Question about first Water Change
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Question about first Water Change

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Question about first Water Change
Old 02-13-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
 
Question about first Water Change

Okay... here goes....


Last Saturday I got a 55g tank with fish. I planned on doing a 20% water change today (1 week) my brother stated not to change the water yet, just add some where it had evaporated and wait another week or two!!!!

Should I really wait?

My current readings are this:

Temp 81.2
pH - 7.8
Ammonia < 0.25 *not quite zero, but not quite 0.25 either - new tap water reads .25
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 5.0

During the move I kept just over 50% of the existing water and kept all the decor/filters in the old tank water - but I'm sure it kicked in a mini cycle anyway.

Any advice would be great! ~cheers
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by PaperclipGirl View Post
Okay... here goes....


Last Saturday I got a 55g tank with fish. I planned on doing a 20% water change today (1 week) my brother stated not to change the water yet, just add some where it had evaporated and wait another week or two!!!!

Should I really wait?

My current readings are this:

Temp 81.2
pH - 7.8
Ammonia < 0.25 *not quite zero, but not quite 0.25 either - new tap water reads .25
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 5.0

During the move I kept just over 50% of the existing water and kept all the decor/filters in the old tank water - but I'm sure it kicked in a mini cycle anyway.

Any advice would be great! ~cheers
With those readings you right in the middle of a cycle, whether is be a natural cycle or a mini cycle caused from the move. If this is the tank from your other thread which came with a shopping cart full of stuff haha...you need to a water change ASAP. You need to keep your ammonia at zero. The Fish in there will be very stress with ammonia in your water. You need to check your parameters daily, and if you see the presence of ammonia or nitrite, do an immediate 25% water change. This must be done on a daily basis to insue you fish survive. You need to continue this until you register zeros on both of the nitrite and ammonia readings. Once both ammonia and nitrite read zero for 24 hours, your tank is cycled. You'll need to do a final huge water change of atleast %60, because by then you nitrates will have built up to a level off the charts due to the excess ammonia.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
 
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To be honest, that water change regimen sounds almost as harmful as the ammonia.
NOTE: This regimen is suggested only if you have live plants- live plants use ammonia, so can give you a little more flexibility.
1st, increase aeration with an airstone and pump if you don't have one.
I would chance 30% of the water every 2-3 days (with normal conditioning agents)

Feed the fish very very small amounts until cycled.

Water changes can be very stressful, especially if the temperature or conditions are different.

Of course, some fish are more sensitive than others. What kind of fish are they? Just read that your PH is 7.6. Uh oh. Maybe you should do more water changes. Nitrites and ammonia are more toxic at higher PH.

Last edited by redchigh; 02-13-2010 at 05:20 PM.. Reason: add something...
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
 
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the tank is in the middle of a what seems like a cycle? why wouldn't you treat it as a "fish-in" cycle??? A fish-in cycle involves almost daily water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite at zero???

someone please correct me if I am wrong here, but I think that tank is in the middle of a mini-cycle and should be treated as a fish-in cycle. until the ammonia and nitrite check out at zero....

again if I'm wrong, someone please let me know!!
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
 
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I actually typed that out of a book that was lying beside me on my desk.

To be honest, I would probably wait for someone like Byron to stop by and give comment.
I honestly consider "fish-in cycle" to be cruel and inhumane.

If you wanted, one of the best options would probably be to get some Ammo-carb into the filter (or several live plants) and just do the periodic 30% changes... but since the PH is above 7.5, I'm not really sure.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
 
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I'm not doubting the way you said to cycle it, I believe you and I'm not trying to start an arguement either Red really!

I agree with you that fish-in cycles are inhumane and I don't like them either, but if the fish are already in there, you have to keep ammonia at zero....i agree its rough on the fish which is why people choose danios because of their hardiness.

I think you're making a good point red! I'm just sayin I dunno if waiting several days to do a PWC, if the ammonia will get too high in that time period.

We'll wait and see what someone else says...

seriously tho, I'm not trying to start an agruement on here!
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
 
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I suppose you could consider it a semi-cycle, but she said that the tank had some old aquarium water in it during the move. Without circulation, many of the bacteria have probably died. (especially in the filter). That's why I'm wanting to consider it a new cycle.

_EDIT_ I know you're not trying to start an argument. I'm not either. We're just having a conversation

My argument... erm, bad choice of words. My point is just the nitrates and nitrites might, in this case, not neccesarily mean there are live bacteria in the water, depending on how long the tank was without filtration and aeration (since backteria and fish both need oxygen)
If she had another tank to borrow a biofilter from, it couldn't hurt.



EDITED again... (lol)
Just noticed a typo in my first post, the 2-3 days should be 1-2 LOL. We were agreeing and I didn't realise it. I do agree that if there's significant ammonia, do a water change, but note that her tap water has .25 ammonia. I think 2 days would be fine, because if that. If your water conditioner eliminated ammonia (read the bottle, some do and some don't) then there's no harm in doing it daily if you make sure the temperature is as close to the tank as possible.

Last edited by redchigh; 02-13-2010 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:23 PM   #8
 
I'm not sure that any of my water conditioners eliminate ammonia....just chlorine and chloramine

I did read somewhere not to add those that rid of ammonia because they mess up the testing kit results.

I tested the water after the first 24 hours and all the readings were 0 except pH was 7.8
The pH of my tap water is 8.0 and ammonia 0.25 or less, but higher than 0

Day 2 the ammonia started looking darker than 0 but lighter than 0.25 and has remained the same.
Nitrites did not start showing up until yesterday (day 6).

I have been testing the water daily.

I think I'm going to go ahead and do at least a 20% change and check the readings again in a few hours.

Wont my tap water skrew up the readings anyway? At least the pH and Ammonia?

Last edited by PaperclipGirl; 02-13-2010 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:30 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by PaperclipGirl View Post
I'm not sure that any of my water conditioners eliminate ammonia....just chlorine and chloramine

I did read somewhere not to add those that rid of ammonia because they mess up the testing kit results.

I tested the water after the first 24 hours and all the readings were 0 (except pH was 7.8)

The pH of my tap water is 8.0 and ammonia 0.25 or less, but higher than 0

Day 2 the ammonia started looking darker than 0 but lighter than 0.25 and has remained the same.
Nitrites did not start showing up until yesterday (day 6).

so it IS a new cycle! That's useful info paperclip girl.
If I were you I would go buy something like stresszyme with bacteria in it to speed up your filter if you don't have access to an estrablished aquarium (either yours or a friend's). If you can get to an established tank, you could rinse out the biofilter like I said and your tank would probably be cycled enough to support some small fish in a day or two.
Wait- Your PH is 8.0 out of the tap? I hope that agrees with the fishes. Might wanna buy some bottled water to dilute that tap water of yours...


How many fish do you have in the tank?
What kind of fish?
How big are they?

All this is useful

Now I'm going out for a while... I'll meet everyone back here when my hangover is over. ;)

PS I hope you did that water change... Do it now if you haven't!

Last edited by redchigh; 02-13-2010 at 06:34 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #10
 
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Read through this, I think we're on the right track. We still don't know the fish you have, that is important. Your temp at 81 is warm, but if the fish need it, fine; if not, it should be lower. I'll comment when I know the fish species.

As for water changes, they will not hurt the fish provided you use a good conditioner. What is the name of yours?

Re the ammonia, this will be diluted by the partial water change (pwc), as will nitrites. Both are highly toxic to fish so this is important. A pwc every day of 50% of the tank is fine if that is needed to keep ammonia and nitrite below .25 ppm. A water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite will help with this. And it is fine to use them, explanation below.

Detoxifiers usually change ammonia to ammonium; ammonium is basically harmless. Test kits will still show ammonia/ammonium as ammonia, so keep that in mind. If you are using an ammonia detoxifing conditioner, nothing to worry about. Bacteria use ammonia and ammonium, so no problem there. If you have traces of ammonia in your tap water, I would use a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia.

May have more (I'm sure I will) when I know your fish species and the conditioner.

Byron.
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