water changes!

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water changes!

Postby Terweq » 2007-12-31 18:47

are water changes really as good as people make them out to be? some of my friends do only a little every week, but i have also read about people who will do 25% or even more every other day. i get the feeling that that is ott. does anyone here know the pros and cons of frequent and infrequent water changes?
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Re: water changes!

Postby susankat » 2007-12-31 20:20

Depending on the fish and how much bioload you have in the tank. People with Discus will do more water changes in a week to keep the water pristine. In most cases 25 - 30% each week is enough. Best way to tell is by checking your nitrates, and do your water change accordingly to bring it down to at least 10 or 20.
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Re: water changes!

Postby saracen » 2008-01-07 14:07

As Susan said, it depends on the tank, size and occupants. A really small tank, even with a light bioload will need far more changes than a really big tank.

You can work out your own tanks requirements by watching the levels.

For instance, I have 3 tanks, a 5 gallon with one betta, a 12 gallon with a dozen tetras and loads of snails, and a 100 gallon community tank.

The betta tank I change little and often, sometimes 3 4 times a week, the 12 gets 30% once a week and the 100 gets 30% once a fortnight because the bioload is quite low for the amount of water I have in there.
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Re: water changes!

Postby KittyKat » 2008-01-07 15:22

I will most often do small and infrequent water changes on my tanks as most arewell planted (with the exception of the breeding tanks which get 5-10% a week).
Water changes are an essencial part of tank maintenance because they help replenish minerals which are used up by plants and fish. Think about it: imagine a river, now take a part of the river and you will see that every bit of the water in it is replaced by new water every so often. This is, of course, not always the case as some fish are found in swampy areas or in little puddles where the water is only rarely replaced, (usually) during rains. But these types of fish have adapted to this kind of environment which is why they are able to survive.

For a "typical" (if there is such a thing!) (tropical planted) community tank, a weekly water change of about 20-30% is the norm. Alternitavely, some people will do rarer water changes, but will use additives to replenish the minerals in the water. Water changes are also more important for plantless tanks as plants will remove nitrates, but in a plantless tank there is nothing to use them up.

So to answer your question in short: it depends on the set-up, but as a general rule a well balanced and maintained planted tank does not require frequent water changes, while a plantless or a badly maintained tank does.
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Re: water changes!

Postby Jenny&James » 2008-02-12 08:03

Hi guys!

Hope you don't mind me asking a simple question, but................

When doing a water change, is there a problem with using some water from the hot tap to make the replenished water the correct temperature?

We have been filling our bucket with about 80% cold, 20% hot water so as to make it as near the 'correct' temperature when putting back in the tank. We then add 'Tapsafe' to the water to remove chlorine.

Many thanks

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Re: water changes!

Postby KittyKat » 2008-02-12 10:54

Water from the hot tap is not a good idea! Hot water will pick up more trace elements, especially copper which is deadly to some species (don't worry, none of your fish should be affected by it too much!) so it's best to use only cold water for water changes. Why not get another heater to heat the water? I find that it's always good to have a spare just in case one of the ones in the tanks breaks and it solves the problem of heating cold water. Also for my bigger tanks I will sometimes use an airline to syphon the water in slowly so that the fish do not get as much of a shock from it and if I use cold water then it does not cool down the tank that much.
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Re: water changes!

Postby Jenny&James » 2008-02-12 18:34

Thanks KittyKat, much appreciated.
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Re: water changes!

Postby excuzzzeme » 2008-02-20 06:36

If you can stand one more reply :

I do weekly changes in all tanks. I make sure that the new water is as close to tank temp as possible. I do approx 20-25% each change plus add 1 tbs of dissolved aquarium salt every 3-4 change.

Sometimes, if I vaccuum a heavy amount of waste or if I detect an odor I will do a greater amount.
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Re: water changes!

Postby -Rambler- » 2008-02-20 18:43

:o Well here's one more whack at the dead horse. In my past home I had older copper water supply lines. I had well water that was extremely acidic, <6.0 pH. The pipes would sometimes get pin holes and leak from this condition. Being extremely concerned of this situation I bought a copper testing kit and believe it or not, nil on detectable copper. I wanted to correct the pH to save the pipes from detiorating more and put a filtration system that raised the pH. When the technician came to test my water to determine what type of media I needed he also tested for copper and his test was nil, no detectable copper. The temperature of using hot water and cold water will not matter in getting copper in your tap water. The hot water is just not hot enough to add any detectable copper to your water. You could however get build up in the faucet wash into the tank. I really believe this to be minimal if any. Think about it, if hot water deteriorated a copper pipe that is maybe 1cm thick, after 40-50 years the pipe would be totally destroyed. Copper in high doses is definately toxic to fish and plants, actually that is what is used in most "snail be gone" and "algae be gone"products. Copper is also a trace element, though very, very small quanities, to tropical fish water, even invertabrae need very low doses. There is simply not enough copper that would be released to do any harm. I use a "Python" vacuum and water refil system for changes. I get the temp close to that of the tanks using a little hot to the cold water, nary a problem. Actually sudden GH and KH changes are more lethal to fish then sudden temp. changes.
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Re: water changes!

Postby KittyKat » 2008-02-27 14:41

Interesting point, but (sorry!) if copper was detectable in the water supply, the water would have been undrinkable without causing severe health problems. Maybe the copper that got dissolved out of your pipes bonded with something else (possibly whatever it was that was making your water so acidic?) into something less harmful.
My hot tap water comes out milky and with solid bits of copper in, some as big as 3-4mm across, so I think I will refrain from using it for now in waterchanges and will stick to rainwater and cold tap water.

There may be other reasons for not using hot water, but that has been the only reason I have come across so far... if hot tap water is safe, why is it then that it is recommended that it is not drunk? Why do people (at least everyone I know) always use cold water for cooking even?
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Re: water changes!

Postby Dookie » 2008-03-08 16:48

I have to agree with kat on this one. A couple of years ago I kept Malawi Cichlids and used the hot tap to bring up the temp for my water changes. It irritated the hell out of the poor fish, and I was going mad trying to figure out what was causing the problem. It was only when told to stop using the hot tap (i started boiling the kettle instead) that my fish stopped franticly flicking themselvs against the gravel and rocks!
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Re: water changes!

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Re: water changes!

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