Review: Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System
Are You Tired of Lugging Buckets Around Your House?
We have all been there; standing over the bathtub filling up bucket after bucket of water. Then, dragging those buckets across the house (sometimes up and down stairs) to their destination: the fish tank. It is a miserable existence, and anyone with a large aquarium will tell you doing a water change with buckets is the worst part of the hobby.
What if I told you there was another way?
I had to lug three buckets (5 gallons each) down into my basement just to change less than half of the water in my tank.
Introducing: the Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System
I don’t know how I stumbled upon this product. Maybe I had heard about it on the forums before, maybe a friend had mentioned something similar in passing. Either way, I found myself reading the reviews on Amazon one night while I was in the planning stages of my 40 gallon aquascape. I usually find myself browsing aquarium and aquascaping products whenever I get bored, it’s a bad habit – I usually end up spending money. However, this time I didn’t make an impulse buy, I only saved the Python in my wishlist. Ironically enough, not buying it would end up being something I would regret.
Fast forward 4 months, my 40 gallon has been running for about 3 of those months which equates to about 12 water changes. Now my 40 is in the basement of my house which means I have to walk bucket after bucket from the bathroom, down a flight of stairs and into the basement.
I would say it was probably around the 10th water change where I finally had enough of dragging buckets around. I went back to amazon and began searching my wishlist. I had long forgotten the name of the product but I had hoped I saved it somewhere. Sure enough it was sitting in my wishlist waiting for me. I believe when I ordered it the price was $39.99.
Fast forward some more, and the product is sitting in my hands.
Now mind you, I’m a reader. I have to read the instructions beginning to end at least once before I even think about using the product. With the Python No Spill, that was no easy task. The instructions were difficult to follow and I found myself giving up halfway through reading them – not something I usually do.
When I decided I had the jist, I broke open the zip ties and began inspecting the setup. I opted for the 25 foot Python System, and in retrospect that might even be too long. However, I should point out that they offer a number of hose lengths, both shorter and longer so that fault falls solely on me.
Setup is simple. You start by undoing the brass adapter at the top of the system (pump side) and threading it onto your faucet. You may be required to remove the filter on your faucet (like I had). After you have the brass adapter threaded onto your sink you thread the pump onto the adapter (see image below).
Now, start by running the water being sure that the bottom valve is in the “drain position” meaning it is locked (up position) and water is flowing out of the system and down your sink drain. (Note: in the above picture the valve is in the locked “drain position”). This should create a siphoning action, you can test it by putting your hand over the gravel tube. Next, run the hose from your sink over to your tank and drop the gravel tube into your tank and water should begin to drain. Go about your normal gravel vacuuming routine.
When you have finished vacuuming, you can remove the gravel tube from the water and allow the water to drain from the tubing system. Walk back to your sink and turn off the water. On the handle of the Python No Spill Clean and Fill System their should be a switch. Move the switch to the closed position, meaning the switch runs parallel to the tubing. This is so that we can start filling the tubing with water without getting it everywhere while we walk back to the tank. Once your switch is closed turn the water back on (being sure to match the temperature to your tank) and move the valve on the pump into the unlocked “fill position”. Water should start to fill the tubing. Finally, walk back to your tank and slowly move the switch into the open position allowing water to gently fill the tank.
When you have finished filling the tank, move the switch back into the closed position and turn the water off at your faucet. Remove the pump and brass adapter from your sink and replace any components you may have removed from your faucet. The last thing you are going to want to do is dechlorinate your water, don’t forget this! I highly recommend Seachem Prime, it is more concentrated than the alternatives meaning it will last you longer for the same price.
It all might sound complicated but I have used the Python No Spill Clean and Fill System four times and I mastered it after only it’s second use.
Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System
- Cut water change time in half.
- No more filling and transporting water buckets
- A little too expensive for a gravel vacuum
- Has a bit of a learning curve
What the Python No Spill Clean and Fill System claims is that they will make water changes a “breeze”. While the product might have a short learning curve, Python does fulfill on their claim. It certainly does make water changes easier. No more bringing four buckets of water down a flight of stairs for me. No more lifting those heavy buckets. No more making a mess of my gravel and sand when I pour those buckets back in.
$39.99 isn’t necessarily a deal breaker in terms of price, but it is without a doubt on the expensive side for a gravel vacuum. But where the Python No Spill Clean and Fill System lacks in pricing it makes up for in Performance. On average I was averaging about an hour to do a water change on my 40 gallon. That included filling and transporting buckets, siphoning, emptying the buckets etc. After buying the system I think I have it down to less than half an hour. It takes me about the same time to clean my 10 gallon tank. I am happy.
- Confusing Instructions
- Learning Curve
- Well worth the price
- Will keep your back healthy
Less time lugging buckets around and more time enjoying your aquascape.