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View Full Version : Review: Python Products No Spill Clean and Fill



Marko
11-10-2007, 04:18 PM
Listed as "The Aquarium Owner's Friend" right on the bag, I've been curious about this product since I really got into cichlids 10 or so years ago. Watching the staff at the LFS effortlessly move from tank to tank with one of these you would have thought I'd purchased one ages ago. But I've been in the five gallon pail club so long, lugging those buckets was pretty much the only exercise I used to get. But now that's over, here's the review:

Positives: Easy to read instructions and easy to install. I live in an apartment and the faucets have the outside kind of theads so you have to remove the bigger of the two washers for the brass fitting to work. What I didn't realize is with the faucet aerator removed we apparently have the water pressure of a fire hose (I'm on first floor of three). Much tightening of things was required, all by hand as instructed in the manual but it still leaked a bit. Cutting back on the water pressure helped some.

With the diverter set to drain I was off to clean my four aquariums (soon to be five, which was the reason for this purchase), all conveniently within 25 feet of my kitchen sink (I purchased the 25' version).

The draining process went well, a little slower than I'd hoped and the filling was a breeze. Liquid additives were poured into the stream, again as instructed, powder additives were mixed in a five gallon pail and poured into tank.

Negatives: I really hope Al Gore doesn't find about this thing, it's a water wasting nightmare. In order to create suction the water has to be running and guess where it's running? Into your sink and the sewer! I tried turning the water off thinking it would siphon on it's own and that didn't work (clue, I'm a plumbing idiot).

So yeah it works cool but I'm glad my water bill is a flat amount each month. With soon to be 300 gallons of water in here and even 1/4 weekly changes it's going to be a staggering amount of perfectly good water down the drain. Hopefully I've read the instructions all wrong and someone will set me straight in it's proper use

The other problem are the HoB filters which I've been used to cleaning with the aquarium water and a siphon tube. That won't change so I won't be throwing away the old tube or the buckets. Maybe clean the filters once a month now instead of every week. Not a big deal, but still keeps the product from being a total solution.

Overall I like the product, it's made me even lazier and the bathroom floor isn't covered in an inch of water (hey, I miss the bowl a lot, I'm a guy). Overall it didn't save me any time, might have even been slower because once I get the bucket brigade going I can fly through four tanks pretty quick. But the 125 that's due to be delivered next week will make me very grateful for the product despite it's shortcomings,

Plus now I have the shiny brass connector permanently attached to my sink so I can fill a glass of water in 0.2 seconds now, No way to hand untighten it, so I'm just leaving it (the joys of being a bachelor). Instructions loudly warn against use of a wrench of any kind and mention something about a quarter which I don't get (I did remove it once with a small wrench by wrapping a towel around the threads). Another odd shortcoming. Why not build the brass adapater with something a wrench could grab a hold of without damaging the threads, a hex deal in the middle or something.

Again I like it, feel a bit guilty about using it, sort of mixed feelings. Overall I'd give it a C+.

Mark

Dragonkeeper
11-10-2007, 04:38 PM
I love this thing. I have a floor drain in my basement that empties into the ejector pit. I just siphon the tank water out and away it goes.
For fill up I purchased a 25ft extension so I could reach the faucet upstairs in the bathroom. The only thing I have to be careful of is the water pressure actually sucking in air from the faucet connection creating micro bubbles.
I have 12 tanks in my basement ranging from 75 gal to 10 gal and it only takes me about 2 hours to empty and fill them all.

Great product.

ercnan
11-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Needless expenditure of $$, needless expenditure of water IMO.
Garden hose works as well. Yeah, you have to start the siphon, but a couple pulls is cheaper and easier than all that faucet/adapter stuff.
I drain 40 and refill 40 for the cost the water. About the cost of an extra shower per week.
Plus, the drained water is pumped to the outside flower garden. No need to buy ferts.

kay-bee
11-10-2007, 06:01 PM
....Negatives: ....it's a water wasting nightmare. In order to create suction the water has to be running and guess where it's running? Into your sink and the sewer! I tried turning the water off thinking it would siphon on it's own and that didn't work (clue, I'm a plumbing idiot).

For water removal I only briefly use the faucet to start the siphon and then disconnect the python from the sink faucet (and either place it in the tub where the water goes down the drain or outside to water the lawn). For some reason turning off the water works for me (I turn off the water and disconnect before the water starts to come out). I'm not sure if the flow is slower or not (it takes about 35-45min to remove 90gal from my 180gal tank using it this way).

daniel505480
11-10-2007, 06:19 PM
wow 45 minutes to drain! I'd be doing water changes for a week if I did that. I have found that the python is about 3 times more expensive than any similar made device with tubing, pvc connectors, and an adapter for your sink. I use a 1.25" ID length of vinyl tubing to drain my tanks into my front yard. That length was the most expensive because its a couple bucks a foot for stuff that thick. For the fill tubing though it was about $30 to put together a 70' long python device. I find its a whole lot easier to drain with a big hose into the yard.

Plus, with lots of fish tanks we should be concerned about our water usage. Dumping your fish effluent down the drain into your sewer system is not a very good practice. If possible, large amounts of water should be drained outside for plants and grass. Anyone doing a couple hundred gallons worth of changes a month should consider using their water twice as fish tank water and again as water for your lawn or plants. Instead of pumping separate water for your lawn or garden you can use your fish water and it will be rich with nutrients for the lawn or shrubs. My front yard looks great all the time now.

ercnan
11-10-2007, 06:24 PM
wow 45 minutes to drain! I'd be doing water changes for a week if I did that. I have found that the python is about 3 times more expensive than any similar made device with tubing, pvc connectors, and an adapter for your sink. I use a 1.25" ID length of vinyl tubing to drain my tanks into my front yard. That length was the most expensive because its a couple bucks a foot for stuff that thick. For the fill tubing though it was about $30 to put together a 70' long python device. I find its a whole lot easier to drain with a big hose into the yard.


Plus, with lots of fish tanks we should be concerned about our water usage. Dumping your fish effluent down the drain into your sewer system is not a very good practice. If possible, large amounts of water should be drained outside for plants and grass. Anyone doing a couple hundred gallons worth of changes a month should consider using their water twice as fish tank water and again as water for your lawn or plants. Instead of pumping separate water for your lawn or garden you can use your fish water and it will be rich with nutrients for the lawn or shrubs. My front yard looks great all the time now.
EggsZachary. Fish water is good water for plants.

RustyNut
11-10-2007, 08:00 PM
I have found if you have a lot of water to change it is much simpler to just buy a powerhead/pump than waiting around for siphons.... I have a RIO 1200 I use that I connect to 25ft of vinyl hose. I just plug it in and watch the water level drop.... When I used all gravity action or a python the times were 2-3 times longer to drain, but still the same to fill :)

daniel505480
11-10-2007, 08:14 PM
My 1.25" ID tubing drains about 5 times faster than a 5/8" ID tube fills it up from the faucet. It also drains at least 2 times faster than my garden hose could fill. The 125 gallon tanks drain in about 8 minutes depending on what height they are at. The ones higher up go down to 50% in about 6 minutes. It takes probably 30-40 minutes to fill them up. I also use my siphon hose as mechanical filtration for a lot of tanks with sponge filters so it has a dual purpose.

Theres not much waiting on a siphon from a good size hose. The water moves pretty damn good through it, even from tanks on the floor. If you do a few inaccurate conversions my tanks drain anywhere from 400 to 600 gph with the 1.25" ID hose. Its also much easier to drag a hose around a large fish room than it is to drag a power cord.

RustyNut
11-11-2007, 05:15 AM
1.25" tubing sounds a lot bulkier and more cumbersome to work with than a 6-10 ft power cord and plugging it to the outlet you have near the tank... I usually use the filter plug since that is going to be off anyways.... Also I get to use regular size hose which I already have plenty of. I also have a MAG36 with a 1.5" hose directly fixed to a waste pipe, which can empty the 210 or the 180 in about 3-4 minutes. Which was overkill....but the pump is for the pond.

ercnan
11-11-2007, 06:21 AM
I use regular garden hose as well.
Lots of big tanks would probably cause me to just expand what I already use.
Another "filter tube" always in the tank, connected to the hose, ran the drain or pump as needed. In line ball valve easily accessible to start/stop the drain.
Start the siphon once and forget it after that as long as the tube stays in the tank.
Open the valve, drain to correct level, and close.
Add Prime, open another valve (filtered supply) to re-fill.
Drain water gets pumped outside to flowers in the warmer months, and to the sewer in winter.

daniel505480
11-11-2007, 03:56 PM
1.25" tubing sounds a lot bulkier and more cumbersome to work with than a 6-10 ft power cord and plugging it to the outlet you have near the tank...

Your assuming I have an electrical outlet near each and every tank. And its quite easy to work with. It takes about 30 seconds to roll it in or out, and once its going moving it from tank to tank is far easier than turning off a power head and turning it back on just to drain another tank. I don't have few enough tanks to do that. It all depends on your situation.

Finneon
01-20-2008, 09:30 PM
I remember reading that using a garden hose can be dangerous.