Can You Over Do Water Changes?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Nronchetti, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Nronchetti

    NronchettiNew MemberMember

    My tank seems to be doing ok and the fish and shrimp are happy. Levels from test strips always report well within safe params. It is planted and I have been doing 20-25% water changes weekly. Currently there are 5 shrimp 1 adult platy and about 4-6 small fry with 2 of them grown to about 1.5cm long.

    A problem I have is the plants in the tank seem to be struggling a bit and the leaves often go see through and are almost crisp to the touch (amazon sword). Could it be that I am changing too much water and the plants are not getting enough nutrients? I have been supplementing with API root tabs but it does not seem to improve things.

    I also have some grasses which seem to do ok apart from the big platty pulling them up and eating them... Anyone would think I don't feed her!
  2. FriarThomasIII

    FriarThomasIIIWell Known MemberMember

    You can also potentially nuke your bacteria if you shock it with water changes. You could also supplement with a small dose of flourish excel if your other plants won't melt from it. It kind of sounds like a deficiency.
  3. oldsalt777

    oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello N...

    Unless you're removing and replacing more than half the tank water weekly, you're leaving most of the pollution in the tank. Your fish and plants will add to that every day, so whatever lives in the tank is living in dirty tank water. This isn't healthy.

    Slowly work up to the point you change out at least 50 percent or more every week, no excuses. The health of your fish and plants will improve.

  4. FriarThomasIII

    FriarThomasIIIWell Known MemberMember

    I would only do 50% if you have an overstocked tank. 25 is perfectly suitable for a normal fish tank. Fish like african cichlids or goldfish tanks end up with high waste and nitrates, so 50 is needed. 25 is perfectly fine.
  5. DarkOne

    DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    25% weekly is fine for your tank. Swords are root feeders so the tabs should help. How long have you been using tabs? It usually takes a week or 2 to see results but a month isn't uncommon.

    You should also remove the transparent leaves so the plant doesn't waste nutrients on the dying leaf. You can pull or pinch the stalk as close to the root as you can.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2018
  6. OP

    NronchettiNew MemberMember

    Amonia has been zero For a long time and the nitrates are always pretty low.

    The excel sounds worth a try. The plant is still growing and getting new leaves but they are kinda crispy., maybe that’s normal. I have been pulling the dying ones off.

    One thing I did think is maybe my substrate is not up to scratch. I just have JBL Manado currently but maybe I need some thing with more nutrients?

    Some pictures:
    And the other plants:
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  7. jaymethy

    jaymethyValued MemberMember

    I disagree with this. 50% could shock the fish and plants. Changes that big should only be done in emergency situations. 25% is perfectly sufficient.
  8. ParrotCichlid

    ParrotCichlidWell Known MemberMember

    You are right changes do not need to be over 25% on most standard tanks.

    You are wrong that changing 50% would shock the fish and is only for emergency situations.

    For example i change about 50% of the water in my Zebra Tilapia tank each change. I've done the same with all other large fish I've kept and on overstocked tanks.

    A 50% water change should not shock the fish providing the water you add is the same temperature and ph as the tank water.
  9. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Well. Everything looks fine to me. But then I’m blind so guess that doesn’t count. :(
    Hubby says they look all green and stuff.
  10. GuppyDazzle

    GuppyDazzleWell Known MemberMember

    Plant farms will often grow Amazon Swords out of water. Then you submerge them into your tank, the leaves will often die. The key is whether you have new leaves growing to replace the old. If so, don't worry about it. Keep pruning.
  11. YesI'mCycled

    YesI'mCycledNew MemberMember

    I would look at dosing Macro ferts before excel. Hard to tell from the photos but there does seem to be some yellowing which would indicate a deficiency. Excel isn’t a fertiliser and would make the deficiency worse with faster growth. Add fertiliser after your water change and you can change as much water as you like.
  12. KeeperOfASilentWorld

    KeeperOfASilentWorldWell Known MemberMember

    Nope ! The more the better ! :)
  13. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    You have green algea on that rock. Could be too much light for the amount of nutrients and/or not enough CO2 (Excell).
    I would get Excell and drop lights to 6-8 hr/day and see how it goes.
  14. OP

    NronchettiNew MemberMember

    Thanks everyone. I currently have my light on a timer and it does just under 7 hours a day. 1 1/2 hours in the morning and about 5 1/2 in the evening. I thought I wanted some algee to keep the amano shrimp happy although one of them is carrying eggs so cant have been too busy cleaning up :D

    I will try some other ferts/excel and see if things improve.
  15. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    That light level seems fine, unless your near a window or something. you probably need ferts or CO2 source.
    Be aware many people have expressed issue with Excell and shrimp. I would avoid it or keep dosage low. Also, some plants don't like excel, in particular Val's but may also be more. Personally, I've switch to CO2 injection due to my amanos and have been happy with it. Need to buy some new corkscrew Val's however.

    My swords are exploding using seachem flourish root tabs. I add more every month. I also dose with ThriveS which doesn't have copper due to shrimp.
  16. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    Do not use excel unless you absolutely have to. The carbon effect from it is negligible, and it kills things. I use it sparingly when I want to get rid of algae while I'm dialing in lighting and ferts, but I use a half dose. It has killed my tetras. I dont care how safe they say it is, it can kill.

    Your sword looks like its scavenging nutrients from old leaves. It doesnt look like normal melt from going emersed to submerged. You are low on a macro I believe. I dont remember which one as it's been a long time since mine has grown enough to need anything.

    If your plants run out of carbon, they will just stop growing as fast and you will see an algae bloom start to develop. If they run out of a nutrient, they will start sacrificing older leaves.

    When leaves look bad, cut them off as close to the base as possible. I had to use copper in my tank and my plants are mad. My swords had to be cut pretty much to the roots. They're growing nice and bushy for the time being, but very slowly.

    You shouldn't need to dose any micros with those root tabs. Not for swords anyway.

    Water changes aren't the problem. There's a lot of bad advice earlier in this thread. Unless your tap water contains copper or something else bad, water changes wont hurt anything. Even if your source water did have something bad, larger water changes would help more, not hurt.