Water change frequency questions from a advanced keeper

FishArePetsNotObjects

Ive been keeping fish for a long time so I have my water change process(feed the fish,gravel vacc or just take water out, fill tank up,watch for any changes in behavior) that was until covid started and I went from 5 small 3.5-5 gallon tanks to 13 2.5-36 gallon tanks. I tend to not do them every week because I feel that weekly water changes arent always neccesary once a tank has been established for a bit, I typically do them on my larger tanks once every two to three months or as needed my tanks are doing fine, but i'm wondering does anyone else with a lot of tanks do this too? I have about 130 gallons of water to care for so water changes would take all day which is why I do this is there a better schedual anyone could reccomend or is my current one fine.
 

cdwag29

I think the reason people do water changes so frequently is because, essentially fish are living in glass boxes of their own filth. The only source of “clean” water is the water we give to our fish during water changes. Aside from this, fish use up the minerals in the water that need to be replenished to help keep them healthy.

If I were in your shoes, I would try to come up with a different sceduale. The tanks with a higher stocking should have more frequent changes, whereas the others you can have a little slack with. IMO, this is what I would do.

I would try to devide up the tanks among days and weeks. For example, pick two or more days a week to only do changes on the large tanks. The next week, do the same thing but instead do more changes on the smaller more managable tanks. I think for the time being doing a change every two weeks would be okay.

Another thing you might find helpful is to set aside gallon jugs of pretreated water for the smaller tanks, that way you don’t have to deal with the hassle of filling up a bucket or whatever. (This is what I do, so apologies if you have a different method.

Hope that all made sense.
 

FishArePetsNotObjects

cdwag29 that makes a lot of sense I have plants in most of my tanks which helps and I moniter my fish closley. Would once a month work? I could split the tanks up and do some each weekend.
 

cdwag29

Once a month is probably better than the current sceduale. I think really you should just try to find a good in between that works for both you and the fish, which it sounds like that’s what it is.

Would also like to clarify that I am by no means an advanced keeper, but I have been in a similar boat with managing 9 tanks (two were reptile enclosures.) It is defiently a lot to handle.
 

Flyfisha

Hi all
FishArePetsNotObjects I change over 30 tanks in about 5 hours every week. It’s 1000 litres/ 267 gallons. Plus I change fry grow out tanks mid week for a second and sometimes third time.

I don’t use a Python hose I use a few rubbish bins on wheels and a garden hose and electric water pump . With another submersible pump and bin to move the water away.

I am retired so my wife and I do the job split over Tuesday and Wednesday. 360 litres on Tuesday and the rest on Wednesday. I clean glass and filters occasionally at other random times. We are well aware of how long it takes.

This is a subject of discussion in my local club. You are not alone in moving to fortnightly water changes.
If you have a low stocking level with lots of plants you can go longer. I have no experience with anything other than weekly so will no comment on the long term situation.

I urge you to consider streamlining the work with electric pumps and storage bins/ rubbish bins.
 

FishArePetsNotObjects

Hi all
FishArePetsNotObjects I change over 30 tanks in about 5 hours every week. It’s 1000 litres/ 267 gallons. Plus I change fry grow out tanks mid week for a second and sometimes third time.

I don’t use a Python hose I use a few rubbish bins on wheels and a garden hose and electric water pump . With another submersible pump and bin to move the water away.

I am retired so my wife and I do the job split over Tuesday and Wednesday. 360 litres on Tuesday and the rest on Wednesday. I clean glass and filters occasionally at other random times. We are well aware of how long it takes.

This is a subject of discussion in my local club. You are not alone in moving to fortnightly water changes.
If you have a low stocking level with lots of plants you can go longer. I have no experience with anything other than weekly so will no comment on the long term situation.

I urge you to consider streamlining the work with electric pumps and storage bins/ rubbish bins.
I envy the amount of tanks you have I work almost all day and am free on the weekends when I have time off I try to do water changes during the week but I usally can only get one or two of my 20's changed and thats only if I change the water and then move straight onto the next one with no break
 

Cherryshrimp420

The tanks that I don't feed I usually dont do water changes. Maybe twice a year.
 

KingOscar

I agree that weekly w/c on low to moderately stocked tanks is overkill. Plus, if your source tap water contains chloramines, you're adding ammonia every time. Sure, a properly functioning filter will convert it to nitrates in 24 hours or less, but it always seemed detrimental to me to add more ammonia in ten minutes than the fish in a lightly stocked tank produce over several days. This is one reason I favor 20-30% w/c over much larger amounts. Less stress on the fish, I figure.

In my experience my smaller tanks need w/c more often and at larger percentages than my larger tanks. I suppose this is because the fish to gallons ratio is always higher.

Honestly, I've been in your present situation where tank maintenance has become more than I wanted it to be. I found the best solution was to drop a tank or 3.
 

jmaldo

Water changes (amount/frequency) is always a debated subject here. I choose to do 50% weekly. As mentioned I was up to 6 tanks and 2 grow out tubs and it did become a chore. Now have 4 tanks (55,29,20L,10), approx. 70 gallons per week.
I do use a combination of a python and submersible pump. Takes about 1-2 hours depending on tank maintenance I am doing. But when raising fry those tanks get water changes 2-3x per week. Healthy, growing fish and plants.
Just remember every tank is as unique as a fingerprint, no two are alike.

Good Luck!
 

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