Water changes

SilverMIssy

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Hello,

I just set up my 10 gallon tank with plants (anubias, java fern, marimo moss ball x2) last week as instructed by petsmart and to add my new betta into the tank a week later. Obviously they did not know what they were talking about because I have done a lot of research since and just realized that it takes longer for the tank to cycle than just one week so now i'm keeping a really close eye for the ammonia and nitrite levels.

As I'm reading about water changes I'm a little confused about how much, how often. I've been reading that 25% weekly water changes are good but then I see 50% water changes monthly. Am I to be doing 25% water changes 3 weeks out of the month and the final week a 50% water change? I know to not clean the gravel much, or not even at all, while the tank is cycling so right now I'm just focusing on the water changes. Thanks for the help.
 

BornThisWayBettas

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HI there and welcome to Fish Lore!!!!

I do 25% weekly on my 20g, which I'd say is probably going to end up being the bare minimum for me, with my planned stocking taken into mind. With just the betta, I personally think you'd be fine doing about 20% weekly. Just imo, so lets see what the others say.
 

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It depends on your bio load and tank size...being that you have a smaller tank, I would recommend a small water change once a week...maybe 15-20%..that's about what I did when I had my 10 gallon.

Have you added any bottled bacteria? Alot of people here recommend seachem safe start(I believe that's what it is called) me personally I use fluval products in my tank. Either way adding some liquid BB (beneficial bacteria) would be a good idea and help your tank to cycle sooner.....I am not too sure about when to start your water changes on a new tank, my start with the 10 gallon was a bit rough and I'd hate to give advice and see you have the same issue. I'm sure someone will post and let ya know!

And welcome to fishlore!

 
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SilverMIssy

SilverMIssy

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Ok, so you both recommend just doing 20% changes and no 50% change, unless of course the water is in desperate need to be changed due to high levels of ammonia from the cycling?

Shortfuuzze, I have not added any bacteria, though I've read about it. What I was told at petsmart is that the plants will stabilize the water after a week. Some of the people there said that betta's are not tropical fish and to not even worrying about waiting. I ignored that advice because betta's are tropical fish since they come from Thailand which I'm almost 100% sure is tropical... Anyway, point is the advice I've been given is pretty compared to what I've been reading online and on this forum. Thank god for modern technology :;ufo
 

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Greetings and welcome

Get yourself some stibility to start the cycle. Keep your eye on the readings. Next time give a fishless cycle a try. It can be done in right around a week.

Once the tank is cycled and has setteled down you can save yourself a lot of work by doing water changes based on the readings rather than an arbitrary percentage at a fixed time of the week. I have tanks that go well over a month with out a water change. I just top off with RODI water.
 

TexasDomer

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I do 25% water changes on my 10 gal weekly, and 25-40% changes on my 55 gal weekly. The exact amount is personal preference. I have a small bioload in both of my tanks, but I like to do larger changes (my cory cats are still growing, and larger, frequent water changes encourage healthy growth). You'd be fine doing 10-30% changes weekly on your betta tank. Your plants will take up some/a lot of the nitrates, so you could get away with smaller changes. But you're welcome to do larger changes too!
 

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I do anywhere from 30-50 weekly but I have a very heavily stocked tank and heavily planted so there's a bunch of waste to vacuum but 20 a week is ok. I have a friend that does 50 every other week
 
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SilverMIssy

SilverMIssy

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Thunder_o_b said:
Greetings and welcome

Get yourself some stibility to start the cycle. Keep your eye on the readings. Next time give a fishless cycle a try. It can be done in right around a week.

Once the tank is cycled and has setteled down you can save yourself a lot of work by doing water changes based on the readings rather than an arbitrary percentage at a fixed time of the week. I have tanks that go well over a month with out a water change. I just top off with RODI water.
Thank you for the welcome. I did do the fishless cycle for one week and then I added the betta but I've been reading it takes longer than just 1 week to cycle a tank. I'm going to get the water tested today and while I'm there buy a lot so I can do it on my own. Are you suggesting not doing a fixed water change schedule and just test every week and change only when the test kit levels tell you to do so?
 

TexasDomer

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You don't need to buy a lot to cycle your tank - ammonia from a hardware store or fish food to add to the tank (which will be converted to ammonia). You can also buy a bottle of TSS or Stability to add BB bacteria.

EDIT - if you're doing a fish-in cycle, don't add ammonia or extra food! Stability or TSS would still work, though Stability might be better so you can still do water changes.

You can do that (test and then change), or you could do a small water change weekly (after your tank has cycled). I usually test my water parameters during the week. If nothing is wrong, I'll change my water during the weekend. I usually only test my water multiple times a week if something is wrong. It's totally up to you how you do your water changes, as long as your fish are healthy and happy

EDIT - you should read up on the nitrogen cycle if you haven't already (click the words - they're a link!)
 
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SilverMIssy

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TexasDomer said:
You don't need to buy a lot to cycle your tank - ammonia from a hardware store or fish food to add to the tank (which will be converted to ammonia). You can also buy a bottle of TSS or Stability to add BB bacteria.

EDIT - if you're doing a fish-in cycle, don't add ammonia or extra food! Stability or TSS would still work, though Stability might be better so you can still do water changes.

You can do that (test and then change), or you could do a small water change weekly (after your tank has cycled). I usually test my water parameters during the week. If nothing is wrong, I'll change my water during the weekend. I usually only test my water multiple times a week if something is wrong. It's totally up to you how you do your water changes, as long as your fish are healthy and happy

EDIT - you should read up on the nitrogen cycle if you haven't already (click the words - they're a link!)
Thanks, I did read up on the nitrogen cycle a lot so I understand that part. I messed up listening to the petsmart people and just putting the fish in only after a week of cycling with just plants. I didn't know what it was at the time when I was speaking to them. I'll look into a stabilizer.
 

TexasDomer

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Seachem Stability If your LFS or petco/petsmart doesn't have it, you can order it online. Follow the directions on the bottle, and ask us if you have any questions
 
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SilverMIssy

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I just got my water tested and everything was perfect
 

TexasDomer

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Did you take it to the your LFS or to a petstore? Next time, don't let the tell you "good" or "perfect." Ask for specific readings.
 
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SilverMIssy

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Yes I did, and The woman really did know her stuff based off what I've been reading on this site so I'm happy about that. I didn't take it to petsmart. She did show and explained to me the specific readings. I'm just updating you guys everything is good. She told me to go back in a few days with another sample. The ph was still in range but she wants to check it again after a few more days.

The ph was slightly above 7.0 but I had added driftwood in there last night so that might make it a little more acidic and in better range.
 

Thunder_o_b

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SilverMIssy said:
Thank you for the welcome. I did do the fishless cycle for one week and then I added the betta but I've been reading it takes longer than just 1 week to cycle a tank. I'm going to get the water tested today and while I'm there buy a lot so I can do it on my own. Are you suggesting not doing a fixed water change schedule and just test every week and change only when the test kit levels tell you to do so?
I routinely cycle tanks in around 7 days. The BB colony is so large that the tank can be fully stocked at one time. But I do it a bit differently than most. Most people say to add clear ammonia till you get to 3-4 PPM I keep it at 12 PPM.

The reason for water changes (for the most part) is to keep nitrates controlled. If the numbers are good why do a water change? Especially if one is using RO or RODI water.
 

Dom90

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Thunder_o_b said:
I routinely cycle tanks in around 7 days. The BB colony is so large that the tank can be fully stocked at one time. But I do it a bit differently than most. Most people say to add clear ammonia till you get to 3-4 PPM I keep it at 12 PPM.

The reason for water changes (for the most part) is to keep nitrates controlled. If the numbers are good why do a water change? Especially if one is using RO or RODI water.
I normally dose 2 ppm to start my cycling also and usual finish in a week also. Last time I cycled a tank in four days by super dosing Stability.


 
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SilverMIssy

SilverMIssy

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Thunder_o_b said:
I routinely cycle tanks in around 7 days. The BB colony is so large that the tank can be fully stocked at one time. But I do it a bit differently than most. Most people say to add clear ammonia till you get to 3-4 PPM I keep it at 12 PPM.

The reason for water changes (for the most part) is to keep nitrates controlled. If the numbers are good why do a water change? Especially if one is using RO or RODI water.
That makes a lot of sense. Thanks a lot for the info. I'm going to go buy a test kit. Gotta do research on a good one.
 

Dom90

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SilverMIssy said:
That makes a lot of sense. Thanks a lot for the info. I'm going to go buy a test kit. Gotta do research on a good one.
Best one out there that is affordable is the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, it's only $25 or so at Petsmart.


 
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SilverMIssy

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You've been amazing help Dom90, I ordered the test kit last night because it's cheaper than buying it at petsmart. Canadian taxes are sooooo great

Anyway, thanks so much for yours and other's great info!!!! I'll be a pro in no time
 

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