What size Powerhead for python water changer?

tigerfish420

I'm trying to make my water changes less physical more technical and will be investing in the python water changer. But I'm going to add a powerhead to one end so I can pump water rather than siphon because it wastes so much water. what size powerhdead do y'all suggest for pumping water through a long length of hose anywherefrom 20-30 feet.
 

tigerfish420

I'm trying to make my water changes less physical more technical and will be investing in the python water changer. But I'm going to add a powerhead to one end so I can pump water rather than siphon because it wastes so much water. what size powerhdead do y'all suggest for pumping water through a long length of hose anywherefrom 20-30 feet. Or should I just get a small pump I wanna try to keep it cheap but effective. I was originally planning on just pumping it out of the tanks into buckets and dumping it but my back says no more buckets. A length of 2 way hose would be much easier.
 

Claire Bear

In my freshwater tanks I use a python and yes it does waste fresh water. In my salt I use a good sized pump and hose and pump in but also pump out with the python. Not sure what you describe would work-unless your sink can be reached by the pump/line. Let me know how it works for you though.
 

tigerfish420

Imagine a powerhdead in a tank with the outflow going into a the into a bucket or sink
 

AllieSten

OnTheFly weren’t you just talking about something similar the other day?
 

Dave125g

Fallowing. I was looking into a 300 GPH power head to do the same thing.
 

Pete Lowrey

I have been thinking about trying a siphon system using a long hose from my tanks to the bath/toilet,
posted in another thread,
An interesting video on water changing
skip to 1.30 for a good way to start a syphon without sucking.
Pete
It works with a little practice but not tried it with a long hose yet, hope this helps.
Pete
 

NightShade

Following.... need the same type of thing. DarkOne has a similar setup
 

DarkOne

I have a that I use to fill my tank from 5 gallon buckets. It should be strong enough to pump waste water out to the sink/bathroom if you need. The pump needs to be submerged or filled if you use the intake hose attachment. It has 3/4" and 1" ID nozzle attachments. The hose in this size isn't flexible and not cheap ($2 per foot). I'm using the 3/4" on the output and a reducer to 1/2" with a 5' hose to fill. The 1/2" hose is a much more flexible than 3/4" but you sacrifice volume. It's not too bad though. I can still empty a 5 gallon bucket in less than a min.

To pump from a tank, there's a cover over the intake so your fish doesn't get sucked out unless they're really small. Or you can gravel vac into a 5 gallon and then pump from there to the sink/bathroom.

In hindsight, this is way more pump than I need and I had to get extra pieces from Lowes to make it work for me. A smaller pump with 1/2" connectors would've been easier and cheaper. You should also look at the max lift spec. Mine can pump up to 7' high but the smaller ones will only go 3-4' so that could be an issue for taller tank setups.

Personally, I feel safer using buckets for filling as I can regulate the temps better as I've heard some horror stories with a Python from a faucet pumping cold water into a tank and killing most/all the fish. I picked up 6 5 gallon buckets from Lowes so I use 1 to empty and have a few filled, treated and ready to pump into the tank.
 

Pete Lowrey

My plan for filling is to connect the hose to the shower outlet, it has a thermostat, buckets are a good workout though.
Pete
 

DarkOne

There are stories of heater tanks running out of hot water and pumping out cold water.

And my biggest tank is only 40 gallon so
 

Pete Lowrey

Our shower runs from a combI boiler and does not have a tank so no worries there.
Pete
 

OnTheFly

OnTheFly weren’t you just talking about something similar the other day?
Yes. I have a powerhead coming for Christmas. Not certain what size hose is best at certain distances though. It makes a significant difference on how much pump you need, and inexpensive pumps are not rated consistently. Anyway I need to push water slightly uphill so I'll know a lot more in a few weeks. A python by itself will be painfully slow with my water pressure.
 

tigerfish420

K so this doesn't seem to be an isolated idea, I'm tired of carrying 40 lb buckets from my bathroom through my sons obstacle course of toys to the front of my apartment to my tanks.
So do most powerheads have a max lift spec in the descriptions? It won't be pumping vertical to much mainly horizontal across the rooms.
Also how many gph should I look for? I don't wanna overdo it causing stress and disturbance in the tanks or underdo it and have a Useless tool laying round.
And yeah shoud probably be pumping it into buckets to temp and treat and going from there into the tanks.
My main issue with the water python is the fact you have to keep your faucet on to keep the siphon going that's so wasteful I can't do it in good conscience.
 

jmaldo

Similar issue. Python works Good but I have a tank around 50 feet away from water supply. Just not enough water pressure to vacuum the substrate. I just got a pond pump rated at 594 gph. Tested last night. Plenty of suction and sure can pump the water. Will be trying it out tomorrow.
 

OnTheFly

So do most powerheads have a max lift spec in the descriptions? It won't be pumping vertical to much mainly horizontal across the rooms.
.

Probably not but some pumps do. For any of it to be useful it will have to include diameter of hose, and the GPH flow at max lift. And in my case we need to run horizontally a good distance. I have heard most any powerhead will fill a 5G bucket well enough. Not quite what I really need but it would still be useful.

And theoretically the pond pump jmaldo describes should empty or drain a 20G in two minutes. Or a 5G bucket in 30 seconds. Let us know please.
 

jmaldo

Definitely will give my review. I tested a few different hose diameters and lengths. As mentioned "Great" suction, just will it be able to push the water back 50ft. Fingers crossed.
 

OnTheFly

Definitely will give my review. I tested a few different hose diameters and lengths. As mentioned "Great" suction, just will it be able to push the water back 50ft. Fingers crossed.
I don't think it will hit the specs I posted, but it doesn't have to. I am going to used some mesh on the inlet because a fish would be shredded in an instant. I definitely have some that are not bright enough to stay clear from a siphon.
 

Claire Bear

To pump waste, why not get a 30 gallon rubbermaid trashcan and dolly. Pump directly into that with the waste then dump it or attach a drain or pump outside. Then use the python to fill? It would keep an accidental mishap from happening. I put my replacement saltwater in one then moved it to whichever salt I was doing the water change on to add but it would work the same way to drain.
 

DarkOne

Definitely will give my review. I tested a few different hose diameters and lengths. As mentioned "Great" suction, just will it be able to push the water back 50ft. Fingers crossed.

I have sections of PVC vinyl tubing from 3/8" to 1" ID and anything over 1/2" ID (5/8" OD) should be a permanent type setup as it's not very flexible.

To pump waste, why not get a 30 gallon rubbermaid trashcan and dolly. Pump directly into that with the waste then dump it or attach a drain or pump outside. Then use the python to fill? It would keep an accidental mishap from happening. I put my replacement saltwater in one then moved it to whichever salt I was doing the water change on to add but it would work the same way to drain.
I actually thought about using a 30-50g trash can so I can use a gravel vac to drain into w/o switching buckets and hold clean water to pump into my tanks.
 

jmaldo

Tried the pond pump today. Used the siphon head from the python (with a nylon lint trap doubled) and 3/4" id hose the return was 5/8 id. and a EcoPlus. It took a bit to prime, started on the 55 (normally do 25 gal wc) which is 20 ft away from the drain it was a breeze but I had to be very quick around 5 mins. Now on the 20 which is 50 ft away, added an additional 30 ft of hose once primed started out fine was able to vacuum the substrate fairly well did notice some loss of suction. Probably due to fact of pushing water 50ft to the drain, took around 10 mins.
It definitely beats using the hand pump siphon and no wasted water to create the suction using the python method. . Will tinker with it possibly change the id of the hoses and add some shut offs to keep primed (research).
But overall Happy with the results.
 

bigdreams

Don't think a powerhead will cut it. At 20 feet you will have a lot of "head loss", i.e. flow will be very slow. The python tubing isn't too thick so that causes friction too. I tried connecting my Eheim 2000 pump to my Aqueon water changer. It required a barbed hose adapter since the pump is 3/4inch and the Aqueon water changer is a smaller internal diameter. So u need to think about how to physically connect them. If I had a big tank I would consider getting 1 inch tubing... Much faster flow. But then u are talking about custom tubing not python.

If all you have is a 10 gallon tank, then all this is absolutely not worth it, in my opinion. Maybe at 55 gallons plus it makes sense to do all this. I have a sump so I already had the pump. But even so it was too annoying.
 

tigerfish420

3x30 gallons and 3x10 gallons scattered between 3 rooms, at this point I need some kind of hose. I wouldnt have to buy the python specifically just some hose from home depot or something.
 

Ben404TA

We have had good luck with the python. Have several 55 and 75 gallon tanks so the time saved adds up.
 

tigerfish420

But when y'all are siphoning water out of the tanks how many gallons of clean freshwater is going down the drain?
I'm trying to eliminate waste as well as repurpose my old fishwater for my wife's garden and flowerboxes.
 

Fashooga

I hated using this system and wasted water. I ended up buying a pond pump. I just disconnect the siphon part put the pump on, dump it into the tank and plug it in. This will suck all the water into the drain w/o wasting any water.
 

tigerfish420

Fashooga That's the setup I'm wanting to do. But I don't wanna buy a $200 pump just for waterchanges(poormans budget) I was thinking a large powerhead oughta do it. Ive seen them used in similar practices but couldn't get the size of them out of the videos.
 

Ben404TA

You’re right about the wasted water. It’s hard to beat the bucket method for smaller water change. Also gets some bicep action in lol
 

tigerfish420

You’re right about the wasted water. It’s hard to beat the bucket method for smaller water change. Also gets some bicep action in lol
True there' but my wife gets irritated and follows me round with towels drying the carpet
 

Rok55

I have several tanks in sizes from 15 to 75 gal and use a Python type setup on most. You don't need to keep the water running for it to work ......... only long enough to get the siphon started. Smaller tanks get the bucket method.
 

Fashooga

Fashooga That's the setup I'm wanting to do. But I don't wanna buy a $200 pump just for waterchanges(poormans budget) I was thinking a large powerhead oughta do it. Ive seen them used in similar practices but couldn't get the size of them out of the videos.

I got a submersible pond pump on Amazon for $15-$20. Does 400 gallons per hour. So it takes me 15 mins to drain 100 gallons. So 7-8 mins to do 50 gallons. You can get pumps that do 80 gallons per hour.

I’m not sure what this $200 pump is but it must be a good one!
 

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