Thought I'd share a cheap success of late. We have a newly established ten gallon on a sturdy dresser in a child's room (safest option available and working well.) We started with a one gallon, moved to a 2.5 gal, and finally came to the ten as the best option for our busy family. We needed less water changes per week, though I was concerned about more water.
Cleaning the tank and removing the water has not been a problem via the gravel siphon. Replacing the water was, though, since the dresser is too tall to siphon water back up. I found a pond pump:
I did not worry too much about the gph, but I watched for the max lift. This one was close to the distance i needed and had an adaptor for a smaller hose, and it works well enough to push the water up and into the tank with just a gentle flow. I zip tied a plastic hanger hook that I found in the plumbing department at lowes to the aquarium end of the hose so I could hook it over the side of the tank. (The pump does not come with hose, so I purchased it separately.)
Sorry the last two pics are sideways, but you get the idea. The rig works like a charm!
After two water changes with it, here are my "I learned its":
1. My betta is too curious, so I cup him for safety before I start the partial water change.
2. Plan for an extra gallon of water. This keeps the pump submerged in the bottom of the bucket and prevents damage since it doesn't run dry.
3. My bucket is only a five gallon, so I have to bring an extra water container and top off as needed to keep the pump submerged if I want to do a full fifty percent water change.
4. If you turn off the pump, remove the hose from the tank as it WILL create a back siphon and drain your tank back into the bucket (I proved that lol!)
The pump takes about ten minutes or so to refill the aquarium. The flow is really gentle. Due to this, the water cools a bit, so I actually use new water that is a degree or two hotter than the tank when I start. It turns out right on the mark that way.
I just wanted to share this as a fairly cheap alternative if you have a high tank that is difficult to refill.