How To Avoid Old Tank Syndrome

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Wystearya

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Since getting back into having a Betta I have been doing a lot of reading. One topic I happened upon was Old Tank Syndrome. And after reading it, I think this happened to my last tank that I had a few years ago. :/

At the time I was under the (false) impression that once the tank had cycled, water changes would only need to be done infrequently. If what I have read is true, and I believe it is, the tank still needs regular/weekly water changes to keep things healthy.

Since I don't plan to do plants (other than a bit of duckweed I got, yes on purpose!) I want to be sure my tank stays healthy. This is another issue I think I had before. I did more live plants and I thought that would sort of be enough to take care of the tank. Plants + cycled tank = less water changes. *yikes* I now know that is not true either.

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So, long story short, how should I do water changes so I can avoid Old Tank Syndrome? I actually plan to do them weekly, I just need to know a good percentage. Would 50% weekly be enough? I have one Betta in a 5 gallon tank (just got the 5 gallon yesterday, he was in a 3 gallon kritter keeper). I have a heater and a filter too.

Thanks so much!

PS - I use Prime as my water conditioner/dechlorinator if that matters.
 

Aster

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50% is good. As long as you're regularly maintaining the tank and monitoring nitrate levels to make sure they don't go too high (over 40 ppm), you shouldn't need to worry about old tank syndrome.
 

bgclarke

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I change the water in my tanks weekly.

I have a Betta in a planted 3 gallon. I vacuum the sand and do 50% water change on that one. Water is treated with Prime and Betta Basics.

On my 10 gallon, I vacuum the gravel and do 25% unless I've got really high nitrates (from overfeeding), then I do 50%.
 

Meep fish88

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I do 25% weekly in my 55
 

MarkN1990

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50% weekly in all my tanks. Just ensure to monitor the temperature to ensure it's consistent
 

_IceFyre_

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I do 25-30% weekly in my 10 gallon. There's no reason to do huge water changes unless your parameters are bad because >50% changes can easily shock your fish.
 

Meep fish88

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IceFyre1414 said:
I do 25-30% weekly in my 10 gallon. There's no reason to do huge water changes unless your parameters are bad because >50% changes can easily shock your fish.
You should only do large water changes (<40%) when you have an excess of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate.
 

el337

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Large water changes (50% or more) will not shock your fish as long as you match the temp of the new water. I do 60% weekly with no issues and it's not because of high nitrates. My nitrates are always below 20 but I feel larger water changes prevents disease, keeps fish healthy and active and yes, prevents old tank syndrome.

This is a good read:

Please! Keep UP With Water Changes For Your Fish!
 
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Wystearya

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Wow, so many replies!

Thank you all very much for the info and opinions.

el337 - I will read that link now, thank you!
 

BettaPonic

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I do 50% weekly on my 2 tens and 20 gallon. I have had success and keep my ranks planted.
 

THCrescue

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Just remeber that the smaller the water volume, the less stable your water parameters are. Meaning its better to do 5 10% water changes throughout the week than it is to do one 50 % once a week. This applies to the nano world especially. I consider nano to be 10gallons or less. Our 3 betta tanks get 1 gallon pwc every day despite being in fully planted tanks. We do this to ensure everything remains consistent and that the fish have the cleanest healthiest water possible. On our larger tanks we just do 2 20% changes weekly since most of out tanks testing comes out 0/0/0 or 0/0/5
 

Big Red

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I do minimum 50 percent on all my tanks. Water changes also replenish lost minerals and nutrients in water column that get depleated from fish and plant absorption
 
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Wystearya

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Thank you all very much!

I think after reading replies, the link, and some other online articles I am going to go for 50% weekly.

I appreciate all the help!
 

NavigatorBlack

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Old tank syndrome is nothing to worry about. I moved to this house 11 years ago, bringing a bunch of tanks that had run for 12 years in the previous place. They are still running. In tank terms, that's old enough.
I do 25-30% water changes every week to ten days. If I filter well, don't overfeed and take out dead plant leaves (all my tanks are planted, heavily), there is no "eutrophication" (the technical term for the process) that goes on. I do an occasional gravel vacuum, keep my filters healthy and just enjoy.
If you overfeed, the tank ages fast. Hmm, I overfed myself over the holidays, and I feel 25 years older this week - there may be something to that.
 
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