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Thread: Efficient and safe water changes for 850L tank

  1. #1
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    Default Efficient and safe water changes for 850L tank

    Hello All,

    I'm wondering how people physically change the water in their big tanks.

    Like everyone, I don't have much time on my hands, and so am looking for the most efficient way to do 20%+ water changes on a 850 L (including sump) freshwater tank.

    Also, I'm curious regarding how people manage the temperature of the water they are putting in to their big tanks?

    (Stocking is to be dwarf cichlids (apistos/rams) and tetras in a moderately planted tank)

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

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    In the shop we use a large clear plastic hose and a 2 litre plastic drink bottle to gravel clean and drain the tanks. Then fill them up with tap water from the hose. We add dechlorinator to the tank before it is filled.

    To make a big gravel cleaner, get a 2 litre plastic drink bottle and cut the bottom off it and throw that piece away. Remove the lid and plastic ring on top and throw them away. Go to Bunnings or any hardware and buy 20 meters of clear plastic hose that fits snuggly to the top of the bottle. And you have one giant gravel cleaner that will drain 50 litres per minute. If you don't want the clear hose, a normal garden hose will fit snuggly inside the top of the bottle and can be used instead of the clear hose.

    ------------------------
    At home I have large plastic containers that are filled with tap water, dechlorinated and aerated for a week, then I use a water pump and hose to pump the water into the tanks. You can buy 200 litre plastic wine barrels or the big green wheelie bins that are normally used for rubbish collection. I know a few people that have 1000 litre plastic square containers in metal frames and they fill those with tap water, dechlorinate and aerate and use a pump to pump water into the tanks.

    You can get one wheelie bin and fill it, dechlorinate and aerate it for at least 5 (preferably 30) minutes and then pump that into the tank. Then refill it, dechlorinate it and aerate it if you need more.

    Most people don't bother adjusting the temperature as long as it's similar to the tank water. If the new water is very cold and it's going into a tropical tank, then boil a few litres of water and add it to the bucket of water, or use a couple of 300 watt heaters to warm it a bit.
    Last edited by Colin_T; 17-07-19 at 09:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Great Colin T. Very helpful. Thank you!

    Just a couple of little questions:

    - What sort of pump would you recommend for this job? (I imagine the wheely bin would sit about 10 metres away, nearly level with the tank)
    - Is it imperative that aged water is aerated?
    - Is aged water (1 week, I guess) definitely better than the 5-30 minute version?
    - Is there a "bulk buy" option out there for water treatment!?
    - Is water out of the hot water tap a big no no?
    - And finally, what have I done buying a tank of this size?!

    (Am actually very excited!)

    Thanks again

  4. #4
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    I use one of these:

    https://www.amazon.com.au/Aqueon-Aqu.../dp/B002DVTG4K

    connected to a clear 25mm (I think) tubing from Bunnings with one of these or equivalent:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5000LPH-...-/231614645331

    on the other end. I connect the Aqueon thingy to the tap and submerse the pump in the tank and pump the water out. I then turn off the pump and flick the switch on the Aqueon thingy, leaving the pump in the tank. The water flow is reversed and I didn't have to move anything. I add dechlorinator and any salts than are required as the tank is filling. I also know where to have my tap handle to match fairly closely the temperature of the tank.

    I keep discus, rams, tetras and apistos and haven't had any problems with this set-up.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Spidy, that looks brilliant. Sounds like you have the same fish community that I would like to have (although not planning to attempt discus for quite some time).

    Are you concerned about copper from the hot water system pipes at all? (I've heard this can be an issue)

    What types of rams/tetras/apisots do you have? Also, just wondering what your tanks size and water parameters are?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Im using a long pool hose to empty my tank (was a 540l and I was doing 50%, now its 240l and still about 50% changes) in a matter of seconds. The large diameter is great and I syphon it straight onto the grass. I have placed a mesh sock over the inlet so no fish get sucked up.
    To fill it up, I bough a tap adapter for the kitchen sink tap from bunnings. Then I connect a normal garden hose and run it straight into the tank. This gives you the ability to add water the same temp as the tank. You could run a hose from the cold water garden tap which would provide better pressure, but the temp may drop a little.
    I am using seachem prime which is very diluted. I think it is 5ml per 200l. Pretty sure they sell it in 4l bottles too. I just add it to the tank before filling.
    A few ideas for you anyway.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goby View Post
    Thanks Spidy, that looks brilliant. Sounds like you have the same fish community that I would like to have (although not planning to attempt discus for quite some time).

    Are you concerned about copper from the hot water system pipes at all? (I've heard this can be an issue)

    What types of rams/tetras/apisots do you have? Also, just wondering what your tanks size and water parameters are?

    Thanks!
    I don't have copper pipes in my house, they are dark grey plastic pipes, but even if did, I use:

    http://www.gandklloydjones.com.au/aq...n-tank-2l-p-14

    which is meant to eliminate, or counter copper in the water.

    I keep GBRs, cardinal, diamond and blue and red Colombian tetras and recently bought a pair of Apisto Macmasteri.

    I have a 400 lt, 350 lt with 100 lt sump and a 200 lt tank. All running very soft (KH near zero, GH at 1 to 2) water and pH is around 6.2 to 6.6 in all tanks.
    Last edited by Spidy; 18-07-19 at 11:45 AM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goby View Post
    - What sort of pump would you recommend for this job? (I imagine the wheely bin would sit about 10 metres away, nearly level with the tank)
    - Is it imperative that aged water is aerated?
    - Is aged water (1 week, I guess) definitely better than the 5-30 minute version?
    - Is there a "bulk buy" option out there for water treatment!?
    - Is water out of the hot water tap a big no no?
    - And finally, what have I done buying a tank of this size?!
    I used an AquaClear 800 powerhead (virtually any powerhead or water pump will work) and some plastic hose. I made a U shape out of pvc pipe and attached it to one end of the hose and hung it over the side of the tank so the hose didn't go anywhere. The other end of the hose is put on the outlet of the powerhead.

    The wheelie bin can be brought inside and put next to the tank. Then fill it with water from the hose.

    The height is the big issue with water pumps. Once the water is pumped up to a particular height it just flows along.

    --------------------
    It's preferable to aerate water even if it's being aged. Aerating the water helps get dissolved gasses back into the water at normal levels.

    --------------------
    If you only have chlorine in your water supply, then get a big bottle of Wardley's TriStart. It contains sodium thiosulphate, which neutralises chlorine.

    If you have chloramine in your water supply, you will need something that neutralises chlorine and chloramine, and binds with ammonia.

    Your water supply company should be able to tell you if there is chlorine or chloramine in the water.

    --------------------
    Water that has been sitting in a hot water system can contain a lot of copper so it is preferable to use water from the cold tap.

    --------------------
    Finally, you are a nutter buying a big tank, but they look really good when set up

  9. #9
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    Right Spidy, so Super chlor sounds like the go!...what’s the down side? Why isn’t everyone using it??

    Thanks for water parameters. Sounds like your email for a great set-up for Apistos etc. How are you keeping your pH so low?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastlineofdefence View Post
    Im using a long pool hose to empty my tank (was a 540l and I was doing 50%, now its 240l and still about 50% changes) in a matter of seconds. The large diameter is great and I syphon it straight onto the grass. I have placed a mesh sock over the inlet so no fish get sucked up.
    To fill it up, I bough a tap adapter for the kitchen sink tap from bunnings. Then I connect a normal garden hose and run it straight into the tank. This gives you the ability to add water the same temp as the tank. You could run a hose from the cold water garden tap which would provide better pressure, but the temp may drop a little.
    I am using seachem prime which is very diluted. I think it is 5ml per 200l. Pretty sure they sell it in 4l bottles too. I just add it to the tank before filling.
    A few ideas for you anyway.
    Thanks LLoD. Sounds like you have a similar method to Spidey. do you worry about Copper?

  11. #11
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    Thanks Colin T. Lots and lots of food for thought.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goby View Post
    Right Spidy, so Super chlor sounds like the go!...what’s the down side? Why isn’t everyone using it??
    There's no down side. In fact there's nothing but positives with this product. A while ago I went on the hunt for a Seachem Prime replacement because
    a) I was sick of paying a premium for the product and
    b) because Seachem are very secretive about what's actually in their product.

    I also started searching for all Seachem alternatives and found Supa Chlor for Prime and Macropore a replacement for Seachem Purigen. I also found a replacement for Seachem Excel in the form of http://www.gandklloydjones.com.au/aq...-1-litre-p-106. All of these products are sold by a very nice generous gentlemen called Graham and they are all Australian made, i.e. money stays in Australia. They all also list their full list of ingredients either on the label or on the Website.

    I didn't stop there however. I continued my search for Seachem Equilibrium as my tap water is very soft and found these products, again Australian made:

    http://aquapics.com.au/Images/Amazon_gH.jpg
    http://aquapics.com.au/Images/Amazon_kH.jpg

    Now before anyone jumps down my throat and accuses me of pushing products, I'm in no way affiliated with either of these gentlemen. I'm just trying to portray my journey and findings in this at times expensive hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goby View Post
    Thanks for water parameters. Sounds like your email for a great set-up for Apistos etc. How are you keeping your pH so low?
    Ah, this is done by using a substrate that buffers the water. Specifically I used ADA Amazonia soil. Leaches heaps of ammonia in the beginning, but settles down after a while. I actually found this to be beneficial because I didn't need to add ammonia to cycle the tank.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goby View Post
    Thanks LLoD. Sounds like you have a similar method to Spidey. do you worry about Copper?
    Oh, as an aside, I tested my copper levels yesterday and they were at less than 0.1 ppm , which is the recommended level for non-medicated tanks.

    Phosphates on the other hand......sheesh!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidy View Post
    Phosphates on the other hand......sheesh!
    That kH product that you showed has phosphate in it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    That kH product that you showed has phosphate in it.
    Hey Rebel, yeah I realise that but the readings were taken before I started using the product. Only been using it for a week. I plan on doing some extensive testing tonight as last time I tested for everything I also found Silicates to be quite high. If phosphates are very high, I guess I'll have to find another product for KH.

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