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How To Make A Diy Python

backtotropical

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How to make a DIY Python

I put this together for someone in the 'New to the Hobby' section as the linked pics in ncjharris' pinned version no longer work.

Ok,

well I read all these posts on how good pythons were and that they were brill, yada yada yada, and I thought got to get us one of these. So hunting high and low, looking for one, and then discover they are US only and when you can get them over here they are quite expensive.

After reading peoples experiences of them and looking at the website I realised that it shouldn't be that hard to make your own and customise it to your own length.

So, off I trotted to B&Q (although I am sure all reputable, decent DIY shops sell the required merchandise).

I bought

1 Hose (50m, but length to suit)


1 Tap fitting (again to suit, we have a mixer tap in the kitchen, so I got a multi tap connector)


3 standard hose connectors


1 stop end connector
These bad boys are the key - unless they are connected to something they stop the water flow


1 'Y' connector


Ok, the way a python works is by utilising the pressure of the mains water to create a suction force to start the syphoning process - akin to when we suck the water from the tank into a bucket. However, what makes it more than that is that it conviently does this in the place where the water needs to be disposed (sink) and with the added benefit of then easily allowing you to refill!

Pic 1 - this is how it works when you are emptying
Empty

Pic 2 - this is how it works when you are filling.
Fill

Note that the above 2 diagrams, 'Empty' and 'Fill', are the wrong way round in the pinned topic. I have corrected this for this post.

Ok, so how to make,

Have a cup of tea, make some space and get everything together.
This drawing (excuse my basic paint skills :whistle: ) labels up the parts.
Here
A - hose pipe from spliter to tank,
B - hose pipe from tap to spliter
C - pipe from spliter to sink
D - 'y' shaped connector.

How to make each bit

A - Cut hosepipe to required length (from tank(s) to sink and a bit more - just in case). Can be left longer if will serve more than one tank, but longer the pipe there is a small reduction in effectivenes.
At one end attach normal hose conector and leave other end free (fit gravel filter if attaches for when emptying)
Note that i have attached a standard connector to both ends. I will explain why later.


B - Cut small bit of hose - short enough from tap to sink. On one end attach tap connector, on other end fit standard connector
Note that i needed a standard connector to connect the tap connector to the hose.



C- Cut short bit of hose to sit in sink, on one end attach standard connector, on other end fit stop end connector


D - erm, should be the same.


Admire no doubt brill workmanship.

How to assemble

attach all standard end connectors to 'y' connector.


Attach tap connector to tap.


Put bare end in tank.
As above, standard connector will be explained later.


Stop, have cup of tea. (very important that bit).

How to use

Before you use, do your usual tank maintenance regime, i.e heater, filter, lights off.

Emptying

When emptying do not attach part C to the 'y' shaped connector. Only A and B should be attached and the third 'arm' should be bare - aim it into the sink.


Put the bare end into the tank to be syphoned, fit the gravel vac/filter if you can.
This is why the extra standard connector was fitted to the hose, to attach the gravel cleaner.



Ensure that it won't move for the first bit (you won't be by the tank!).
I personally use the clip supplied with my gravel cleaner. Very handy.


The hardest bit I found was judging what pressure was needed to suck the water up without blowing air down tube A. With a bit of experimentation, and a flooden kitchen later (sorry dear) I found that if you turn the tap on full welly, wait about 5 seconds, then almost off thats all you need to start the process. With a bit of practice I discovered that I could turn the tap off and the water would still come out.
The only prob with this is that the force of the water isn't too great (the higher the tank above the sink the better it will be). This would be more suited to emptying the water or changing it rather thank cleaning the gravel.
Anyway, so long as the bare part of the 'y' connector is aimed at the sink and not the floor, you are cooking with gas.
When done, just take the bare end out of the tank - hold it upright as there will prob still be some water in there.

Filling

When filling, attach part C back to the connector - this is the equivelent of turning the valve or whatever it is on the real Python. However, before you do this, turn on the taps and use the water coming out of the empty 'y' shaped end to get the temp right of the water going into the tank.


Make sure you have your declorinator handy as this will need to go in before or during the water.

Put the bare end of A back in the tank - make sure its secure as the water coming out can make it kick and come out of the tank.


Quickly connect part C -


if you do it smoothly then there should be no need for turning the water supply off. Make sure the normal connector connects to the 'y' otherwise it wont work.

Viola. Assuming you have put the stop end on the right way round the water will have no where to flow other than down the pipe into the tank.
Stop, congratulate yourself and have another cup of tea.



Thats it. Your own personal tank emptying and filling device. While writing this I have realised that this will only really work with mixer taps, if you want warm water going in your tanks.
However, cos you can adjust the rate at which the water goes into the tank, you can maybe let it trickle in and get heated by the heater.
Or, I am sure its possible to use another y connector to mix the water from two taps in part A. Theres another project for another saturday.

Cost wise, I guess it depends what you already have and where you buy things from.
I bought 50m of hose (I will have 2 part a's for different tanks) @ £15
and the fittings were about a tenner in total so it was around £25, not including the afternoon it took me to put it together, test it and so on.
That can easily be cheaper though if you use a smaller hose, or buy cheaper connectors (i got the hozelock ones, but there were B&Q own brands for a little less)

Anyway, I hope this helps some people, I know I will now find it indispensable, cos it means we only need one of us to empty the tank. If anyone has any questions, feel free to put them here or PM me and I'll see what I can do.

Its a shame that real Pythons are so hard to come by here, but its not beyond our skills to improvise and make do with what we can.

Oh, if you hurry out now it can be the perfect Fathers Day Present!!!!

Nick
You will notice that my python required more connectors than recommended by Nick as i made it slightly more complicated to fit onto my gravel cleaner. How complicated you want to make yours is personal choice.

Hope this helps you. :good:

BTT

Please note: Unless otherwise stated, all text and images in this post are copyright Backtotropical, 2008-2009.
Some of the text in this post was provided by ncjharris, and is therefore not included in this copyright.
 

McG

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Thanks BTT - have since made my own version and stole some of your ideas so now don't have to humph homebrew buckets everywhere- I still manage to get water all over the place somehow - there's no hope for me :rolleyes:

Oh I put a link on another site to it
 
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backtotropical

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:lol: Theres no hope for me either mate. I've just learned to live with it. :lol:

I didn't even know this was pinned to be honest. I just found out just now when i clicked on it to read your post.

Cheers Mods!! :good:
 

Behold

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Not wishing to highjack but here is an alternative thats easy to build and is a real python built at half the price

Cost was about 25 quid including hose and parts. I bought python spare parts from Fish and Fins (There may be others that sell seperate spares for them)


Here is what i bought (check the type of tap attachment you need and you can then buy the right bit. I needed the adapter but others may not. )



and these bits are all genuine python parts



from top to bottom then left to right

Main Python Drain

Male pipe connector
Female Pipe connector
Female Pipe connector

Nylon tap adapter
On/off Valve
push fit adapter

Thats it once together it looks like this



The Hose used here was not any good so i went and bought some underground pond hose for a fiver and this is effectively a solid flexible hose. Or you can use filter hose.

This works perfectly and I just push on a long tube for sand cleaning.
 
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backtotropical

backtotropical

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Nice one Behold. I've been told that the T connectors work better than the Y connectors, but i've never tried the T. Any thoughts?
 

Behold

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Nice one Behold. I've been told that the T connectors work better than the Y connectors, but i've never tried the T. Any thoughts?
I could not say. the Python T has a strainer on the bottom (Can get clogged) to airate the tap water on filling and to minimise waste when sucking. Personally i start the sucking from the tap then turn it off and it continues to syphon. To choose the action you do a quarter twist on the bottom bit. No removing needed

I have not used a y but should work the same. Maybe its the strainer bit that makes the difference???
 

keenonfish

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This is great but the only caveat I would give is to make sure the water temperature doesn't drastically change when you attach the stop. I know a change in flow has quite a difference on my combi boiler!
 

Behold

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You should only use cold water. I know many say you can use your combi as its not standing water but i have a water tank and use cold only and i drop up to 5 degrees in one corner and about 2-3 in the other and my fish love it. they come play in it. This then removes the need for scolding fish.

PS. in the winter i get 5 degree water from my cold tap and still not an issue.
 

Keithbaxter

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Hows is the water declourinated? (misspelt)

I use buckets at the moment, but this would be so much simpler. But im concerned how the tap water will affact the fish? and when and how do you add the magic blue stuff to remove metals etc.
 

james41683

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Hows is the water declourinated? (misspelt)

I use buckets at the moment, but this would be so much simpler. But im concerned how the tap water will affact the fish? and when and how do you add the magic blue stuff to remove metals etc.

just start refilling the aquarium with water and pour the whatever you use to remove metals directly in the tank. the chlorine and metals wont harm the fish right away.
 

JustKia

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The hardest bit I found was judging what pressure was needed to suck the water up without blowing air down tube A. With a bit of experimentation, and a flooden kitchen later (sorry dear) I found that if you turn the tap on full welly, wait about 5 seconds, then almost off thats all you need to start the process. With a bit of practice I discovered that I could turn the tap off and the water would still come out.
Thanks for this - awesome post, well constructed and so easy to follow.
I've found that turning the faucet on full for less than a couple of seconds and then off completely is enough to get the flow going, and I can then flick on the telly while the tank drains (other than when I'm gravel vaccing), pause telly, change water flow and dechlor, resume watching telly :fun:
 

br3ach

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Not wishing to highjack but here is an alternative thats easy to build and is a real python built at half the price

Cost was about 25 quid including hose and parts. I bought python spare parts from Fish and Fins (There may be others that sell seperate spares for them)


Here is what i bought (check the type of tap attachment you need and you can then buy the right bit. I needed the adapter but others may not. )



and these bits are all genuine python parts



from top to bottom then left to right

Main Python Drain

Male pipe connector
Female Pipe connector
Female Pipe connector

Nylon tap adapter
On/off Valve
push fit adapter

Thats it once together it looks like this



The Hose used here was not any good so i went and bought some underground pond hose for a fiver and this is effectively a solid flexible hose. Or you can use filter hose.

This works perfectly and I just push on a long tube for sand cleaning.
Can you use standard garden hose for this without any problems?

Thanks
 
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