Making water changes easier

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timg

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Has anyone got any ideas as to whether the below system could work? I have 8 tanks at present and am about to add another two, so need a solution to the problems of water changing. Here's the idea so far:

Install a cold water header tank on my flat roof and insulate it;
Plumb into the mains water supply with a shut-off valve at the inlet;
Plumb in the bottom outlet to plastic pipe and run into the room below;
Install an electric shower to pre-heat the water as it falls to tank level;
put drop pipes into each tank with shut-off valves at the top and holes in the sides to let the water out. Blank off the open end at the bottom of each pipe;

How I think it would work:

Fill the header tank with cold mains water. The tank would hold around 60 - 80 gallons. It could be left for a day to de-gas naturally.
Treat the water to remove the chlorine etc. (Easy if you know the quantity)
Gravel clean the tank to remove as much of the water as you need to change.
Turn on the valve for that tank and let it fill by gravity from the header tank. (The shower heater could be set to temperature beforehand and shouldn't need to be changed)
Repeat the process until the header tank is empty, then repeat the process.

My other thought is whether I can get an automatic system to de-chlorinate and treat the water as it runs, saving the need to pre-treat the tank manually.

What do you all think?
 

atmmachine816

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little discussion on it but have you considered this? You can run water directly from your tap into your tank and dechlorinate it as it goes in. You also can easily drain the tanks with it too. , don't type python.com, comes up with a bad site, I don't know the manufacturs site. :-\
 

AnnaEA

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That sounds like a workable system (caveat - I am not a plumber). If your climate is right, you might that you get enough passive solar heat in your header tank to avoid needing a heater added to it.

Would the header tank be opened or closed? Will the chlorine gas out if it's closed? If it's open are you comfortable that you don't have any environmental contaminants to worry about? I couldn't use an open tank storage system around here, because of the various mosquito fogs and stuff that the city uses.

I eventually want to build a fish room that is plumbed specifically for making water changes/tank cleaning easier. I envision using a large rubbermaid or similiar container as a pre-cycling/water treating resevoir, so that the water I am adding is identical to what I have in my tanks.
 
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timg

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the header tank I have in mind comes with a loose-fitting cover, sufficient to keep the bugs out but not stop the de-gasing. We do have some cold weather here, but nothing to be concerned about, rain is more of a problem. There's a thought..... could I use rain water for the tanks?

As for the chlorine gasing out, it may well do, if I leave it to stand for a day or two, but I'd still treat the water anyway, since that way I know it's gone.

The thread about the python is very interesting, although I can't imagine having pipes trailing around the living room with kids running around! Could be problematic at best!

If this is workable, I can also fit a waste pipe under the tanks to plug the gravel syphon into, thus eliminating the dreaded buckets, which would give a very similar effect to the python, buit without the hoses. Needs more thought, methinks!
 

atmmachine816

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I don't know much about the pipes part or anything though. The python uses a tubing my bad, just like a normal gravel vacuum.
 

AnnaEA

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I think whether you could use rain water would depend on the air quality where you live --- in my region, I couldn't, because we have acid rain issues.

Also - rain water is soft water - it's been through natures own distillation process . For use with fish, I think you'd want to test it to see if you need to add a buffer or anything.
 
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