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New here and need some advice please!

This is a discussion on New here and need some advice please! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I just don't understand all this malarchy about water changes being somehow "bad" for fish....

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New here and need some advice please!
Old 08-26-2010, 11:58 AM   #11
 
I just don't understand all this malarchy about water changes being somehow "bad" for fish.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:59 AM   #12
 
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zeolites and carbons are wonderful in removing toxins too
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:07 PM   #13
 
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Thanks again for all your replies and advice. Just a quick update before I head off to get my plants. I'm quite amazed actually, I just did a quick 'initial' water change of 1 litre to begin with, this is just 1/30th of my tanks capacity, and almost immediately, the sick guppy is off the bottom and swimming around as happy as the rest of them!! That's the first time I've seen him off the bottom in 3 days! So I've changed another litre, and they are all looking fit and happy .... yay!!

Now I'll go and get my plants, and when I get back, I'll change some more water. Thanks again everyone :)
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:09 PM   #14
 
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Thanks again for all your replies and advice. Just a quick update before I head off to get my plants. I'm quite amazed actually, I just did a quick 'initial' water change of 1 litre to begin with, this is just 1/30th of my tanks capacity, and almost immediately, the sick guppy is off the bottom and swimming around as happy as the rest of them!! That's the first time I've seen him off the bottom in 3 days! So I've changed another litre, and they are all looking fit and happy .... yay!!

Now I'll go and get my plants, and when I get back, I'll change some more water. Thanks again everyone :)
Yeah, water changes = the best fish medicine.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:10 PM   #15
 
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lol nice work
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:02 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisR View Post
Thanks again for all your replies and advice. Just a quick update before I head off to get my plants. I'm quite amazed actually, I just did a quick 'initial' water change of 1 litre to begin with, this is just 1/30th of my tanks capacity, and almost immediately, the sick guppy is off the bottom and swimming around as happy as the rest of them!! That's the first time I've seen him off the bottom in 3 days! So I've changed another litre, and they are all looking fit and happy .... yay!!

Now I'll go and get my plants, and when I get back, I'll change some more water. Thanks again everyone :)
This is no surprise to me. As I said previously, the issue is ammonia and nitrite, and a water change reduces the toxicity of which ever poison it is. Plus there could be other things too of course.

I'll comment separately on the penultimate post you made, just wanted to point this out. As others have said, a water change cannot be harmful [well, actually there is one case when it can, but not here] and the more the better to be natural.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:10 PM   #17
 
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Thanks for the welcome, Byron. And thanks very much for your advice. I do have the API test kit, and I've made a note of your recommendations in the instruction booklet.

I've done a test on the tap water, and the results are as follows: Ph-7.6, Ammonia-0.0, Nitrite-0.0, Nitrate-5.0.

I've set up the new tank, and at the moment it's running with just the filter and the heater, and no decor at all. Unfortunately, I only have one ornament and a live plant in the old tank, and I'm reluctant to move those as they are serving as a hiding place for the weaker fish at the moment. Gravel is also a no no, as I have sand in the old tank, and gravel in the new one. I am just about to head off to the pet store, and I'll add some live plants to the new tank right away. I treated the water with Interpet's Filter Start, which claims to add various cultures of selected bacteria to start up the waste breakdown cycle.

So you think leaving the tank to settle for just 3-4 days is a bad idea? I am quite surprised at how opinions differ on this. I would agree that 3 days is much too soon, however, the pet store is very particular when it comes to selling their fish. Out comes a chart which has to be filled in, and there are about 20 questions, all to ensure that the fish are going to a good caring home...... then they advise introducing them to a new tank after only 3 days!! Even I know with all my inexperience, that 3 days is much too soon.

Ok, so here is a question. As I added my guppies to a new setup after just one week, and you recommend 2-8 weeks, my guppies have already been 'exposed' to new water much too soon, so would it do any further damage if I were to introduce them to the newer, bigger tank after one week? Would I be doing more harm if I left them in the old, smaller tank, with all the unsettling 50% water changes every day? Wouldn't it just be easier to put them in the new one, that has been kick started with bacteria, and more live plants, space etc.? Either way, they're being exposed to newly treated tap water. So I value your opinion on this.

Thanks for the link to the article. I'll read that when I return from the pet store :)

Chris
First on the tap water, those numbers are fine. Nitrate at 5 is not a problem, with plants in the tank the tank itself will be 0-5 so adding a bit of nitrate at a water change is not going to cause issues.

On the guppies, remember that they were exposed to high levels of ammonia and nitrite in the first tank. That has undoubtedly taken its toll on them internally, though I can't say to what extent. But any further stress could be the breaking point. I would ensure they are not subjected to ammonia or nitrite again.

Having said that, with live plants you're fine. This is explained in the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" which is a "sticky" at the head of the Aquarium Plants section. Have a read of the 4 parts to get a better understanding of the implications of this and that. For the present, let me point out that plants need nitrogen as a macro-nutrient, and studies show they prefer obtaining nitrogen as ammonium. Ammonia converts to ammonium in acidic water, or in basic water plants have the capability of converting it themselves. They consume a lot of ammonium. Provided there are enough plants and few fish, setting up a new tank with live plants and adding a few fish the same day will work; there will be no detectable cycle because the plants are faster at grabbing ammonia/ammonium than nitrosomonas bacteria.

With a brand new tank, or a new filter, I set up the tank and leave it running overnight. This is only to ensure no leaks, and the filter and heaters are operating properly. I add fish the next day. Last year I moved my 115g, 90g and 70g to my new fishroom. I washed the gravel in tap water, used new filter media. I put the fish in the 115g the next day (it ran overnight due to a new filter). I moved and reset the 90g and 70g in one day each, with all 70-80 fish in each tank. I had zero ammonia and nitrite, and nitrates were 5 from the second day. It does work.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 08-26-2010 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:07 PM   #18
 
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A quick update - I've planted my new tank, and transferred my guppies over, and they all appear to be happy. Even the 'sick' one is swimming around again, although he does disappear for long periods of time still. I feel sure that they're being bullied. I have 2 with red tails, and 2 with black tails, and the black tails are chasing the reds around non-stop. The reds' tails look a bit ragged, and one looks like half of it has been nibbled away. I don't know if there's anything I can do about this apart from isolating them, and I don't really want to do that.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:48 PM   #19
 
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you could get some females ^.^ a good distraction for the more aggressive males which will give time for the wounded ones to heal
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #20
 
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That's a good idea, thanks! But won't that over-populate the tank? I have 6 guppies in a 48 litre tank. Also, I didn't really want any breeding going on. I'd hate to see all the small fry being eaten by the adults, and I don't have any equipment to seperate the young from the adults, or should I just let nature run it's course?

Changing the topic. I looked elsewhere on this forum, but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer anywhere. I'm having problems making my filter unit stick to the glass. I told them at the store, and they replaced my suction cups with another set, but the truth is, they're just not good enough to hold the weight of the filter, and i can't make it stick to the glass for more than half an hour. I was wondering if there was any alternative? I thought about making or using something to stand the filter on, to give the suction cups some support. Or is there anywhere I can get bigger cups? I'm sure others have had this problem, is there any solution?
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