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Re: [APD] easy water change suggestions

I kept blowing up parts of my python, and also wasn't comfortable with the idea of wasting all that water, even though I live in the Pacific Northwets. So we came up with a different system. It doesn't take much skill, except in adapting the sump pump. The water-out system looks like this:

What you're seeing is a sump pump in a 5 gallon bucket. My husband attached a fitting to it so I 
could screw a hose onto the output side of the sump pump - there's a close-up of it here:

I added the spring-around-the-hose and the 90 degree hose bend gadgets at the top - I got them at a local k-mart-type store, because otherwise the hose, which screwed in on the top, would flop over and kink. I think you could use the 90 degree thing by itself and get just as good results. The semi-opaque tubing you see hanging out of the bucket is tubing whose inner diameter is the same as the outer diameter of the hose I use to siphon water out of the tank and into the bucket. I just shove the tubing end of the siphon into it until I have a good friction fit, and the yellow bag-tie keeps it from slipping out of the bucket. 

I run a hose from the output of the sump pump into the sink drain. It is really, really important to make sure that hose is secured in some way, because when the sump pump starts pumping, the pressure of the water coming out of the hose can easily push the hose out of your sink, spewing gallons of water onto the kitchen floor - guess how I know. I use garbage-bag ties to clamp the hose to the faucet so it can't leap out. For one of the tanks I run the hose into a toilet, and the weight of the seat and lid seem to keep it in just fine.

A drawback to this setup is that very small fish can get sucked into the siphon and then slide through the screen which is supposed to keep things from being drawn into the sump pump. You might be able to put a finer screen on it. Imagine my surprise, several hours after a water change, when I found a zebra danio happily swimming in the toilet. I netted it out and it was fine.

To refill the tank, I use a "y" hose connector. It screws onto the faucet - you may need an adapter for this. Here is a picture of the "Y" connector and the adapter:

To use it you screw the wider end into the "y" connector, then unscrew the aerator from the faucet and screw in the adapter/"y connector pair. The black things on the "y" connector turn the water flow on and off for that side. DO NOT close both sides at once while the water is on or you will have a python-failure type disaster.

I take the hose off the sump pump and attach it to one end of the "y", and put the other end in the tank (Again, make sure it can't pop out). I then set the "y" connector so that water is coming out the end of the "y" connector not attached to the hose, get the temp the way I want it, and switch it so that the water flows into hose, and thus the tank. The fun part here is that you can't turn off the water at the tank end, and you should see me run from the tank, over the baby gate (sometimes 2), and into the room where the faucet is to shut off the water. I've gotten very good at estimating when to make the run, and have only overflowed the tanks twice in 4 years, and even then not by much.

This sounds more complicated than it is. I've been using this system for a couple of years now and am really happy with it. The only thing I'd change is to find a way to run the hose from the output of the sump pump outside & use the water to make the best looking lawn in the neighborhood.

I hope this helps. 

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