Question Water change frequency

Namine

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Hello, so I have a 21g tank, partially carpeted with hair grass and 4 anubias plants, a moss ball, a male betta and 3 platties with a mystery snail and some shrimp. My tap water is has too much copper to use safely so I give them bottled for changes however with quarantine and buying restrictions it's been harder to pick up enough water. I was wondering about how often they will need it changed since its lightly stocked. I unfortunately don't have a nitrate or nitrite test at this time, will order one in the future but was getting it tested at the store. Pre quarantine it was at 0 nitrites and 10 nitrate but may have changed, ammonia is checked 2x weekly and my apI test kit reads about .25 but it always looks that color even in new bottled water so it's hard to tell if it is that much or not. Previously I was doing 25% a week but would they be ok with changes ever 2-3 weeks until quarantine is over? How often do you usually do changes on lightly stocked tanks? The fish eat 2x a day and no food left over.
 

DuaneV

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What you need to do is find out how many nitrates you're producing per week, then do an appropriately sized change to get the nitrates to a "safe" level. Most of my tanks get weekly water changes of 50%, some more, some less. It all depends on the tank itself. But you have to remember, water changes aren't to just lower nitrates (all that's a big part of it) but theyre also to vacuum substrate/remove waste AND replenish key micro and macro nutrients that are essential to the health of your fish and plants.

How much copper is in your water? Most of the time, its going to be harmless, but things like Prime that you are probably using as a water conditioner anyway, will detoxify heavy metals.
 

saltwater60

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How do you know your tap water has too much copper in it? Have you tested it or are you just assuming it does? Also you can get heavy metal detoxifiers or you could get a copper test kit.
 

Islandvic

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If your sink faucet has an aerator that can be unscrewed, you can buy a plumbing fitting adapter so a garden hose thread can be screwed on.

Then you can run a hose to an external water filter, then a hose from it over to your tank. That is how we refill our tanks, straight from the faucet. An in-line water filter should be able to remove the copper.

The brand Camco makes drinking water safe garden hoses (either white or blue) made to supply water for RV's and travel trailers. I use their white one to fill our tanks with and their blue one for our travel trailer when we take it to campsites.

Camco makes 2 different inline water filters, their "Evo" is a larger one and a plastic stand is optional that holds it upright.

Here is Amazon link....

We use their smaller in line filter for our travel trailer. Camco is one of the largest companies that makes RV/Travel trailer accessories.

Their filters remove heavy metals, reduce chlorine, have 20 micron sediment filtration and activated carbon. They should remove the copper in your water..

We have a large filter from Home Depot under our kitchen sink, and I'm able to perform 50%-75% WC's with ease every 7-10 days or as needed in my tanks. The replacement filters made by GE are about $7-$10 each and we replace them every 3-6 months. Generic equivalents are available online as well. Our refrigerator water line is tapped into the under sink filter also, making our ice and water dispensed from the fridge double filtered. You might want to consider something like that also.
 

Lebeeze

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Just use a water conditioner with your tap water, no need to waste money on bottled water. And as for how much water changing, whatever you have to change to get make sure your nitrates never get above 40ppm. Best to keep them under 20 though from what I've heard.

I would do at least 25% a week though even if your nitrate level doesn't need it just to get some nice clean water in there for the fishies
 
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Namine

Namine

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DuaneV said:
What you need to do is find out how many nitrates you're producing per week, then do an appropriately sized change to get the nitrates to a "safe" level. Most of my tanks get weekly water changes of 50%, some more, some less. It all depends on the tank itself. But you have to remember, water changes aren't to just lower nitrates (all that's a big part of it) but theyre also to vacuum substrate/remove waste AND replenish key micro and macro nutrients that are essential to the health of your fish and plants.

How much copper is in your water? Most of the time, its going to be harmless, but things like Prime that you are probably using as a water conditioner anyway, will detoxify heavy metals.
Thank you! And my tap water killed 2 fish and every invert in there within a few hours last time I tried it only using 25% change well water vs the usual bottled and added slow and I've never successfully kept inverts alive in it. Have a very old well and cooper pipes going bad, last time we tested it copper and iron were super high and had pcps and all kind of bad stuff. Drinking it will make you throw up so try not to put anything living in it unless it's too big to get other water. I have fish using tap in another tank but they have a higher death rate over time even though that one gets 50% weekly changes. Have 150 with well water that does ok with fish but it only has some sharks and an angel. I just dont want to risk killing my entire shrimp colony again trying bad water. I'm planning on an ro in the future but amazon isn't shipping non essentials and I'm trapped inside with covid currently so trying to just get them past the quarantine for now xD been having people drop off food and water
 

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