Originally Posted by mik johnson
It looks like another thorough cleaning session and 90% water change but I'm wondering if I'm doing more harm than good? I know I should only be cleaning 10 - 15% of the water every week but it gets so dirty in there thats why I chose to do 90%. I can't keep on doing this every week and I have read it does go away eventually but how long is eventually??? I'm only a month into having this tank and already I'm getting fed up with it, I guess all I want is for someone to tell me what I'm doing wrong and how to fix it? My mexican walking fish ("Buster" my daughter has named it lol) is still doing really well but I want to add fish to the tank too but at the moment this isn't looking possible. Help
90% water change will stress the fish, 10-25% will be good.
if you're 1 month in, try not putting fish in yet.
Your tank will definitely need to be established with new bacteria.
Here's what I did with my freshwater tank + some tips to not crash the tank.
1. Once you've filled your tank with everything but fish, make sure the water is dechlorinated. If it has not been, add water conditioner to dechlorinate the tank (dosage depending on product) and then let it run for 48 hours.
2. Start adding ammonia to the tank and add some beneficial bacteria. 1 way is to get some gravel from an established tank and seed it in your tank -- or what you can do then is add cycle.
2a. Make sure when you add ammonia you're doing test readings (buy an API freshwater master kit) in the tank because you're feeding the beneficial bacteria.
3. Watch your water go through a bacteria bloom, and die off (cloudy white water)
4. At the end of the cycle you should read 0 pp ammonia, 0pp nitrites, <20pp nitrates
5. Once this has hit, do a 25-30% water change - then you should be able to add 1-2 fish (depending on the size of the tank)
5a. give it a week or so and add another, and water change weekly to bi-weekly IMO is the best.
5.b when you have a stocked tank, gravel vacuum a lot when you change water, I made the mistake of doing light vacuuming and got hydrogen chloride in the tank and it crashed.
There's a usual time frame of 4-8 weeks, but it'll depend on the setup.