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Thread: DIY water changer/gravel vac

  1. #1
    Owner UaruJoey's Avatar


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    DIY water changer/gravel vac

    Pretty basic video. Not a challenging build. But very useful.

    Next video will probably be on "never do a water change again"

    Click to view-->My personal DIY projects

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    DIYFK member baadboy's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    cool little tool
    im here to help & to be help diy member map https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=380302#

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    DIYFK member AllAlaskan's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    This is really cool. I have a Python Changer that needs a new end on it, if it wasnt for that I would be making one like this. I just need to find an end that will fit onto the end of the hose that will screw into the faucet. I empty my fish water outside, I was dumping it down the bath tub but the septic filled up over a few months (Not good lol) so I just run the hose out the back door lol.

    Thanks for sharing this Joey.
    180 Gallon, 110 Gallon Long, 75 gallon, 55 gallon, 55 gallon, and 40 gallon breeder.

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    DIYFK member fochers27's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    awesome video.. dont know why i didn't think about the waterbed drainer before i know i have one somewhere now its time to search.. I HATE THE BUCKET METHOD! Click here to enlarge lol its impossible for me to stay dry when i do it
    55 gal- 2 Green Terrors

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    DIYFK member memfish's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    awesome vid, im going to have to make one of these!

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    DIYFK member kellray's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    I got a python used for 20 bucks. I don't know how I kept my sanity using buckets Click here to enlarge Nice job Joey
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    Head Moderator AussieDIYFK's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    very cool idea joey with the two way siphone Click here to enlarge

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    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    Oh sure no you post a video on how to make one, just bought one from pet smart for $50.00 on Saturday LOL!, I also thought of a way to make the adapter. Take a hose fitting with barbs on it and a piece of 1/2" pvc heat the pvc till it's soft and push the barb fitting into the pvc let it cool then put a t fitting on the other end followed by a ball valve put another small piece of pvc in the side part of the t fitting heat the end of the pvc piece and put a double barb fitting in it let it cool down and put your hose on the barb fitting, make the rest the same, and whala water changer/filler.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

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    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    You'll waste a lot of water when using the sink to create a siphon. I no longer do it this way, what I do is use a hose, no tube. Plug end of hose with thumb, fill up with tank water 3/4, lift end of hose straight up until the bubble goes to the top then position the hose into rubbermaid tub and lift the thumb, out comes the water, instant siphon. I then have a pump in the tub attached to the water changer hose that connects to the sink, so while i'm doing water change, the pump is draining the old water from the tub to the sink or toilet. Using the end of the hose to vacuum has a stronger pull then using the tube attachment. I also have a hose holder on the tub so I can leave that end in the tub without having to sit there and hold it.

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    DIYFK member baadboy's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    i use one but i close the valve tell the hose fills with water then i shot water off and open the valve this trick is from owning water beds in the passed once to hose is full u don't need any water flow unless the drain is higher than the tank
    im here to help & to be help diy member map https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=380302#

  11. #11
    DIYFK member Cinbos's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    I have never used a bucket before for any water change. Though I do wish there was an alternative to the connection like the water bed changer. I spent alot of money on my stuff, but oh well, what are you gonna do.

    I also do not use the vac tub, I just use the hose. I can hone in on the debris and waste a lot better this way. I also let one of the glass lids rest on top of the hose, when I am done removing debris.
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    DIYFK member AllAlaskan's Avatar


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    Re: DIY water changer/gravel vac

    The only reason I want the end on my Python is so to make it easier to fill the aquarium back up lol.
    180 Gallon, 110 Gallon Long, 75 gallon, 55 gallon, 55 gallon, and 40 gallon breeder.

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    DIYFK member Ewb46's Avatar


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    I wish I would of seen this video before I made my DIY Python style changer. All I heard was do not use garden house even looked at Eurathane potable water hose and it was pricey $75 for 50'. All in all I still cut the price in half from what a 50ft comparable water changer would cost. I did construct mine a little different:

    1. Used Clear Vinyl 1/2" inside Diameter (ID) hose from The House of Hose $0.30ft
    2. One end of the hose had a Gilmore plastic 1/2" Female hose repair fitting, and a Male versions at the other end. $1.78 Each
    3. Used a simple plastic hose ball valve male hose thread on one side female on the other side. $0.99
    4. Had an old Marineland gravel vac laying around the Walmart one works fine too as long as it has 1/2" ID hose. (free) I added a Gilmore female hose repair piece to that as well another $1.78. ( did this because I like to use the smaller gravel vac on my 5 and 10gal tanks so I can easily interchange.
    5. And a blue style water bed filler $6.99 at my local Do it Best Hardware store.

    I did find when installing the hose repair fittings I had to dip my hose end in near boiling water for about 5-10 sec to make the hose soft enough to slide easily over the fitting. As it cooled it fit snugly on the Barb and the clamp piece holds it all secure. I did have to buy a new sink to male hose thread adapter. The one that came stock was seriously 1mm off from my 1954 utility sink in the basement so add another $3 to the mix. All in all I am very happy with it. I find on Craigslist people are practically giving away siphons and items like that. I really do like the soda bottle idea as well that is something just about all of use throw away at least every other day.
    Thank you Joey for all the great ideas you have posted and establishing this forum. Now there is a great community of DIY'ers and a never ending encyclopedia of knowledge.
    Bow Down to Washington

  14. #14
    DIYFK member Ewb46's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Cinbos Click here to enlarge
    I have never used a bucket before for any water change. Though I do wish there was an alternative to the connection like the water bed changer. I spent alot of money on my stuff, but oh well, what are you gonna do.

    I also do not use the vac tub, I just use the hose. I can hone in on the debris and waste a lot better this way. I also let one of the glass lids rest on top of the hose, when I am done removing debris.
    I find that doesn't always work on all my tanks some have the plastic lid that doesn't weigh much. I use a 1 3/4" plastic spring clamp from harbor freight to hold the http://www.harborfreight.com/1-34-ny...amp-69291.html I have a few and use it when I am floating new fish as well. After about 20 mins I like slowly introduce tank water. these guys allow me to hold the open bag to the side of the tank beautifully.
    Bow Down to Washington

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    DIYFK member fiesta90150's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Ewb46 Click here to enlarge
    I wish I would of seen this video before I made my DIY Python style changer. All I heard was do not use garden house even looked at Eurathane potable water hose and it was pricey $75 for 50'. All in all I still cut the price in half from what a 50ft comparable water changer would cost. I did construct mine a little different:

    1. Used Clear Vinyl 1/2" inside Diameter (ID) hose from The House of Hose $0.30ft
    2. One end of the hose had a Gilmore plastic 1/2" Female hose repair fitting, and a Male versions at the other end. $1.78 Each
    3. Used a simple plastic hose ball valve male hose thread on one side female on the other side. $0.99
    4. Had an old Marineland gravel vac laying around the Walmart one works fine too as long as it has 1/2" ID hose. (free) I added a Gilmore female hose repair piece to that as well another $1.78. ( did this because I like to use the smaller gravel vac on my 5 and 10gal tanks so I can easily interchange.
    5. And a blue style water bed filler $6.99 at my local Do it Best Hardware store.

    I did find when installing the hose repair fittings I had to dip my hose end in near boiling water for about 5-10 sec to make the hose soft enough to slide easily over the fitting. As it cooled it fit snugly on the Barb and the clamp piece holds it all secure. I did have to buy a new sink to male hose thread adapter. The one that came stock was seriously 1mm off from my 1954 utility sink in the basement so add another $3 to the mix. All in all I am very happy with it. I find on Craigslist people are practically giving away siphons and items like that. I really do like the soda bottle idea as well that is something just about all of use throw away at least every other day.
    Thank you Joey for all the great ideas you have posted and establishing this forum. Now there is a great community of DIY'ers and a never ending encyclopedia of knowledge.

    any pictures of your water changer?

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    DIYFK member Ewb46's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fiesta90150 Click here to enlarge
    any pictures of your water changer?
    . Please excuse the nasty 1954 original utility sink that nasty doesn't come off. Click here to enlarge
    Yellow piece is the ball valve. Green are hose repair eds. Blue is water bed siphon. Set up works great.
    Bow Down to Washington

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    DIYFK member WickedIntent's Avatar


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    This video really helped me out a lot and saved me a couple of bucks Click here to enlarge
    Thx you!

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    DIYFK member codeguy007's Avatar


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    I bought the aqueon water changer (50') from petsmart. The thing is crap. The adapter leaks all over the place. I have to put a shammy over it so it doesn't spray all over the laundry room. Today the switch blew off the vacuum valve and while I was able to get back together I can't fully close the value anymore. I have pulled the adaptor all a part and reassembled it but it still leaks just as bad. I have a replacement adaptor that I had bought previously to use in a DIY water changer after seeing Joey's video so I tried that and it leaks worse that the original. I haven't use the changer too much maybe 6 times but today it seemed to be getting worse. I would take it back but I can't find the receipt and petsmart won't take back items over $50 without a receipt.

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    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by codeguy007 Click here to enlarge
    I bought the aqueon water changer (50') from petsmart. The thing is crap. The adapter leaks all over the place. I have to put a shammy over it so it doesn't spray all over the laundry room. Today the switch blew off the vacuum valve and while I was able to get back together I can't fully close the value anymore. I have pulled the adaptor all a part and reassembled it but it still leaks just as bad. I have a replacement adaptor that I had bought previously to use in a DIY water changer after seeing Joey's video so I tried that and it leaks worse that the original. I haven't use the changer too much maybe 6 times but today it seemed to be getting worse. I would take it back but I can't find the receipt and petsmart won't take back items over $50 without a receipt.
    I'm using the aqueon water changer, they have a new style of facuet connector from the old one I use to have. This new one doesn't leak for me, it's better design and I also used some connecters from the old one with the new one and it's a solid connection now, me likey. The only thing I don't like about it, is the the way the hose end connects to the faucet adapter. It's poorly designed and if you try to shut off the water from the other end using the switch on the tube, the hose on the faucet end will pop off and water will be all over the place. What I do is, when I know I need to stop, I go to the faucet and manually make the switch there or shut off the water.

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    DIYFK member codeguy007's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by kracken Click here to enlarge
    It's poorly designed and if you try to shut off the water from the other end using the switch on the tube, the hose on the faucet end will pop off and water will be all over the place. What I do is, when I know I need to stop, I go to the faucet and manually make the switch there or shut off the water.
    Yeah that's happened to me a couple times including today. I also had the laundry tub clog today. It's always been slow (pipes in the house are not properly vented) but today there was a piece of plastic stuck in the drain and it filled up pretty quick. I caught just after it started to overflow so it was just a bit of water down the floor drain and not a mess. I'm pretty sure I probably have the new design but if not maybe I can get just the new adapter.

    The one I have is exactly like this:

    http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInCA%2FNo

    I'm not at all a plumber so if this is a dumb question that's why. Click here to enlarge But is there something I can do to improve the seals on these adaptors by applying some sort of grease or plumbers tape?

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    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by codeguy007 Click here to enlarge
    Yeah that's happened to me a couple times including today. I also had the laundry tub clog today. It's always been slow (pipes in the house are not properly vented) but today there was a piece of plastic stuck in the drain and it filled up pretty quick. I caught just after it started to overflow so it was just a bit of water down the floor drain and not a mess. I'm pretty sure I probably have the new design but if not maybe I can get just the new adapter.

    The one I have is exactly like this:

    http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInCA%2FNo

    I'm not at all a plumber so if this is a dumb question that's why. Click here to enlarge But is there something I can do to improve the seals on these adaptors by applying some sort of grease or plumbers tape?
    I'm not sure why they designed it that way, the little round thing that the hose end goes through has virtually nothing to keep it there and that's why the back pressure pops it off. I may contact petco about that for feedback to improve it.

    As for the seals, here's a little secret I do that gives me a solid seal. Now don't tell anybody ok? Click here to enlarge I use a couple of the connectors from my own aquen faucet connector.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge


    These are two pieces, it was too tight for me to take apart. I'm not sure if you can find these pieces anymore, since Petco upgraded their connectors. I don't remember, if the new one came with these or not. I had these left over from the old one.

    Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member codeguy007's Avatar


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    Yeah I have those pieces from both of mine. I don't know how I could use them to fix the leak though.

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    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by codeguy007 Click here to enlarge
    Yeah I have those pieces from both of mine. I don't know how I could use them to fix the leak though.
    Mine is setup this way and it never leaks. You may need to put a rubber gasket in one or more of the connectors.

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    DIYFK member WickedIntent's Avatar


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    I have the JBL Aqua-In-Out Water Jet and it works pretty good(except that some of you may need to buy/made a adaptor for the sink).It looks like this:
    Click here to enlarge

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    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by WickedIntent Click here to enlarge
    I have the JBL Aqua-In-Out Water Jet and it works pretty good(except that some of you may need to buy/made a adaptor for the sink).It looks like this:
    Click here to enlarge
    Looks almost identical to the Aquen faucet hookup.

  26. #26
    DIYFK member WickedIntent's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by kracken Click here to enlarge
    Looks almost identical to the Aquen faucet hookup.
    Maybe,but it's the only thing I can get from my country Click here to enlarge

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    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    it will work, and yes all of the units, doesn't mater who makes it always need an adapter on the tap to make them work, I don't know why they give you that plastic thing that doesn't fit anything, they should just put the nice universal adapter that everyone has to go buy at the hardware store anyways.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

  28. #28
    DIYFK member twiggy1988's Avatar


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    cool little tool Click here to enlarge great vid

  29. #29
    DIYFK member Janssenjr84's Avatar


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    how do the chlorinates affect the tank when changing water this way?

  30. #30
    DIYFK member Pikeman's Avatar


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    I don't use this method, but I would imagine that you have to add some of your de-chlorinator when you start adding new water and then the rest when all the water is added.
    ​AKA - Grandpa Fish to my 4 grandsons

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