Different School of Thought. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-15-2010, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Different School of Thought.

I have done a research on water change and I have found out some say 3 to 4 weeks once of 25% water change and some have say 2 weeks and some says 1 week once. So who is right and who is wrong? Confusing...

For canister filter user's, the filter media like the cotton wool should change every one month once or 2 week once? And the carbon should it be change 2 week or one month once?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-15-2010, 12:17 PM
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First the filter, to get the easy issue out of the way.

Carbon gives out as it adsorbs [I mean adsorb, not absorb] "stuff" from the water. The time depends upon what it is adsorbing. In a very lightly stocked aquarium with good water it could last a few weeks, whereas in more heavily-stocked aquaria or those with "stuff" in the water it can last only a week or two. Personally, I never use carbon. But I have planted tanks, and as carbon removes nutrients along with "stuff" and the plants remove the "stuff" anyway, it is not good for planted tanks. Many members suggest keeping it on hand for removing medications if that becomes necessary.

The other filter media like the pads should not be replaced until they no longer function properly. Rinse them as needed to keep them from clogging. This slows the water flow, and partially defeats their purpose. Once the pads/floss/wool becomes so ragged that it literally falls apart or the water is able to get around it rather than going through it, it is time to replace it.

Now the big subject, water changes. The type of aquarium, number of fish and type of fish, and plants or no plants determine the extent of water changes. The more plants and fewer fish (with plants), the less water changes are required. But the more fish, or larger fish, the more they are necessary (planted or not).

A weekly partial water change is the best overall schedule. We had a couple threads on this recently you might search for, and there was a series of 2 articles in the November and December 2009 issues of TFH that went into this subject in minute detail. I won't go into all that, other than to repeat than a weekly water change is recommended if one is needed by the fish, etc. as mentioned above.

The volume also depends upon the fish load, but I always suggest 40-50%. I have heavily-planted tanks (check the photos under my Aquariums) but I still do a 50% water change every week without fail, and have for 15 years. I have a lot of fish in my tanks, and it is needed. Changing water is the only way to effectively remove "stuff" in the water that filters cannot remove; plants can but again this means a light fish load to balance. Most of us like more fish than that, so a weekly water change is a good idea.

Last thought; there are products in the market [made by reputable firms no less] that claim to reduce or eliminate the need for water changes. These are not good. They interfere with the natural bacteria in an aquarium, and I do not believe that is advisable. Nature has its way of handling things, and as an aquarist I prefer to assist it with water changes (as would occur in nature) rather than adding chemicals and whatever that is going to create excess ammonia and influence the bacteria colony. The claims as towhat these products will supposedly do approaches the unimaginable.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 06-15-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-15-2010, 01:53 PM
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Agree w/ everything Byron had said. I do 50% water changes weekly, in all my tanks. Nothing fish appreciate more than good, clean, fresh water!

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-15-2010, 04:47 PM
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+2, I change 50% every week and take turns gravel vaccuuming sides on a bi-weekly basis. great post B!

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 04:54 AM
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+3, though I vary my water changes depending on the tank. The smaller tanks get more frequent water changes than the big ones

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 05:12 AM
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I agree with above as well.I perform twice weekly water changes depending on size of tanks and numbers of fish. I believe it important to begin with a water change routine and stick with it, 50 percent is a good amount for most tanks.
The problem lies with perhaps those who for whatever reasons,, don't stick with the regular routine and then perform sudden large water change to make up for those missed. This can have detrimental effect on osmoregulatory functions of the fish who can only try to adapt to the enviornment they find themselves in. Aways important to try and create stable enviornment and this is best done by performing the dilution of pollutants through water changes,,on a regular basis and once you determine what amount you are going to change to keep NitrAte levels in check between changes,,,it is best to stick with that amount.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
I agree with above as well.I perform twice weekly water changes depending on size of tanks and numbers of fish. I believe it important to begin with a water change routine and stick with it, 50 percent is a good amount for most tanks.
The problem lies with perhaps those who for whatever reasons,, don't stick with the regular routine and then perform sudden large water change to make up for those missed. This can have detrimental effect on osmoregulatory functions of the fish who can only try to adapt to the enviornment they find themselves in. Aways important to try and create stable enviornment and this is best done by performing the dilution of pollutants through water changes,,on a regular basis and once you determine what amount you are going to change to keep NitrAte levels in check between changes,,,it is best to stick with that amount.
Yes, agree absolutely.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 01:03 PM
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i agree with everyone so far.
i liken it to this that someone once said.
imagine living in a room with loads of people and don't open a window for a month.
pretty nasty huh !!
water changes are the best thing on a regual basis to put the fresh air back in.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
... don't stick with the regular routine and then perform sudden large water change to make up for those missed....
well, 30% of water change will be weekly and vary as it goes, mean that sometime 30% sometimes 40% and so on and fore. right? But just worry, where there is some instant that water change one fish will dead. I am sure that water change has stress this weak fish...
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 09:51 PM
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Has anybody tried putting a skimmer on a freshwater tank?
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