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; --> Do water changes affect the cycling process? If not, how often should I do them? Posted via Mobile Device...

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:17 PM   #1
 
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Water changes

Do water changes affect the cycling process? If not, how often should I do them?
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:49 AM   #2
 
depends on whether it is a 'fishless cycle' or not, if it is so, then me personally would not until fully cycled if it is not a fishless cycle then I would change 15 - 20% per day, due to the poisoning of the fish from ammonia and nitrite
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:58 AM   #3
 
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No, water changes have no effect on the cycling of a tank. The bacteria live on hard surfaces, not in the water.

If you are doing a fish-in cycle you will need to do daily water changes to keep them from getting as damaged from the ammonia and nitrite, but damage will still occur since it is impossible to have 0 ppm while cycling.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
 
It's a bit of a 'catch 22' with or without fish in. You can't develop a nitrosomonas bacteria colony until there is ammonia to support it...and you can't develop a nitrobacter colony until there are nitrites to support it. Both ammonia and nitrtites are toxic to fish. As a matter of fact, high levels of ammonia are toxic to nitrosomonas (go figure).
So the question is whether you are risking fish in the process or using bottled ammonia. If there are fish, more frequent water changes are in order to protect the fish even if it slightly prolongs the cycle time. If there are no fish, then you might just monitor ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and change water as indicated by the test results. With no fish, keep ammonia <5ppm.

Note: If you do not have filter media or substrate from an established aquarium, there are several good bacteria supplements on the market today. Tetra Safe Start, Seachem Stability, API Quick Start, Dr. Tim's One and Only.
A good "bio-seed" jump starts the process by providing bacteria right away allowing for a more efficient and quicker cycle process.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
 
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Ive been using the stability by seachem, havent noticed anything. Went by their directions, which said I could add fish immediatly, so I have 5 giant danios in there right now. Havent seen any ill effects, and they are all still with me, but I havent seen any jump start in the cycling process and its been 2 full weeks, going into my 3rd week now. Planning on getting some filter media from an established tank.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:36 AM   #6
 
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What are the numbers? And what kind of test kit? If liquid, make sure you shake and bang that #2 nitrate bottle for a good 1-2 minutes before using or you'll get a false low reading.

Theoretically with bottled bacteria ... there shouldn't be a cycle at all. You won't see a rise in ammonia and nitrite, you should only see the nitrates start to rise because the bacteria is already there to go from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate.

Reading up on this and Tetra Safe Start ... it appears to be 50/50 on if it works or not, lots of conflicting reports.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
What are the numbers? And what kind of test kit? If liquid, make sure you shake and bang that #2 nitrate bottle for a good 1-2 minutes before using or you'll get a false low reading.

Theoretically with bottled bacteria ... there shouldn't be a cycle at all. You won't see a rise in ammonia and nitrite, you should only see the nitrates start to rise because the bacteria is already there to go from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate.

Reading up on this and Tetra Safe Start ... it appears to be 50/50 on if it works or not, lots of conflicting reports.

Yeah not too high on the Seachem stabililty just yet. I am getting some filter media and java moss from a buddy. The readings are ammonia 1.0ppm, nitrite 0.0ppm, nitrate 0.0ppm. Oh I should those bottles, so no worries on that. I will say tho, the ammonia did go down from 2ppm to 1ppm, over a few days. Using the water test kit, comes with the 4 test tubes and the liquid test bottles.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
 
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Ammonia at 1 and 2 ppm is harming the fish. What size is the tank?
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
 
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Ammonia at 1 and 2 ppm is harming the fish. What size is the tank?
125gal

Also, the guy is bringing me wool from his HOB, and he said he is also bringing some Java Moss from his tank that he was planning on taking out. You think these will be good to give my tank a jump start?

Last edited by CinBos; 04-24-2012 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:37 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinBos View Post
125gal

Also, the guy is bringing me wool from his HOB, and he said he is also bringing some Java Moss from his tank that he was planning on taking out. You think these will be good to give my tank a jump start?
Provided the wool doesn't bring something else with it.

Live plants wold be your best choice, in this size tank some Echinodorus bleherae, and of course floating plants. Wouldn't have any ammonia or nitrite then.
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