Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fishyinpa 11-07-2009 06:37 PM

wcs and gravel vacs
So dumb question time lol. How much should I change out of my 38 gallon? How often as well. For my 12 and 14 I usually do like twice a week...would that be fine for that one as well. Also I got one of those gravel vacs that hook up to your sink. I was gonna use that to fill it up the first time around,easier than refilling my buckets a zillion times. lol. But for wcs,should I do the bucket thing to treat it first,or can I fill it (guesstimating how much I took out??) and treat it after. Im not sure how to guesstimate what I took out....maybe do a test run with buckets and mark it so I know. thanks!! :lol:

mollies 11-07-2009 06:45 PM

Just a 5 gallon bucket once a week should do the trick.

fishyinpa 11-07-2009 06:51 PM

awesome. thanks.

Mikaila31 11-07-2009 06:58 PM

It differs a little for each tank. But a moderately stocked tank should have 25% changed once a week minimum. IMO there is no maximum you can go beyond. Near 100% WC won't do any harm, but they are extra work and don't benefit much in a stable cycled tank. I do one 50% WC every week on all my tank.

As far as dosing dechlor, I'm not the best person to answer because I have well water, so no chlorine. I don't use dechlor, I use prime very rarely for other reasons though. I would just eyeball it though, its hard to overdose dechlor. You can treat it before or after, personally I would add dechlor to the tank before I fill it for however much water I'm going to add.

fishyinpa 11-07-2009 07:06 PM

Hmm..didnt think of that(dechlor wise). Good idea. Thanks Mikailia.

redlessi 11-07-2009 08:38 PM

I also have one of those sink gravel cleaners for my 35 gal and I change out about 15 gallons weekly. I add the prime right before I refill the tank. I vacuum one half of the gravel each week, but never the whole tank. I rinse one of the filters media on alternate weeks as I have 2 filters.

fishyinpa 11-07-2009 09:29 PM

Ah so like almost half....Fishy stuff still confuses me sometimes lol. Ill be using sand,so gotta stir once a week,what fun. At least the poo and stuff stays on top to suck up quite easily.

jeaninel 11-07-2009 10:15 PM

I do 30% weekly water changes on my tanks. The first time around I used 5 gallon buckets to remove the water then marked the tank with a sharpie so I knew how much to take out when I used my Python . I add dechlor to the tank as I'm filling it up. A word of caution...make sure you slowly open the valve when you begin to refill your tank so you don't blow your fish out of the water. LOL

fishyinpa 11-07-2009 10:26 PM

oh..yeah that wouldnt be good!! my cats would be like..dinner!! Thanks for the warning.

Byron 11-08-2009 07:09 PM

We all seem to be on much the same path with this, but I would like to share some observations arising from my reading of a good article in the November 2009 issue of TFH on this subject.

I have frequently commented that changing less water more often is preferable to more water less often, and I think that is still true if one is considering a partial water change weekly rather than bi-weekly or monthly. But the data in the referenced article sheds some different light on just how much water should be changed. I won't repeat all the data, but the conclusion is that changing 50% of the tank volume once a week has a significantly greater benefit on the fish than changing 10% every day of the week.

The reason is that the toxins in the water, pollution we can call it, build up significantly every day, and only removing a small percentage daily means that the toxins are increasing far more as each day goes by; in other words, each day there is a high percentage of pollution in the aquarium. In contrast, changing 50% once a week is cutting the pollution in half, with the result that day by day the pollution will gradually increase toward the end of the week; in other words, the fish are only going to be subjected to very high levels of pollution at the end of the week just before the 50% water change, so during the previous days they are exposed to slightly less pollution that they are with a daily 10% water change. OF course, changing 50% or more each day would be ideal. But most hobbyists can find it easier to maintain a regular weekly schedule rather than a daily one.

Water stability is usually cited as the reason for regular but smaller water changes. This may be true for water parameters like pH and nitrates, but there is no logic in maintaining more stable pollution in a tank. No one could logically dispute that reducing pollution is a benefit and the more the better. At the same time, a significant weekly water change will actually work to maintain more stability long term in the water parameters.

I have been changing 40-50% of my tanks' volume every week for more than 15 years without really understanding the added benefits. It is worth understanding why something works, but the fact that it does work is obvious whether or not we understand the reason.


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