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Multiple large tanks and water changes

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Multiple large tanks and water changes
Old 09-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #31
 
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Exactly. In waiting for evaporation to occur to this extent, minerals and wastes could become concentrated or, depending on the number of growing fish in the tank, water could become completely degraded and void of dissolved minerals, making the water softer and more acidic than what will replace it. I attend to and replace even a half inch of evaporated water. Waiting this long between water changes would make me feel as though I weren't doing them frequently enough. Aesthetically, aurally, visually, I couldn't take it to let the water get that low.

Last edited by sidluckman; 09-03-2012 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:38 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidluckman View Post
I do SW water changes (210 and 120gal) usually on Saturday evenings, and all the FW changes (55, 20,20, 10) on Sunday or Monday. If I am still energized on Saturday, I do them all in one fun-filled day. Having absolutely no social life has really improved my general care and maintenence of my tanks.

I use the Python for refilling, more than for removing water. I find that a shorter siphon hose dropped straight down into a bucket has more pulling force than the python, given the water pressure in my home. Sometimes, weather permitting, I am able to throw the end of the Python into the garden and use the water from the FW tanks to water the trees. Of course SW goes down the plumbing not to the lawn.

I like Pythons in that they save our backs. I dislike the collateral waste of water that is necessary when they are used to remove water from tank to sink via adapter.

I use a pump to move new water from mixing buckets to SW aquariums, or let a siphon drop water from the mixing buckets into the sump, and monitor the water level, turning the return pumps on occasionally so as not to overflow.

Izzy: You will get very quick, too quick at this chore and my main advice is to slow down and be methodical. In my own case, other maintenance projects like cleaning glass canopies, replacing filter media or trying to restart a stubborn power head or propeller pump REALLY SHOULD WAIT until you are done changing water. Multi-tasking in this context is asking for wet carpeting and worse. . .

I confess that I once did a large-scale water change on an African tank and FORGOT TO ADD DECHLORINATOR until the tank was nearly completely re-filled and fish were gasping in distress. Due to my negligence in this case, I lost two beautiful wild caught Synodontis multipunctatus and a gorgeous male Copadichromis borleyii I had raised from a juvenile. Fish losses do not usually bring me to tears, but they did that day.
Sad story, Sid. Makes me glad that I live in Berlin where we have great ground water that requires no chorination at all. It's also nice to be able to drink tap water that doesn't remind you of swimming pools!
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #33
 
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It is my goal in all cases is to allow people to benefit from my hammerheaded errors.

It truly would be swell if, in 45 years, I never did a stupid thing that resulted in the unnecessary loss of fish.

In fact, it would be swell if this were the only such hammerheaded incident in my resume'. Such is not the case. But this was a pretty epic fail, even for me.

As I recall, I was out on the porch having a smoke at the time while my fish were inside receiving water laced with toxic chlorine. Irony!

I gave up smoking eight years ago, but I am sure I am yet capable of future blunders where water changes are concerned. Stay tuned.

Last edited by sidluckman; 09-03-2012 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:07 PM   #34
 
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A lot of great advice here, everyone! Pumps to refill and not rushing things. Randy, I had an incident like that, too (well minus the smoking), but I managed to catch it before too late. I've also heard of cases like that where people are doing water changes on their koi ponds and forget the dechlorinator. Another day worthy of tears.

I love my python water change system, too. But I dislike all the water wasted when I use it. I have to for two tanks simply because of their placement. I try to make it up by sending all of the changed water from my filthy goldfish tank to the lawn. Best lawn on the block! ;)

For those of you who have to mix water before you put it into the tank, what kind of buckets do you use?
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #35
 
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Pumps to drain ;)
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:43 PM   #36
 
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I use the 5 gallon buckets in which marine salt is packaged. These buckets can be purchased (minus the pretty illustrations) at any home improvement store.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #37
 
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And pumps to drain for the tanks sitting closer to the floor!! Forgot about that one. So pumps are a good help either way. I'll be certain to get more pumps when I get my larger tanks.

Randy, here is the million dollar question, how many of those 5 gal buckets do you need in a water change?
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #38
 
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Well, I am an idiot, so I still mix salt water in separate 5 gallon buckets. I used 15 buckets yesterday for SW. I want to get two sturdy plastic 40 gallon garbage cans on wheels and mix in those instead. Then I could prepare several days in advance, instead of 24 hours in advance, and throw a recirculating pump in there to do the job right.

I was changing about 20 percent of each tank, so. . .yeah, I needed at least 65 gallons of water. I had done larger water changes the week before.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:51 PM   #39
 
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The only way I can see using a pump to fill the tank is if you are moving it from a holding tank.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #40
 
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Because I'm not too sure where I will be living when I finally get my large setups, I might need to make mixtures with RO. I love the softwater fish and if I'm living in an area with rock hard water, I will need to soften my water.

Randy, you are crazy! That's a ton of buckets!!
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