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Whater changes ...Whats everyone's preferred method?

This is a discussion on Whater changes ...Whats everyone's preferred method? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> This thread has gotten quite silly, regardless I have learned something. Thank you Byron for the TDS and Prime comment as this is new ...

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Whater changes ...Whats everyone's preferred method?
Old 12-07-2012, 01:11 PM   #61
 
This thread has gotten quite silly, regardless I have learned something. Thank you Byron for the TDS and Prime comment as this is new information for me.

Prior to august this thread would not interest me in the slightest. Water changes for me always had been simply drain tank, connect hose to tap, and refill. Dechlor is either not used or used depending on the tap water at the various places I have lived in the past. I know my tap water better then my tank water and that is really the only thing I test is the tap. My current tap has initial readings of a pH of 8.5, 0.5ppm ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5ppm Nitrate, and a TDS reading of ~130ppm. This water isn't great for doing direct water changes to my planted tanks mainly because of the pH. I let my water sit in a 33gallon garbage can for at least 24 hours before pumping it into the tanks. After sitting 24 hours the pH drops to 7.8. I tried to use an 40/60 RO mix for a few months only to find there was much too little buffering capacity as my largest tank would drop to a pH of 6.6.

I do not currently use any dechlor or water treatment on my tap apart from letting it sit. It does indeed have chloramines in it, indicated by the 0.5ppm ammonia it always has. I run heavily planted tanks and neither they nor me care about a bit of ammonia or chloramines. Both will get used up very very fast before they do any real damage. I do 50% water changes and do run my filter during them and my fish are very happy and breeding.

As far as TDS goes to some individuals it does matter. As I have already stated I have a TDS meter as well as a pH meter. Both cost roughly $10 off ebay and they are the really the only things I test. I use to never test anything regularly but my current tap water requires more monitoring then most. There are ideal TDS ranges depending on the type of fish. However I simply find it an easy test to preform that tells you a single number for everything in the water (hardness, ammonia, fertilizers, organics, ect) its all reported as TDS. Simply comparing tap and tank TDS against eachother tells you how the tank is doing. I use heavy fertilizers an i'm sure my tanks produce more organics then most so TDS difference is pretty significant. Every tank behaves differently. You do not want TDS as low as possible except for very few fish which are the sensitive softwater ones. Fish like african cichlids would want it on the high end. For example my tap TDS is ~130ppm. I was sick all last week and did not change the water in my 20 gallon so its a week behind. I tested it today and its TDS is 261ppm. In comparison nitrate in tap is 5 and in that tank it is ~25ppm. This reason it is said you do water changes for much more then just nitrate. Much more goes on in a tank then just the nitrogen cycle. The 100ppm of buildup in the tank over 2 weeks not counting nitrate is why water changes should be done regardless of nitrate.

As far as prime and TDS goes. The prime solution itself does have a very high TDS. I've never tried testing it before, but I did learn my meter can't lol. It just gives me an error trying to test 100% prime solution. Nor could I test it at 50%. Eventually I got a 1:6 ratio of prime to RO that did test, I think thats 14% prime. The TDS of that mixture was 7530ppm. For control the RO water it was mixed with measured at 7ppm. A very high TDS for prime is expected given how concentrated it is. When dosed to tanks its not going to have a large effect IMO, but I also dry dose fertilizers heavily so in comparison to literally adding solids to the tank it does not have as much of an effect. A single dose of prime on my tanks could not really be detected as far as changing TDS. Doing the maximum allowable dose of 4x did however show a 15ppm increase in TDS.

Okay thats my addition to this silly thread hopefully it helps someone. Now to go remove all the prime from my tanks....
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #62
 
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what works for one individual, may not work for another. one of the reasons we have water tests..
I never have even thought about 'TDS', and I have had it mentioned to me by another fish keeper elsewhere.

as for methodology of water change? I keep a rubbermaid 50 gallon garbage can full of water with a heater and small water ciculation pump. It usually sits for a week before I use it. As far as I know, Suffolk County Water Authority does not use cholarmines as of yet. I use a gravel cleaner to dump the water out the window. A 1/6 hp sump pump with a hose attached refills the tanks. So far, I have not used any conditioner although I think I will start using the API tap water conditioner I was using afore hand to guard against a sudden unannounced change in water quality and additives. I will just put it into the 55 gallon along with the refill water.

Last edited by twocents; 12-07-2012 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: P.S.: I have always found Byron a source of good information. I have never been offended by anything he has said.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:26 PM   #63
 
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Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
This thread, that started out as an innocent request for information on how to perform water changes has gone crazy. I chimed in because I have been corresponding with the author of this posting who is in the process of starting up a Lake Malawi Cichlid tank. I did not want "bad" advice regarding how to perform water changes to affect this person's new tank and beautiful fish.

When it comes to our fish, I am very picky about choosing companies to do business with, whether it be the food we feed them or tank maintenance products. There are some good, some not so good, and some bad ones. Just like some of the advice in this forum, you pick and choose for yourself.

We may have only been keeping fish for 3 years, but we have had to learn fast and furious. Thankfully, we have a wonderful friend who we get our Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika Wild Caught and F1 Cichlids from who has over 20 years experience raising and breeding these fish. He is a wonderful mentor and it is a great privilege for us to be able to spend time at his fish farm, talk with him and purchase his outstanding fish. He is a very kind person, does not push his authority, and he does not have to. What he has accomplished in 20+ years speaks for itself, and he is not finished yet. He is in the process of building a huge green house to equip heated ponds for raising large predatory cichlids year-round. I admire him, and I think you would too.

His website is: African Cichlids in Nashville, Tennessee riftfish.com

For some reason, the Video link on his main page is not working (probably because his emphasis is on his fish, not his website, so I will let him know)... but if you click on "stock list" then "video"... the video on the top is one I took while at his fish farm. It is not the greatest as I am no pro, but he liked it.

This is where I come in with this whole deal. I was very frustrated with Byron for what I consider to be bad advice as to Seachem's instructions on dosing prime. Then he throws in lots of other variables that do not pertain to the question at hand that not only confused the heck out of me, but I am sure would confuse someone new to the hobby who is asking a simple question. I was wrong for showing how upset I was, and I apologized for it. But, the simple fact still remains... most people here, including myself, are here for answers, not to be bombarded with scientific data that is hard to understand or have other issues that really do not pertain to the question thrown in to further complicate matters.

Then you have the posts where moderators and friends of moderators are taking up for each other... I can't even tell who is picking on who anymore, and I am sure I am being picked on and called arrogant and don't even realize it anymore. This is pathetic to say the least. I feel as if I have joined a forum full of tyrants who are ganging up on me now and it is totally taking the fun out of having nice conversations with anybody here. Even the newbies who have questions about their 10 gallon tanks, who I am trying to help the best I can. I am so frustrated with this forum that I cannot even think straight anymore to help these people. We started out with a 10 gallon tank and Platies and now have 800 gallons of fish, because we love this hobby. I do not love all of this bickering. Sure... I did step out of line and I am sorry I did that. But, I have yet to hear anyone apologize to me for the rude, sarcastic and arrogant comments they have thrown back at me.

I have given this individual my personal email address so I can try to help them set up their Lake Malawi tank. I am now removing myself from this forum as soon as I post this message. I am a member of other forums and have never seen anything as ridiculous as this.
I have reread this thread twice and cannot find a single "rude, sarcastic and/or arrogant comment thrown back to you."

The real 'issue' here is challenging the notion of how much conditioner is required when doing partial water changes. Byron's (and many others) longstanding position and point was that for the better part of 20+ years, he has successfully used only the amount of conditioner required for the new source water being added, even when mixed in the tank.
I too used to think that in so doing, the conditioner would be diluted and less effective. On the other hand, the active ingredient that breaks down chlorine into ammonia and other elements is not not affected by water volume, but more by the amount of chlorine/chloromine. It is not clear to what extent this affects Prime's ability to also detoxify nitrates and heavy metals. I submit that Seachem doesn't even know since in their words, this was an "unexpected benefit of the product".
I'm also suspicious of the claim that Prime is safe at up to 5 times the recommended dose. I can't think of anything else that's 'safe' at 5 times a 'normal dose'.

Also, within the frame of the conversation, I believe it's valid to point out that using any excess chemicals is unnecessary and likely does more harm than good. I don't think referring to total dissolved solids (although perhaps less of a concern than the actual chemicals involved) is too technical for this forum.

Finally, as I mentioned, I've dealt with Seachem Technical Support personnel repeatedly for well over a year. I find them generally knowledgeable, however in many cases I've found that one will write something that another will completely contradict in subsequent posts or in another thread. Even they have differing opinions about their products and proper usage.

I think it's sad that anyone would abandon this forum because their opinion on something was challenged by someone else, especially a more experienced fish keeper. After all, why are we all here if not to participate, exchange ideas, share and learn?
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #64
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post


..

I do not currently use any dechlor or water treatment on my tap apart from letting it sit. It does indeed have chloramines in it, indicated by the 0.5ppm ammonia it always has. I run heavily planted tanks and neither they nor me care about a bit of ammonia or chloramines. Both will get used up very very fast before they do any real damage. I do 50% water changes and do run my filter during them and my fish are very happy and breeding.

...

....
Glad to hear this from someone else. It has been my experience for years and year but then I just top off and do no whater changes.


I have even heard that public water systems have to be flushed out because they get nitrates in the pipes. Seems the aerobic bacteria in our tanks flouish and break down the chloramines.

All I know for sure is I top off with untreated tap water to my tanks and just like you there is absolutely no indication of stress to the fish.

Still just my .02

Last edited by beaslbob; 12-07-2012 at 02:39 PM..
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:41 PM   #65
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
the active ingredient that breaks down chlorine into ammonia and other elements is not not affected by water volume, but more by the amount of chlorine/chloromine.
See, I learn something new everyday in this hobby!

AD, You have proof to back that up buddy? Haha, just kidding. But really, I'm no scientist so would never have known that.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:48 PM   #66
 
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just to add some more, I add straight tap water to my small betta tank. I have a double tail in a 5.5 gallon, and before anyone gets their panties in a wad, this fish cannot swim well at all.
Was a sort of 'rescue', who almost died on me and was tough enough to revive. (he was floating on his side on top of the water).
he is a very happy fish (at least I think he's happy) and comes out of the greenery to have his betta treats
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #67
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I find this very ironic. If you give some intelligent thought to what I post, you will readily find that in the vast majority of cases I am actually advocating methods or ideas that are so new most here have never heard of them or thought about them. Scientific discoveries carry us forward, and I have never been regressive as you are suggesting. It is you who needs to change your thinking.

And frankly, this discussion is not relevant to this or any other thread.
I never said that you were regressive. What I was saying is that you think your way is the right and only way. None of which are opinions. Which brings me back to one of my questions about your credentials. You seemed to have written half of this site.
What are your credentials?
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:52 PM   #68
 
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Originally Posted by mikejp67 View Post
I never said that you were regressive. What I was saying is that you think your way is the right and only way. None of which are opinions. Which brings me back to one of my questions about your credentials. You seemed to have written half of this site.
What are your credentials?
Honestly I've seen no where in this thread where byron has said his methods are the only right way to do anything. There is no one right way to do much of anything in this hobby. If you want to fill straight from the tap or let water sit for a period, dosing dechlor or not, dosing it for the full tank or just the water changed, paying attention to TDS or ignoring it completely. Honestly ALL these methods are right IMO as long as they work with your tap water. In the end thats all any one wants, is something that works. There is no righter method IMO. Tap water is variable hence variable methods, no method is right for all tap water.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #69
 
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Regarding watr changes i always replace what iv taken out using buckets, usually 40litres per tanks, they are both 140ltres. Im in th e uk and usually use a product called fresh start, but i have found a different product that is in a crystal form and the useage is only 0.10 >0.30 of a gram per 10 litres of water. Its called sodium thiosulphate and i have noticed a bneficial change in plant growth and color since using it. The fish arent affected neither are my CRS.
The cost of this product is vastly less than any of the liquids i have previously used.
Anyone else using this or have any thoughts or imformation please feel free to respnd...........nicely
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #70
 
Yes I also have a pound of sodium thiosulfate which cost me $5. It is typcially the same exact thing found in most the dechlors out there. Its certainly the cheapest way to dechlor water. I've never really noticed any difference from it. I mix it up as a liquid basically to recreate a liquid dechlor then use that as its easier to measure liquids then fractions of a gram. I know my one pound can treat 260,000 gallons of water.

Also something that has not been pointed out regarding dechlor doseage is most all dechlors are dosed in far excess even following the recommend doseage. Prime I know recommened doseage treats 4ppm chlorine and 5ppm chloramines, which is often many times the levels found in tap water. The legal limit for chlorine and chlormines is both 4ppm in the US. Often at your tap the levels are 2ppm or less unless they are flushing the lines. I've yet to have tap water with levels over 1ppm. This is why feel knowing my tap water is better then knowing my tank water. I don't really care whats in the tank, I want to know what it going into it. From there it is fairly easy to predict what will occur in the tank.
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