Okay- so I did the first partial water change in my tank thats had fish in it for about two weeks. After the test the ph still remained at a solid 7.6, and the ammonia levels dropped from between a .25ppm and .50ppm to between 0ppm and .25ppm, which is most definately a good thing im assuming, im picking up an nitrate/nitrite test kit tomarrow to track that more closely, but a few questions about the water change...can anyone suggest a better way to do PWC's, because I have a gravel vac/ syphon which i used to take the water out and vac about 40-50% of the substrate, and it worked great. However, replacing the water was a little less gentile, I didnt know if I should use the syphon to put water back in the tank because I was just unsure of it. Also, on my heater there is a minimum water level, and Im afraid of the reprucussions of the water dropping below said level for too long, as always, your advice is appreciated everybody :-) thanks,
(P.S. when do you think its okay for me to stock a few more fish in the tank, because dont get me wrong, I love my little barbs, but I feel like they could use a new friend or two ;-))
Don't continue stocking your tank until it is completely cycled. This could take a few weeks. With the PWC, when I did the bucket by bucket method I just poured conditioed water right into the tank. The fish get used to it, and if they don't like the "waterfall" as the water is being gently poured in, they can swim to the other side of the tank. My fish welcome PWC's. When you do a PWC, unplug your heater. It is wise to put your heater(s) and filter on a surge protector that you can simply click on and off during PWC's. it makes it a bit easier for you.
If you can find a place to put the bucket thats higher than the tank and close enough to it,you can use the gravel tank to refill the tank.Have the plastic end in the bucket and the hose going into the tank.
On your other question about the heater;unplug it before you do the water change.
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