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*Amanda*

Considering buying a water changer that plugs in to faucet

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Hello,

I have been considering buying one of those water changers that has a long hose and plugs into the sink. I have 3 tanks that are 50, 36 and 20 gal. It takes me 45 min to do a 40% water change on all of them using a gravel vac and bucket. Before I buy the automatic one, though, I have a few questions:

1) Which brands work best? There is one carried at petsmart near me but i don't recall the brand - it could be Aqueon though. The local stores where I live have low selection and are worse than petsmart in terms of advice and animal care.

2) Are leaks common?

3) About how much time is saved vs. using buckets and a gravel vac?

4) Would I add water conditioner to the tank before beginning the water change? I currently add it to the replacement water before I pour it in, but that wouldn't work with an automatic changer.

5) Overall, is it a smart investment?

Thanks in advance!

~ Amanda

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! :hi

Instant water changers are common among goldfish hobbyists because of the large amount of water they require changed. Here on the forum, many of the members feel that water changers waste a lot of water when it comes to draining the tank because of the large amount of water pressure needed and thus large waste of water from the sink to keep the suction going. A better alternative would be using a submersible pond pump connected to tubing to drain the water. The most recommended brand is the Harbor Freight pump: http://www.harborfreight.com/264-gph-submersible-fountain-pump-68395.html The Python water changer is a few dollars more expensive than the Aqueon, and some say it is the better of the two because the Aqueon is more cheaply made.

As for the water conditioning question, you treat the entire volume of the tank with water conditioner rather than the amount you drained and refill with tap water. Most water conditioners neutralize chlorine instantly, so there is little worry of hurting your fish.

Feel free to ask any more questions if you are confused! :)

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I can't imagine having 3 tanks without a water changer! It's a great investment and will save you LOTS of time! :D

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Hello,

I have been considering buying one of those water changers that has a long hose and plugs into the sink. I have 3 tanks that are 50, 36 and 20 gal. It takes me 45 min to do a 40% water change on all of them using a gravel vac and bucket. Before I buy the automatic one, though, I have a few questions:

1) Which brands work best? There is one carried at petsmart near me but i don't recall the brand - it could be Aqueon though. The local stores where I live have low selection and are worse than petsmart in terms of advice and animal care. I use the Aqueon Water Changer, haven't used the Python yet, but I heard it might be more durable, but I'm not 100% sure on that. You can find them online on Amazon for cheaper than at Petsmart IMO.

2) Are leaks common? I haven't experienced any leak, or heard of anyone having leaks, so no. Just remember to tighten the part that connects to the faucet since that's the part that I imagine might leak.

3) About how much time is saved vs. using buckets and a gravel vac? Time saved depends on the water pressure being sucked out of the tank (the height of your tank compared to the sink), but you will definitely be wasting water using the water changer if you leave the faucet tap water running while changing water (to create more water siphon, faster water change). So to save water, others have recommended that you use a submersible pond pump to push water out of the tank, or run the water pipe into the yard or out the window so you won't be wasting the faucet water, and let gravity do the work.

4) Would I add water conditioner to the tank before beginning the water change? I currently add it to the replacement water before I pour it in, but that wouldn't work with an automatic changer. I add Prime right before I turn the nob to fill the tank back up.

5) Overall, is it a smart investment? I would say it's a smart investment, considering how little work I need to do, and I would never go back to hauling buckets again.

Thanks in advance!

~ Amanda

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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I do kind of in between. I siphon water out a door in my fish room using good old gravity, and fill the tank via a garden hose attached to my kitchen sink faucet. If I were in the market for a water changer, though, I would get a Python online :) might as well spend the extra coin for extra quality.

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I personally use the aqueon water changer and love it. I've had it for over a year and the part that you connect to your sink cracked on me once though. I had to reorder it on the internet which I didn't particularly like. I have a 60g and a 34g and it takes me about an hour to 1 1/2 hour or so to do both tanks. Just depends how slow or fast I move. ha ha

I've been thinking of getting what was suggested above though one of these days. (harbor freight pump) It's a lot cheaper that's for sure.

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Thanks all. I might go with the aqueon just because it's sold at petsmart, and they will always replace it with a new one if anything goes wrong. But I might continue to use the buckets for removing water from the tank, as it doesn't seem like that water changer does a great job of draining - plus, it is the adding of new water that is messier and more of a hassle. I will now add the conditioner beforehand, calculated by the full tank volume instead of by the amount of water that was changed - thanks for that tip, Georgia.

One more question - my boyfriend wants to get an airstone, but I don't see the point if you have good filtration. I have never used one - I thought it was just a stone you dropped in the tank that made bubbles, but there are a lot of components! :-)

Can someone please advise me on whether having an airstone is helpful/necessary, and if so, how?

Thanks,

Amanda

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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The water changer was the best thing I ever got for this hobby. I second (or third) the water changer and pump. I use either gravity or the pump to remove the water, and then I use the Aqueon to refill the tank. :)

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An air pump is not really necessary. It helps move the water and therefore add oxygen, but if you have good movement, you don't have to have one. They are the noisiest part of my tank.

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Hello,

I have been considering buying one of those water changers that has a long hose and plugs into the sink. I have 3 tanks that are 50, 36 and 20 gal. It takes me 45 min to do a 40% water change on all of them using a gravel vac and bucket. Before I buy the automatic one, though, I have a few questions:

1) Which brands work best? There is one carried at petsmart near me but i don't recall the brand - it could be Aqueon though. The local stores where I live have low selection and are worse than petsmart in terms of advice and animal care.

I love my python but people have liked the Aqueon water changers.

2) Are leaks common?

Unless you're dumb like me, no. You just have to make sure everything is connected and they won't leak. Take care of it and it will last years!

3) About how much time is saved vs. using buckets and a gravel vac?

I don't know exactly but it takes me about 1-1.5 hours to clean and drain my 110 to 100% but that is with some time where I'm not drain so it's probably less. It does depend on your water pressure from the tank. I would like to get a pond pump so I don't use as much water but that will have to wait till the future.

4) Would I add water conditioner to the tank before beginning the water change? I currently add it to the replacement water before I pour it in, but that wouldn't work with an automatic changer.

Yes before the WC :)

5) Overall, is it a smart investment?

Best thing I ever bought! It saves me so much time although I will save even more money on water if I get that pump :P

Thanks in advance!

~ Amanda

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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I use a pond pump. In fact, I use the same pond pump to put water back in. I put it in a bucket in the sink and run the faucet in to the bucket, allowing the pump to send it back to the tank. I use just enough faucet pressure to keep the bucket filled as it is pumped out. Works like a charm.....

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I use a Python. It has cut my water change time in half I'd say. It's a lot easier on my back too, no moving heavy buckets!

I add the water conditioner to the tank before I start filling, using the amount to treat the whole tank.

I had to pay over $100 for mine, since I live i Australia and the postage was so much, but I think it was worth it!

I've never had a leak with my python :)

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I have found my python to last longer than the aqueon I previously owned. I found the aqueon to be more flimsy... it started splitting at the seam of the faucet hookup within the first month. My python can take one heck of a beating and come out strong, though.

It is the best investment in aquarium equipment I have ever made. It takes 40 mins to change 80-90% of my water in my 55g aquarium. This is due to good water pressure. I just make sure to rubber band some mesh over the end of the siphon to prevent fish injury due to the suction power.

I drain the tank to the level I need, add the appropriate conditioner for the entire tank volume, then refill.

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Thanks all. I might go with the aqueon just because it's sold at petsmart, and they will always replace it with a new one if anything goes wrong. But I might continue to use the buckets for removing water from the tank, as it doesn't seem like that water changer does a great job of draining - plus, it is the adding of new water that is messier and more of a hassle. I will now add the conditioner beforehand, calculated by the full tank volume instead of by the amount of water that was changed - thanks for that tip, Georgia.

One more question - my boyfriend wants to get an airstone, but I don't see the point if you have good filtration. I have never used one - I thought it was just a stone you dropped in the tank that made bubbles, but there are a lot of components! :-)

Can someone please advise me on whether having an airstone is helpful/necessary, and if so, how?

Thanks,

Amanda

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

Most likely you will need an airstone and pump at one point when you unfortunately will have to qt a fish for whatever reason.

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One more question - my boyfriend wants to get an airstone, but I don't see the point if you have good filtration. I have never used one - I thought it was just a stone you dropped in the tank that made bubbles, but there are a lot of components! :-)

Can someone please advise me on whether having an airstone is helpful/necessary, and if so, how?

Thanks,

Amanda

It's not really necessary if you have enough aeration in your tank with the filter, but it's good to have one on hand. You might come home with an impulse buy and set up a quarantine tank, or you may just wake up one morning to find one of your fish ill and need to set up a separate tank.

It does seem like there are a lot of components to an aeration system, but it's no that much once you get into it. Here are the necessities:

Air Pump: this is the main source of air and functions through electricity. A brand of air pump I highly recommend is the Tetra Whisper, it is quite quiet and aesthetically looks cool.

Airline Tubing: this is the tubing which carries the oxygen from the air pump into the tank. They come in many colors, the most common being transparent, black, and blue.

Air stone, bubble wall\wand: These are attached to the other end of the tubing into the tank and disperse the air. This is the fun part; there are many different kinds to chose from. Air stones are small cubes that release the oxygen from pores all over the stone. Some come in cool shapes like starfish. They disperse the air in a more concentrated fashion rather than the bubble walls or wands. Bubble walls are sturdy bars made the same way as airstones, but are longer and spread bubbles in more of a "curtain" pattern. I've heard some complaints on them being a bit floaty, but I can't really tell you because I've never had one. Bubble wands are probably the most popular. They are bars that also spread the bubbles in a "curtain"-like fashion, but are bendable and can be manipulated into any shape you want. I've seen some people get really creative with these. ;) Some even some with little LEDs and light up the bubbles. There are also air discs, which are essentially large. flat air stones.

Check valve: These are also very necessary if your air pump is not at a higher level than your tank. In the event of a power outage, or if you just unplug your air pump, your pump may start back-siphoning and making a watery mess everywhere. The check valve prevents this. It's best to make a cut of your airline tubing between your airstone and pump and place plug it there. It's a good thing to have and only costs a dollar or two.

A flow-control valve is another good thing to have, it attaches to your tubing and has a little dial where you can control the strength of the oxygen flow. It's great for feeding time so the food isn't being blown all over the tank.

And here's a little supplemental video in case my rambling wasn't enough. :rofl

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I would not buy anything at petsmart or petco that I could buy cheaper online at amazon or eBay, unless I wanted it asap. That's just me. I got the Aqueon online before I knew the Python was better. It does a fine job but i am not 100% pleased with it. It does leak a bit into the sink. I prefer it to a pond pump (which i have a spare stored under the fish tank) because I can clean the bottom of the tank as I am emptying it. I just drain the water out a door or into a bathtub, so I don't waste any water.

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You'll never regret it. I would not have my 90 gal if I had to use buckets LOL--I can promise you that!

I now have a Python, but I used an Aqueon water changer for 10 years and it worked great. IMO they are similar. The main advantage to the Python is the shut-off valve at the tank end, which makes removing it from the tank when you're done a less risky proposition.

But definitely get one! You'll be glad you did.

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