Advice on easy water changes 160L tank

Laura306

I had a look through other threads and can't really find an answer to my questions, so I thought I'd make a new one.

I have a 160L tank and this is the first one I've ever had of that size, and I'm a little frustrated over the water changes. It's still cycling, so I get pretty high nitrites. High enough that the recommendation is 33%-50% water change.

I did 33% over the course of 2 days and my nitrites are still between 2-5ppm.

I have a hose to syphon out the water, but all I have to put water back is a 14L bucket and a 2L jug to scoop water back in.

Surely there is a better way? The syphon is long enough to reach the bath so I can take all the water out at once, without carrying buckets every while, except that the bathroom is a few steps up from the rest of the floor so the bath is too high and the syphon can't do it's job... So buckets it is. I don't have space to put a bigger bucket, nor can I find one around here.

But I can live with that hassle. It's the putting water back in part that's causing the issue. It takes so long to do even a 6th of the water that I just wouldn't have time to do 50% in one day.

Is there a way to put the new water back in easily and smoothly? Pouring with the jug also throws around my floating plants and they don't always find their way back up to the surface either.

I could really use some advice. I am in the UK so I won't be able to find everything people in the US will have available (had the same issue when I was getting a new light - all the best options in lists online were not around in the UK).
If you have any advice, could you also comment on the price of it? I've sunk an ungodly amount of money into my two tanks so far and still need to save up for a co2 system too .

Thanks so much in advance!
 

carsonsgjs

Have you had a look at a python water changer? I’ve not used one but they seem to be highly recommended by a lot of users on here. They aren't cheap though - around £50-60ish for the shortest one.
 
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Laura306

Have you had a look at a python water changer? I’ve not used one but they seem to be highly recommended by a lot of users on here. They aren't cheap though - around £50-60ish for the shortest one.
Thanks I'll have a look, if the shortest one is the right size for my tank I'll see if I can get one.

Does the python let you put water back in too?
 
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carsonsgjs

Thanks I'll have a look, if the shortest one is the right size for my tank I'll see if I can get one.

Does the python let you put water back in too?
It does. Just have to make sure it fits your tap or you can get adapters (may include one already). You may also be able to get similar products that are a bit cheaper.
 
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Laura306

It does. Just have to make sure it fits your tap or you can get adapters (may include one already). You may also be able to get similar products that are a bit cheaper.
Do the adapters let you take the water from somewhere other than the tap? The chlorine would kill everything...
I'd prefer to use a bucket or container that has been dechlorinated as the source.
 
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carsonsgjs

Do the adapters let you take the water from somewhere other than the tap? The chlorine would kill everything...
I'd prefer to use a bucket or container that has been dechlorinated as the source.
I think the idea is that you add the dechlorinator directly to your tank before you add the new water in, so it would be ok.

Jtjgg’s idea is also a good one although you can’t get that particular pump over here. You can get some fairly cheap ones on All Pond Solutions though.
 
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Laura306

small water pump or powerhead, like Marineland Maxijet 1200


and tubing
UDP 1/2 in. I.D. x 5/8 in. O.D. x 20 ft. Clear Vinyl Tubing-T10007010 - The Home Depot
I looked the marineland one up and I don't really understand how that would work for water changes, could you explain?

That kind of tubing is what I've got at the moment for siphoning the water out.
I think the idea is that you add the dechlorinator directly to your tank before you add the new water in, so it would be ok.

Jtjgg’s idea is also a good one although you can’t get that particular pump over here. You can get some fairly cheap ones on All Pond Solutions though.
Will adding the dechlorinator into the tank and then filling with water cause any risk? I've read some guides saying that dechlorinators should be given 5 minutes to remove all chlorine, and that's a lot of time for it to wreak havoc.

Yeah I looked it up, but I don't really understand how it works to put water back in the tank. I've asked them though :)

Is there any other advice you have on water changes or general maintenance on bigger tanks?
I have black flourite sand as a substrate and plants, so I can't really use a gravel vacuum or even the siphon tubing to pick up dirt and waste without getting more sand! It's very lightweight.

Thanks again for so much help!
 
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jtjgg

i added a soda bottle as a funnel with some polyfil, this one is my pump to pump water from the sump tank up to the main tank. i have a second one to remove water from the tanks for water changes. then you can use it to pump water back into the tanks. in your bathtub start filling a bucket or storage container with water, place the pump inside and start pumping the water into the tank.


full.jpg

i've also used it as a water polisher, and gravel vac.

 
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RonP

A small. Water pump, with enough tubing can move water in and out of tank. I use a 40 gallon storage container as an intermediate, storing water for several days between changes. You can add Prime to the container as well. I installed a heater and filter on the storage container.
 
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mattgirl

Lots of folks use and love their python water changing system. Once hooked up to your faucet you can both drain and refill your tank with it. Before refilling add enough water conditioner to treat the full 160L, not just the amount you are replacing. Water conditioners work almost instantly so by adding it first it will remove the chlorine quickly.

Since it seems you are doing a fish in cycle if you aren't already using it I will recommend you use Prime. It is first and foremost a water conditioner but goes one step farther and detoxes low levels of ammonia. For a 160L (about 42 gallon) tank you would be adding 5mls of Prime with each water change. A bit more isn't a problem but you want to be sure you add at least that much.

If you are using another brand of water conditioner follow the directions for it and add enough for the full 160L of water right before you start refilling.

If you have no problem removing the water you can refill with a fresh drinking water hose hooked up to your faucet. Just temp match the water just as you are doing with buckets.
 
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Laura306

Lots of folks use and love their python water changing system. Once hooked up to your faucet you can both drain and refill your tank with it. Before refilling add enough water conditioner to treat the full 160L, not just the amount you are replacing. Water conditioners work almost instantly so by adding it first it will remove the chlorine quickly.

Since it seems you are doing a fish in cycle if you aren't already using it I will recommend you use Prime. It is first and foremost a water conditioner but goes one step farther and detoxes low levels of ammonia. For a 160L (about 42 gallon) tank you would be adding 5mls of Prime with each water change. A bit more isn't a problem but you want to be sure you add at least that much.

If you are using another brand of water conditioner follow the directions for it and add enough for the full 160L of water right before you start refilling.

If you have no problem removing the water you can refill with a fresh drinking water hose hooked up to your faucet. Just temp match the water just as you are doing with buckets.
The python does seem interesting, so far it seems the most convenient. The only issue I'll have with it is that our mixer tap doesn't actually mix ‍♀️ as soon as you open the cold a tiny bit, it's all cold coming out. It's a very old house...

I'm not doing a fish in cycle. I'm not sure why you think that. I used nerites to begin the cycle, and then took them out and replaced with adding fish food to rot once ammonia build up. Didn't want to risk their lives.

I do have prime, but don't use it on cycling tanks. I use a different conditioner for that. I always "overdose" the conditioner.
 
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mattgirl

The python does seem interesting, so far it seems the most convenient. The only issue I'll have with it is that our mixer tap doesn't actually mix ‍♀️ as soon as you open the cold a tiny bit, it's all cold coming out. It's a very old house..
That would make it difficult to temp match. I don't know if there is a work around for it.
I'm not doing a fish in cycle. I'm not sure why you think that. I used nerites to begin the cycle, and then took them out and replaced with adding fish food to rot once ammonia build up. Didn't want to risk their lives.
I should have asked instead of assuming. I read some of your other threads before replying to this one and saw that you have some goldfish. BTW: As long as we keep ammonia/nitrites down to safer levels I have no problem at all with doing a fish in cycle.
I do have prime, but don't use it on cycling tanks. I use a different conditioner for that. I always "overdose" the conditioner.
since you are doing a fishess cycle you shouldn't have to do water changes so often and Prime really isn't needed.
 
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BlockHead1981

As far as temp matching goes, I would have the end that goes into the tank flowing into the sink until I got the temperature right. Once I got it right I would put it in a bucket and walk it over to the tank and take it out of the bucket and move it quickly into the fish tank. Or, you can install a shutoff valve on the other end and just close the valve after you get your temps and then open it up once the hose is in the tank.
 
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Laura306

That would make it difficult to temp match. I don't know if there is a work around for it.
Yeah, I'm not sure either. It's been a real bother with the big tank. I basically have to go from hot to cold until the bucket temperature matches the aquarium haha. It's a hassle most of the time.
I should have asked instead of assuming. I read some of your other threads before replying to this one and saw that you have some goldfish. BTW: As long as we keep ammonia/nitrites down to safer levels I have no problem at all with doing a fish in cycle.
Oh yeah, I do have goldfish. I get why you thought it now. They are in a temporary tank which gets daily water changes until the big one is cycled. Because the tank is planted and I do have some rotting organics from that (and goldfish are messy piggies) I didn't want to risk it because I don't think I could've kept control over the levels enough to ensure their survival. I think with some tiny fish, like some tropical ones it's a little easier.
since you are doing a fishess cycle you shouldn't have to do water changes so often and Prime really isn't needed.
Yeah I didn't do any for two weeks to let the cycle get on, but recently the nitrites have looked pretty bad so I've done a few to combat that. Ammonia is all good, but them nitrites...
I tend to use prime if I'm really worried and can't do a water change immediately on the stocked tank. I kind of just have it as an emergency response.

Today I actually got so sick of not being able to differentiate between the colours above 1ppm on the API master test kit for nitrite that I did a second test, diluted. Converting it back, the nitrite is about 1.6ppm, which isn't as awful as I thought because undiluted it looks like 2ppm minimum and 5ppm or over in most lighting and angles... I don't know how it's so difficult to read the results on their computer calibrated colour charts, but oh well.

Thanks for your suggestions!
 
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