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Hello to all.
I have about 15 vivariums thus far, and not one of them has a bulkhead to drain the false bottom. (My next builds will have bulkheads.)
When they need to be drained I have been doing it the hard way (the only way I know how)... I take standard plastic aquarium tubing, and fill it up in the bathroom sink. I then walk into the frog room with my fingers covering each end of the filled tubing, then I stick one end down into the 2 inches of water in the tank and the other end into the bucket the dirty water is draining into, and it starts to siphon.
Although this works, it is extremely tedious to leave the room every time I need to do the next tank in line. I also don't want to use my mouth to start the siphon for obvious reasons.
I have been looking online for battery powered siphoning products, but am really unsure if they would work with only an inch or two of water to be siphoned (most of them are made for fully filled aquariums with gravel).
I was wondering if anyone knows an easy trick or a great product that can save me a bunch of time.
What does everyone else do?
Here are a couple products I've been looking at. Does anyone have experience with these?
They range from $7 - $40. I'd pay the $40 bucks if I knew it worked properly and would save me the trouble every time...




Thanks in advance.
 

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I just use my mouth. I've been doing this for a decade or twowith fishtanks and seriously, it's not that bad. Just watch the water and don't let it get in your mouth.
Awhile back I got a "python" siphon. It's basically a siphon with a 50 ft hose and an attachment that hooks onto a sink or hose. Turn the attachment one way and it sucks water out of the siphon, turn it the other and it shoots water through it to fill the tank back up. It was helpful till I moved to an area with chloramine in the water. Now that I have to treat any water that goes into my tanks anyway I just use the old fashioned "suck" method and treat the water in 5 gallon buckets.
 

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Gosh, so many different options... I read the reviews which only makes me question if they actually work how I want them to.
When you all recommend these products is it because you have experience using them yourselves?
Essentially, I want someone from DB to say, "I use this every time and it works great with no issues."
Then I'll go buy it. :)
 

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ive written about it numerous times, but for under $10 you can equip each non-drilled tank with a drain which requires NO siphoning and no moving parts.

sounds too good to be true, but once you see it in action, its one of those "ah hah" moments

im sure if you do a quick search with my SN an the word siphon you'll find one of the instructional write ups, but i'll keep it brief here.

a permanent tube is affixed from inside the tank (at the bottom) going up and outside the tank and traveling back down farther than the bottom of the tank. a cheap brass valve is attached. once a siphon has been created, it is permanent and as long as water does not reach the bottom of the tube inside the tank it will stay siphoning for ever. the valve simply keeps the siphoning action in place until it is opened and allowed to drain freely, once closed the siphon remains but water isnt allowed to drain.

james
 

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Gosh, so many different options... I read the reviews which only makes me question if they actually work how I want them to.
When you all recommend these products is it because you have experience using them yourselves?
Essentially, I want someone from DB to say, "I use this every time and it works great with no issues."
Then I'll go buy it. :)
I've been using my mouth for 28 years and it hasn't failed me yet! I could probably even get you a few references if you want ;)
I've had the "python" system for years and it has had no problems, it's just not convenient for my situation anymore.
 

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James, that system does sound good....but I am not sure I could sleep at night knowing that siphon is there, full and waiting to spill onto my floor if I did one single thing wrong with that brass valve. I take it you have had no dripping or leaks from this?
 

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I have been using James' method (quoted below) and for the most part I'm a fan. I'm so glad he shared it with me. It's waaay easier than manual siphoning with non-permanent tubes. One difference from James is that I use clear tubing so that I can see the water instead of guessing.

My problem is that I somehow fail at keeping a permanent siphon. One of two things will happen:

1. While draining I don't notice that the water level in the tank has gotten low enough that I should stop. This means it starts picking up air bubbles in the line. Once there is air in the line, the siphon ends up getting lost.

2. The brass 90 degree elbows tend to lose the siphon within a few days for me. I'll see air bubbles in the line that enters the viv through my clear tubing and the water slowly descends. Maybe I should silicone them up. Maybe my hardware store has a bad product, or maybe I have done something wrong to

Because of those issues i've just stopped worrying about whether the siphon maintains itself. Instead I let it drain until nothing more comes out and get the siphon started again with my mouth next time. It is still really nice to have the permanent, out-of-the-way tubes even if they don't do quite as well for me as for James. For my next viv I have drilled a hole for passive draining.


i have posted this before but here goes....
supplies:
1/4 in black rose garden sprinkler hose
1/4 in brass valve
zip ties (optional)
1/4 in 90degree adapters (sold right next to the tubing)
1/4 in drill bit and drill (some full hoods already come with two 1/4 in holes drilled)

drill a 1/4 in hole near the corner of the hood (if it does not already exist)
cut a length of tubing 1/2 inch less than the height of the inside of the tank
cut a 1.5 in length of tubing and attach the two lengths via the 90 degree bend
cut a third piece of tubing to your liking but so that it reaches from the end of the 1.5 in piece to below the bottom of the tank. (the lower you can get it the better)
attach this piece to the 1.5 in piece again via a 90degree bend creating a U shape.
attach the valve to the longest of the three pieces of tubing
cut and attach a 6-12 inch piece of tubing from the bottom of the valve.
place the first piece you cut through the hole in the top of the tank so that the end of the tubing is pushed through the substrate and nearly 1/2 inch from the bottom of the tank.
zip tie according to your own situation.

now that you have the drain installed you must create a siphon. open the valve and suck (with your mouth or a clean suction gun if you have it) until water begins to come out. now you have a permanent siphon on the tank. as long as you don't let the water level reach below the end of the tubing you will never have to create the siphon again. simply close the valve tight and next time you need to drain simply open it again.

this is by far the most simple of the ideas i have tried. no moving parts and extremely cheap. it runs about $7-10 per tank as the tubing comes in 50ft rolls which should last a very long time the only repeated expense (if using o multiple tanks is the valve and 90 degree adapters.

james
 

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With respect to the OP...are you using a different siphon hose for each aquarium? If you aren't since you are already cross contaminating the tanks, why not just stop the siphon and move to the next tank? Or since you are using airline tubing, get a 2 quart pitcher, fill it with tap water and use that as the source of water to start the siphon.. It's easy, simple feed the tubing into the pitcher until you have filled more than half the tube. Cap it with your finger and then while the end is still in the pitcher, start the siphon into the bucket or whatever else you are using to capture the drain water. Use started siphon in next tank... With this method, you don't have to leave the room, risk a mouthful of potential pathogens... and you can even use a different piece of hose for each tank with minimal risk of cross contamination.

Hopefully you are bleaching the waste water....

Ed
 

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I have a possibly stupid question. Why do you need to bleach the waste water?
To prevent pathogens, and parasites from the exotic frogs potentially getting released into the local enviroment. In many cities, rainwater is funneled into the same systems used to treat sewage. In times of heavy rainwater, the sewage can get discharged untreated and so can exotic parasites and pathogens.
There is already a petition before USF&W to add non-tested amphibians from being imported or transported across state borders.. why not take the simplest precaution you can and take away the risk?

Ed
 
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