Python Water Changer?

hamstermann

Does anyone know of a site that can tell me how pythons work? I know you hook them up to your sink and you can control the siphon or fill features with a switch, but Where is the switch? How does the sink start the siphon process? Does anyone know the science behind it that can explain in lay man's terms?
 

Radcliffe

I was a bit confused as to how they work when I got mine, too. I couldn't find a good basic explanation.

I have one now and I LOVE it.

EDIT- I make this process more complex because I use a bucket, to double check everything. This is not manditory to use the Python, simply my personal choice. I would imagine that as I become more comfortable with keeping fish in general that I will simplify my process.

How I use mine:

I keep it rolled up and inside the bucket I used to use for water changes. When it is time to change water, I attach the one end to the sink by screwing it onto the end of the spout. I leave the other end in the bucket. Then I turn on the cold water on high. I then walk back to the bucket and there will be suction already going. I then suction out and clean the gravel. When I am finished, I put the end back in the bucket. I them add a bit of Prime to my tanks. Going back to the sink, I turn on the water hot and cold to get it to the right temperature, leaving the python attached and just sucking in air from the bucket. When I have the water the right temperature, I adjust the python to push the water out rather than suck water in by lifting and twisting the spout thingy that points down when attached to the sink. Next I walk over to the bucket and check the temperature again as the bucket fills a bit and adjust as necessary.

When I am confident in the temp of the water, I then turn off the flow with the switch near the fill/clean end and transfer it to over my tank. Then I release the switch and fill the tank with clean water. When I am finished, I briefly close the flow then put the end back in the bucket and let it put a bit more water into the bucket as I go turn the water off.

Next I put a drop or two of prime into the water in the bucket, and rinse out my filters in it if necessary. I know it isn't as good at keeping the bacteria working as rinsing in tank water but it works just fine in my established tanks. I generally only wash out one filter each water change.

My final step is to walk back to the sink and turn it on again, syphoning the water in the bucket out till it is nearly empty. Done! I put whatever drops of water is left into plant watering, and roll the python back up and put it in the bucket till next time. The entire process takes just a few minutes and doesn't spill water, and isn't a hastle.

Hope this helps!

--R
 

hamstermann

So it sounds like it's still a little more involved than the ads say. you've got to do a lot more than stick the vauum in the tank, suck everything out, then reverse the flow and fill with clean water.

how does it not build up pressure when the sink is turned on but you're not using any water because you're siphoning? Have you ever had a hose blow out or the sink atttachment not work quite right?
 

armadillo

Yes, it does still sound like hassle. I was alwasy wondering how you could condition the water with a python being connected directly to the sink. But it sounds like there are still buckets involved, and backing and fro'ing. I think I might wait a bit before investing in one.
 

Radcliffe

Well I should note that the only reason I use a bucket is because I like to double check the temp of the water I have going in, and have some extra water set aside that I can use for washing out filters. If you can judge the temperature of water better than I can, you wouldn't need the bucket.


Sorry if that was confusing for anyone!!!

--R
 

armadillo

Aaaah. So no absolute need for the bucket. Yes, my temperature-telling precision is actually uncanny. Am thinking of quitting my day job and becoming a show-business temperature teller. Honest, it's really bizarre. To the nearest degree. Some useless skill, hey.

I'll look into the python again. Don't like new things in general because it always takes me ages to work new machines out. But I did hear great things about it, and you seem to agree.
 

Radcliffe

Yes, I most certainly agree! I haven't spilled water, I clean my tanks more often, and I highly recommend the product

--R
 

hamstermann

are there any "wanna-be" pythons on the market that are cheaper, but equally effective?
 

Gunnie

You have to be careful when you turn it off at the tank instead of at the faucet. The pressure does build up, and I've had it come off the faucet and spray water all over my kitchen. I live in Florida, so I now just hook it up to the hose out front and water my plants at the same time. The mechanism that hooks up to the faucet is almost identical to the fill kit attachment you get to drain and fill a waterbed.

I wouldn't be without mine. I can clean all my tanks including a 100 gal. and a 55 gal. tank in about an hour and a half. I wouldn't have a 100 gal. tank if I had to use buckets. A python is definitely worth the money. Spend the extra cash and get the brass faucet adapter. The plastic ones strip easily.
 

Je55*e

I just bought something that I believe is the same product, just a different brand name. It's called 'tom mr cleaner'. Do any of you know if this is the same thing, only a different brand?
~J*
 

hamstermann

I've heard of it, but never used or seen it.

My wonderful wife bought a python on ebay for me. I can't wait to try it!
 

Je55*e

Do pythons or the like disturb the fish? Do they pose any danger to them whatsoever?
~J*
 

hamstermann

I wouldn't think it'd be different than any other siphon. I'll let you know if and when mine ever gets here.
 

Je55*e

Thanks, I'd really appreciate that!

Anyone else have any input on whether or not these products disturb the fish?
Thanks!
~J*
 

griffin

I would tend to say yes, they will disturb the fish, but then, so will anything else you use. I don't think a python will disturb the fish a lot more than any other method (unless you're directing the flow directly at/chasing fish with it or something like that)
 

Je55*e

Thank you!
I just cleaned the tank today. For some reason my cleaner (the mr. cleaner tom brand version of the python) would not work. I'm not sure why. I could hear whirring but no suction was taking place. Not sure what I did wrong.
So I filled a couple of bowls with tank water, put the fish in those, and cleaned the tank. Then I returned the fish and thus far all is well (knock on wood).
Does anyone have the mr. cleaner, and could tell me how to work it? Not sure what I could have done wrong.
~J*
 

Old Sloppy

I too have a question about the Python.
Does the faucet have to keep running during the draining process?
Seems like a lot of water useage if so.

I have a 135 gallon tank and I have been using an old garden hose to drain the dirty water outside on the lawn.

Harry S.
 

hamstermann

Just got mine today. The package says it uses less water than flushing a toilet while draining. I didn't measure, but that may be true. It may also depend on how big a tank you're draining. I found that it's pouwerful enough to suck eco complete from the bottom of the tank to the top of the gravel, but it still wouldn't suck my pleco's poop up into the tubes. I guess that doesn't bother me because we can always bury it and wait for it to turn into nitrate for my plants, but I'd still rather have it out of the tank when I clean it.

other than that, it works really well and the carpet around my fish tank is much drier.
 

griffin

other than that, it works really well and the carpet around my fish tank is much drier.

lol - dry carpet in the fish area is always a plus
 

TeHpWNaG3

Yes, the faucet is running full-power while the python is operating. The level of suction depends on it, but I do know that the amount of water going down the drain is far less with the python attached than if the faucet was left to run on it's own. It would still be a concern for water-watchers IMHO.

I'll admit that the system was a little intimidating, at first, but it really made water changes a snap since I have 3 tanks to maintain. The hose self-cleans/drains for storage and there was very little-to-no spillage compared to traditional bucket methods. If you have to do more than 2 buckets worth during routine cleaning, this product is for you. Worth the money.

The only drawback I see with this product is the sink attachment. You have to unscrew your sink fitting every time you want to use the python. I bought the quick release fitting and keep it installed full-time. The concern about building-up pressure is real. The system doesn't like sustained high-pressure but I have not had a blowout yet. Just be on-top of things and that won't happen. Other than that, there are no leaks and the products is very well made. My old gravel vacuum pales in comparison in terms of quality AND function.

Someone mentioned that there was a lack of suction. I did notice this myself, however, I believe it was by design--to empty less water. Actually, the suction is very good if you let the pressure build up momentarily. Dig the vacuum nozzle deep into the gravel and, with help from a little "backpressure" from the substrate, the gravel soon lifts and the debris flows through the hose just like a regular gravel vacuum. The suction lets off a bit when you pull back on the hose, releasing the gravel. You can hear the pressure difference at the sink when you do this and you'll feel the same thing when you cover your hand over the vacuum. Best thing, though, you can turn it off without having to remove it from the tank. Repositioning the nozzle no longer requires a panic move in order to get to the next spot! The only time the python leaves the tank is when the job is DONE (cleaned & filled).

FYI...When I start re-filling the tank I pour in the water conditioner at the same time. I've read other forums where the pros had no problem with this and I've never had a positive reading right after the fill either.

If you are still on the fence, all you have to know is that I cut my water change time by a third (and I was a bucket haulin' fool!). It is an absolute joy when compared to the old ways. Especially, if you have a problematic tank that requires daily water changes!
 

mlinden84

I got the Python a month ago and I LOVE it! If you have more than 1 tank to do or have a big tank, it will save you time (and your back! no more lifted buckets!) Definitely worth the price, it no longer makes water changes seem like a chore.
 

Trpimp147

does it suck air out of the line???? on its own????
 

mlinden84

does it suck air out of the line???? on its own????

To get the python to suck up the water, you turn the faucet on all the way and open up the valve. This creates suction, which pulls air (or water) through the vacuum and hose.
 

Trpimp147

I thought so but, but when your not for sure you have to ask right? I thought you may have to prI'm it your self or something like that.
 

Allie

The Python is one of the greatest inventions EVER...so worth the money.
 

armadillo

this is the eternal discussion, sorry to bring it back up but.... (playing devil's advocate here)

If you must put untreated water in the tank with the python, and some people get around that by pre-treating the water that's already in the tank...

then why am I paranoid about pouring as much as a little cup of untreated water in my tank?
 

Allie

this is the eternal discussion, sorry to bring it back up but.... (playing devil's advocate here)

If you must put untreated water in the tank with the python, and some people get around that by pre-treating the water that's already in the tank...

then why am I paranoid about pouring as much as a little cup of untreated water in my tank?
Our big tank has been up for nearly a year...so there is more cured water in the tank than the tap water. I believe in treating the water when you don' t have a cultured tank. We used a water conditioner for a long time. The little tanks I only use the python for emptying...then use the water we have in a filtered rubber maid container...or I take it from the big tank.
 

armadillo

What's a cultured tank? Like one with an established nitrogen cycle and all that?

So you dont' use water conditionner any more?
 

Allie

What's a cultured tank? Like one with an established nitrogen cycle and all that?

So you dont' use water conditionner any more?
A Cultured tank has lots of different types of algae...a tank set up for at least 2 years is truly "established" from what my bf's been reading. Real plants help that happen faster. If you have a large tank you can take the good water from there to use in the new tanks...so we don't use conditioner at all now. I find now that we do use the 120 gallon water...less fish loss. With the exception to the angels I lost this year. Sometimes we set the tank up a few days or week before hand let it run for a bit add plants...then add fish. No problems as of so far. You can use dirty sponges or filter on a newly filled tank and it'll get some of the good stuff in the tank.
 

armadillo

Oh, I see. Intereseting about the 2 years.

But what about the chlorine/chloramine in the tap water? No matter how much algae/how many plants, that could still be a problem, couldn't it?
 

Allie

Oh, I see. Intereseting about the 2 years.

But what about the chlorine/chloramine in the tap water? No matter how much algae/how many plants, that could still be a problem, couldn't it?
I guess it could be depending on the size of the tank...we haven't had any problems at all. In fact we had good luck with most of our fish. The 120 gallon and 30s are the only ones we actually let water right from the tap in...so 25% water in that size of a tank must not hurt it. With the Betta tanks I have used the water that we leave sitting around in a filtered container. The chlorine/chloramine is filtered out. I guess it would also depend on how much chlorine is in the tap water.
 

Trpimp147

my town doesn't put clor. in the water as kids they gave us pills to help our bones grow. kinda like vits. so I don't have to really treat my water but I do any way just in case some thing other is in the water.
 

TeHpWNaG3

I believe that's calcium. Chlorine prevents bacterial growth. I would bet my tank water that your local water supply has WAY MORE chemicals than you think! Most are negligible though.

Speaking of Chlorine and Chloramines, I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and we do have top-notch public works. I test only a miniscule amount of both compounds in my tap water, so adding water conditioner straight to the tank isn't as harsh as it would seem. I would recommend that everyone should get baseline stats on their tap water and adjust their solution usage accordingly.

One other thing I like about the Python system... you can cut the hose to a custom length which makes coiling and storing much easier. ;-)
 

MudHog

I don't have the Python model, but mine is very similar and is blue in color. Anyone can make their own. This same exact setup is used by people who have waterbeds. Mine is actually the same exact, name and all, that my in-laws have at their house for their water bed. I've never had one, but water beds need water changes as well.


I no longer use my faucet to siphon out my water. I don't like the fact of using water to siphon water. I either run my house out the window and into the yard and start cleaning or run it into the sink. I do notice better suction going out the window as the elevation change more as opposed to going in the sink. Then I connect it up to the sink to refill.


Great product I must say. I did see the little primer bulb that can be used instead of sucking on the end of the hose. I may get one of them as now I have to go outside, suck the end to get the siphon going and then come inside to clean. The other way I just pump the bulb and the siphon starts, all while being inside by the tank.
 

Skyline

I bought one but its from Lee, its called the ultimate gravel vac, its a great tool and I use it all the time. Much easier than carrying buckets to and fro, also it fills up much quicker than using a bucket.

Great item, worth the purchase.
 

MissMTS

I have been thinking about spending the money on a python. Does the height of your sink in comparison to the height of your aquarium matter? I heard somewhere that it did. Maybe this is a dumb question.......
 

MudHog

It does matter to an extent. If your using the faucet pump that uses water pressure to create the siphon, then it doesn't matter. If your just using the natural height to pull the siphon, then it has an effect on it. It will still pull a siphon, but it just won't be as strong. I tried that once and noticed the lesser amount of suction. I ran the house outside to my yard and the approx. 5-6' height difference made a dramatic effect on the amount of suction.

Don't read this and thing it won't work by going into your sink though. It will pull a siphon and you will be able to clean your tank. You just won't be able to move very quickly and will take you a couple minutes longer to clean. Also, you won't have to regulate your hose as you won't be pulling to much water out at one time.
 

TheEssigs

Hey gang...

Does anyone have a Python Clean N Fill water changer?

If so, Do you like it? Why/Why Not?

I was thinking of getting the 50' one, but wanted some reviews before I purchased the thing.



Thanks...
 

mlinden84

I have one, and I LOVE it! It makes water changes go so fast... I used to spend at least an hour doing them, now it takes 15 minutes at most. (plus no more hauling 5 gallon buckets!)

The only concerns I had were:
-adding the water conditioner... since the water goes right into the tank... but I just use a syringe to slowly add drops of water as it flows out of the hose into the tank... I haven't had any problems so far (i've had the python for about 6 months)
-there gets to be a lot of pressure at the faucet end... I tightened my plastic piece too tight and now it will spray when in "fill" mode. Usually I'll just drape a kitchen towel over it and it's fine.

Overall I think it's great, especially if you have big or multiple tanks (which from your sig. it looks like you do!)
 

TheEssigs

Thanks mlinden84...

We usually do the 5 gallon bucket thing, but its not going to be easy with the 125g. We haven't yet set it up, and before I do, I want to be sure we have everything we need... and doing a 25% water change 5 gallon buckets at a time, sounds... well, horrible.

Anyway, I am also hoping, as you mentioned, to cut down on the maintenance time on all the other tanks as well, since it does take us quite a while to get through all our water changes with the bucket method.

I am really concerned with the Python leaking, and I wanted to be sure that people who have them don't find it a problem. Some of our tanks are in locations that if the water did leak, it would be an issue.
 

mlinden84

Are you concerned about the python leaking by the tanks? If so, I've never had a problem with that. The hose can be easily taken apart, but also connects tightly and I've never had any leaks on the syphon/vacuum end. (the only problem is the spraying problem... which I have found out can be fixed by getting a brass connector instead of plastic, I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet)

I cannot imagine hauling 5 gallon buckets to do water changes for a 125 gallon tank.... lol and I thought doing that for a 55 gallon and smaller tanks was tough!!
 

jsalemi

Agree -- I have one for my 56g and it's been great. One advantage is that its design aerates the water as it pumps it in, dissipating some of the chlorine before it ever gets into the tank. And dribbling in some Prime or other dechlorinator while filling the tank takes care of the rest.
 

catersun

woohoo

I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I just realized that my 30gal came with a python vac, but only realized what it was tonight.

Used it to drain the 12 gal after I moved the fish to the 30. it was NICE!!!!!!!!
 

mlinden84

I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I just realized that my 30gal came with a python vac, but only realized what it was tonight.

Used it to drain the 12 gal after I moved the fish to the 30. it was NICE!!!!!!!!

Yes they are so nice! Gone are the days of backbreaking work of hauling buckets of water for water changes!
 

catersun

I ran into a snag....

what facet do you hook your python up to to fill your tank? I found that the attachment did not fit any of my faucets. Wonderful hubby offered to plumb me a hose faucet and drain under a sink for me, but I'm wondering if I can get a new faucet attachement for it easier than a plumbing job. What do you all do?
(yes I have a WONDERFUL hubby.... *little brag* since I didn't have a faucet to work with he held the siphon end up to the shower head while I held the faucet end over then tank to "reverse siphon" clean water back into the 46 gal- I did a 40% water change in the tank to combat the algae curse zigmeister sent me- we were there a while)
 

mlinden84

I hook mine up to the kitchen sink. I just removed the thing that was screwed onto the faucet (lol sorry I don't know the name... but it was where the python part screws in to) then I put the plastic piece on. I actually leave the white plastic piece on all the time so I don't have worry about taking it on and off.
 

Allie

You HAVE to get a python. We have the 50' one. The are the best invention ever. Especially with bigger tanks...just put your water treatment in while it's filling back up. Hook it up to your kitchen sink & ta da. We don't worry about treatment with our 120g...it's been set up for well over a year now so 25% untreated water hasn't effected our fish. In fact our fish have been thriving, growing faster and happy.
I tell ya, I sure don't miss lugging buckets back & forth to our bathtub.
 

Barbrella

A Python sounds great and I'd LOVE to give up my 5g. buckets, but how do you know you're putting correct temp. of water back into the tank? How does that work?
 

mlinden84

You HAVE to get a python. We have the 50' one. The are the best invention ever. Especially with bigger tanks...just put your water treatment in while it's filling back up. Hook it up to your kitchen sink & ta da. We don't worry about treatment with our 120g...it's been set up for well over a year now so 25% untreated water hasn't effected our fish. In fact our fish have been thriving, growing faster and happy.
I tell ya, I sure don't miss lugging buckets back & forth to our bathtub.

Plus you can take a bath knowing your bathtub hasn't recently had fish poo water in it!
 

mlinden84

A Python sounds great and I'd LOVE to give up my 5g. buckets, but how do you know you're putting correct temp. of water back into the tank? How does that work?

I leave the water running in "vacuum" mode so it's draining into the sink, and use a thermometer to test the temp, then I put it in "fill" mode.
 

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