Water Change Percentage, Be Honest!

GlennO

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My latest (main) tank has been set up for about 7 months. I started off changing about 20% weekly. For months I couldn't detect any nitrates and I was adding nitrogen for the plants. A few weeks ago I started doing 50% weekly water changes since my fish are getting bigger and the plants are no longer using all of the nitrate produced. I try to keep nitrate at around 10ppm-15ppm.
 

Skavatar

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What are those things that look like snails in the front of your aquarium.
Those are scallop shells. We had some scallops at a Japanese restaurant, they were grilled on the half shell. I took them home and soaked them in dawn soap to get the grease and oil off. They're just outside decorations.

What stands do you use? Are they cheap?
The stand for the 29g is from Walmart, cost $39.99
 

Popster

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Ok,

So have digested this thread and it would appear as if I do not change enough by volume. The indicator to me is that my birthing and grow out tank have that decidedly "fishy" smell, which I would assume to be nitrates / nitrites?

So my female Guppy's are placed into a bare 3.7 g tank with an abundance of fine leafed plastic plants. The tank has a 4" corner filter with polyester wool / charcoal / polyester wool in addition to that it has a small hang on the back with a 32 g/h flow rate, an 8.5 water turn per hour. I have 4 females in the birthing tank currently.

Once the fry are born they are immediately transferred to the first stage grow out tank. This tank is 7.5 g, is also bare with one fine leafed plastic plant to promote algae growth as an additional food source. This tank has a 4" corner filter filled with polyester wool / charcoal / polyester wool as well as a 3" foam filter. I suppose I should move the foam filter to the smaller tank and the HOB filter to the larger, seems to make sense now that I think of it. I have circa 140 fry in this tank ranging from 0.5" to 0.85" with the larger being in the minority.

So I feed daily at 07:30 and then again at 19:00. I do believe that I overfeed, this in the knowledge that excess is always removed the following day.
- The food source for the females is TetraMin flakes, mashed peas, bloodworm. They normally get one meal of dry and one of frozen "live" food.
- The food source for the fry is crushed TetraMin flakes, mashed peas, Daphnia. They normally get one meal of dry and one of frozen "live" food.

Cleaning routine. I vacuum both the tank's every morning after the morning feed. This removes circa 20% by volume which is replaced with temperature adjusted water with a conditioner. Our tap water has a pH of 7.2. Once a week I do roughly a 40% change.

This does not appear to be enough. I wish to dispense with weekly changes and be more aggressive with the daily changes, this will make for a more consistent water quality. I am very wary of stressing the fry. Any suggestions?

Secondly, at what point will my activated charcoal become useless? It is a 1" layer in the filter.

Final note. My 75 g community tank I have moved to a 40-50% weekly water change. This tank seldom, if ever, has that "fishy" smell. If I skip a change for some odd reason it will begin to smell. This tank is equipped with a 270 g/h canister filter.
 

lonewolf 47

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Secondly, at what point will my activated charcoal become useless? It is a 1" layer in the filter.
What are you removing with the Activated carbon? Medications or just the smell? Usually the directions say one month but if it's just the smell you could go longer than that. Imo the carbon is unesesary if you don't use it to remove medications. I think it would make more sense if you used zeolite.
 

200litremum

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That's interesting to know, I assumed it was essential part of the filter as I have it included in both my external and tray filters, sponge carbon and ceramic tubes and I'm changing mine about every 2 months.
Water changes I do twice a week, 10 litres in my 60 litre fry tank so 1/3 capacity and 30 litres in my 200 litre communal tank so again it's around 1/3. I find it's more important to keep the filter clean than the water change but it's leave of mind as the seachem safe in the water detoxifies any unexpected water parameter issues I've missed. Both tanks are reading low or zero ammonia nitrite nitrates though.
You're right about the smell, if I can keep my head over the tank and its smells clear I know it's all good. When the filters struggling it smells like snagnant water and fish poop.
Everyone works out their own schedule and amount of water to change, I like doing a quick one midweek and a larger one at the weekends when more time. Max I do ever is 50% in one go and that's been when it's overdue or had ammonia probs in the past
 

lonewolf 47

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That's interesting to know, I assumed it was essential part of the filter as I have it included in both my external and tray filters, sponge carbon and ceramic tubes and I'm changing mine about every 2 months.
Water changes I do twice a week, 10 litres in my 60 litre fry tank so 1/3 capacity and 30 litres in my 200 litre communal tank so again it's around 1/3. I find it's more important to keep the filter clean than the water change but it's leave of mind as the seachem safe in the water detoxifies any unexpected water parameter issues I've missed. Both tanks are reading low or zero ammonia nitrite nitrates though.
Nah, they include carbon because it is expendable and ceramic ring and sponges are not. I would rremove the carbon and add more biomedia. I do have carbon in my tankrright now in a mesh bag to remove some traces of medication because usaly I do 80% water changes. I think safe and prime only detoxifie nitrates for 24 or 48 hours
 

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Ok,
Cleaning routine. I vacuum both the tank's every morning after the morning feed. This removes circa 20% by volume which is replaced with temperature adjusted water with a conditioner. Our tap water has a pH of 7.2. Once a week I do roughly a 40% change.

Secondly, at what point will my activated charcoal become useless? It is a 1" layer in the filter.
1. 20% daily for 6 days is about equivelant to a 60% water change. then you're also doing a 40% weekly water change. so you're good.

2. usually 4-8 weeks depending on how much charcoal is used and the bioload. more bioload the faster it'll need to be changed.
 

Kathryn Crook

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I do shrimp, crays and snails so I only change 10% maybe once or twice a month. Those small pooping critters have their advantages! Hehe
 

BottomDweller

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My current setup and water change schedule is this
63 gallon community 50-70% twice weekly
15 gallon betta, shrimp and snail tank 40-60% two or three times a week
5 gallon snail tank 70-80% every other week
5 gallon shrimp tank 50-60% every other week
9 gallon danio fry tank 20-40% daily or every other day
200 gallon fancy goldfish pond 90% every month
110 gallon paddling pool with goldfish (while their pond gets fixed) 80-100% twice daily
15 gallon tubs with small goldfish (while their pond gets fixed) 75% daily

TBH I don't stick strictly to a schedule. The above is just what I usually end up doing. If I have a busy week then most tanks are ok with less water changes but if this happens then when I do get round to doing them I do larger water changes. The water changes on my 63 gallon change a lot as the stocking changes and filters and plants get moved around etc. I will up the water changes on the danio fry tank as they grow.
 

angelcraze

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I'm in the large water change crowd. My fish just LoVe a big water change. They breed all the time after or even during a water change!
But there are many reasons why I change 50-85% in all my tanks.

Removing nitrates
I strive for low nitrate of 10ppm or less.
In my 120g, I have to change out 75% weekly to bring nitrates down to 5ppm.

Reducing hormones in the water
I have breeding cichilds and other fish and the hormones in the water can get out of hand. I can tell by the way my fish are acting. A large water change resets everything and fish are acting normal again. I also have baby and growing fish, so I will do 85% changes every 3 days at least.

Replenishing minerals and nutrients
This is for both plants and fish. My water is very soft so I need to add a certain amount of KH back to tank. Sure, I could use baking soda or crushed coral, but my fish like the soft water and params stay consistent for me.

Removing nutrients
Some aquarists like to dose more plant fertilizer than needed to ensure the are no deficiencies. It's called the EI method. In their cases, they would do a large water change once per week to remove the excess nutrients that the plants didn't use to prevent algae growth.

In my tanks I just like to keep organic matter and Total Dissolved Solids low, most times by the time i'm done siphoning and cleaning, I've already drained at least 50%.

I also age my new water and heat it up to the same temperature so there are no or minimal swings.

I will admit, i'm crazy conscientious about my fish, but this hobby has taken me to a whole new level. So much to consider!
 
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