Question Looking for a good water change powerhead, cost efficient but powerful suggestions?

therealpatricksnyder

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I want to optimize my water changes a bit on my setup. My 5 gallon is easy but my two 40's take a bit longer with the siphon and bucket method. I was thinking about a python however I don't like the uncertainty of temperature and chlorine issues that can cause. Eventually I'm going to build out a water change system where I can run straight from the tap into a dechlorinator reserve maybe drip or a filter unit, then to the tanks but for now I just want to stop having to lift buckets and spill water.

I need a good suggestion for a powerhead pump, here are my caveats:
  1. Price less than $50.
  2. Must have minimum 1/2 inch inlet and outlet. (standard pond pumps will be a no go because I want to run it both directions without having to stick a giant pump body into the tank)
  3. Lift height must be greater than 6ft, but 8-10ft would be ideal to make sure I have enough power to get from the ground into a tank that sits 4ft off the ground from top to floor.
  4. Don't care about noise or power consumption (I'm in the US though so 110v AC)
  5. Flow rate greater than 600 would be ideal to keep things moving quickly (5-10gpm, ideally at the max lift height, this is always tough because most heads exponentially lose power with every few inches of lift height)
Anyone have any ideas or a pump you use? I'd also like to know the "real" specs on the pumps not just the exaggerated numbers that the company threw on the box. Normally I take whatever power a pump has and cut it in half due to hose length power loss. I'll also divide it by 4 even to be safe with max lift height, is this a good estimation method for power?
 

vyrille

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I'm in the same situation as you are, using pumps from a reservoir prior switching to a continuous drip system (been planning it for months now, but eh.) Unfortunately I just use cheap chinese powerheads and can't really recommend a particular brand. As for estimations, mine advertise 1600 litres/hr, but really only put out around 450/hr (25% of advertised). Lift height advertised at 1.4m but only really to 1m (66% of advertised).
 

kallililly1973

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It would be easier to buy the Python or even the Aqueon Water changers. As long as your adding your dechlorinator you will have no water issues providing you know the levels coming out of your tap. Also as far as the temp goes they sell pretty cheap infrared temp. guns you can use to measure the water temp from the faucet and you can very easily measure the tank temp in multiple areas of your tank in seconds. Here is a link. I seen one on Amazon for as low as $7-8. I recommend these guns over any other thermometers hands down.
infrared temperature gun - Google Search
 

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therealpatricksnyder

therealpatricksnyder

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kallililly1973 said:
It would be easier to buy the Python or even the Aqueon Water changers. As long as your adding your dechlorinator you will have no water issues providing you know the levels coming out of your tap. Also as far as the temp goes they sell pretty cheap infrared temp. guns you can use to measure the water temp from the faucet and you can very easily measure the tank temp in multiple areas of your tank in seconds. Here is a link. I seen one on Amazon for as low as $7-8. I recommend these guns over any other thermometers hands down.
infrared temperature gun - Google Search
Those temp guns saved my life so far! My digital therms are all off so I use it to get a baseline then add a label to the therm so I remember how to compensate. Good to hear my worries about python and direct line systems aren’t a big concern. I may have to try one out, especially since my one tank is 10ft from the bathroom. Thanks!
 

kallililly1973

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therealpatricksnyder said:
Those temp guns saved my life so far! My digital therms are all off so I use it to get a baseline then add a label to the therm so I remember how to compensate. Good to hear my worries about python and direct line systems aren’t a big concern. I may have to try one out, especially since my one tank is 10ft from the bathroom. Thanks!
I agree the digital ones are the worst IMO I ordered 4 and added all the probes to a bucket of water and all 4 showed different reading. I don't trust them. Anyone wanna buy 4 digital thermometers temps may vary ;)
 

NavyChief20

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You're gonna be hard pressed to find a power head or pump at those specs for under 50. I made my water change rig out of garden hose and a wye ball isolator. Made my own adapter for the sink (prototype A). I ran that and had a secondary wye on it that was for substrate vac with a tygon tube pigtail.

Version 2.0 I pretty much made a trI'm and drain system and hard piped it to the hot n cold. It goes to a main drain header for all tanks and a main fill header for all sumps. My day tank (dechlor tank) serves as the auto topoff volume which feeds the toilet fill valves on my sumps.

Version 1.0 should work for you. I have a 40 breeder I still use it on and it drains in about 15 minutes.
 

coralbandit

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Why not add a thermometer to the python inline ? All you need is a 'Tee ' to accept it . Next brilliant patent??
I am very surprised others have not .
I use a hose from a dedicated mixing station for my tap water fills and finally found the thermometer that makes it all easy and accurate ..
This is the one I have used now for 1+ year


I tried several inline 'shower LCD/LED ' types but they failed fast ..
Simple 2 inch T and you can run your water from faucet into tub until perfect temp is reached .
 

NavyChief20

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coralbandit said:
Why not add a thermometer to the python inline ? All you need is a 'Tee ' to accept it . Next brilliant patent??
I am very surprised others have not .
I use a hose from a dedicated mixing station for my tap water fills and finally found the thermometer that makes it all easy and accurate ..
This is the one I have used now for 1+ year


I tried several inline 'shower LCD/LED ' types but they failed fast ..
Simple 2 inch T and you can run your water from faucet into tub until perfect temp is reached .
Hmmm I may have to make a trip to the hardware store. That's a clever idea.
 

coralbandit

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NavyChief20 said:
Hmmm I may have to make a trip to the hardware store. That's a clever idea.
Works GREAT on my set up ! This is my dedicated mixing station ..
SrwMGlfl.jpg

After the filter the steel re enforced hose goes to a 1/4 turn faucet .
So I just turn it on and off and never have to change the setting unless I want to change the temp ..;)
 

NavyChief20

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coralbandit said:
Works GREAT on my set up ! This is my dedicated mixing station ..
SrwMGlfl.jpg

After the filter the steel re enforced hose goes to a 1/4 turn faucet .
So I just turn it on and off and never have to change the setting unless I want to change the temp ..;)
I recognize a fellow tinkerer when I see one lol. I like it!
 
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therealpatricksnyder

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Alright you’ve got me convinced. Might as well have some fun with it and build a diy water change system. I’m in metro Detroit and with all the water issues our surrounding cities have had I’ve been looking at RO systems for a while now. This just gives me the excuse to finally pull the trigger. I think I’ll run an RO to a pressure holding tank, split one output to my sink for drinking water then run additional outputs to each of my tanks and throw on some auto top off floats. Then I can just run a few drain pumps down into the basement and I should be all set. This went from a low to medium to super high tech setup pretty dang quick
 
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therealpatricksnyder

therealpatricksnyder

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coralbandit said:
Works GREAT on my set up ! This is my dedicated mixing station ..
SrwMGlfl.jpg

After the filter the steel re enforced hose goes to a 1/4 turn faucet .
So I just turn it on and off and never have to change the setting unless I want to change the temp ..;)
Question about your setup. Are you mixing your filtered water direct with your hot water tank to get an ideal temp then? If so what does that do to the effectiveness of the filtration? I assume since the water was heated by the hot water tank then that removes the impurities and makes it suitable for an aquarium?
 

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Atm, I run water to age it into a holding tank where I have airstones to aerate. I recently ordered a pump to pump water from the reservoir to my 120g, it hasn't arrived yet, so I can't comment on how well of a job it does, but it's described to have a 2.5m lift and 25 watts. It's one of those pumps that sucks water from the bottom (360°). My reservoir is 4ft off the ground, my tank is 25 feet away and 5.5 feet tall. So technically the water will drop the initial 4ft, then I need enough power to travel 25 feet and up 5.5 feet. So i'm hoping the 2.5m lift will be adequate. If I actually receive the pump (not a fraudulent ad on eBay), it only cost me 20$.
 

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therealpatricksnyder said:
Question about your setup. Are you mixing your filtered water direct with your hot water tank to get an ideal temp then? If so what does that do to the effectiveness of the filtration? I assume since the water was heated by the hot water tank then that removes the impurities and makes it suitable for an aquarium?
A hot water tank that removes the impurities
and makes it suitable for aquarium use?

I missed something - does it run from the hwt to an RO/DI?
 
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therealpatricksnyder

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BettaDollar said:
A hot water tank that removes the impurities
and makes it suitable for aquarium use?

I missed something - does it run from the hwt to an RO/DI?
Yea that's why I'm confused too. I know you can't run from hot to an RO unit. It would damage the RO membrane. It does however look like coralbandit found some way of adjusting water temp. So I'm curious how this is done since you can't run warm water through an RO unit and I would think that mixing the RO water back in with hot water would render the filtration useless; unless the heat introduced from a hot water tank is enough to purify it.
 

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My mixing station is a shower fixture .Hot and cold water enter and are mixed to temp I desire for my fish [80f] .
From the " T" before the thermometer the red line sends 80f water to my RO system ..After water is processed on the RO unit that water goes in barrels .. Ro units function BETTER with warm water while cold reduces their efficiency ?? I don't send hot water to my RO , I send 80f every time all the time .I have a T in my RO system so I can separate RO and RO DI water and either is made on demand via float valve in corresponding barrel ..I use mainly RO[no DI] 44g barrel and 32g barrel .
The 80f water that does not go in the red line to the RO goes to the filters you see below .They are the same as my RO but only mechanicals no TFC in this run for the tap .After the 5 micron /1micron / catalytic carbon the water [still 80f] goes to a 1/4 faucet where I get my tap water from .This allows easy on and off and never adjusting the hot and cold supply unless I desire change .They rarely get changed so I always get same temp water without effort besides looking at the thermometer !
The water is mixed to temp before the filters and my RO ..Three filters make not 1 PPM TDS difference in water but they catch a ton of sediment ?
My RO removes 330 PPM TDS and RO/DI removes 350PPM TDS .
 
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therealpatricksnyder

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coralbandit said:
My mixing station is a shower fixture .Hot and cold water enter and are mixed to temp I desire for my fish [80f] .
From the " T" before the thermometer the red line sends 80f water to my RO system ..After water is processed on the RO unit that water goes in barrels .. Ro units function BETTER with warm water while cold reduces their efficiency ?? I don't send hot water to my RO , I send 80f every time all the time .I have a T in my RO system so I can separate RO and RO DI water and either is made on demand via float valve in corresponding barrel ..I use mainly RO[no DI] 44g barrel and 32g barrel .
The 80f water that does not go in the red line to the RO goes to the filters you see below .They are the same as my RO but only mechanicals no TFC in this run for the tap .After the 5 micron /1micron / catalytic carbon the water [still 80f] goes to a 1/4 faucet where I get my tap water from .This allows easy on and off and never adjusting the hot and cold supply unless I desire change .They rarely get changed so I always get same temp water without effort besides looking at the thermometer !
The water is mixed to temp before the filters and my RO ..Three filters make not 1 PPM TDS difference in water but they catch a ton of sediment ?
My RO removes 330 PPM TDS and RO/DI removes 350PPM TDS .
Gotcha. That makes more sense. Yea after some research looks like 77 is the ideal RO processing temperature and once you hit 100 is when you start to degrade the RO processing with 113 being the limit of the membrane where you start to get a drop in the rejection rate from like 95%+ to 50% and you cook the membrane.

I’m installing a unit with dual membranes so I can do waste water reprocessing through the second membrane and double my output so I should be able to run it like you with mixed water and then have enough flow to run direct to my tanks. Solid setup man!
 

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