I don’t know about you, but I find water changes exhausting. I have a 76 gal tank so any water change usually means 8+ gallons of water that has to somehow make it from my kitchen sink to my tank 15 feet away.
My usual method is using two bowls to bail water into two large paint pails on the ground and then drag those over to the tank, and then bail that again into the tank.
This process takes a while, usually about fifteen mins and was hard on my back. Frustrated with this process I had looked into getting a device as I heard about the ‘python’. But, with a $60 price tag I just couldn’t justify it. Plus, I was worried it wouldn’t fit my sink etc.
Since I also clean aquariums for clients in my area I finally got to the point where I just could not do it anymore. So, I set out to Rona to try and make my own device!
First off I needed to find some tube. This was easy and I found a 20 foot clear tube in the garden hose section.
Now, you need a way to attach this. I used a piece that may be familiar to you. Its a gold attachment for garden hoses and they have a tapered end that will slide into the tube. This may not be super tight depending on tubing (mine was fine as long as I didn’t put the tap on full blast) but you can get some mini clamps to attach it just like on a garden hose.
The reverse side of this gadget has some handy threads inside designed to attach to that little spout that sticks out of the house. For those with a regular sink, you should be able to screw off the tip of the faucet (that sometimes contains a little screen) and tah-da! You now have some lovely threads you can use to attach your tubing.
For some of you who have fancy faucets like the kind that you can adjust the spray etc, then this won’t work. But, there’s still hope for you. You can attach the hose to the actual plumbing. Sometimes, sinks have an additional spout with it’s own valve that comes out of the pipe in an adjoining piece underneath the sink (if you can handle plumbing then you can also add this yourself).
For most boring old faucets, the threads on your sink may still be male or female so this is when it get tricky. Depending on what you have you will have to pick up an adapter piece that attaches to the sink and fits into the gold hose piece (the gold piece is also quite a bit wider than a sink faucet). We got a couple adapters at the store not knowing what one would work and we ended up just grinding down this piece that has multiple thread options on it. These pieces were hard to find as they weren’t with the garden hose stuff (like the gold hose piece) but was with a lot of other small plumbing pieces in the plumbing aisle. The wide end fills up the gold piece, and the thin end is perfect for the faucet.
And that’s it! The whole set up cost less than $20 which included adding an on/off switch and a clamp to attach it to the end to make it easier to not drip everywhere during clean up.
Now you can lead water straight from the sink to the tank! I don’t necessarily suggest this as it’s chlorinated and your fish may not be stoked but technically speaking you can do it that way. I just put my bucket right by the tank and got to continue cleaning while it filled which saved me time on multiple levels. I think it tool about two minutes to actually fill my pails and there was zero spillage 😄
Another way you can make water changes easier is using a more high tech water exchange system. In the ‘tools and supplies’ product section of my shop, I offer a battery powered system as well as a water siphon with a hand pump. This saves a tonne of time as you don’t have to stand around waiting for the tube to fill with water. It also has an on off switch that is crazy helpful. My tank has a t-bar in the middle so at some point in cleaning I have to pull the siphon out and switch sides. Usually this means a loss of pressure and starting over, but not anymore. Also using siphon with cut out design allows more water to enter and as a result cleans a lot better. I made the mistake of using a really cheap water siphon for years and they just waist a lot of water and time.
I hope this little tutorial was helpful! I am not exactly a plumbing expert. But, if I can figure it out so can you. I can never resist a cool DIY project