4" male pipe thread X male garden hose fitting,
3/4" female threaded ball valve, 3/4" close nipple, 3/4" female pipe thread
90 degree elbow, 3/4" close nipple, 3/4" female pipe thread 90 degree
elbow, 3/4" male pipe thread section of a length suitable for your needs,
3/4" 90 degree elbow or tee. All pipe connections are screwed together
reasonably tight and use Teflon tape. The last piece is left intentionally
loose as it is interchangeable and directs the water flow return.
The sink attachment is made of a brass garden hose "Y" fitting with the
included ball valves on each branch of the "Y", and a brass threaded faucet
adapter to connect the garden hose to the faucet.
How it works: (1)Stretch the hose out between the tank and the sink with
the female end of the hose at the sink. (2)Remove the faucet screen/airator
by unscrewing it and replace it with the garden hose adapter mentioned
above. Attach the "Y" fitting and then attach the female end of the garden
hose to one of the branches. Open both ball valves on the "Y" fitting.
(3)Attach the pump to the male end of the garden hose, put the pump into
the tank you want to drain and plug it in. You should now have aquarium
water being pumped into the sink.
To fill the aquarium with tap water: (1)Remove the pump and attach the
return spout. (2)Close the ball valve on the "Y" fitting branch that is not
attached to the hose. (3)open the faucet and adjust temperature.
Many variations of this system are possible. I also use a Maxi-jet 1000
powerhead attached to a 5' piece of tubing with a Marineland return spout
to do the small tanks. I should say that I have nothing against the Python
water changer; just that they did not make a product that met my needs.