Hey everybody Joey here again and welcome
back. Today I’m going to show you how to never do
a water change again. You will technically still be doing them, but the physical aspect
to it is going to be taken out of the equation. So a lot of you might be wondering “what’s
the point of even doing water changes?” Given the fact that it’s the single most important
aspect of the hobby you should probably know. Water changes are extremely important based
on the single fact that it does several things for your aquarium. One of those things is
obviously it removes nitrates from the aquarium or at least dilutes them. Nitrates are essentially
the end process of the nitrogen cycle. There are some products on the market that will
remove nitrates like an algae scrubber or a vodka dosing unit, or something along those
lines. An algae scrubber is a natural way to remove nitrates but it’s one of those things
that you’ll have to build, (I will show you how to build one eventually) or you’ll need
another product that you will have to purchase and maintain. At the end of the day all that
it’s doing is still only removing nitrates and nothing else.
Nitrates aren’t the only reason we do a water change, a water change also replaces the minerals
and salts in your aquarium, essentially one of the key factors to your fish’s growth and
metabolism. That’s something that removing just nitrates doesn’t do for you, so water
changes are extremely important and you’re still going to have to do them.
“Now why are we looking at this tank?” Well I actually installed my method of doing water
changes on this aquarium. Now before we get started let’s talk about what this actually
is and what you’re going to need to do it. So what I’m going to show you in this video
is essentially a drip system. I’m going to show you how to build and install a drip system.
Now “what is a drip system?” Well a drip system is a very simple and basic way of doing water
changes. What it’s doing, just to sum it up is you will be continuously dripping fresh
water into your aquarium. As that fresh water is added you’re going to need a method to
get that older, stale water out of your aquarium. So as you add fresh water, that old water
or water that has accumulated in your aquarium is going to need to get out somehow. We are
going to get that out by overflowing it out of the aquarium. We will get to that in a
moment, but that’s essentially how it works. Now, you can compare it to a flow through
system, a lot of zoos or large public aquariums are situated close to a large water source
like a river or ocean, and what they’re doing is continuously pumping in fresh water and
pumping out old water and that’s really what a drip system is doing. We are going to continuously
drip water into your aquarium and the old water is going to overflow out. By drip, I
literally mean drip; it’s going to be like a leaky faucet in your aquarium. Keep in mind
that dripping water accumulates and adds up over time, we are going to get to that now.
So as you guys can see I’ve located my household water pump, this is essentially pumping water
from my well that’s under my house up into the house. On this well pump I have a few
outlets, one is pumping water throughout the house, there’s another valve that’s teed off
on the bottom that allows water to exit if I want it to by basically opening up that
valve. Not everybody is going to have this in their house, but you all have faucets that
you can tap into, or you might have a cellar that has a faucet down there. All you need
is a cold water source; you do not need hot water. Not needing hot water is going to save
you money on your power bill, because we’re not using hot water or warm water at all to
do water changes anymore so all that money that your aquariums were costing you because
of your water changes is completely eliminated, not reduced, but eliminated.
Now that we have a water source, or somewhere to tap into, the very first thing you’re going
to need is a pressure regulator. I have a pressure regulator, and all of my parts and
pieces came out of a drip irrigation system. They are essentially made for watering gardens
for the most part but the funny thing is they have absolutely every component that you’re
going to need for your drip system. They have the pressure regulator, they have all the
tubing you’re going to need, and they even have drip emitters, and those are really the
three main components to a drip system that you’re going to need.
So what a pressure regulator is, and what I have installed here is really simple. What
it’s going to do is when you open up your water valve a certain amount of water is going
to keep gushing out. That amount of water is not always going to be the same because
the pressure is always changing. What a pressure regulator is going to do is regulate that
pressure and with a drip irrigation system the regulators are around 25 psi, that’s what
they’re rated for. So that means how much force is going to be able to come out of the
other end of the regulator. 25 is right around where you want to be, so a 25 psi regulator
is what you’re going to need first and foremost. Now this whole drip irrigation system cost
me about 10 dollars on clearance at a local hardware store.
After that, I tapped into it with some airline tubing that it came with. Now this airline
tubing has a small amount of water coming through it at all times, because of the pressure
regulator installed its always going to be the same amount of water at the same pressure.
Now, because I’m on a well I don’t treat my water for chlorine or anything like that so
I can take this water and direct it directly to my aquarium. If you’re not on a well and
you’re on municipal water and they’re treating the water with chlorine or chloramines or
things like that you’re going to need to pre-treat the water before it gets to your aquarium.
One method of doing that is to run the water through a carbon filter before it gets to
your aquarium. You guys see them all the time, they’re just household canister carbon filters,
and they go underneath your tap and filter your water. You can get one pretty cheap;
maybe 10-20 dollars, and cut the line, install it in place, and pump the water to your aquarium.
Once it gets to your aquarium, as you can see the water is dripping right out of this
emitter. This is actually a valve that I have set to 1 gallon per hour. What’s dripping
out of here is dripping 1 gallon per hour, doesn’t sound like a lot of water but you
multiply that by 24 hours in a day, and I’m doing 24 gallons of water changes in one day.
So 24 gallons of fresh water is being added to the aquarium. Now the drip emitter is very
important, you’re going to either want to get one that drips a set amount or something
like this that you can adjust the amount of water that drips out of it.
So that was really it, you’ve seen all of the components that is going to be required
to build your drip system, and you’re not even going to have to build it because all
of those components come in a drip irrigation system that you can buy at your local hardware
store or on eBay or online somewhere. Whichever you prefer, all you need to make
sure is that your kit comes with a pressure regulator, and some hose of course, and as
well as a drip emitter, those are really the three main components. Before you do that
though you’re going to want to scout your house out and make sure you have a water source,
find out if you’re on a well or municipal water, and then move forward.
Now that we are onto getting the water into the aquarium, it’s time to find out how are
we going to get this out of the aquarium, well very simple we are going to install an
overflow onto the aquarium. You can have a hang on the back PVC overflow like I showed
you guys how to build before, or you can simply drill your aquarium at a certain level in
your tank. What’s going to happen, is for example if I drill a hole right here, as water
is slowly dripped into the aquarium, the water level is going to rise, as it rises its eventually
going to overflow out of that hole. That overflow is going to have a hose attached to it of
course, and that hose should lead somewhere where you can drain the water. I have mine
drilled into my sump, so as water is going to be overflowing out of the aquarium and
into the sump, extra water is being added to it that the sump can’t handle, so that’s
actually overflowing out and into a drain that I have in my floor.
If you do not have a sump, or you don’t want to drill your aquarium go ahead and use a
PVC overflow like the one I showed you how to build in one of my previous video. Another
thing you might have an issue with is you don’t have a drain in your floor. I do, so
I don’t have to run into that problem as to find out what to do with the extra water,
a suggestion or an idea might be to grab a Rubbermaid tote or some form of a bucket that
can hold twice as much water as you’re going to drip in that day, and then empty it daily.
None the less, what this video is going to enable you to do is essentially no more water
changes. I don’t have to do anymore water changes on this aquarium because they are
being done for me on a continuous basis. It’s also going to save me a lot of money on my
power bill based on the fact that I’m not going to be using anymore hot water doing
my water changes. The reason why I got that set up is because I’m going to be moving to
a much larger aquarium where doing regular water changes isn’t going to be that practical
for me. It’s going to be time consuming and pretty expensive at the end of the month when
I get my power bill and I used all that hot water.
None the less guys, I hope this video proved useful for a lot of you. I hope you learned
something from it and we will see you next time.