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Christopher Marks

New Article: How to Perform a Water Change on a Pico Jar

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Maintaining a pico jar is a little bit unusual compared to a traditional nano reef, but there's no need to be intimidated! 100% water changes are a key element of success, community member @gena has kindly documented the process for anyone out there who might be afraid to jump in to keeping a pico jar. Many thanks for her contribution to our Articles Library!

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The real question is how to drain the water in a tank that’s too small for a regular hose? Airline tubing would work,  but how do you get the vacuum physics to work? This is a problem I have come across with my half gallon. I’ve been dumping it but that makes cleaning the salt residue off the glass a major pain.

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52 minutes ago, JoeR said:

The real question is how to drain the water in a tank that’s too small for a regular hose? Airline tubing would work,  but how do you get the vacuum physics to work? This is a problem I have come across with my half gallon. I’ve been dumping it but that makes cleaning the salt residue off the glass a major pain.

The vacuum physics would still work but just slower.  You wouldn't be able to clean the sand very easily though, I wouldn't think.  Have you tried the airline tubing?  

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4 hours ago, gena said:

The vacuum physics would still work but just slower.  You wouldn't be able to clean the sand very easily though, I wouldn't think.  Have you tried the airline tubing?  

Nah not yet, but probably will In a week or so when it’s due for another WC. The tank I have has less than a measuring cup of sand in it so it would probably be easiest to stir it up real good and then do a WC rather than vacuum it.

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On 12/30/2017 at 12:18 PM, gena said:

The vacuum physics would still work but just slower.  You wouldn't be able to clean the sand very easily though, I wouldn't think.  Have you tried the airline tubing?  

It did not work. The diameter is too small and the water doesn’t flow, youd probably have to start it with your mouth like a straw but that’s gross lol so have to dump it still :/

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23 minutes ago, JoeR said:

It did not work. The diameter is too small and the water doesn’t flow, youd probably have to start it with your mouth like a straw but that’s gross lol so have to dump it still :/

Fill the tube with water first, you don't have to suck to siphon.  It does work I just tried it to confirm. 8 fluid ounces drained in 34 seconds... so miserably slow.  I filled the airline up with RO(tap would work) and plugged both ends keeping them up to ensure the water was in the lines then submerged one side and lowered the other and a siphon began.  Physics for the win.  If my math is right it would take about 9 minutes just to drain a gallon though.  If it didn't work no one would use check valves on air pumps.

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1 hour ago, GraniteReefer said:

Fill the tube with water first, you don't have to suck to siphon.  It does work I just tried it to confirm. 8 fluid ounces drained in 34 seconds... so miserably slow.  I filled the airline up with RO(tap would work) and plugged both ends keeping them up to ensure the water was in the lines then submerged one side and lowered the other and a siphon began.  Physics for the win.  If my math is right it would take about 9 minutes just to drain a gallon though.  If it didn't work no one would use check valves on air pumps.

Problem for me is that I can’t get water to go inside the tube, even when submerging it. What material and diameter tubing did you use?

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Picture of tubing used and the brand.  I'd say it's 1/4" but it's not disclosed, it is standard airline tubing thoughimage.thumb.jpg.fc3b39ea6b05edf4875d17f4158d8928.jpg

hold the tube to a running faucet it will force its way through

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21 hours ago, JoeR said:

It did not work. The diameter is too small and the water doesn’t flow, youd probably have to start it with your mouth like a straw but that’s gross lol so have to dump it still :/

I have an acclimation kit that uses airline tubing and a syringe to get the suction going.  Maybe look for something like that.  I think I got it at Marine Depot.  

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1 hour ago, gena said:

I have an acclimation kit that uses airline tubing and a syringe to get the suction going.  Maybe look for something like that.  I think I got it at Marine Depot.  

That’s a great idea, thanks! I didn’t even think about that, I even have several medical syringes I could use too. 

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Ive had planted tanks so small it took three airline tubes all running to drain em :)

 

multi approach to airlines. I could have used the half inch drain hose for a quick run, but those systems I didn't want the sandbed sloshing around, so I went for a calmer drain via 3x sep air lines.

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The way I clean the sand is blast it with a turkey baster. Pretty much how I do it before a water change. I blast everything and keep it suspended in the water column for an easy syphon.

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On 1/1/2018 at 2:39 PM, JoeR said:

Problem for me is that I can’t get water to go inside the tube, even when submerging it. What material and diameter tubing did you use?

like @gena said: get yourself something with a syringe if you don't want to suck on it. Also use clear tubing so you can see if you have any air bubbles in it.  You can use the syringe to push water into the line or suck it out. doesn't matter how you fill it. Only that it is filled, and there is no air in it.  A single air bubble can break the siphon.  :angry:  I use 50 foot runs for some of my tanks, and trying to restart those can be a real pain when some air from an air stone decides to get sucked in. :o

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