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One of the best things you can do for your fish is to setup an automatic water changer. As of now you have to be using a sump to have one but I am in the process of making one for people with standard tanks. The idea is to keep your water quality as high as possible by continuely adding fresh water and draining off water at the same rate. This will reduce stress in the aquarium and help your fish grow faster, this idea is from my friend John aka Knifeman, together I guess we have calaborated on this design

my sump setup



you will have to change more water than you would with standard water changes because dripping in water will not dillute it like when you take 1/3 the water out first and then put some back in

I am going to provide a calculation of the amount you need to change to maintain a certain percentage changed every week later today.

You will also need to do siphonings to remove poop and uneaten food however you will need not worry about how much water you change
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
the check valve prevents the water in the return line from coming back into the sump, and when power goes out the return line will create a siphon which causes floods, it is made of pvc and can be found with other vavles in the pvc section at your hardware store for around $8

all my plumbing is pvc with pvc cement, hoses sag and loosen and with time come off of barbs and create a mess, it happened to me, and it wont again
 

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Good idea Nate. Build it and then do an experiment on water quality using your design. Dont risk your p's (of course) but maybe throw a bunch of goldfish in there and monitor the water quality for a long period to see if the tank is in fact getting the same benifits as normal water changes. Keep us updated :nod:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, I have already been using this for several months, John aka Knifeman does as well, you should use an inline chlorine filter though, it does work great, perhaps I will get John to talk about how big of a difference it has made with his piraya shoal

my own fish are growing much faster than before, I didnt keep a log to show the increase but all I have to say is that my fish have grown from 5" max to 10" in about 7 or 8 months, most fish really slow down at 7" but not these guys, Cariba is what I am talking about
 

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Good job on the diagram Nate. Actually though, I cannot really take credit for the idea, as it was given to me from a friend of mine that is in the tank setup/maintenence business. I will post my original post from Pfish on this forum in addition to yours, to elaborate a little on the set up of the system.
 

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I don't know if many of you have realized it, but when you use an auto water changer you need to change more water than usually to end up with a certain percentage change per week. The reason being is during a normal water change you remove a certain amount lets say 25% for example. When you add 25% of fresh water back in you will get a change of 25%. However when you continually drip small amounts the concentration doesn't change quite as much. I have calculated the equation to figure out the amount you need to change via auto water changer to get the same end result of change in concentration or in other words I have an equation for you to use to figure out how fast you need to set your water changer to change the desired concentration per week.

Supernate's Water Changer Calculator
 

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"The Dancing Banana Man"
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Hey nat, thnaks for the great post. I been thinking about doing this with my tank. A quick question, what water do we use? If i am going to be using tap water, it has coloirne and stuff in it? I could filter the water, any other ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sure I can take pics tomorrow, the drawing above it the best plans it quite simple, the difficult part is getting a freshwater supply and drain connected to a sump, I had to sweat in a pipe and route it to my tank then I installed a garden hose faucet and ran my system off of that
 

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"The Dancing Banana Man"
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Sir Nathan XXI said:
sure I can take pics tomorrow, the drawing above it the best plans it quite simple, the difficult part is getting a freshwater supply and drain connected to a sump, I had to sweat in a pipe and route it to my tank then I installed a garden hose faucet and ran my system off of that
thats what i aws going to do, but i was going to make my own wet/dry system, any ideas of to how to have them both becuase of the overflow, or should i drain it off the filter holding tank for the wet/dry?
 

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Nice diagram nate. The filter that nate mentions "removes more than just chlorine" are RO/DI units. You can find them at any local fish store though they can get very pricey. Typically, these units have adapters which screw into your faucet but you can also drill into your water line and hook them up from there. RO/DI units will also control algae blooms, removing the diatoms in the water that cause them. They're said to also remove 99% of contaminants in your tap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do have a Ro/Di filter, but thats not what I use for this, it would remove many of the minerals our fish need to survive, its far too pure.

The kind I use removes chlorine, rust, and some hard metals
 

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I have to politely disagree. RO/DI will not kill your fish. In fact, delicate fish, like Discus, favor RO water over tap when it comes to breeding.
 

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Beautiful One
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How much would this run for and could I get one for my tank for my oscars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
PM me and let me know whether you use a sump setup or not, and whether there is chlorine in your water supply, I didnt notice this reply sorry, just dont check this forum much
 
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