How to Do Faster, Easier, and Cheaper Aquarium Water Changes
100 Comments


Hopefully you know by now that partial water
changes are super important for the health and appearance of your aquarium. In this week’s video I’m going to share with
you a few ways to make them faster, easier, and cheaper. That’s coming up. Hey everyone. Steve Poland here, Steve Poland
Cichlids, stevepolandcichlids.com. And by now you probably know that I love spending
time front of my aquariums, but what I don’t love is spending any more time, money, or
energy than necessary on maintenance. And the thing that can take up the most of
all three is water changes. But they’re super important! So today I’m going to share a few tricks that
I’ve found can really help. I’m going to focus on a quote-unquote normal
setup that most people might have in their homes. This is a 90 gallon tank that I’m using as
a growout. And I like to change about 50% of the water
in this tank every week. But there are two things that I’m really not
into: Carrying buckets of water and wasting water. So there are a handful of things that I use
every time I do a water change, and I’ll link to all of these in the comments. If you’ve watched my previous videos you may
recall seeing a few of these tools before. The first is a Python water changer. I don’t have any real attachment to Python
as a brand. It just happens to be the one that came with the first aquarium I ever bought. There are versions of this made by Aqueon,
or you could easily build one yourself if you’re capable. The key components are the faucet pump and
the hose with connectors. In my case I also have an extension hose,
because my sink is about 50 feet away from this tank. I also recommend buying the snap connector.
It costs about $10 but believe me it’ll be ten of the best dollars you ever spent. Now, you can drain your tank with the Python
by creating a siphon using the water pressure from your sink. But that’s slow and wastes a ton of water. So instead I use the second tool that I’ll
focus on today which is a submersible pump. This is a 400 gallon per hour pump that I
got on Amazon for about $20. You could get one that’s bigger or smaller
depending on how much you want to spend. But one nice thing about this pump is that
it pays for itself with the water it saves many times over. So let’s watch this start to finish and see
how exactly long it takes. Don’t worry, I’ll speed it up so you don’t
have to wait. First, I connect the python to the faucet
using the snap connector. Next, I connect the pump to the end of the
hose and plug it in. The tank begins to drain. As promised I’ll go ahead and speed this up
to 50 times the normal speed. Once I hit 50% I unplug the pump. I remove it from the hose and let the excess
water drip into the tank. I then grab the gravel cleaner attachment for
the python and attach it to the hose. If you let some of the air out it greatly
reduces the chances of the hose bursting out of the tank when you turn on the water. I then grab my dechlorinator and add it to
the tank. Lately I’ve been using Seachem safe which is Prime in its powdered form. I go to the sink, run the water until it reaches
the right temperature, and switch the Python over to fill mode. Again I’ll speed this part up to 50x the normal
speed. I turn off the water, remove the hose from the
tank, and put everything away. As you can see from the timer, it took a little
over a half an hour from start to finish. See how fast that was? I changed out about
45 gallons of water and none of it went to waste. If you have other tips for speeding up this
process please leave them in the comments. And if this is your first time here at Steve
Poland Cichlids I would love to have you subscribe. Because each week I bring you a new video
sharing my experiences in the aquarium hobby. I give updates on my tanks, review products,
show you DIY projects and share tips and tricks to help you take
your tank to the next level. Hit subscribe today to follow along. Have a good one!

100 thoughts on “How to Do Faster, Easier, and Cheaper Aquarium Water Changes

  1. LINKS:
    EcoPlus Submersible Pump:
    https://amzn.to/2rKurOv

    Python No Spill Clean and Fill System:
    https://amzn.to/2rIjfTv

    Python Snap Connector:
    https://amzn.to/2rKnP2U

    Also some have asked about cleaning out waste. Most of the time I use this:
    https://amzn.to/2rJUiHf

    Full list of equipment recommendations here:
    https://kit.com/stevepoland/aquarium-gear/

  2. For my 300 gallon tank I use a Mag Drive 24 Water Pump, which is 2,400 GPH and I attached to it a 25’ , 1 1/4” sump pump hose. I empty 150 gallons in 5 minutes.
    I add water to the tank with a garden hose.
    I’ve been using this method for 4 years and I love it. It saves me a lot of time.

  3. Try unplugging the pump right after water start draining. I tried your method and water continues to discharge even after the pump was unplugged. Thanks for your very nice video.

  4. How do you know if the water is way too hot or way too cold when you are adding it to the tank?? If you fill up buckets the temperature can be checked and adjusted to the existing tank water so the fish are NOT SHOCKED by the temperature change.

  5. I do the same process as you, but it alway bothers me a bit thinking that the fish are getting a gill full of chlorine at least some of the time because the Prime/Safe can’t possibly chemically react at the speed the water fills the tank. I never have any dead fish, just bothers me ….

  6. I considered buying the python set up then looked into what I could put together my self. Really basic set up and a lot less expensive compared to the python. All my set up cost me approximately £14, well worth the money and the time saved is priceless. 😎

    https://youtu.be/X_TSsCzMpQg

  7. There is other chemicals in my water which I learned back when I was a kid and killed all the fish in my 10 gallon by not treating it for 24 hours before adding it back in. Now I just do 5 gallon changes once a week on the 55 gallon. Seems a little light but with 2 filters going does the trick.

  8. So then, what about the aquarium salts, e.g. for cichlids? You're adding fresh water with no adjustment to the GH. Does this not cause a problem? Or, is it okay to add it after the water fill. I was under the impression it was needed before adding to the tank – though I'm a noob at it.
    Wayne

  9. I disliked because he didn't gavel vacuum… I feel like it's pretty important and with sand it's so easy

  10. Hello
    What about planted aquriums? Those water conditioners do any harm plants? I wait 19 liter tap water 2 days then use it 110 liter aquarium every 1-2 weeks. And some start bacteria. But if I found easier way, I ll do more frequently.

  11. You know your not supposed to put the water directly in the tank you're supposed to do the dechlorination before the water goes in… It takes time for the dechlorination to work.

    So what you're essentially doing is allowing your fish to breathe in chlorine until the dechlorinator works.

    Definitely not the right way to do it I'm surprised your fish haven't died..

    or maybe you got lucky and there's not a lot of chlorine in your water..

    I know people have tried this before and their fish died..

  12. Just have kids to carry the buckets they are tax deductible

    Or my outside garden hose fills and empty’s while I watch tv.

  13. So you don’t waist water because you……. dump the fish’s 💩 water into your washtub full of clothes?

  14. What about if ur substrate is dirty as well? Your running 3 filters? I'm looking for a method of cleaning the substrate maybe incorporating a pump to do so.

  15. Hi I'm new at this hobby people tell me to condition the water before I put it in the tank I see you put it right in the tank . So what's the truth I have 36 gallon freshwater

  16. Great video Steve . saving all that water is really important .especially for people who have pay for there water . I had a 55 gallon .years ago .with hose and 5 gallon bucket . I did a 50% water change everyweek .and carrying all that water back and forth is hard on the back .so I hear you .God bless.

  17. Here's a good tip.. If your running a fx6 or a fx if any kind use that as the pump. . It will be faster than that pump. Just have the hose running to your garden. …. win win. . Two birds with 1 stone ;).. WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER.

  18. Steve – It doesn't look like you can operate the gravel vac without the faucet pump engaged, correct? So therefore, you have to waste a LITTLE water in this way, right?

  19. What do you mean by you run the water until it reaches the right temperature? You use a mixture of hot and cold and fill directly? I thought it was harmful to the fish to do this.
    Asking because I’ve been filling gallon jugs and letting them naturally get to room temp – I didn’t know I could use heated water.

  20. I did that before and everytime im doing that kind of changing water.. all my fish die… so i rather chose the old style of changing water…

  21. When refilling the tank with water, roll up a microfiber towel and get it inside the vacuum tube to break up the bubbles, there by reducing the production of microbubbles.

  22. Good video I have to empty my tank with buckets every time I add tap water I add water conditioner bout half a spoon full half of 5ml for every. 10litres if water so I have a 10 litre bucket fill it up then add my 2.5 water conditioner we’re as u only put on lot in?how do you have your water crystals clear?mine has bits floating round never see thru like yours?how do I have clear water?

  23. I'm just starting my 46 gallon tank and can't seem to find any good advice on how to add water that is at the compatible 75-78 degrees for my tropical tank. I have an in-home water softener which I have been told is a horrible thing to use and will mess up the entire balance of the ecosystem. I can not by pass the hot, only the cold. Boiling to heat water is a no no for other reasons, but was told by a local aquarium shop manager that she lowers her heater to be sure it is covered with water for the water change, and just runs her cold water into her tank very slowly. I would think that even at a very slow rate that would also be bad for your fish, but she insists she has never had a loss. Can anyone give me some practical advice? Thanks

  24. Faster and easier… if u need to be fast y even have fish..i have 2 75 gallons takes me like a half hour to change the water..in both. If need 30 45 minutes is too long just get rid of your fish .

  25. The reason it's less waste is because the original way the connector works to suck water out of your tank is by turning on the tap, Wich creates a suction and then tap water + Aquarium water Comes out the bottom of the connector. For him, it would've been 30 minutes of running tap water. But instead he uses a pump Wich doesn't use tap water to suck out.

  26. Water changes are for people who don't know what they're doing. I never do water changes and my fish tank is thriving. My fish are constantly having babies and my plants grow so fast I have to remove some daily. The only time I ever add water is when it evaporates and that takes weeks for a single gallon to evaporate.

  27. How to make this even more efficient:

    1. Stick the pump to the glass using the suction pads on it at 50% or whatever your target drain level is. Use an inlet guard or else place the pump inlet close to one side of the aquarium so that a fish won't get accidentally sucked in. This way you won't need to move it around and you don't have to even stay there looking at it till it gets drained. The pump can't move around and empty the tank while you aren't there.

    2. There's no need to remove the pump like at 3:55 when you start to refill. Just turn off the pump and refill it and when you finish, store that hose along with the pump, unless you need the hose to gravel vacuum I guess.

  28. I never knew water changes were expensive and I like doing it the old-fashioned way I actually think it's kind of fun

  29. so you pump "tap water" straight into your tank? lol I use a small Brute can that I fill a few days ahead of time running air stones. then use the pump at the other end to fill.

  30. I have only one issue. There is no tap to connect typhon because tap has shower n pipe with it in kitchen sink and washroom taps are without screw rings. How I connect my typhon with any of these taps. Please help

  31. I don't understand water changes thou 😟 the water added isnt at the adequate temperature the fish need nor isn't treated with aqua safe. Does that even matter?

  32. why would you pump water from your sink, directly into your fish tank? the water in your sink is a different temperature than whats in your tank. This is why people leave their water out for 24 hours to adjust to room temperature so that youre not shocking the fish.

  33. Hi I have a question so when doing this I dont need to wait I could just add water conditioner straight into the tank and add water

  34. I’m not sure how using the Python to siphon out water wastes more water? As soon as the siphon has started you turn off your faucet and let gravity do it’s thing.

  35. Hey Steve, great video I was considering the python no spill or the Aqueon option. Can you tell me what light you have on your tank? your water is impeccable. Share your secrets

  36. that dont look that fast why would you leave it on the sink and buy a python? just use some 5/8 hose from home depot this way you can drain and fill at the same time

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