Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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trreherd 12-08-2006 12:16 PM

water changes
so i went to a lf and the nice lady told me that the discoloration on my neons may be because of stress, I told here that i do about a waterchange and a half every week (if you understand that) and she said that may be too many. What do you think?
Every time i do a water change i do a intense gravel vac because i have plants,alot of fish,and driftwood. The fish are pretty disturbed when i do a vac.
am i doing my water changes rite?

squiggles 12-08-2006 01:02 PM

i have a planted tank with neons n other fish and my schedule is um well lets say 1st of month i do a partial water change (33%) and rinse filters, then 2 weeks later i do partial water change and thourough gravel vac, then 2 weeks back to partail water n filters again. this schedule works great for that tank but it's been up for years and parameters are always good. can u put water params for ur tank up?

trreherd 12-08-2006 02:33 PM

I would but i only have the amonia and the nirite.

squiggles 12-08-2006 03:17 PM

how are ur plants doing with all the water changes?

fish_4_all 12-08-2006 03:52 PM

I do a 50%+ water change each week. Sometimes my fish don't mind, other times they pout for a day or so.

Here are some key factors when you do a water change:

Know your GH and to a less extent, your KH. Large swings in either one can cause stress to the fish until they acclimate again. When I do my water changes, I immediately do my macro dosing to try and keep the GH and KH swings as short as possible and as little as possible. I also add my dechlorinator immediately after the water change. If you want to, you can add the dechlor, MgSO4 and your Calcium to the water if you are using buckets.

Another key is temperature. My fish almost revolt against me when the temperature is higher than the water in the tank. I always shoot for about 2 dergees below tank temperature for my water changes.

One other thing is you are changing a little too much if you are doing 75% of the water. Unless you balance your KH and GH, the swings in both can be very stressful.

You may also be seeing a large swing in your pH. Test your tank and test your tap water after you leave the tap water out for 24 hours. This will allow the CO2 to gas out and give you a more accurate reading. If the swing in pH is too large and your KH is below 3 dKH, (~48ppm I think) then your fish will stress and it can be very harmful to them.

Do you inject CO2 for plants?
Is the test kit you are using a liquid regent or test strips?

A lot of things can cause stress at a water change but we need to know what your KH, GH, pH of tank and tap water and anything you dose as far as ferts, what type of dechlorinator and anything else you add to really help you properly.

trreherd 12-08-2006 05:02 PM

to tell you the truth i dont dose anything. No ferts,co2,decloranizers,nothing.
I let my water sit for a day or two. I leave the water at room temp.
I do not use decloranizers because i have well water. My plants are thriving.
can you tell me any inexpensive ways to get my kh the same in the new water?

fish_4_all 12-08-2006 06:45 PM

Well it could be a couple things then. Room temp is often colder than your tanks, 5-10 degrees is really gonna stress fish out, espcially tetras and especially with a 75% water change. It could be hard water but it shouldn't matter as far as your GH and KH unless your well water is fluctuating a lot, which is unlikely but possible.

If you want to stay with the same thing you are doing right now, simply change less water. 40-50% will be plenty assuming you have a normal bioload. This should help the fish stress and getting the temp closer to what is in the tank will help too.

IMHO, you should always use some kind of dechlorinator simply because it not only removes chlorine and chloramine but also removes heavy metals which could also be a problem especially if your well water is anything like what I was brought up. Never needed to take a mineral suppliment for sure.


squiggles 12-08-2006 06:53 PM

one easy way to tell if ur water is hard is if it has a really strong bad smell kind of like rotten eggs. :sick: my grandparents well water smells like that and it's really hard. i have well water and it's only moderatley hard so it's ok.

trreherd 12-08-2006 09:22 PM

I have a water softener.
I will try doing smaller water changes and warming the water.
Should i do a 1/4 water change 2 times a week instead of a 1/2 once a week?

Lupin 12-08-2006 09:24 PM


Originally Posted by trreherd
Should i do a 1/4 water change 2 times a week instead of a 1/2 once a week?

That's better.

Apparently, doing large water changes after not doing so for a long time can really stress the fish due to the sudden changes in their environment.

Once a week is not often recommended. Twice a week is better.

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