Suck It Up: Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System
By far, the most used item in my fish room is the Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System. For such a mundane task, it’s an absolute life saver.
Every aquarium requires water changes–not only does that mean removing old dirty water from the tank, but also replacing with clean fresh water. This can mean a tedious process of draining into buckets, dumping, filling buckets up, and more dumping.
For larger systems, this process can take a long time. It can also be extremely messy, not to mention painful on the arms and back. For me, standing at 5 foot 2 inches, this meant lifting the buckets above my head. I was forced to use smaller buckets, or only partially fill them so that I could dump them (that was until I started bugging my husband to do my dirty work for me!). Just about every wife or girlfriend can imagine how well that went over, so I was forced to come up with a plan B.
Plan B was the Python. It’s a long hose that connects to your sink faucet; it pulls dirty water from the tank and sucks it down the drain. No more siphoning by mouth! It’s as easy as hooking it up, turning on the water and turning the valve to drain, and inserting the tube into the tank.
One of the perks is that the end of the hose has a tube that can be stuck right into the substrate to suck up all the fish leftovers and waste. The end that connects to the sink faucet is universal, but if you find that the piece that comes with the system doesn’t fit, there are adapters that don’t cost but a few dollars.
Once you’ve drained the tank, simply walk back over to the sink and turn the valve so that it begins to fill it with water. Adjust the temperature to your fish’s liking, add dechlorinator, prop up your feet and enjoy a cup of coffee while your tank fills. The hardest part of this that I have found is forgetting that you’re in the middle filling a tank… it can cause a big mess if you get distracted!
I want to share a few helpful Python add-ons that I have found through the years. First of all, if you have tiny fish, or just fish that are curious, it is essential to stop them from coming too close to the tube. While Nemo led us to believe that this would result in an ocean adventure, I am afraid this is not the case. That’s why I cover the end of my Python with a ladies knee-high stocking. This allows all of the small particles to get sucked up out of the tank, while the little fishes are safe and sound.
Another tip is to add your dechlorinator product to the tank right after draining. Some people prefer to wait until it is filled, but I found that if I waited, I would often forget to add it to the tank. I add it as soon as I turn the valve to the fill position.
Once the process is completed, you need to drain your Python. Turn the valve to the drain position, remove from the tank, and allow it to drain as you coil up the line. Lifting it higher than the sink will drain it completely, so that you don’t drip all over your floor as you carry the system to storage. Speaking of storage, I like to use a garden hose holder for mine. I have a 50 foot hose, so that I can reach the tanks all over my house–a garden hose rack makes it easy to store, keeps it out of the way, and frees it from tangles.
The Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System can be purchased on Amazon for $39.99 for a 25 foot option, or $71 for a 50 foot option. While this may seem like a large amount, the convenience is worth every penny. Should something break or wear out from use, replacement parts are inexpensive and easily to find.
There are other brands of water changers on the market, and I’ve used them. In my opinion, they don’t compare to the quality and ease of use of the Python. If you have any tanks over 20 gallons, the Python is a must-have product for your aquarium. It takes the chore out of water changes, which means you won’t mind doing them, and your fish will thank you for fresh water on a weekly basis.
Summer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she’s not talking about fish, Summer “spins” her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization.
Summer Davis is the mom of three kids, four dogs, and several tanks of fish. She boasts a passion for all animals, whether they are in the water or on land. This fish aficionado has kept many different species in her time, but holds a special place in her heart for wild and domestic bettas. When she's not talking about fish, Summer "spins" her extra time as the director of a baton twirling organization."
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