Water changes
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Water changes

This is a discussion on Water changes within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello everyone, I'm new to the forums and fish keeping and thank you in advance for any answers and help come my way :) ...

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Old 05-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
 
Water changes

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 :)

Last edited by dmower; 05-17-2011 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:37 PM   #2
 
first off what fish do you have and I don't believe the day waiting is not neccasary... put mine in right from the tap. I have heard of something called a pyhon that lets you put new water straight from your sink to your tank through a hose. Now I would do 50 % and we have the same size tank
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:41 PM   #3
 
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The 1-2 day wait is unnecessary. Water conditioner works almost instantly (I usually wait a minute after adding the treatment before adding the water to the tank). I also keep a gallon or two of treated water around for rinsing purposes, top offs from evaporation, etc.

Sounds like you're doing exactly what I would do with unlimited space and resources.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
 
Doh, totally forgot to list my fish :)

6 silver molly
3 dual rod platy
2 sunburst platy
4 emerald cory
2 algae eaters
6 fry (2 months old, platy i think)
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:49 PM   #5
 
I have well water that's not chlorinated so I have no worries. You do not have to wait a day, but check the directions of the water treatment product that you are using. I believe there are some products that neutralize chlorine very quickly. HOWEVER, if your water is chlorinated, you should NEVER add it directly to your tank w/o pre-treating. If you don't damage or kill the fish, you will most certainly upset the beneficial biology in your tank which the absolute last thing you want to do.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
Rip
 
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you should be doing weekly water changes, not every 2-3 weeks. and more like 30% changes instead of 15%.

and i usually just wait 5-10 minutes before adding my newly dechlorinated water to my tank, after i give it a good stir. and i use the same thermometer method as you do.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
 
dechlorinator works almost instantly, but take care to mix the water before pouring it. If you use a "python," the tool is something that attaches to a faucet and allows you to drain and refill direct from your sink. just put dechlorinator into the tank BEFORE you add the water. Some people dose half the refilled amount first and fill half, then dose again and refill the rest.

Also, if your water is treated with chloramine, then letting it sit out does nothing, you must use conditioner to clear it up.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #8
 
Thank you for the replies :)

I'm glad I asked this question as the logistics of 50% water changes for over 100 gallons (after I have my newer tanks) with buckets that have to sit for a day was getting a bit daunting.

Now that I know I can add directly to the tank after conditioning, I'll be doing larger and more frequent changes
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:08 AM   #9
 
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I think the folks who let the water sit around for a few days don't use conditioner. I could never have that much water sitting around the house with 7 tanks up and running.

If you haven't settled on a water conditioner brand yet, consider using Seachem Prime. It's a really great one if not the best.

And weekly water changes of approx. 25-30% are the best way to go. Once you get a routine going, it won't take long at all.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:05 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
dechlorinator works almost instantly, but take care to mix the water before pouring it. If you use a "python," the tool is something that attaches to a faucet and allows you to drain and refill direct from your sink. just put dechlorinator into the tank BEFORE you add the water. Some people dose half the refilled amount first and fill half, then dose again and refill the rest.

Also, if your water is treated with chloramine, then letting it sit out does nothing, you must use conditioner to clear it up.
I have and use and LOVE my Python hose and could never go back to buckets!! SinCrisis you are right on with the above. conditioner goes into the tank First, I dilute it with a jug of tank water. (i keep a juice jug under the tank for such times) and sometimes do all at once and others I do half. Youtube video a python hose if you wish to see on in action!! They come in different lengths and prices. Measure the distance from tank to closest faucet to know how long a hose to buy. They make vacuuming the gravel easy too!
Match your temps as you always would.
Only thing I would add is to make sure that ANY water change does not expose your heater!! too much as it could crack and be ruined. That is why you see people put them near the bottom or angled.

Yes re Chloramine... we don't know when and what our municipalities are going to dump in our water from week to week. I have learned that our region does random area chemical dumps depending on their testing numbers and we can smell the chlorine when turning on the tap sometimes in the summer. We took water from home to a remote cabin one time and could not even drink the Koolaid we made the chlorine was so bad. Yuck. A water change that day would have killed all my fish even with the de-chlor added. If you ever smell it like that and need to do a water change then test the water prior to adding it to your tank. I believe I have read here in TFK that most de-chlors can be doubled in emergencies.... hope someone can verify this for me.
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