When doing small 2gal tanks down to betta bowls I use a gatoraid bottle of the appropriate size for the water change and then stick the hose down in it and use my mouth to pull air from the bottle. It goes right into the bottle and you can wash it with soap when done for next use! This would be difficult in situations such as a 55gallon yes, but its dead handy and clean in a gallon or three. To stop siphon simply hold the bottle up beside the tank!
Also, Ace hardware carries a plastic siphon pump with half inch in and outs on it, you can cut the in and out pipes and wedge it over the hose for an actual siphon vac and stick the out-hose onto the out, tada!
I commonly use this for non gravel changes by sticking it in the back of my power filter and simply siphoning out into a kerosene jug I use only for aquarium waste water. a 2g+8 because it matches how much water I can carry without spilling in my fill bucket XD
With a baby sock and a twist tie and a funnel you can make that siphon pump into a serviceable sweeper... on occasion I use it to move small gravel and rocks around the tank by water force alone and I also use it to "till" rock with the output when I'm grinding mulm off thin bottoms.
Last edited by Thunderloon; 02-17-2011 at 02:04 AM.