Copper Pipe

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sparkypenguin

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Hi all,

I am currently experimenting with various methods of tank hoovering in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for me and as stressless as possible for the fish etc.
My current version will include a length of COPPER pipe that sits outside of the tank that will be permanently filled with tank water.
The idea being that I connect the hoover pipe to the top of this length of COPPER pipe and then open a valve at the bottom of this length of pipe.
As the water exists the bottom of the COPPER pipe it will create a vacuum behind it and start the syphon project.
The syphoned water will then be filtered and returned to the tank and hence my question is can I use COPPER pipe.
I have Phantom Tetras, Platys, Mollies, Bristlenose Plecs, Panda Cories, Apple snails, Nerite Snails and would like to introduce loaches at some point.
Please
Kind regards,
Mark.
 
Depends how long the water is actually in the copper pipe I suppose. It’s no doubt travelled through copper pipe to and other types to get to your tank…..unless your up Tyne(spits)-Wear-Tees dale type areas?
 
Interesting idea. I'd love to see pictures of what you have in mind. The basic principle seems sound, but I wouldn't use anything COPPER (why are we yelling every time we say that word? :lol: ) with any tank involving inverts. It is highly toxic to them. Since you'll have tank water sitting in the pipe permanently, then going back into the tank, you're going to get some copper in the water. That is, to speak technically, a bad thing.

Why not just go to your friendly local hardware or plumbing store and get a piece of PVC or poly pipe?
 
Thanks for replies.:thanks:
I will use plastic pipe rather than copper.

Tyne(spits)
I take it your not a fan of Newcastle? :D

COPPER (why are we yelling every time we say that word? :lol: )
Just thought it would ensure that people did not miss the fact that it was COPPER! ;)

If it works I will try and get some pictures etc uploaded.
 
There is a far greater issue here than copper pipe. If I understand you correctly, you are going to remove/siphon out water with a clean of the substrate, then return that same water to the tank? This is not good at all. You need fresh water, not used dirty water. Sny water removed from an aquarium containing fish is too "dirty" to reuse. There are substances in thee water that cannot be detected or filtered out.
 
There is a far greater issue here than copper pipe. If I understand you correctly, you are going to remove/siphon out water with a clean of the substrate, then return that same water to the tank? This is not good at all. You need fresh water, not used dirty water. Sny water removed from an aquarium containing fish is too "dirty" to reuse. There are substances in thee water that cannot be detected or filtered out.
The substrate is sand and I am primarily sucking up the fish waste that is lying on the top of the sand. Obvioulsy an amount of sand is also removed. I then let the sand and waste settle in the bucket and return the water to the tank via a tap on the bucket. I have been doing this for a while now and have not detected any issues. Why would the water be any more harmful than the water that remains in the tank from the disturbed substrate? Also what about the motorised vacuums that have a filter bag or sponge built in where the water never leaves the tank?
I still do a daily water change of approx. 3%.
 
The substrate is sand and I am primarily sucking up the fish waste that is lying on the top of the sand. Obvioulsy an amount of sand is also removed. I then let the sand and waste settle in the bucket and return the water to the tank via a tap on the bucket. I have been doing this for a while now and have not detected any issues. Why would the water be any more harmful than the water that remains in the tank from the disturbed substrate? Also what about the motorised vacuums that have a filter bag or sponge built in where the water never leaves the tank?
I still do a daily water change of approx. 3%.
You won't detect issues until it is too late. Returning the old water regardless of how much filtration is returning pathogens, pheromones and allomones that cannot be removed by any means except replacing the old water with fresh tap water. You are forcing the fish to live basically in their toilet water. It is comnparable to leaving a child in a sealed room and never allowing in fresh air.

As for a water change of 3% it is achieving absolutely nothing beneficial. This is explained in my article on water changes, why they must be substantial. We all change 50-70% of the tank water once a week, and there is a very good reason--healthy fish.

 
The real flaw in the plan isn't the copper pipe, but filtering the polluted water and returning it to the tank - better off discarding the dirty water can refilling with fresh clean water.

Edit: I realize now that my post is somewhat of an echo of my friend @Byron's post - great minds and crazy people think alike :)
 
@Byron
Thanks for the reply and as ever I am confused due to conflicting information. :unsure:
Many sites / people etc state that a water change of 20% per week is more than adequate, this includes many people on this and other forums.
I have even seen videos where people are claiming that they do not change the water!?
However you're recommending a change of 50 to 70% per week.
If I stop recycling the hoovered water then this will increase my water changes and I should be able to get to over 50% per week.
Apart from the scenario in your article are there any other situations where large water changes could be dangerous?
Should I be concerned about the tap water parameters changing?
 
One of the canister filters used to have an attachment that was used to turn it into something like what you are suggesting. I think it didn't catch on because it necessitated more frequent canister filter cleanings.

I would recommend clear plastic for the vacuum tube so you can see what is happening while you Hoover. I also think that substantial water changes make for happy fish and owners--except for when you are schlepping five gallons buckets around.

I use a garden hose for water changes. I have an attachment so I can hook it directly to my faucet and put water treatment in a hose-end sprayer for filling. I have to juggle a little to get the temperature exactly right, but I manage.
 
One of the canister filters used to have an attachment that was used to turn it into something like what you are suggesting. I think it didn't catch on because it necessitated more frequent canister filter cleanings.
I did try that but decided that dragging sand through my external filter was not going to be too good for it long term. However as one of my filters is an external gravity fed filter I could put a valve into the inlet pipe allowing me to divert the water to a bucket and then attach the hoover pipe to the inlet inside the tank. However it may be easier just to do it separately like my first idea but without the returning water bit.
 
Thanks for the reply and as ever I am confused due to conflicting information.

One of the real dangers in this hobby is the posting of totally false or misleading information by clueless individuals who set up web sites and overnight become (to others anyway) "experts." There is a prevailing view among many that if it is on the web it must be right. Bad. The real value of a forum like TFF is that each of us sees what is posted, and while we can certainly have differing opinions on this or that, when it comes to factual science this flies out the window.

Many sites / people etc state that a water change of 20% per week is more than adequate, this includes many people on this and other forums.
I have even seen videos where people are claiming that they do not change the water!?
However you're recommending a change of 50 to 70% per week.

There are factors to recognize. As a perhaps silly example, but nonetheless scientifically factual, one can have a 55g tank with a group of 10 neon tetras, well planted, and get away with no water changes because the biological system can balance itself to handle this. But most of us want more than 10 tiny fish in a 4-foot tank, so this making do begins to break down and fall apart. And this leads us to understand another fact of science...each respiration of the fish in their habitat is fresh water. This deteriorates in the dry season obviously and the result is dying and dead fish. In the wet season, the fish load to the water volume ensures fresh water continually passing over and through the fish. we cannot hope to achieve this in any aquarium, so we need regular partial water changes. Some discus breeders change 95% of the water in their fry tanks two and even three times a day. Why? Because the fry develop healthier and faster the more fresh water they have in the tank.

There is leeway as to ho much water must be changed compared to how much should be changed, and the volume can vary accordingly. Provided the parameters, being the GH, pH and temperature, are reasonably the same between tank and tap water, there is absolutely no harm in changing more water, or as much as you can manage. The bottom line is, that the more water changed the healthier the fish. And I would hope that is a primary goal of all aquarists.
 
Question for Byron and Abbeysdad: How is filtering the tank water and returning it to the tank any different than what a filter does? I agree that 3% wcs aren't really accomplishing much, but coupled with adequate water changes isn't this a fairly sound concept?

Of course one could ask why, if going to the trouble of syphoning the water out of the tank, one wouldn't just replace it with clean water. But as a simple, quick way to clean the sand, coupled with adequate water changes, how would this be harmful?
 
Question for Byron and Abbeysdad: How is filtering the tank water and returning it to the tank any different than what a filter does? I agree that 3% wcs aren't really accomplishing much, but coupled with adequate water changes isn't this a fairly sound concept?

Of course one could ask why, if going to the trouble of syphoning the water out of the tank, one wouldn't just replace it with clean water. But as a simple, quick way to clean the sand, coupled with adequate water changes, how would this be harmful?

The problem is there is basically no water changes on this tank. A 3% change is less than useless, and admittedly I am assuming this is a tank of sufficient size to support the fish in post #1. If I changed 3% of the water in my 90g tank as an example, and assuming there is 75 actual gallons in the 90g tank, that would be approximately 0.03 of 1 gallon. This is pointless, it will help nothing at all. Something like a glass or two of water.

As for siphoning out the tank water and filtering it to return it, this too is frankly useless. It is true you get out organics from the substrate, but the actual water in the tank becomes polluted each hour of each day with substances that cannot be removed with any filtration a home aquarist is going to use. So all the real pollutants remain and each day/week they increase more and more, causing serious issues for the poor fish.
 
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