Actually -- How I Do - -My water changes

Tony_P

I thought I might post a thingie on how I do my water changes. I have two 25 gallon tanks and do a 30% water change every week, one tank on Saturday and one on Sunday.

First off, I have two 5 gallon plastic buckets. I got these at Walmart. They are food grade and non-BPA. I fill both and add conditioner. I set them aside for a day. Plus I put a fixed temperature heater suitable for a 5 gallon tank in each to warm up the water.

I use a siphon that has a squeezy bulb on it to remove water into 4 gallon bucket I have for waste. I use it vacuum up gunk as needed. I take out 2 buckets. I turn off the filter also for this short time.

While the water is down, if needed, I remove and scrub any toys/ ornaments with a brush reserved for the purpose. I scrub and rinse them under tap water and dry them with paper towel before replacing them. I also scrub the tank walls of algae if needed.

I get one of the buckets of fresh conditioned water and I use a 2 litre Pyrex glass measure cup to scoop water over. This Pyrex cup is used only for the tanks. When the one bucket is empty, I then get the second to finish.

After the tank is filled suitably, I turn the filter back on. I then buckle everything back up. Oh -- If needed I do whatever I need to do with my filter media at this time.

Finally I do all my cleanup of my equipment, which takes about 10 minutes. After that I add my bacteria.

Not sure if my methods are fully by the book, but they seem to work for me.

If I need to do a higher water volume of change, I have an addition 3 gallon bucket to condition water as needed.

Tony
 

Dlsmith1989

you definitely do more than what I do.
 

ProudPapa

you definitely do more than what I do.

Same here. I also have one of the siphon hoses with the bulb and large tube on the end. I stick the tube in the tank, stick the end of the hose out the window, squeeze the bulb a couple times, and let it run until I think it's enough. Then I fill a 10-quart bucket in the kitchen sink (trying to match temperature at least close, and I have well water so chlorine isn't an issue), put an old cereal bowl in the tank so I don't disturb the substrate, and pour the water in. Repeat until the water level reaches the bottom of the black rim.
 

StarGirl

A VERY lot more than I do. Why are you adding bacteria at every water change? I have 5 gallon buckets for waste water and 2 gallon buckets for refill. I have 4 dishpans I use when cleaning my canister. I clean deco when needed. I clean my filter when I start to see junk floating around. Usually around 2 mos.
 

FinalFins

Why do you let the water sit? After conditioner it can go straight to the tank
 

Sorg67

If tank is 78 deg and water is 75, is that close enough for a 25% change? Seems like that would not change temp more than 1 deg.
 

Tony_P

This is great .. I was hoping for opinions on what I do and I appreciate all of them. Just looking for a better way.

Why are you adding bacteria at every water change?

I dunno -- I thought you were supposed to.

Why do you let the water sit? After conditioner it can go straight to the tank

Admittedly I was never sure about this, so I see this as one change to make -- although I do like to let the water warm up a bit.

Tony
 

Sorg67

I have 10 one gallon jugs I fill up and dechlorinate after every change so I have aged water ready for next time. Gets to room temperature and I think aging does something but I am not sure what?
 

StarGirl

This is great .. I was hoping for opinions on what I do and I appreciate all of them. Just looking for a better way.



I dunno -- I thought you were supposed to.



Admittedly I was never sure about this, so I see this as one change to make -- although I do like to let the water warm up a bit.

Tony
No you would only need bacteria when you are cycling. If at all according to some.

I just try to match temp out of the tap as best I can. Fill er up. Dechlorinated of course.
 

Volpap

More detailed than what I do. I don’t see the need for letting your water sit for a day. I take a spare thermometer and adjust the temp of the water coming out the faucet, add conditioner and into the tank it goes. I have dedicated buckets for all this. At the time of the change I add my liquid fertilizer. My advice, do whatever works for you and you’re comfortable with.
 

Sorg67

Somebody commented on "Food Grade Buckets". I use a home depot bucket. Should I get food grade buckets?
 

Quiche

Nah, you're good- everyone I know including me uses those orange home depot buckets. I've never heard of fish suffering adverse effects.
 

Sorg67

Cool, thanks. Can you put fish in those buckets temporarily?
 

Tony_P

Cool, thanks. Can you put fish in those buckets temporarily?


Now that is something I hadn't thought of doing when I do major cleanings!

Tony
 

Sorg67

Very helpful thread to me as I am just getting started and establishing my routines. Thanks for starting it.
 

Tony_P

Thanks Sorg67. I've been at it for over a year and still learning. As was said
do whatever works for you and you’re comfortable with.

-- and as the car commercials say -- your actual mileage may vary.

Tony
 

Sorg67

True that YMV in all things.

But it is also nice to have a baseline of comparison. In 1975, I might have felt okay with 15 mpg. Not so much anymore.

I enjoy the discussion and value the comments of all even if I may do my own thing. While dancing to the tune of my own drummer, it is occasionally nice to change the channel to hear what the drummers of others sound like.
 

StarGirl

Now that is something I hadn't thought of doing when I do major cleanings!

Tony
I would only take your fish out if moving them to another tank or something. Stresses them out chasing them more than leaving them in there.

What you are doing now seems like all the major cleaning you ever need to do.
 

Kevzebrapleco

I would only take your fish out if moving them to another tank or something. Stresses them out chasing them more than leaving them in there.

What you are doing now seems like all the major cleaning you ever need to do.
Reading these makes me feel almost bad for a minute haha I do 2 50% water changes a week. Sunday is my main one where I hoover up the dirt off the bed of my tank but I don’t use any fancy gravel cleaners I just use my hose/syphon and it all seems to get sucked up. I also move and shake and hoover all the objects like the driftwood & caves in my tank and wipe the inside of the glass just with an old rinsed out blue pad and maybe scrub the granite rocks and also clean out the prefilter. Then I fill however many buckets I took out all dosed with prime and at tank temperature and literally launch it back in the tank and I find that helps remove any extra debris sitting on anything or hidden which stirs it all up and then gets sucked down the filter pretty quick. Fish don’t seem to mind this either, well they haven’t told me yet if they do then Wednesday just a literally a quick 50% out & 50% back in. Then once a month the filter gets a good going over and stripped and cleaned easy peasy everyone’s happy nothing fancy but very happy healthy fish and water parameters you could only dream of haha
 

FitSoldier

Same here. I also have one of the siphon hoses with the bulb and large tube on the end. I stick the tube in the tank, stick the end of the hose out the window, squeeze the bulb a couple times, and let it run until I think it's enough. Then I fill a 10-quart bucket in the kitchen sink (trying to match temperature at least close, and I have well water so chlorine isn't an issue), put an old cereal bowl in the tank so I don't disturb the substrate, and pour the water in. Repeat until the water level reaches the bottom of the black rim.

That is a GREAT idea! I can't believe I didn't think of that!!! Gonna start doing that now, not that it matters cause my fish always dig up the substrate.

I do large 90% water changes weekly for my tank so I can't prep 50+ gallons of water beforehand. I clean out the filter cartridges using the tank water I'm syphoning out at the same time.

For changing water, I usually just add the water conditioner in the bucket with the tap water and then dump the water into the tank afterwards. Repeat until tank water is at desired level. I use multiple buckets that I rotate to fill so I'm not constantly waiting to fill up one bucket of tap water.

I don't think you need to add additional bacteria every water change.
 

Sorg67

I am curious about 90% water change. Is this an extremely over-crowded tank? If you do a 90%change do you remove the fish. Is changing that much water stressful to the fish?

I am thinking that with a reasonably stocked tank, 25% to 50% weekly changes would be sufficient. If it was not, I think I would increase the frequency of the water changes rather than change more than 50%. Unless I had some special circumstances. But I am just learning so I would like to know more.
 

FinalFins

In a extremely overcrowded tank multiple 50% WC weekly is better than a single 90%. a 90% could put fish into shock.
 

Sorg67

In a extremely overcrowded tank multiple 50% WC weekly is better than a single 90%. a 90% could put fish into shock.

That makes sense to me. More work, but less stressful. It would seem that 90% would only make sense in an extreme circumstance.
 

AcuarioAmazonico

Well I feel lazy now! Every weekend I siphon out the water (am not great at vacuuming substrate - do the obvious detritus but noting flash) but at least 50% water removed. I have these huge 15 gallon buckets with rope handles. I siphon into them and down the kitchen sink. I don’t really brush rocks or anything. I may rearrange plants if I feel it. I then attach a hose to my kitchen sink (inner city apartment with no outdoor area or balcony) with a nifty adapter and top up the tanks with water and Prime. I have Amazonia II in all tanks but one of them has old plain Amazonia which I hate. Makes the water cloudy. I add Clarity to that tank and that’s me done. Usually pull out media from HOBs and swish them in the bucket of tank water. Canisters just get turned off then on.
You’ve inspired me to do a thorough clean this weekend
 

Kevzebrapleco

Well I feel lazy now! Every weekend I siphon out the water (am not great at vacuuming substrate - do the obvious detritus but noting flash) but at least 50% water removed. I have these huge 15 gallon buckets with rope handles. I siphon into them and down the kitchen sink. I don’t really brush rocks or anything. I may rearrange plants if I feel it. I then attach a hose to my kitchen sink (inner city apartment with no outdoor area or balcony) with a nifty adapter and top up the tanks with water and Prime. I have Amazonia II in all tanks but one of them has old plain Amazonia which I hate. Makes the water cloudy. I add Clarity to that tank and that’s me done. Usually pull out media from HOBs and swish them in the bucket of tank water. Canisters just get turned off then on.
You’ve inspired me to do a thorough clean this weekend
I only brush my rocks off because I have a 6 month old bit of mopanI in the tank and it stains them a bit otherwise I probably wouldn’t bother. But when I had my marine tank it was really hard work keeping it up so any work I do my trop tank just seems easy peasy lol
 

FitSoldier

I am curious about 90% water change. Is this an extremely over-crowded tank? If you do a 90%change do you remove the fish. Is changing that much water stressful to the fish?

I am thinking that with a reasonably stocked tank, 25% to 50% weekly changes would be sufficient. If it was not, I think I would increase the frequency of the water changes rather than change more than 50%. Unless I had some special circumstances. But I am just learning so I would like to know more.

I haven't had any problems with my fish doing large water changes. My Rainbow Shark was the only fish that was affected by the large water change; he turned white the first 2 weeks I got him. Now he doesn't seem to care and got used to it lol

When I had the water down to about 10%, I could see my SalvinI lip locking with my Jewel Cichlid. Blood Parrot was even still digging. I doubt they were in any sort of "shock". But my fish produce a ton of waste so my method is not a rule for everyone.
 

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