Water Changes - 55 gallon tank
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Water Changes - 55 gallon tank

This is a discussion on Water Changes - 55 gallon tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I just started up a 55 gallon planted tank about 2 weeks ago. I am wondering how often I should be doing water changes ...

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Water Changes - 55 gallon tank
Old 11-01-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
 
Water Changes - 55 gallon tank

I just started up a 55 gallon planted tank about 2 weeks ago. I am wondering how often I should be doing water changes and what percent of the water I should change. I have looked around but can never find the answer based on the size tank I have and the part of the process I am currently in.

Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
 
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This depends on the amount of fish you have in the tank and whether or not it is planted. Most users here would recommend 25-50 percent water changes once a week. Water changes cannot be missed because they remove what no filter can. The nitrates and "gunk" that in large quantities, will kill fish.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
 
Thanks for the response! I currently have four "starter" fish (mollies) and four live plants.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
 
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That's what we're here for! Your tank would be considered lightly planted and lightly stocked, so a 25% water change once a week will be enough. Good luck with your tank and remember to have fun with it becasue that is what the hobby is all about. You are off to a great start by asking questions when you are unsure. That can save you a lot of time and stress in the long run. By the way, welcome to TFK!
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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A liquid test kit for nitrates, nitrites and ammonia will be a big help in gauging how much water you will need to change as your stock goes up. But as bigfish said 25% is more then enough for now.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
 
Thanks for the help :) one last thing, would it be beneficial to filter the water with a carbon filter before pouring it in the tank, or is it better just to put straight tap water in. I live in texas so the water here is pretty hard right now.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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You wont gain much from filtering it first with carbon unless there is something you are trying to get out of the water (hardness wont be affected), Just make sure you treat with a dechlorinator first though.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
 
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once a week is probibly fine, and the amount to change is hard to say. depends on the bio load of your tank... but i would have to say, the more the better.. no need to prefilter your water, unless there is something really nasty in your water, just pretreat the water, get the temps as close as you can.. and your good to go..
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:31 AM   #9
 
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Since your tank is only 2 weeks old it is probably still cycling and you will need to do frequent (possibly daily) water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite levels in check. Do you have a test kit to test your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph)? You'll need to do a water change any time the ammonia/nitrite level goes above .25ppm. Once the tank is fully cycled (ammonia and nitrite levels remain at 0 and you have some reading for nitrate) then weekly water changes are fine.

Heres a link to read about the nitrogen cycle:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:05 AM   #10
 
In nature, fresh water is fresh because nature is constantly renewing it with rain. This is especially true in the tropics. The ideal aquarium would have an overflow and a drip system so fresh water was constantly replacing tank water. Not especially practical for most, so we do weekly water changes instead to dilute the pollution in the tank. There are some that believe this water change is just to remove nitrates. However, there is other pollution in the water, including fish urine, pheromones, organics in solution....
How much to replace relative to the bio-load is perhaps the difference between what can you get away with and what is best. Obviously in a larger tank with less stock there is less pollution concentration than a smaller tank with greater stock. But if we err, it's better to have the least amount of remaining pollution in solution.
I have a 60g tank with a growing bio-load due to several young Platys growing like weeds. I try to be conservative with food to prevent over feeding that would increase decay.
I do a 50% weekly water change without fail.
As I do not have live plants to fertilize, this water change often includes an aggressive gravel siphon to remove decaying organics. I'm sure my fish are better for this than if I was to do less.
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