Small, daily water changes
Hi, I have a 125 litre aquarium and have been carrying out 25% water changes every week. I have arthritis in my shoulders and have been finding this quite difficult for some time - the gravel syphoning and carrying heavy buckets of water.
For the last couple of weeks I have been doing 10 litre changes every day and lightly syphoning a small section of gravel each time. I have found it much easier and I'm wondering if it will work in the long term.
As my tap water is high in nitrates (20ppm) I am even wondering if it will be more beneficial as I treat the new water with Prime at every change.
Any thoughts on this?
I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work ok. Your best bet is to check your water params. every few days to be sure that everything is on track.
Good luck and welcome to the forum :)
What about just filling straight from your taps into your tank, just pre condition your tank. It will cost you a few quid for th pipes, Probs 20/30, but over the long term probably be worth it for you with the shoulder. When I don't want to carry it out I siphon into a bucket and then have garden hose running from that bucket into my garden. Don't have to move an inch :-)
If you spend the time to work out where to put the taps so that you get the right temp water this is even better - I run my hot and cold both on full and get 26 degree water :-)
What your doing is fine. When you think of it, the very best water change is no change at all...think of a drip system (like drip irrigation) and an overflow so a small amount of fresh water is constantly entering the tank and 'used' water is constantly exiting.
On the other hand, why use buckets? You could invest in a Python like device to siphon and put water back.
I just insert the gravel siphon hose into a 5/8" garden hose and drain to the front lawn. For the refill, I bought a $5 hose adapter for the sink and use that same garden hose to refill - works great. This allows larger weekly water changes with no fuss.
No your right about prime. How week planted is your tank? As if I hit 20/30 I'd be all over changing my water! Mines NEVER been past about 3. Lol. Lots of plants :-)
As per your last comment, might more water changes actually be Bad with such high nitrates as should be lower once in tank and the plants have at them????
I see what you mean about more water changes being bad :-(
amount just before water change=amount in replacement water+(buildup between water change)/(fraction of water change)
(this is after many many many water changes so that the value before each water change is the same)
So using your numbers:
So if you're say increasing nitrates at 1ppm/day and doing a 25% weekly water changes the nitrates just before a water change goes to:
10 liter per day:
So the key IMHO is to get the 1ppm/day down to 0. That way nitrates will always be 0 regardless of the water changes being done. Increasing the nitrate consumers with live plants does the very well.
I do not recommend prime or any other conditioners. Overdosed they kill the fish. Plus live plants control ammonia/nitrates with ver good side effects.
I agree with those who have suggested that more frequent water changes but changing less water each time is actually beneficial in your situation with high nitrates in the tap water.
And I would use Prime in this case, since it binds the nitrates somehow [Seachem themselves are not exactly sure how] and this allows the plants and the special bacteria that use nitrates to have the time to take them up. An initial "shock" of high nitrates at every water change wold not be good for the fish.
Final comment on nitrate levels, we now understand that these should never be allowed to rise above 20ppm and preferably remain below 10ppm. There is sufficient scientific evidence that long-term nitrates above 20ppm do harm most of the fish we maintain.
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