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Thread: Semi Automatic Water Changer (no reload required!)

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Newcastle
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    43

    Wink Semi Automatic Water Changer (no reload required!)

    Hey guys,

    Being in the hobby for a few years now on and off I have always let out a great big sigh when it comes to water changes. The hoses, the buckets, siphoning by mouth (or swallowing fish water). And it is an even bigger PITA when you are using RO water as your replacement water.

    Now I don't like throwing used fishwater down the laundry sink but I also don't like being Popeye and running dozens of buckets through the hallway, spilling along the way and having to deal with the minister of war and finance about the wet floors.

    If any of these problems sound familiar I may have a solution

    Let's rip the bandaid off and show the finished product first:





    All of the following components were purchased at bunnings:

    Pope Micro Control Fan Spray https://www.bunnings.com.au/pope-mic...spray_p3111068
    Holman 15mm PVC Solvent Weld Ball Valve https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-1...valve_p5070543
    GARDENA 13mm Universal Tap Nut Adaptor https://www.bunnings.com.au/gardena-...aptor_p3110842
    Holman 15mm x 1 / 2" PVC Faucet Tee https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-1...t-tee_p3142554
    Holman 15mm x 1 / 2" Female Iron Adaptor https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-1...aptor_p3142627
    Holman 15mm x 1m Class 18 PVC Pipe https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-1...-pipe_p4750046
    Philmac 3/4 x 1/2 BSP Threaded Red BSP Nipple Pipe https://www.bunnings.com.au/philmac-...-pipe_p4813758
    Garden Rain 3/4 x 1/2" Poly Irrigation Reduced Nipple https://www.bunnings.com.au/garden-r...ipple_p3100189
    Holman 15mm 90 PVC Elbow https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-1...elbow_p3141273
    Holman 15mm PVC Coupling https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-1...pling_p3140528

    I already had PVC glue, thread tape and a hacksaw, you will need this for this DIY

    Components here:



    So first of we take the two 90 degree 15mm elbows, we then measure which was 40mm in total for me and take our 1 metre piece of 15mm pipe and cut 40mm off. This is going to be used to join our two elbows like below:



    Then we add the T piece ensuring the T pipe is pointing outwards, not inwards. The same method applies here with cutting our 15mm PVC pipe so it can be glued to our 90 degree elbow. While you're at it, you can glue the ball value below the T piece the same method we have used so far. You should have something like this:



    Now we cut to size around about 30-40cm to attach to the otherside of our U shape, i forgot to take a photo of this step but it is the the elbow bend which does not have the ball valve connected to it (use final shot as reference)

    Once this piece is in we attach our adaptor and coupling like so:



    From here you apply thread tape to your remaining two male reducing threads (they are the black ones) and attach one to the T piece and one on the long pipe with thread attachment. You can then add the Pope micro spray attachement onto the T piece and the garden tap adapter to the long PVC end.

    PRESTO!




    So, how the bloody hell does it work.... You should have some remaining 15mm PVC pipe and we don't always want to do the exact same amount of water change depending on what needs to be done, so i cut my remaining pipe into various sizes which can be pushed onto the ball valve giving me my "tank drain depth" if you are worried about fish getting caught i recommend some stocking and a rubber band on the inlet side as a precaution.

    Once ready to go ensure the microsprayer flow control is off and ensure the ball value is open.

    Siphon until water stops to bottom of set pipe

    close ball valve and open hose sprayer.

    This is where the magic works for me. I hook a garden tap up to a submersible pump which sits in my RO water drum and attach the hose to the long piece of the PVC pipe where we placed our garden adapter fitting.

    Turn the pump on and sit back and relax, the microspayer won't have the pressure to shred your plants or mess up you gravel or soil, even when it is under water. It takes time, but it is much better then standing there with a hose like I normally do every weekend!
    Last edited by suparoo; 10-01-19 at 05:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
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    Default

    Very similar, I wish I saw that before I spent an hour or so working out how to do it! My main concern was variating how much I can siphon out and ensuring the pressure won’t disturb substrate

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
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    Default

    My thred has Grubs design variation with that feature. I copied mine from Tomm Barr.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    202

    Default

    Just to throw another variation to this theme, I use this:

    https://vitamingrocer.com.au/product...ssembly-304973

    on one end and this:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AQUARIUM...72.m2749.l2649

    on the other end of clear 19 mm PVC:

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/pope-19m...ng-5m_p3130573

    tubing and all I need to do is screw the flow control valve to my kitchen tap, put the pump in the tank and turn on. Once water has emptied to desired level I flick the lever on the flow control valve to reverse the flow (fill, instead of empty the tank) and turn the kitchen tap on with appropriate temperature matching.

    I've done this so many times I know exactly where to position the tap flick handle to get the temperature I need. A whole 50 % water change on a 400 litre tank takes me less than 30 minutes.

    Edit: The reason I chose the route is because there is no need to cut, glue and measure plumbing pipe. This was very simple to put together with no cutting, gluing or measuring required.
    Last edited by Spidy; 11-01-19 at 07:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Nice,

    The reason I did mine was using RO to control the level of incoming phosphorus into the tank, not sure if it is going to pay off yet so will wait and see!

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