How do you perform water changes with sink siphon?

sayhy2mark33

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Nov 12, 2007
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Hi all, I use a sink-driven siphon system to take water to and from my tank. This was easy to do because I was on well-water (no chlorine so no pre-treatment necessary). However now, I will be moving to an area that uses city water, and the water will need to be treated to remove chlorine before being introduced into my planted tank. Thus, I don't think I can directly run water from the sink into the 55gal tank, via siphon. Do I need to use a bunch of buckets and treat them and wait? Sounds horribly tedious. What do you all do?
 

rusticitas

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I'm very interested in this question as well. Since I've always had small tanks (2.5-20gal) , and I never understood how one can go from faucet to tank directly without dechlorination, I ended up just getting a ~20g bucket from a restaurant supply store and I fill that the night before I do water changes. I have an older, small powerhead I stick in there to circulate around an older 150+W heater, just to help get it up to temp and aerated. I also drop in dechlor as per directions.

Using one of those python siphons for w/c would be handy, but I don't understand the issue with dechlorinating!
 

raun

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Nov 7, 2007
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Its really not that big of a deal. I usually keep the flow from the faucet low to try and prevent temperature shock and add decholor straight to the tank. There's no need to be a member of the bucket brigade; your fish will be fine.
 

sayhy2mark33

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Nov 12, 2007
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raun;21541 said:
Its really not that big of a deal. I usually keep the flow from the faucet low to try and prevent temperature shock and add decholor straight to the tank. There's no need to be a member of the bucket brigade; your fish will be fine.
Even in 50% WC's?
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
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Sep 23, 2007
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All,

1. Drain tank to desired level. Mark with tape if you want.....
2. Add Prime, Amquel, dechlorinator, etc (whatever you use) to remaining tank water. Dose appropriate to amount of water changed. Add a little extra to be safe. I use Prime myself.
3. Fill up tank DIRECTLY from tap.
4. Clean, prune, etc while draining/filling.
5. NEVER use a bucket again for a WC! :)

I change 100 gallons a week on my 180 and am done in < 1 hour.

Good luck.
 

raun

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Nov 7, 2007
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Yup. The refill time for my 75 gallon tank is over an hour when doing a 50% change, so I really just trickle the water in (dont forget to set the oven time!). I've been lazy or have had to leave the house a few times and filled a lot faster with no problems. If you have something like discus, which are suppose to be more sensitive, you might want to be a little careful.
 

VaughnH

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About Prime - you should dose according to the tank capacity, not according to how much new water you are adding. A 29 gallon tank gets the amount the bottle specifies for 29 gallons of water.

I also run tap water directly into the tank when refilling, after I have "measured" the temperature with a finger. I have never seen any problem doing this. I also run the wate pretty slowly, mostly to avoid stirring up the substrate and uprooting plants. It takes me about 2 hours to do everything I need to do on my 45 gallon tank, but if I only had to lightly clean the glass it would take less time.
 

Carissa

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Jun 8, 2007
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Why would you have to add enough dechlor for the whole tank if half the water is already chlorine free? I'm not sure how that stuff works. I've only been adding enough for the 15 gallons I put back in. It only takes me 15 mins tops on my 32g, drain and fill.
 

VaughnH

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I dose Prime according to the full tank volume because SeaChem says to do it that way. But, the logic seems to be that the new water may contain a little or a lot of chlorine or chloramine, so the refilled tank can have a wide variation in chlorine or chloramine in it. Apparently there is a concentration of Prime in the water that is optimally effective for any expected amount of chlorine or chloramine, so we need to build up the concentration to that amount, and that means dosing according to the full tank volume.

Suppose we only replaced 5% of the water, but the new water was very heavily chlorinated. In that case dosing for only 5% of the tank volume wouldn't be effective. This is just my rationalization, but it makes sense to me.
 

oblongshrimp

Junior Poster
May 22, 2007
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I agree with the above posts....just ad your declor to the tank and then fill it up. I have done 80-90% waterchanges this way in shrimp tanks with no problems.

I just read my bottle of prime and it says "Use 1 capful (5ml) for each 200L (50gal) of new water." .... "May be adde to aquarium directly, but better if added to new water first. If adding directly to aquarium, base dose on aquarium volume."

I belive the reason it has you dose the volume of the tank is because it will work faster to neutralize the chloramine so your fish aren't exposed to it for as long.

That being said I add it to my shrimp tanks and fill them up without problems, I dose based on the water I took out but on small tanks its hard to measure that amount out using the cap.
 

Carissa

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Jun 8, 2007
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I guess it must be the time element. It doesn't make sense that if you add a certain amount to a bucket of water with x amount of chlorine, it works (x being the range of normal amounts of chlorine in tap water), but if you dilute that water and then add the same amount, it wouldn't work. But yes, I can see that it probably wouldn't work as fast since it would have to mix up and circulate before acting on it. Using that logic, doing larger water changes would probably be better in this respect than small ones....yes you're adding more chlorine, but you have a lot of conditioner in there and it's all getting mixed up anyway from the 50% water change. If you only change, say, 3 cups of water (on a large tank) and then add a small amount of dechlor, it would probably take quite a long time for that little bit of dechlor to meet up with that bit of chlorine.