DIY Python aquarium hose
Most aquarists with a larger aquarium(s) will have come across the Python water change hose system. This kit is great and it certainly saves a lot of the work of lifting buckets around. Plus it saves time too.
This bit of kit is a great idea, and I have considered buying one a few times, but never have.
The reason I haven’t bought on is that I use a similar system that cost a lot less than a Python aquarium hose does.
In my opinion, the Python aquarium hose is massively overpriced. A 7.5m long hose kit will set you back just over £60. That seems pretty steep to me for what is essentially a hosepipe and a gravel vac stuck together.
But a 7.5m kit wouldn’t even reach to my tap, so for me, I would need a kit around 20m long to have any hope of it reaching to my 200-litre tank upstairs, for a kit that length the price would be £80 plus.
That’s a lot of money for a hose!
So, in this article, I will show you 2 ways to create your own DIY Python aquarium hose for under £25.
DIY Python aquarium hose – Option 1
Option 1 is an exact replica of an actual Python aquarium hose, but cheaper. Please note that this kit does not include the gravel vac attachment.
To create your own replica of the Python aquarium hose, you will need three items. The ‘pump’ that starts the syphon from your tank, a hose with fittings and an adaptor for your tap.
When it comes to the adaptor for your tap, I can only help so much many taps are different sizes. But with the other 2 items, I can show you the equipment you will need to put your Python replica hose together for just under £31 for a 15m kit.
The ‘pump’ that the Python uses is already made by other manufacturers but is available at a much cheaper price.
This ‘pump’ costs £9.50 on amazon (as I write this), that is roughly 2/3 the cost of the Python version on its own.
Next up is the hose, this part is easy as Hozelock produce a starter kit which comes with all the connections you need:
This £15m version costs just £15 and the 30m version is just £29.57.
The tap adaptor is where things could be tricky, taps come in all shapes and sizes, but many are a common size, so the best bet is to use the same adaptor that comes with the real Python kit.
This adaptor should fit most taps, but please check first, and it costs just £6.
This means that you can create your own DIY Python aquarium hose for as little as £30.50, that is just under half the price of the Python 7.5m kit, but twice as long. Bargain!
Want to make your own DIY Python aquarium hose?
For the parts listed above, here are the links to find them on Amazon:
(As an amazon associate I earn on qualifying purchases).
Most gravel vac’s should fit onto this with the use of an adaptor, or by simply inserting the gravel vac hose into the main hose. Or, if you have a large gravel vac, it may fit directly onto the hose itself.
The gravel vac issue I leave up to you, these come in many different sizes so you will need to check which adaptor you require.
DIY Python aquarium hose – Option 2
This option is simple, easy and cheap. We’re not trying to replicate the Python here, we’re just going to achieve the easy water change function for a small fraction of the cost.
To change water easily and quickly, I use a regular garden hose pipe. My large tank is 580-litres, and I do large water changes, so buckets would take forever.
There are only two items needed to use a garden hose for quick and easy water changes, a hose and a tap adaptor. I do not use a gravel vac as I use sand and very fine gravel.
Again, if you wanted to add a gravel vac it is possible, but you will require an adaptor to attach one to the hose.
How does it work?
This kit uses a simple syphon system to drain the water from your tank. You can then fill the tank back up by the use of a mixer tap, ensuring that the water is the correct temperature. Below is a set of simple instructions on how it works:
Before starting, ensure that your filter, heater and any other equipment that may be affected by the lower water level is switched off. If you have an internal filter, remove it from the tank.
Insert one end of the hose into the tank with the other end running to a tap that is lower in height than your tank – outside taps are ideal.
Run the tap until water flows into your tank.
Switch the tap off, disconnect the hose from the tap and place it into a grate, or onto your plants – water will continue to flow from your tank.
Once you have trained enough water from your aquarium, remove the end of the hose in your tank from the water leaving the hose in the tank ready to fill back up.
Connect the other end of the hose to a mixer tap with the use of an adaptor.
Fill the tank back up, remembering to add enough dechlorinator and ensuring the temperature is correct.
Do not switch your filter back on/replace it until the water in the tank has been well mixed with dechlorinator, a powerhead or wavemaker is useful to ensure it is well mixed.
What is needed for this kit?
A hose kit:
A mixer tap adaptor:
(As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying sales).
A 15m kit for this water changing system will cost just over £22. That isn’t a lot if you consider how many back and forth trips with buckets you will save.
This set should be used only for your aquarium, not for the garden too. This will ensure that no nasties get into your tank.
Whilst the aquarium is draining you should have plenty of time to conduct any other maintenance required. The flow through the hose is particularly useful for rinsing off filter media in the flowing aquarium water.
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