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DIY Python Automatic Water Changer

Title: DIY python?
Post by: Carissa on November 04, 2007, 07:20:57 PM
Has anyone successfully built a python out of a waterbed draining kit? I tried it but the draining was so slow I gave it up. At first I thought I had too small a hose so I got a different hose but it was still painfully slow. I wouldn't be able to suck anything out of the gravel with it. Any other ideas? I'm just trying to save myself $50 and be lazy too. :)


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Jubs on November 04, 2007, 11:02:05 PM
I have one I made. I will get some pics for you tomorrow if you like. I first bought the "pump" from a LFS I just bought one of the Lee's replacement one as I couldn't find an actual water bed one. Then I bought an potable aka RV/Marine water hose ( drink safe garden hose ) from Walmart 25 ft for $10. Then I added an adapter for the garden hose adapter threads to 1/2" plumbing threads ( irrigation section of Home Depot ). Which is threaded into a 1/2" ball valve ( on off with a turn of the valve and regulate suction and flow as well ) on the other end of the ball valve I have a barbed fitting that connects it to a gravel vac. So to break it down in a parts list:

Water bed fill and drain pump

RV/Marine  potable water hose ( usually white with blue stripe )

Garden hose thread to 1/2" adapter ( thread into next part )

1/2" ball valve

1/2" thread to barb on other side of the ball valve

Gravel vacuum that fits or can be made to fit the barbed end.

Mine works great I can do a 50-60% water change on my 55 g 20 long 10g and fill 2 5 gallon water holding containers in less than 45 mins with some tinkering around time.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Carissa on November 05, 2007, 06:53:25 AM
Maybe I'll give the waterbed thing another go. It was just so slow, I don't know if the problem was my hose or what. Has anyone else used waterbed drain kits? It does look the same as the pictures of the python thingy online, but I'm wondering if there is some kind of modification to the python one that makes it drain faster. With my shorter siphon hose I was able to drain ok with it, but I tried two different longer hoses and they were both slow as molasses.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Jubs on November 05, 2007, 12:42:20 PM
How high did you turn up the water ? That is what controls how much suction you get.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: dalto on November 05, 2007, 12:48:03 PM
How high did you turn up the water ? That is what controls how much suction you get.

And how much water pressure do you have?  I need to turn the hot and cold water on all the way to get good suction.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Jubs on November 05, 2007, 01:02:45 PM
And how much water pressure do you have?  I need to turn the hot and cold water on all the way to get good suction.
Good point ! I don't have that problem so I didn't even think about it.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Jubs on November 05, 2007, 05:02:16 PM
Here are the pictures as promised...



Pump and hose connected



End of hose connected to the garden hose to plumbing thread adapter ( right side ) then middle is ball valve and left side is the gravel vacuum hose connected to the threaded barb adapter to the ball valve.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: mikedmatthews on November 05, 2007, 05:23:18 PM
isn't it cheaper to just buy the python?


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: wendyjo on November 05, 2007, 05:28:06 PM
Hahaha that what I was thinking Mike.  And a heck of alot easier.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Jubs on November 05, 2007, 05:29:45 PM
Not in Colorado dry goods are expensive here. The cheapest I have seen is $35 ish for a 25 ft. one at Walmart. The 25ft  ones at the LFS's here start around $45- $50 for the cheaper Lee's ones.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: mikedmatthews on November 05, 2007, 05:35:51 PM
perhaps its punishment for makin them drive up those mountains!


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Clint on November 05, 2007, 05:37:22 PM
And the water bed fill kits turn up a lot at garage sales and flea markets.


Title: Re: DIY python?
Post by: Jubs on November 05, 2007, 05:42:26 PM
perhaps its punishment for makin them drive up those mountains!
I don't know what it is but it's getting old  :hihi: I lived in PA for about 3 years and my LFS was That Fish Place and the instore prices are the same or lower than the mail order or online prices so I got spoiled. I started off in the hobby in Washington state and they are high compared to east coast prices but not as bad as here. I'll put it this way one of the LFS's  manager buys at retail from That Fish Place on filters and marks them up from there cause the wholesale distributors here are so over priced.


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