Hello everyone, I'm new to the forums and fish keeping and thank you in advance for any answers and help come my way :)
I setup a 38g tank almost 3 months ago and have it fully stocked to my liking and everything seems to be going well so far.
Now I'm about to get a 55g corner tank from a friend and have plans for another 2 20g or so tanks in the works.
So far I've been changing the water in my tank every 2-3 weeks , about 15% changes. I've searched around the forums and on google trying to find the best method(s) to changing water and only found one article on how to do it, but it seems a little time consuming when I read threads on these forums about times when a 50% or more change is good, like in emergencies. I've also seen it stated quite often that a 20-30% change is probably better than my current 15% changes.
Straight out of the tap my water parameters are basically perfect for keeping fish, add some water conditioner and we're good to go. I also use a digital thermometer when running the water from the tap so I can accurately match water temperatures (I use this method for developing film as well). Now my confusion sets in when I read that the water should be placed in a bucket, conditioner added, and then let sit for a day or 2 before the actual water change. This method seems reasonable at first, but I've also only been changing 1 bucket full at a time.
The problems I see with this method is that 1) the water will not be the right temperature by the time it's supposed to go in the tank 2) I only have 2 buckets (one for new water, 1 for old) and 3) I have to have a bucket of "clean" water sitting around somewhere for the waiting period.
Obviously I could go buy more buckets, but if I'm going a 50% change on my 38g tank that's about 4 buckets of clean water, plus the 1 I need to drain the old water. Once I get my additional tanks setup that's a lot of buckets sitting around full of water for a day or more at any given time.
So basically my question would be, is the 1-2 day wait even necessary?
I would think that assuming the water parameters are correct, the conditioner has been put in the water, and the temperature is matched, there should be no problem with adding it directly into the tank at that point.
If I can use that method, then using a single "clean" bucket is easily doable and nothing is sitting around in the way.
If there are inherent problems with adding directly to the tank, then how do people get the clean water to the right temperature after leaving it sitting around for a day or so? My house is kept a bit cooler than the tank is since it would be quite expensive (and uncomfortable) to keep my house at 76 degrees or so.
Thanks again in advance for any helpful tips :)