How often should water changes be done?
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How often should water changes be done?

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How often should water changes be done?
Old 05-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
 
NeonTetra2196's Avatar
 
How often should water changes be done?

I have had my 55 gallon planted aquarium for about 10 months now, it is wonderful to have! I can't figure out as to how often and how much to do on water changes. I have been taking out 8 gallons every week. I am unsure if that is enough or not, and if every week is to much or to little. Water changes are a huge task because my tank is up a flight of stairs in my room. So taking buckets of water up the stairs is not fun! I want to be able to do it as least as possible but still have a healthy tank. This being my very first tank ever I was a little ambitious at first and didn't realize just how much water weighed when being carried up a flight of stairs.... The tank is now cycled, I'm pretty sure of. I'm unsure of the exact number of fish; it's not possible to count, as I've learned I can give you an estimate as to how many there are though; 3 African dwarf frogs, 4 zebra danios, 3 red and blue tetras, 3 black skirted tetras, 4 platties, uncountable number of neon tetras, 3 spotted cory catfish, 1 Chinese algae eater. I think that's all but who knows how many there actually are! And if anyone knows a good algae eater that will do well in a tropical planted community tank I would love to know, I have a bad algae problem too. Also how often should you test your water and what for? Thanks! (I would attach a picture of the tank, but I don't know how to)
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
 
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I do a 20 to 30% change every 2 weeks and my water stays pretty balenced
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonTetra2196 View Post
I have had my 55 gallon planted aquarium for about 10 months now, it is wonderful to have! I can't figure out as to how often and how much to do on water changes. I have been taking out 8 gallons every week. I am unsure if that is enough or not, and if every week is to much or to little. Water changes are a huge task because my tank is up a flight of stairs in my room. So taking buckets of water up the stairs is not fun! I want to be able to do it as least as possible but still have a healthy tank. This being my very first tank ever I was a little ambitious at first and didn't realize just how much water weighed when being carried up a flight of stairs.... The tank is now cycled, I'm pretty sure of. I'm unsure of the exact number of fish; it's not possible to count, as I've learned I can give you an estimate as to how many there are though; 3 African dwarf frogs, 4 zebra danios, 3 red and blue tetras, 3 black skirted tetras, 4 platties, uncountable number of neon tetras, 3 spotted cory catfish, 1 Chinese algae eater. I think that's all but who knows how many there actually are! And if anyone knows a good algae eater that will do well in a tropical planted community tank I would love to know, I have a bad algae problem too. Also how often should you test your water and what for? Thanks! (I would attach a picture of the tank, but I don't know how to)

First, I would get rid of the CAE. When it gets older it will start eating all of your smaller fish.

You can attach a picture of the tank by going to Go Advanced while posting. If already there scroll down and you will see a button called "Manage Attachments". Click there to upload the picture.

I would recommend doing 30-40% weekly water changes and doing a 50-65% water change at least once a month.

4 zebra danios
3 red and blue tetras
3 black skirted tetras
3 spotted cory catfish

These above fish are shoaling fish, along with your neons but you said you have a lot of them. These fish prefer to be in groups of 8 or more. The lowest suggested number per species would be 5. I would get rid of the Black Skirt Tetras because they will become bigger and start to nip fins. I would also get more Zebra Danios, Red and Blue Tetras and the Corys. This will ensure their happiness and make their lives longer.

I would suggest you get a Bristlenose Pleco AKA Bushynose Pleco. Click on the grey to find out more about it.

Instead of using him to fix your algae problem I would lessen light. This will ensure the problem will be taken care of.

Do you have real plants? If not, your tank will TRULY benefit from this as it will allow you to lessen water changes, lessen the amount of water per water changes, it will better your water quality and LESSEN the algae because it will fight against it.

What kind of substrate do you have?

Also, what kind of lighting.

I suggest Java Fern, Java Moss and Hornwort for starter. Don't bury any of these plants, you can tie them down or just let them float. The fern doesn't like to be buried.

If you have plants you could probably take your water changes to 3 times a month and 30-35% every water change. Or you could do 25% water changes every week. I would never recommend doing less than a 25% water change.

Also, I would still recommend at least a 50% water change once a month.

Last edited by Termato; 05-02-2012 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nags View Post
I do a 20 to 30% change every 2 weeks and my water stays pretty balenced
How many fish do you have in your tank?

I would not expect that to stay balanced if you have a fully stocked tank because the nitrates would go overboard. I would think....

What size tank do you have?

Do you test your water with a water based test solution?

--

Edit: Personally, I get so worried about waiting over a week to change my water I just do it at least once a week. Maybe once I really see my tanks mature I could cut back.

Last edited by Termato; 05-02-2012 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
 
Welcome to TFK!

There really isn't a definitive answer to the volume and frequency of partial water changes. The underlying motivation is to remove 'polluted' water, replacing it with fresh, thereby diluting the remaining polluted water. But there are so many variables like the size of the tank, amount of stock, plants or not, tank maintenance, filtration/purification and on and on.

In some respects, we might agree that smaller more frequent water changes represent less of a potential upset or shock to the tank water chemistry.
There are many that advocate up to a 50% weekly water change. Since discovering very high nitrates in my well water (and having to filter water for water changes) I have cut back to 10g weekly in my 60g tank.

As to your bucket brigade, is there a bathroom upstairs? Even if not, you can get a hose adapter for a sink (or a Python device) to allow you to refill your tank with a hose instead of hauling buckets. (If you can't siphon to a toilet or a shower, maybe there's an appropriate window?? )

Once you have an established, stable tank (especially planted), weekly testing for nitrates may be all that is necessary along with occasional testing for pH and hardness (GH/KH).

As for attaching photo's, in advanced edit mode, scroll down to
- click on the Manage Attachments button.
- expand the window slightly.
- click on the 'choose file' button.
- click on the upload button.

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 05-02-2012 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Welcome to TFK!

There really isn't a definitive answer to the volume and frequency of partial water changes. The underlying motivation is to remove 'polluted' water, replacing it with fresh, thereby diluting the remaining polluted water. But there are so many variables like the size of the tank, amount of stock, plants or not, tank maintenance, filtration/purification and on and on.

In some respects, we might agree that smaller more frequent water changes represent less of a potential upset or shock to the tank water chemistry.
There are many that advocate up to a 50% weekly water change. Since discovering very high nitrates in my well water (and having to filter water for water changes) I have cut back to 10g weekly in my 60g tank.

As to your bucket brigade, is there a bathroom upstairs? Even if not, you can get a hose adapter for a sink (or a Python device) to allow you to refill your tank with a hose instead of hauling buckets. (If you can't siphon to a toilet or a shower, maybe there's an appropriate window?? )

As for attaching photo's, in advanced edit mode, scroll down to
- click on the Manage Attachments button.
- expand the window slightly.
- click on the 'choose file' button.
- click on the upload button.
Thanks AbbeysDad,

You gave a much clearer picture on how to approach the matter.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termato View Post
First, I would get rid of the CAE. When it gets older it will start eating all of your smaller fish.

You can attach a picture of the tank by going to Go Advanced while posting. If already there scroll down and you will see a button called "Manage Attachments". Click there to upload the picture.

I would recommend doing 30-40% weekly water changes and doing a 50-65% water change at least once a month.

4 zebra danios
3 red and blue tetras
3 black skirted tetras
3 spotted cory catfish

These above fish are shoaling fish, along with your neons but you said you have a lot of them. These fish prefer to be in groups of 8 or more. The lowest suggested number per species would be 5. I would get rid of the Black Skirt Tetras because they will become bigger and start to nip fins. I would also get more Zebra Danios, Red and Blue Tetras and the Corys. This will ensure their happiness and make their lives longer.

I would suggest you get a Bristlenose Pleco AKA Bushynose Pleco. Click on the grey to find out more about it.

Instead of using him to fix your algae problem I would lessen light. This will ensure the problem will be taken care of.

Do you have real plants? If not, your tank will TRULY benefit from this as it will allow you to lessen water changes, lessen the amount of water per water changes, it will better your water quality and LESSEN the algae because it will fight against it.

What kind of substrate do you have?

Also, what kind of lighting.

I suggest Java Fern, Java Moss and Hornwort for starter. Don't bury any of these plants, you can tie them down or just let them float. The fern doesn't like to be buried.

If you have plants you could probably take your water changes to 3 times a month and 30-35% every water change. Or you could do 25% water changes every week. I would never recommend doing less than a 25% water change.

Also, I would still recommend at least a 50% water change once a month.


Trust me I want to get rid of him but don't know how...... I can't give him to anyone. How would you recommend getting rid of it? I have only had those fish for a short time, I wanted to see how they got along with the others before getting 8 fish that didn't get along with the others, I am in the process of getting more for them. All of the plants in my tank are real. As far as substrate goes there is a layer of Flora max for the plants and a layer of gravel over that.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termato View Post
How many fish do you have in your tank?

I would not expect that to stay balanced if you have a fully stocked tank because the nitrates would go overboard. I would think....

What size tank do you have?

Do you test your water with a water based test solution?

--

Edit: Personally, I get so worried about waiting over a week to change my water I just do it at least once a week. Maybe once I really see my tanks mature I could cut back.
I have a10 gallon, I take my water to Jacks Pets and they test the water for me. I have thought about doing it every week
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nags View Post
I have a10 gallon, I take my water to Jacks Pets and they test the water for me. I have thought about doing it every week
I would suggest getting an API Master Test kit if you want to test the water yourself. Usually stores test with Strips which aren't as reliable.

Totally up to you and I have no idea how they test over at Jacks.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:40 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonTetra2196 View Post
Trust me I want to get rid of him but don't know how...... I can't give him to anyone. How would you recommend getting rid of it? I have only had those fish for a short time, I wanted to see how they got along with the others before getting 8 fish that didn't get along with the others, I am in the process of getting more for them. All of the plants in my tank are real. As far as substrate goes there is a layer of Flora max for the plants and a layer of gravel over that.
Do you have a local fish store near you that isn't a PetSmart or PetCo. A lot of smaller none corporate fish stores will take back fish as donations. They will then sell them. You could also put up an ad on craigslist putting him up for adoption.

Do you have any other tanks?
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