power gravel cleaner? siphon? water changer?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by neupane00, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. neupane00Valued MemberMember

    hey guys, is there any power (electric or strong battery) operatered water changer/siphon/gravel washer? my sink is almost save level or higer than tank or normal siphon will not work and i dont wanna use bucket. My new kitchen faucet is such that python doesnt work. i have a hose running to fill up the tank. The problem is now just to siphon and drain out water. any suggestions?? thanks a lot
  2. eiginh

    eiginhWell Known MemberMember

    power gravel cleaner is expensive! Not too sure if you want to drop 300 bucks on a electrical gravel vac. There's this smaller battery operated gravel I've seen at Petco but not too sure if they are effective and how often does it need to dump the water out. It's really small! What do you mean the python doesn't work with your faucet? Is it because the fittings are different?

    read this thread that I made; SWilkins helped me out with my python fitting problem.

  3. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    I use exactly what you are talking about.

    I have a powerhead, about 20' of plastic hose( the same used for the drain for my air conditioner, cond. tubing), and a 20cent gear clamp.

    Put the hose on to the output part of the powerhead and use the clamp to hold it secure. Run the hose to where ever you want it to drain, put powerhead in tank and plug in.


    I use those green twist ties, you know the kind for trash bags, and I twist tie the end of the hose to the sink faucet with the hose down in the drain. When I refil the tank I reverse it. I put the plug in the sing and fill sink with water and now I twist tie the powerhead end into the sink. The other end of the hose goes into a tank and you just start it up. I just grab a bucket and put the end of the hose the water is coming from to move it from tank to tank.

    Powerhead $15
    Plastic hosing(I had since I work in heating & air conditioning) but it cost 10-15cents per foot.
    Gear clamp 20cents.


  4. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    They sell one at petco and petmart that is 80 dollars.
  5. eiginh

    eiginhWell Known MemberMember

    Pictures would really help lol.

  6. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    ok give me a bit.......
  7. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    Ok this first pic is the whole deal sitting on the floor, I am lucky and have a spare bath room right off the fish room.


    Here is the powerhead, hose, and clamp.


    Close up of clamp, sorry didn't turn out very good.


    This is how I attach it to the sink using the green twist tie.


    And a close up.


    So as you can see when the powerhead is in the sink it is pumping water to the tank. When it is reversed with the open end of the tube in the sink and the powerhead it is removing water from the tank and that water is going down the drain of the sink.
    The whole thing is around $20 or a little less to make and has worked great for me for the last 3 years.

  8. OP

    neupane00Valued MemberMember

    seems like it will work great for draining water in and out.. but what about cleaning and siphoning gravel.. thats exactly why i asked if there is any power siphon. do u have any workaround for that?
  9. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    On the big tanks I clean the crap from the sand twice a week using siphon and bucket.
    Usually 5 gallons each time.(When I do this I do not replace any water) So I may do this say on Wednesday then again on Saturday right before I do the water change. And normally I do 50% water change weekly.

    On the smaller tanks, anything under 55gal, I only use the siphon and bucket right before the water change.

    I see what you are saying. It would be nice to have something that does both. But when I use the siphon and bucket it normally takes about 10 minutes tops to do this for all tanks.

    Doesn't a phthon do what you want? Sorry I don't know never had one. I don't have one because they are $80 here, and since I had everything laying around I needed to make the one I use I never really thought about getting one again.

  10. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    the gravel vac that's super expensive at petco and petsmart (i'm so sorry, i don't remember what it was called) was a pretty cool concept. It's battery operated. You stick it into your tank, clean the gravel. It sucks up the gunk and traps it, and the water comes back out. so when you pull it out of the tank, it's got the nasties trapped in it, all the water stays in the tank, and you just rinse the vac and gunk in your sink. Combined with Brian's contraption, if you have the funds, it may be exactly what you are wanting. (I don't have a picture of the vac, but imagine a filter that the water goes through but the bigger particles can't pass through)
  11. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    For the price of that I would use a bucket. Sure you have to dump the bucket out...but that is still probably faster than cleaning the filter in this thing. I guess it is nice you keep the water in the tank. But you still need something else to use for water changes right mb?

  12. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    right. that's why i returned it when i realized how it works. and then i picked up a 20 dollar vac with a squeeze thing to start the suction.

    but my husband wants to figure out a way for the water to go directly into the tank from the faucet rather than having to dump buckets in. The catch is that we use RO water from a small tank, with a tiny little faucet. It was originally intended only for drinking usage.

    I'm going to show him your powerhead thing. Maybe he'll be inspired to invent something similar. Thanks! Oh, is a powerhead somethnng from a hardware store or a fish store?

    Sorry for hijacking the thread!
  13. RonDuttValued MemberMember

    Heh, I invented my own using a Tetra air bubbler (DANGEROUS!). Going to switch it over to a powerhead just so water is going where water was intended to, not something a 20 something year old hacked up in his bedroom (and intended for air) =/
  14. worthyNew MemberMember

    Hello. I wonder if you can tell me where in particular i can get that tubing from. All the websites are showing really high prices.
  15. RonDuttValued MemberMember

    Hardware stores (ACE, Home Depot, Lowes) usually carry aquarium safe tubing.
  16. couesfanaticValued MemberMember

    is this it?

  17. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    You could probably siphon/gravel vac into a bucket, while pumping from the bucket into the sink (similar to what is shown above). You would need to match the flow of the siphoned water going into the bucket with the flow of the water being pumped out (so you don't either overflow the buck, or run the pump dry).
  18. eiginh

    eiginhWell Known MemberMember

    That is it Couesfanatic, not too sure if it works great though and it is pricey.
  19. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    that's it. i was just looking at some of the reviews, and overall people seem to like it.

    but it is really pricy...
  20. patrickdives89New MemberMember

    I have the Eheim battery operated vac. I paid around $60 for it. It's been in service in my 55 gallon tank for several months and I really like it. My fish even seem to be entertained when I use it and the cory cats follow it around waiting for any left-overs to be stirred up. It is very quiet in use and my fish do not seemed stressed at all when I use it. There is a light debris cloud that escapes through the filter of the device and it is quickly sucked up through the tank's filter. The Eheim is great for maintenance between water changes when I use my Python.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009

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