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 Post subject: Water change system idea
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:45 am 
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With all the experience that we have here I couldn't resist asking this question.

Regular water change is the key task of raising Altums and also the leasst enjoyable probably. We all love feeding them :D

I was thinking of developing a simple system that makes this water change task easier. I have a kitchen faucet close(5ft) away from the tank. For drain water ,I was thinking of a pump with a PVC hose connected..that I could drop in the tank and turn on..it drains into the kitchen sink. For the fresh water another hose connected to faucet and the hose ends in a garden sprinkler handle fitting inside the tank.The thing I need to add will be decholrinator and R.O(in case I need to ).

Any idea to make the system efficient/automated is welcome.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:18 pm 
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I pump out and pump in. Haven't carried a bucket in years. The only time it gets tricky is if I'm trying to match parameters. I just don't have the space for water storage. A python may work well for you if you are going to use tap water.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:42 am 
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Hello,

I have a pump installed in the tank only for that purpose. With a hose I pump out the water and it is refilled by the same hose. I don't use RO water anymore. Would be difficult, you need a storage place anyway. A water change of 30% takes me 20 minutes in total on a 350 l tank. In the meanwhile, I drink a cup of coffee. I perform this twice a week.

For the dechlorinating agent, you can dilute what you need in a small recipient of water. If you put a diffusor (EHEIM e.g.) at the end of your hose when you fill the tank, you can put the air inlet into the this solution. You can adjust the amount of solution that is succed away, just as you adjust the air inlet with the normal use of a diffusor. I have never tried this, because I don't use this neither. It is just an idea.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:45 pm 
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19ghost79 wrote:
I pump out and pump in. Haven't carried a bucket in years. The only time it gets tricky is if I'm trying to match parameters. I just don't have the space for water storage. A python may work well for you if you are going to use tap water.


Hence his fluffy biceps!

Mikey, you can't criticize my biceps, you know there plain fat!

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God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:10 pm 
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jgd wrote:
Friends

With all the experience that we have here I couldn't resist asking this question.

Regular water change is the key task of raising Altums and also the leasst enjoyable probably. We all love feeding them :D

I was thinking of developing a simple system that makes this water change task easier. I have a kitchen faucet close(5ft) away from the tank. For drain water ,I was thinking of a pump with a PVC hose connected..that I could drop in the tank and turn on..it drains into the kitchen sink. For the fresh water another hose connected to faucet and the hose ends in a garden sprinkler handle fitting inside the tank.The thing I need to add will be decholrinator and R.O(in case I need to ).

Any idea to make the system efficient/automated is welcome.

Thanks


Or an inline GAC block filter cartridge, so you can just forget about dechlorinating all together.

Since I have my tanks in my garage, I allow the water in the tanks to simply spill out via the overflows and down tubing out into flower beds or directly to the pavement. I displace about 60 gallons daily between 4pm and 6pm. I do this by means of a solenoid valve which runs on a timer and opens my Merlin RO for 2 hours daily. The tubing array is connected to my 220G and my 90G's. This totals about a 15% water change daily. Do all the tanks get the 15% stated, I really doon't know... I think I can measure that! They all look clean.

Any excessive bottom debris? Eheim Pro Vac, worth every penny.

Once a week I may want to let the RO run longer... and I also give an ocassional shot of straight non dechlorinated tap up to around 10% of total tank volume. I do that directly via 3/8 tubing that runs from a T connector located just before the RO unit. I also do the cleaning in my "fish garage" from that 3/8 tubing.

About the straight tap water shot, I do use a hose gun in a position to provide maximum turbulence at entry and help dissipate the chlorine.

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God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Thanks Ed


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Hi Ed

I have an Eheim Pro Vacthough I find the mesh releasing fine particles back to the tank. I was planning to add a 50 micron cloth(I got the Coralife) as a envelope on top of the Eheim mesh.Need to know the mesh size of the Eheim.Looked at the manual and their site..couldnt find any number. Would anyone know whats the smallest particle Eheim mesh will block


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:16 pm 
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jgd wrote:
Hi Ed

I have an Eheim Pro Vacthough I find the mesh releasing fine particles back to the tank. I was planning to add a 50 micron cloth(I got the Coralife) as a envelope on top of the Eheim mesh.Need to know the mesh size of the Eheim.Looked at the manual and their site..couldnt find any number. Would anyone know whats the smallest particle Eheim mesh will block


A. JGD, can you determine what kind of particles are bothering you?
B. Otherwise, is your water generally crystal clear, or at least, a "make you happy" clear?

This fine dust that escapes the Eheim Provac's mesh will be either:
1. Pulverized food. The type of food can become too soft, crumble and be milled into a fine dust, especially when you have a rough sand substrate and enough current.
2 Pulverized feces. Also milled into a fine powder by action of a rough substrate.
3. Fine sand. Too fine or poorly washed/rinsed sand substrate.
4. One or any two or three of these factors that produce a fine dust.

If the fine particles sink promptly they are most likely sand particles, case in which, the Pro Vac is doing exactly what it should do, retain the fecal matter. The smaller sand particles will fall back to the bottom and this should not represent a worry.

If the fine particles are pulverized fecal matter, it could be either a mechanical problem, the feces are grinded against the rough sand, As I said, this happens in aquariums with more water current. This could also be a problem of food quality (easily crumbling) or a symptom of GI disease (diarrhea).

Or if you have too fine a sand, or a sand mix in which there are very small particles.

So what do we have? Pick one. Hopefully not number 4.

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God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:16 pm 
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Hi Ed

I do not have fine sand..so its mostly food plus detritus.

On a slightly different note I checked with my municipality water board. They stated that " uses chlorine to treat the drinking water, not chloramines. The two forms of chlorine that are used are: gas form (Chlorine gas) or liquid form (Sodium Hypochlorite). The levels of chlorine found in the distribution system are generally in the range of 0.80-1.10 ppm (parts per million)."

On the water change system I am trying to set up ...you mentioned about installing a filter to fresh tap water line to remove chlorine/cholarime. I see Pentak makes these filters. I see a risk in me forgetting to add Prime..so I would like to go the filter route.

The other risk I see in direct tap water(with inline filter) is temperature control. The kitchen faucet I have has a hot and cold mix option, so I was thinking of using "mixed" water to feed the filter.My concern is adding hot water..to the cold ..does it add any dissolved gas or anything harmful to the tank water.


Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:44 pm 
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If the percentage of water you will be changing is around 10%, I woyldn't worry about the temperature going down a few degrees by using cold water. In nature, altums are exposed to as much as a 10F change in temperature when there are heavy downpours, but then, in rivers, if a fish feels too cold, he knows where to swim and find a warmer current. In the aquarium, 3-5 degrees up or down if you give enough time, is acceptable.

Now, what kind of installation are you planning on doing? Under the sink? In a fish room? Will you have a single tank inside a living area or a dedicated space for one or more aquariums?

There are plenty of inexpensive solutions when it comes to automated inline dechlorination of tapwater.

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God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:48 pm 
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Hi Ed

I am lookinh to do 6 days..daily 15% water change on 5 tanks. Total volume of daily water change around 25 gal. I also intend to do a weekly 60% water change.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:52 am 
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Good conversation here as I'm in the same boat. Looking for automating my water changes as it is right now I'm ready to quit just because of that... don't have time to keep up with it.
I hear you Ed and Mike just dump and replace water but how do you guys keep your water parameters with changes like that?
I have RO/DI system setup and I have two 50Gal storage tanks setup. I age my water at least for a day and aerate it.
I mix my tap/rain water with RO to get about 80-100ppm TDS and keep ph around 6.6-6.8.
I've been keeping my ph low injecting Co2 because of plants but with my biotop tank I'm trying to get away with that.
Anyway, just wondering how do you guys keep up with water parameters?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:26 pm 
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Hi Slobodan

Interesting to know we have been thinking on similar lines.
A we all know(hopefully) water change is the key to healthy, disease free tank . Life happens and we sometimes loose the discipline to do this tedious task everyday.That is why I am leaning toward a drip system 1/4 inch line with measured flow(1 gal per hour, an example) straight from tap cold water line with inline filters. One can also mix R.O with another 1/4 line and adjust the flow rates on each line to get precise TDS.

On adjusting the PH is where I am confused. Ideally I would like to avoid the mixing container route since those needs cleaning to prevent bacteria growth. In that case an autodoser pump of very dilute HCl water solution, precisely calibrated to match the water flow rate, might work.

I have had planted tank setup and idea os CO2 injection did cross my mind.Though I have noticed PH swinging once lights are off , since plants stop consuming . Also there is a limit to adding CO2 because of its effect on fishes.

Now reading a lot of exprienced members here, a stable PH and temp with clean water is better situation to be in than low PH but swinging parameters and low/irregular water changes .


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:39 pm 
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I'm really hoping that some of experts will help us here in this regards.
Yes, you are right, we are thinking along same lines as I'm already thinking on design of fully automated system where even TDS is going to be controlled by micrcontroller.
Let me try to describe my system.
I'm on Cistern. No city water for me and I do collect rain water in the cistern so my TDS in the cistern fluctuates so I'm forced to use R/O water.
I do have R/O and DI filter and since I'm not looking for 0TDS I didn't replace my DI filter so my TDS is right now around 20ppm. I say it's good enough for altums.
Now PH, totally different story.
I do aerate my storage tanks and with that ph is around 7.4.
110gal (~440L) is with smaller altums and plants. For that thank ph7.4 doesn't really matter as it get's down to 6.6 because of co2 injection.
To avoid CO2 swings (and with that PH swings) i inject CO2 and O2 (air pump) and I find an equilibrium. this way there is no swings but yes I"m wasting some of co2. 20lb CO2 tank lasts me 6-8months at $30 refill, not bad..
For the other tank, I don't have plants in it and not doing co2 injection and that's where is the problem with PH.
So my R/O water with TDS of ~40ppm in the thank is around 7.2.
I tried Seachem Alkaline-buffer and alkaline-acid buffer and it works till I start aerate the water.
So, I'll make R/O water, TDS 20ppm, put 2 tsp of alkaline buffer, put 1tsp of acid buffer, and get ph of 6.6 - 6.8 and KH 4dH.. Perfect right??? Yes, till the morning as with aeration ph got back up at 7.2 and of course due to buffers my TDS is around 180ppm.
I did try muriatic acid, same thing would happen even with KH of 4dH which should be enough buffer to hold ph stable I still see it go up to 7.2 - 7.4..
Now this is where I'm currently struggling and none of these experiments were done on fish so right now 110Gal thank is 6.6 PH and 150Gal is about 7.2ph.. I'm doing now daily water changes and altums seem to like that and their fins seem to come back even in 7.2ph..

I'm actually tinkering about fully automated system as I'm pretty good with electronics/programming etc.. but it will take me some time so right now hose water changes are daily exercise of mine and sometimes I have to get up at 0600 in the morning to do it before work.. talking about being slave to this dam fish!!!
Anyway, long post about my dilemma with water changes and PH so I'm hoping more experienced folks can help here.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:21 pm 
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jgd wrote:
Hi Ed

I have an Eheim Pro Vacthough I find the mesh releasing fine particles back to the tank. I was planning to add a 50 micron cloth(I got the Coralife) as a envelope on top of the Eheim mesh.Need to know the mesh size of the Eheim.Looked at the manual and their site..couldnt find any number. Would anyone know whats the smallest particle Eheim mesh will block



Hi JGD, that happens to me also, but the filter takes care of the finer particles. I use Magnum 350 or Eheim 2217 as polishing filters, only containing polyfil.

My Eheim Gravel Vac broke... :( , so I am back to the Python.

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God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
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