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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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?
 

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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.

HTH
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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?
 

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trreherd said:
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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Imho do a 20- 30% water change once a month.The plants will use up any fish poo and fish food. Don't go over kill with the gravle vac. Just vac a little in the open spots. By doing large water changes in a non CO2, fert tank your just increse and decrease the CO2 levles. This will lead to BBG algea.
AS for a cheap water softener look into Peat moss.

This post is because you keep plants, and buy doing so a few of the rules change.
 

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Is the discoloration happening the whole day? When I had neons, they only discolored usually first thing in the morning. I think it's becuase they are tired and don't color up well when waking up. After a few hours, their color was bright as normal.
 

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First, my neons do the same thing. When the lights come on they look like ghosts but color up during the day.

As for water changes, I don't think once a month is enough, not by far. Yes, the plants use up a lot of stuff, yes they do make a tank more balanced but there are things that plants don't remove. These are salts, undissolved solids from both fish waste and decaying plant matter. And anything in the water as far as undissolved and dissolved matter that builds up over time. Also, ever time you add water to the tank to compensate for evaporation, you put more heavy metals into the tank and other dfissolved an undissolved soilds that will build up over time.

Gravel vacs are extremely important unless you have complete coverage of your substrate and simply can not gravel vac. I have a massive plant load in my 10 gallon tanks and I make sure to gravel vac as much as possible because huge amounts of gunk collect in the substrate if you don't. Worst case scenario, the builup of Gunk creates an anarobic pocket and hydrogen sulfide builds up to the point it realeses and kills all your fish. I have never had this happen but have heard the first hand stories of a tank going form perfect to smelling like ritten eggs with a tank full of dead fish in the morning. I also do not overfeed and probably underfeed because my fish will almost jump out the tank for food.

I could agree with a heavily planted tank and doing a once a month water change if you only have 10 neons in 55 gallon tank. Any sort of medium to heavy bioload and I would never go longer than 2 weeks nor less than a 50% water change. IMHO
 

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Folks:

I have been following this thread and the following are several item based on experience or research of the literature which I believe to be pertinent.


trreherd said:
The fish are pretty disturbed when i do a vac.
Mine were also when I started my approximately monthly 25% WC's due to a "good gravel vaccum" but they have "gotten used to it".


trreherd said:
I would but i only have the amonia and the nirite.
If you are fairly new to the hobby, as I am, I can recommend the the TetraTest Laborett and the TetraTest NO3 test kit.

These kits are inexpensive and have "been a ton of help" to me while gaining experience.


fish_4_all said:
I do a 50%+ water change each week. Sometimes my fish don't mind, other times they pout for a day or so.
Per my experience (please bear in mind only 8 months worth) 10% daily WC's are significantly preferable to a 50% weekly WC (although they are not equal).

The fish are "pouting" because they do not feel good due to the instantaneous change in water parameters.


fish_4_all said:
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.
I have found this to be very true also when I do a 25% WC and refill with tap water.


fish_4_all said:
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.
Yep:

IMHO 75% is way, way too much and as set forth in the remainder of F4A's post the instantaneous change in water parameters is "really stressing out" your fish.


trreherd said:
to tell you the truth i dont dose anything. No ferts,co2,decloranizers,nothing.
In general this is good!


trreherd said:
I have a water softener.
Uh Oh!!!

Unless you have a high end water softener (ie. RO) you are probably inducing serious salt into your tank!

The chemicals which you are putting in your water softener are only converting (in it's most simplistic explanation) calcium chloride (CaCl) to sodium salt (NaCl) or potassium salt (KCl).



fish_4_all said:
First, my neons do the same thing. When the lights come on they look like ghosts but color up during the day.
My neons and glowlights have the same very, very nice coloration when the lights first come on!


fish_4_all said:
Gravel vacs are extremely important
Yep!!!

In my experience gathering I had a serious ammonia and nitrite spike mostly due to "gunk" which had built up but which was not observable from the front or sides of the tank.

TR
 

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Jones,
I couldn't have said it better!!! Great post with all the right stuff in it. You're the only one who caught the water softener problem, I was glad to see that someone did. I've seen the damage water softeners can do to aquariums and the animals, and it's very sad. I vote for a combination of all of the mentioned issues as being the problem with the fish.
 

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bettababy said:
Jones,
I couldn't have said it better!!! Great post with all the right stuff in it. You're the only one who caught the water softener problem, I was glad to see that someone did. I've seen the damage water softeners can do to aquariums and the animals, and it's very sad. I vote for a combination of all of the mentioned issues as being the problem with the fish.
TY

Those comments coming from Dawn only mean that I will "have to grease my ears" in order to get my head through doors!!!

TR
 
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