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post #1 of 5 Old 08-23-2009, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Question Newbie with a question about water changes

Hello to you all...I've been soaking up your advice for several days and now have a question....I have a transplanted 14 gallon aquarium in which I am housing my betta, 10 cardinal tetras, 2 african dwarf frogs and a pleco...so far they all love each other and their new home....my question is about how often to change the water and how much to change when I do....I gather that I need to change some of it frequently at first, but would appreciate your advice....thanks so much and I am happy to be a member of your community.

additional details....my brother gave me the aquarium from which he had just transferred his fish...I left all the rocks filter etc just the way they were but did have to add new water/conditioners etc...so far according to the test strips(I am going to buy a liquid testing system tomorrow...just read about that tonight) everything is peachy and perfect. I just want it to stay that way:) My four kiddos...ages 2, 3, 9, and 11 are so fun to watch as they play I-spy with our new fish....
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-23-2009, 01:42 AM
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Well, the main purpose of freshwater water changes (though some will disagree for some reason) is to keep nitrates down since we lack the bacteria and extraction methods for waste that the saltwater guys get (they change their water once a month with MUCH more sensitive organisms!)...but...everyone here will say as often as possible. I personally change bi monthly...but...no one seems to agree with that...even though my numbers are fine and my filter is overkill. So...you should probably ignore this.

Last edited by nomel; 08-23-2009 at 01:45 AM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-23-2009, 05:56 AM
Gav
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What kind of pleco is it?

I like to do a 50% water change on my tanks every Sunday, but I only clean out my filtes every 2 weeks unless they really need cleaned.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-23-2009, 09:47 AM
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The partial water change (pwc) accomplishes what no filter can--changing the water. Fish constantly excrete waste, liquid and solid, into the water. Filters and bacteria can break down the solid into liquid but they don't remove the liquid (plants will do some, but not sufficient for the number of fish most of us have in our aquaria). The other big plus in pwc is diluting nitrates. This is less important in a planted tank since the plants use the ammonia and nitrite before it has a chance to be converted by bacteria into (finally) nitrates. Those with planted aquaria usually see nitrates well below 10 ppm, mine run around 5ppm.

In nature, fish do not live in the same water; water is constantly moving past them at varying rates. We cannot duplicate this in an aquarium except by changing part of the water. The more often the better, and changing less more often is better than changing more less often. Daily would be great, but most of us can't manage that, so weekly is considered to be the best schedule. The amount depends upon stocking level (fish), plants, size of aquarium, and type of fish (larger fish produce more waste so the pwc has to be larger). I do 40%-50% every week without fail, and have for 15+ years.

The aim is to have more consistant water quality and water parameters. More frequent pwc achieves this better than less frequent. The fish will thank you.

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 #5 of 5 Old 08-23-2009, 10:20 AM
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Hello, on all my tanks I used to change water every Sat or Sun and then about 1/4 of the total amount of tank size. Ig. 55 g tank - Exchanged app 10g water
Done that to all my 7 tanks and never had a single issue or sickness.
However that also depends on the filtration system, as some work better then others (IMO), all my tanks big & small always had Eheim filters.
From my experiences what matters most is to small ones, but frequently rather then 1 big total exchange once a year or so.
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