Best and Fastest way to do water changes in large Aquariums?

I have a 55 gallon aquarium and am trying to regulate the ammonia levels in the tank because it is new. So I am doing 25% water changes every 4-5 days and I am using 2 milks jugs to do it…… yeah I know….. I need some ideas.. I just want to hear some ways to make water changes easier and that will keep it safe for the fish. Thanks everyone.

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6 Responses to Best and Fastest way to do water changes in large Aquariums?

  1. Ed L says:

    The cheapest way is to go to your local home improvement store, and buy 2 – 5 gallon pails, and at your LFS, you can buy a gravel vacuum that suits your tank best for cheap.

    When performing water changes, the five gallon buckets are an easy way to measure out the required additives, like 1 teaspoon aquarium salt for every 5 gals of water, and 1 capful of water conditioner for 10 gals of water. Siphon your gravel clean up to 2 buckets worth of water, and empty. Put your additives in first, fill your buckets with tap water, and add back to your tank. This is an 18% water change for your 55gal tank. It is probably closer to 20%, because you have rocks, wood, and decorations in your tank. If you want, make it 3 buckets and you should be fine.

    The fastest way is definitely the python method. Your choice!

  2. FishStory says:

    I use the Python system. It hooks up to your sink faucet so you can regulate the temperature. On one setting, it sucks up debris and water, and switch it over and it refills the tank. Be sure to add a good dechlorinator to the tank while it’s refilling.

    It takes me about 5 minutes to change 20 gallons out of my 65 gallon aquarium.

    If you don’t have fish, stop changing the water. You need the ammonia to build up so it can cycle and your good bacteria can get a foothold. If you have no fish, just keep checking the ammonia level until you get a spike, then monitor the nitrite levels, when the ammonia and nitrite finally reach 0 and you have some level of nitrates, then you are ready to add your fish.

  3. Lyd says:

    You can find siphons at pets stores, get a large bucket, stick the large end into the tank, dug into the rocks so it gets the junk out of there. Here comes the grosses part though, you have to suck on the other end of the hose until waters comes out. Unfortunately you usually get water in your mouth, it’s pretty unavoidable. After that however, it will keep going. If you hear a weird sucking sound from the tank, pull the siphon out right away, and put new water in.

  4. Patrick K says:

    Accually if you dip the siphon hose in the water and scoop it a few time you can make it siphon without sucking on the hose. Or you can submerge the hose and get it full of water. Plug one end with your finger and keep the other in the tank. Pull the hose out and hold it over a 5 gallon bucket or simular large container.

    I use up to three 5 gallon buckets to catch the water. Two of them I use strictly for tank use the other is what I consider a trash bucket. This just makes for a quick change and you realy can do with just one bucket. The first time you use the bucket fill it with one gallon and mark a line then add another gallon and mark do this for all five gallons. Now you can measure how much water you are taking out. To fill the tank I use either a 18 gallon plastic tub or the two clean 5 gallon buckets. I place a fountain pump in the new water and pump it into the tank.

    I use a spare 200 watt heater to heat the water to the tanks temp. It helps to put the pump in the fresh water and let it circulate while heating.

    You want to avoid using water from your hot water heater because of the build up of rust and other minerals that might be harmful to the fish.

    A side from getting the water ready (adjusting temp and PH levels or adding Marine mix) water changes only take me about 15 minutes


  5. tikitiki says:

    Easiest, get a python. Otherwise use the old fashioned gravel vacuum and a couple of buckets. And, DO NOT ever suck on the end to start the water…..if you have a case of fish TB in your tank, it’s a good way to catch it yourself. I’ve never had to start a gravel vacuum/siphon that way….

  6. FishRfine says:

    heres what i do. I do it on a 220 gallon aquarium

    take a 45 gallon trashcan

    fill with water 2/3 of way (cold water)

    fill rest of the way with extremely hot water, birings temp up to 80 degrees about

    next to my tank is a sump pump, so I take a 950gph pump and drain water into it, then take the pump, put it in the trashcan, and pump the fresh claen water into the tank. whole process takes about 30 minutes.

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