Water Change Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
Water Change Question

I was in the middle of doing a 50% water change when I noticed a complicaton. I unplug my filter during the water change and I noticed that the water level was so low that there was very little water in the filter, and I realized that beneficial bacteria needed to be wet to survive. Not wanting for my BB to die I dumped my filter parts in the water (I care more about the BB than how much dirty stuff was in the water). But I can't do this every time, so I'm wondering how long the BB will survive without water. Also, I had been doing the water change for about 10-15 minutes when I put in the filter parts, and the thing that soaks up the things, (the Cartirige? Sponge?) was only about half dark, so it was partly wet. So will any of my bacteria have died? Also, is it okay to leave the filter as it is when doing a 50% water change?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 09:56 AM
There's two points to be made here.

1) The filter media will not dry out in the length of time it takes to do a water change.

2) It sounds like you have a HOB filter. Before a large water change, right after you unplug the heater (as needed) and the filter, pull the filter inlet tube up and out so the water in the filter doesn't siphon out back into the tank. Of course, you can put it back in position right after the water clears the tube.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
There's two points to be made here.

1) The filter media will not dry out in the length of time it takes to do a water change.

2) It sounds like you have a HOB filter. Before a large water change, right after you unplug the heater (as needed) and the filter, pull the filter inlet tube up and out so the water in the filter doesn't siphon out back into the tank. Of course, you can put it back in position right after the water clears the tube.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 11:22 AM
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I agree with the above, also there is beneficial bacteria that is in the substrate on the glass any decor or plants live or fake. The beneficial bacteria will be fine during the time it takes to do your partial water change.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 01:17 PM
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I agree with all the afore-mentioned.

Can't resist this. There actually is no (or very little) nitrifying bacteria in the filter or anywhere else in the aquarium anyway.

Now that I've intrigued (or baffled) you...

Byron.

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 #6 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 01:39 PM
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I agree with all the afore-mentioned.

Can't resist this. There actually is no (or very little) nitrifying bacteria in the filter or anywhere else in the aquarium anyway.

Now that I've intrigued (or baffled) you...

Byron.


You mean in your heavily planted, lightly stocked, well maintained with little nitrogenous waste tanks where nitrospira/nitrobacter are starving to death???

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 01:57 PM
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You mean in your heavily planted, lightly stocked, well maintained with little nitrogenous waste tanks where nitrospira/nitrobacter are starving to death???
Apparently they don't starve to death either, they go dormant... although they do die off if dried out. Otherwise they just become active again once the ammonia/nitrites are resupplied or lowered to a non-inhibiting level. A lab tested observation on the resiliency of nitrifying bacteria... interestingly they call the nitrite consumers "nitrospira-like" as they actually haven't really identified who is actually responsible.

No... I'm afraid it's another link that I didn't keep, some educational document somewhere... I've started keeping them now.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 02:46 PM
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No, AbbeysDad, that wan't the point of my little jest. And Jeff, you are correct--but we now know why it is not nitrospira either.

The fact is, there are no nitrifying "bacteria" in our fish tanks, or rarely ever. The task is actually performed by thaumarchaeota, usually referred to as AOA (ammonia oxidation archaea), as opposed to the long-assumed AOB (ammonia oxidation bacteria).

Archaea were only discovered during the last decade (2008), so this is still a very new area. I was reminded of this yesterday when I came across a good article in the March (2013) issue of Practical Fishkeeping. I did actually mention this last year, here is that thread which contains a link to one scientific paper:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...cteria-122748/

The article in PFK was a very good summary, written by one of the team of microbiologists (Dr. Josh Neufeld, if memory serves me correctly) who authored the above paper, from the University of Waterloo in Canada. I don't have the issue so may not be able to get much more on this, at present.

Byron.

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 #9 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 03:53 PM
"A rose by any other name..."

I guess Tim Hovanec is all wet. (pun intended).

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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 03-09-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-09-2013, 05:35 PM
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"A rose by any other name..."

I guess Tim Hovanec is all wet. (pun intended).
I wondered that too, but in fact, not really. His team did say they could not identify/detect the freshwater Nitrospira strain, and they made the assumption that it would be similar to marine nitrification. But it now seems that the non-detection was due to the factor being Archaea, which of course were not known in the 1990's when Dr Tim and his colleagues did their work. A number of subsequent studies "confirmed" Dr Tim's conclusions about the true bacteria strains. We have now moved yet another leap forward.

Another interesting fact to emerge from this latest study is that the bacterial supplements do work to jump start the nitrification cycle, as Dr Tim discovered. And the latest study also suggests that the AOB (bacteria) are apparently the prime nitrification in new tanks if ammonia is being dosed in quantity or those that are overloaded (= excess ammonium), whereas the AOA function in balanced established systems.

In 2011 a Belgian study discovered that the "bacteria" are not the delicate things many of us have often assumed. They do not die off with lack of oxygen, etc., and this leads me to wonder if the AOA function similarly. Antibiotics that most have always warned will (or may) kill off the nitrification bacteria do not have any effect on the Archaea. We may find we have significantly less need to "*****foot" around with all this.

Byron.

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]

Last edited by Byron; 03-09-2013 at 05:39 PM.
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