Multiple large tanks and water changes - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Multiple large tanks and water changes

Because I don't have room for any more tanks right now, I like to do a lot of planning and dreaming. I've got some setups worked out that I'd like to try in the future. But one of my hangups seems to be water changes. I've got a python and am more than capable of doing them. Right now I mark off Sunday as water change day, and get them done then. It doesn't take more than a few hours, but I only have one large tank (55 gallon). In the future I would like to have at least four tanks in excess of 50 gallons. Doing them all on one day seems a bit daunting and very time consuming.

For those of you who have multiple large tanks, how do you organize your water changes? All on one day? Spread them out through the week? I'm curious to know others' solutions for this problem. These tanks won't come to fruition for at least another 5 years, so all of this is merely speculative. I don't need a solution right away. I just like to plan ahead.
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post #2 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 12:52 AM
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Water change Wednesday for me.

When I had the 180g tank I did that in the morning before going to work removing almost 100 gallons with the python.

Then when I finish work after supper, the other tanks (as per my signature).

All in all took about 4 hours.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #3 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 01:28 AM
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I split mine between two days. I'll do the small tanks (20 and 10gallon) and a 55 gallon on one day, then the 135 and the other 55 on another day.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #4 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 02:49 AM
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I've got 9 tanks and a water changer. I've got 3 55 gallon tanks and a 125 as well as several smaller. I break up water changes over 2 or 3 days. I've gotten myself in to trouble a few times walking away while my tank is filling and forgetting about it. Flooded my fishroom more than I'd like to admit.
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post #5 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 06:52 AM
I'm just "spit balling" since although I have several tanks, only the 60g has water right now (also have a 5g, 2x10g, and a 29g in the basement).
I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way as long as each tank receives the required water change weekly....right? So a lot depends on your life and how the process fits in with the priorities of your other chores. I think it can be good to target a day of the week and stick to a schedule so it gets done routinely, but it can be pretty flexible and the world won't end if your a day or two late.
In fact, doing weekly water changes that includes cleaning the glass, gravel siphoning (as/if required), servicing the filter can be done very quickly because of the routine as I'd think it would take much longer to address a neglected tank.
Anyway, whatever 'gets her done'.

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post #6 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 07:03 PM
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I presently have 7 tanks running, including a 115g, 90g and 70g. I do the water changes in one day, it takes about 3 hours, and currently i do them on Monday in the morning. I was dividing them between two days, half and half, but after a few weeks I decided I preferred doing them together. The only downside to this is if i want to do some re-aquascaping in one tank; so this is sometimes best left for another day.

One reason i went back to one day was keeping better track of plant fertilization which is twice weekly. It is easier for me to remember doing it every Tuesday and Friday morning, rather than Tuesday and Friday for these tanks, and Thursday and Sunday for those tanks... or whatever.

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 #7 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Right now I can get my water changes done in about 2 hours. Three if I'm *****-footin' around doing other stuff. I've done the alternate day water changes, and the ferts do get confusing with it. Often times I return from trips on Sunday too tired to do all of my water changes in one night. Ferts the next week are often not done right. Good point, Byron.

100 gallons before work, Tazman?! That's crazy. I can hardly feed the dogs before work let alone change that much water!
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post #8 of 64 Old 09-02-2012, 11:00 PM
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I use a pump to drain the tanks and a python to refill them, so I can be draining and filling at the same time. Takes a little more than 2 hours to do 80% changes on all the tanks (including 4 quarantine tanks).

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta

Last edited by jaysee; 09-02-2012 at 11:03 PM.
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post #9 of 64 Old 09-03-2012, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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That's a great idea, Jaysee! What kind of pump do you use?
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post #10 of 64 Old 09-03-2012, 12:41 AM
I connect to my shower instead of a sink and seem to get more water pressure/faster filling that way. If I am rushing water changes I will drain all the tanks before refilling any of them, instead of draining one then refilling it then draining another then refilling it.... takes about 40 minuets to change 50% on my 55gallon normally plus doing trimming while its draining/filling.

In the last couple weeks I moved and have switched to using some RO water and that has slowed water changes wayyy down lately. Mainly because I don't have a proper pump yet for filling. I've modified a tank filter and a powerhead to pump water but its pretty slow, especially when the water can gets close to empty.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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