Question When should I do a water change?

Pet Detective

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I set up my 65 gallon planted aquarium earlier this year (February). After I got through the first nitrogen cycle, got the Co2 tank working right and added some fish and plants, everything finally came together by April. I know I need to do a water change, and probably should have by now, but the water is so clear, the fish and plants are healthy, and water tests are spot on perfect. Do I have to do a water change to keep my aquarium looking beautiful, or should I wait to see signs of trouble? You know the old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here is a picture of it
 

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CrazedHoosier

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Pet Detective said:
I set up my 65 gallon planted aquarium earlier this year (February). After I got through the first nitrogen cycle, got the Co2 tank working right and added some fish and plants, everything finally came together by April. I know I need to do a water change, and probably should have by now, but the water is so clear, the fish and plants are healthy, and water tests are spot on perfect. Do I have to do a water change to keep my aquarium looking beautiful, or should I wait to see signs of trouble? You know the old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here is a picture of it
Wow, beautiful tank and beautiful fish! So your tank has been coming back with 0 ammonia, and 0 nitrite since April?
 

kallililly1973

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Welcome here! Clever handle :). So i take it you have just been doing top offs to compensate for evaporation? I'm a firm believer in weekly 50-75% WC's. and if your tank water hasn't had a good change in over 7 months i would probaly get on a schedule to start doing them. The test kits only test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, GH, and KH aside from getting any extra kits there are still things in the water we don't test for. Thats just my .02 on it.
 

Blondeath

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You haven’t done a water change in 7 months? That’s amazing. What are your nitrates at?
Your angels are beautiful!
kallililly1973 said:
Welcome here! Clever handle :). So i take it you have just been doing top offs to compensate for evaporation? I'm a firm believer in weekly 50-75% WC's. and if your tank water hasn't had a good change in over 7 months i would probaly get on a schedule to start doing them. The test kits only test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, GH, and KH aside from getting any extra kits there are still things in the water we don't test for. Thats just my .02 on it.
wouldnt the poster probably need to start with a small water change? As depending on the difference from tank water to tap make too much of a change and shock the fish?
(Just asking to learn, no disrespect!)
 

kallililly1973

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Blondeath said:
wouldnt the poster probably need to start with a small water change? As depending on the difference from tank water to tap make too much of a change and shock the fish?
(Just asking to learn, no disrespect!)
Good point but as long as the new water is treated with Prime there should be no ill effects as a very high percentage of your BB is in the filter not the water. so as long as the new water going in is as close to the same temp and parameters you will be fine but waiting 7 months it may be a good idea to test the tank water and water source before doing any WC.
PS no disrespect taken. I'm still learning as well close to 3 years in the hobby :)
 

Blondeath

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kallililly1973 said:
Good point but as long as the new water is treated with Prime there should be no ill effects as a very high percentage of your BB is in the filter not the water. so as long as the new water going in is as close to the same temp and parameters you will be fine but waiting 7 months it may be a good idea to test the tank water and water source before doing any WC.
PS no disrespect taken. I'm still learning as well close to 3 years in the hobby :)
So in this situation as long as ph and gh etc are close then a big change would be ok?
 

FitSoldier

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I don't really believe in the weekly water changes thing (despite the fact I change my water weekly). I think everybody's schedule should be different. When I started back again, I tested my tank water for nitrates to see the level. Then every 2 days test again. It just happens that at the end of the week, nitrates were close to 40PPM for my tank. So then I do a 90% water change to immensely reduce the nitrates. Then the next week around the same time, nitrates are around 30 - 40PPM. So that's what I've been doing. But for example, if you only have one fish in a tank, you can get away with monthly water changes.

So in my opinion, it depends on the rate of your nitrate levels and how/when they increase to that undesirable level for you.
 

david1978

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"Best practices" is weekly water changes but yes each aquarium is different depending on stocking, plants, rate of evaporation and source water make up. I do monthly on my current set ups due to the fact that they are way understocked. Now that the coal stove is burning I may have to go to every 3 weeks since my evaporation rate now will be higher and my tds will build up quicker.
 

Sorg67

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I have wondered about this too. I have been doing weekly water changes, but nitrates run consistently below 5 ppm so I wonder if it is really necessary.

Some have suggested that there are other things to consider other than nitrates. Replenishing oxygen and minerals. And diluting toxins other than nitrates. I guess weekly is safe. But it seems overkill in some cases and not enough in others.
 

kallililly1973

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Like everyone stated every tank is different. I got into the weekly routine cause my tanks although they are heavily planted they are also heavily stocked and a while back when i tested my Nitrates they were between the 40-80 color can never tell the difference and i usually slightly overfeed to get food to everyone. So i'll stick with my 50-75% WC's weekly cause thats what works for me and my tanks. Also i see all my inhabitants a ton more active right atfer a WC. ( not that they aren't in between them ) Some may find every other week or 3rd or 4th week to work for them. And i enjoy doing them :)
 

Blondeath

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I also do water changes twice a week and I do 50-75%. Saturday or Sunday and a Wednesday.
 

FitSoldier

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Sorg67 said:
I have wondered about this too. I have been doing weekly water changes, but nitrates run consistently below 5 ppm so I wonder if it is really necessary.

Some have suggested that there are other things to consider other than nitrates. Replenishing oxygen and minerals. And diluting toxins other than nitrates. I guess weekly is safe. But it seems overkill in some cases and not enough in others.

I have a 3" Green Terror in a tank by himself and I don't do the weekly water changes, but biweekly instead. Even then it's still more than needed but I am trying to grow him out so I try to keep water as clean as possible. I think if your nitrates level for that tank is less than 5PPM at the end of the week, it kind of is overkill. But then again, some people like overkill (like me and my weekly 90% water changes).
 

Sorg67

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FitSoldier said:
I have a 3" Green Terror in a tank by himself and I don't do the weekly water changes, but biweekly instead. Even then it's still more than needed but I am trying to grow him out so I try to keep water as clean as possible. I think if your nitrates level for that tank is less than 5PPM at the end of the week, it kind of is overkill. But then again, some people like overkill (like me and my weekly 90% water changes).
I have also wondered if 90% water changes would be stressful to the fish. If you leave them in the tank, you are leaving them in a tiny bit of water. And removing them is stressful. I have also wondered about water parameter changes with such a big water change. I suppose if the tank water came from the same source, it should have similar parameters. And if you are doing big water changes regularly, the parameters will not drift too much from the source water. And temperature matching the water will make it less stressful. I use room temperature water which is about 4 degrees less than tank water. I have not done more than a 50% change since I added fish. I replenish water slowly over an hour or so. That way any small differences in water temperature or other parameters have a chance to change gradually.
 
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