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Old 03-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #1 
Myates's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Easy/safe way to do large tank water changes w/ fry

So I spend an average of 6-7hrs doing water changes daily.. part of the fun of breeding.. and I'm small scale lol. So was trying to find ways to do water changes a bit quicker on my 30g grow outs with small fry in it.. airline tubing just took forever, and had to sit and watch it. Using cups I would end up grabbing fry. Siphons with mesh over the end would suck the fry to the mesh and not let go..

So I looked at what items I had laying around and came up with this.. not the prettiest.. but it works great. Small fry are in no danger of being sucked into the netting, or the tube. I just put it in the tank and walk away while the buckets fill up. Now it only took me 4-5hrs to do water changes lol

I posted this to a couple groups and on my FB page and was requested to make instructions for it.. figured I would share it here as well, maybe make things a bit easier for other breeders :)

I still use airling tubing to vacuum the bottom of the tank once I have 60-75% of the water drained. This is for water only changes..

-Plastic Canvas purchased at Walmart or any "hobby" store
-Cable/Zip Ties, also purchased at Walmart for less than $2 in the home repair section (can also purchase at most other places for cheap, don't have to be the long ones, they were just what I had laying around for keeping cords and airline tubing in check)
-Siphon - mine is just one of the larger ones I got from Walmart as well.. can fit this onto any size siphon or even a hose if you run one to your sink for draining.
-Rubber band - I have thinner, large ones to help make wrapping it around easier.

I cut about a 2.5 x 2.5 inch square from the crafting mesh (I use crafting mesh as dividers as well as critter keeper/cup tops to prevent jumping yet giving them air, so had it laying around).
I place zip ties on two sides of the mesh, zipping them closed.. helps if they both face the same way.
I got a large net free with a 29g tank set purchase, so I used that.. but can get one at the store cheap.. just make sure it's pretty big, mine measured 6.25"L and 5" wide. I just used scissors to cut the netting out, discarding the metal frame.
Hold the zip ties on either side of the siphon, keeping the plastic canvas a few inches from the end of the siphon.
With one hand holding the ties to the siphon I wrap the netting around the plastic mesh and then wrap my hands around the net, ties and siphon.
Then just wrap a rubber band around it all on the siphon a couple inches from the end of the siphon.

Can keep the mesh a little loose around the end part so you can still place a finger over the end of the siphon to fill the siphon up with water and start the siphon.. unless you have one where you can manually start it. I just been using water-in-tube way for 20 yrs, so it's an old habit of mine.

As long as the fry are bigger than the holes of the net, they won't get sucked up, nor won't get sucked to the net.

Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New York, NY
This is clever. I agree...the worst & most time consuming part of water changes is fishing the frys out of the disposal bucket. I hate it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Nice. Thank you for sharing
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:48 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Thanks grate idea I am definitely going to use it for my goldfish fry.(If its ok with you?)
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
very interesting. Nice job, this is a neat little invention. :)
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #6 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hogwarts
This should be stickies!
Great thread Myates!
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:58 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Thanks guys :) And of course use it if it will help you! Can tweak it if need be.. I just threw together what I had, but if it can be made better then by all means :) Just figured if it helped at least one person, then it was worth the post.
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