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Re-acclimating to fresh water after 0.3% salt in QT

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I'm wondering if there's a schedule to removing salt from the QT tank after the period of 0.3% treatment has ended? I'm just about at the end of this period for QT and I'm not sure if I need to replace 1/3 of the water in the tank with fresh water, wait 12 hrs, replace more of the water with freshwater, etc. or can I just do one big 90-100% change at once to remove most of the salt from the tank? Can I do it over a period of several hours rather than 24-36 hours?

I'll be doing a week of Prazi with 0.1% salt so will a sudden drop from 0.3% salt to fresh water and/or water with 0.1% salt shock my fish?

Thanks! :)

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Conventional wisdom might say that gradual changes are always better, but my goldfish didn't mind large water changes after a salt (0.3%) tank treatment. After all, a salt dip at 3%, then back to fresh water (or even 0.3%), is undoubtedly more of a "shock" to the system, and most fish tolerate that just fine.

How do people do 100% water changes? Wouldn't the fish be flopping around on the glass/gravel/sand? Haha. I suppose one could remove the fish temporarily, but that sounds like too much trouble/stress to do for every water change.

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He's being QT'd in a 5 gal so I sometimes just put him in a cup, dump all of the water, and then put him back in the tank. Then there's never really a period where the salinity he is in changes significantly because the old water that is in his cup is at 0.3% and I add salt to the new water to get it to 0.3%. In an actual aquarium I don't think it would really be possible to do a true 100% water change :)

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I sometimes just put him in a cup,

I really miss those days. Now my goldfish is 14 inches long. He won't even fit in a 5 gallon bucket. I used to empty the water in my 140-gallon stock tank as low as I could before the fish started to panic, then refill, turn the filter on a while to mix it up, and then repeat. If we say that each time was a 70% water change, then two 70% water changes would be a 70% + (70% of the 30% left) = 91% water change. Which is the best I could do, if I felt really keen to make it clean. Edited by tharlow

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Oh my gosh! That's funny, I forget that most people on this forum probably have big goldfish and not tiny baby ones like me. I never really thought about how it would be hard to do water changes with giant fish in the tank. I also empty my main aquarium until the fish basically have their bellies on the substrate, but I estimate I'm still removing ~85% of the water this way. Anytime one of my friends or roommates watches me do a water change they get all panicky and anxious thinking my fish are suffering because I'm taking out so much of the water. If only they knew how ironic it is to worry about a giant water change in a goldfish tank harming the fish when most people rarely ever change any of the water in a goldfish tank/bowl. 

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most people on this forum probably have big goldfish and not tiny baby ones like me.

With any luck, and with the knowledge you already possess, your tiny babies will grow up to be... less cute, perhaps, but arguably with even more personality.

Anytime one of my friends or roommates watches me do a water change they get all panicky and anxious thinking my fish are suffering because I'm taking out so much of the water.

Haha. I get the feeling that my fish thought, "Hey, if the water keeps dropping like this, then we'll soon be left high and dry!" But they seem to realise after a while that it's a water change, and it's not a leaky tank.

If only they knew how ironic it is to worry about a giant water change in a goldfish tank harming the fish when most people rarely ever change any of the water in a goldfish tank/bowl.

Isn't that just it!!!!! Given how little I knew when I first started keeping goldfish, I think finding a goldfish forum like this one is one of the best gifts you can give your fish.

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Fish don't need a gradual change from salt to no salt.  You can take it all out at once with no problem.

 

In the usual procedure for a  full 100% water change is to scoop the fish out in a container, empty the tank, replace the tank water, then return the fish only (not the water it is in) to the tank.  You can use your hand, a net, or you can pour the water off and then dump the fish into the tank from the container.  Do whatever you find easiest.  

 

I only do large water changes in a hospital or quarantine tank.  In these situations, where you have to do repeated daily 100% water changes, "bucket to bucket" changes work best with far less effort.  

 

1. To do this, get another tank or plastic tote (not a real bucket) that holds 5 gallons or more, and put in the water you want to move the fish into.  

2. Then scoop the fish out with hands or net and put it in the second container.  

3. Empty and rinse the first container and add water, conditioner, and salt if you are using it.  

4. The next day, add the prazi or whatever medication you are using and move the fish to this container. (Some medications may begin lose effectiveness as soon as you add them to water.)

5. Go to #3.

 

I now do only 10% daily water changes in filtered tanks/ponds.  When I did 50% weekly water changes in aquariums, my long-bodied fish exhibited distress as soon as I turned off the filter for a water change, huddling in a corner on the bottom until the water reached normal level after the change.  Fancies that were in with these fish did the same thing.  Those in a tank with only fancies weren't distressed by the water change.

 

Think about it.  In nature, goldfish live in shallow water.  If the water level drops and they don't move to deeper water, they win their "Darwin Award."  So instinct makes them get as deep as possible when the pressure starts dropping.  Fancies have never lived in natural bodies of water, only in man-made ponds and containers.  While people undoubtably dump unwanted fancies in lakes, I've never seen a report of anyone finding these among feral goldfish.  They have apparently lost some protective instincts that they have never needed.

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When I did 50% weekly water changes in aquariums, my long-bodied fish exhibited distress as soon as I turned off the filter for a water change, huddling in a corner on the bottom until the water reached normal level after the change.  Fancies that were in with these fish did the same thing.

That is a very interesting observation! I didn't consider the "distance to the surface" as a measure of protection or satisfying their instincts to seek deep water. I may have inadvertently trained my goldfish to be so "domesticated" that he can't adapt to the "real world."

I will add one other cautionary remark for large water changes -- watch out if you have well water. My well water tests to have a dissolved oxygen level of zero (undetectable). So I put the new water into large "bins" with an airstone for about a day prior to try to oxygenate the water to near tank levels. Also, well water can contain dissolved gases (because the water is under pressure?), and so this also allows time for the water to "gas off." I definitely had dissolved gases, because you could see bubbles forming in the water if it was just allowed to stand. I have no idea what this gas/these gases could be (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, ?). I could not detect any appreciable odour, although the gassing off could have been happening so gradually that my nose didn't notice the smell.

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When I did 50% weekly water changes in aquariums, my long-bodied fish exhibited distress as soon as I turned off the filter for a water change, huddling in a corner on the bottom until the water reached normal level after the change.  Fancies that were in with these fish did the same thing.

That is a very interesting observation! I didn't consider the "distance to the surface" as a measure of protection or satisfying their instincts to seek deep water. I may have inadvertently trained my goldfish to be so "domesticated" that he can't adapt to the "real world."

I will add one other cautionary remark for large water changes -- watch out if you have well water. My well water tests to have a dissolved oxygen level of zero (undetectable). So I put the new water into large "bins" with an airstone for about a day prior to try to oxygenate the water to near tank levels. Also, well water can contain dissolved gases (because the water is under pressure?), and so this also allows time for the water to "gas off." I definitely had dissolved gases, because you could see bubbles forming in the water if it was just allowed to stand. I have no idea what this gas/these gases could be (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, ?). I could not detect any appreciable odour, although the gassing off could have been happening so gradually that my nose didn't notice the smell.

 

On the topic of off gassing your water, if its co2 you can tell by testing pH straight from faucet then let a container of water sit for several days and test again.  If the later test is a higher pH you have carbon dioxide in your well/tap water.

Setting it aside for 24-48+ hours prior to use as you do is very good, otherwise you risk pH swings in the tank which could cause complications.

Edited by AquaAurora

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On the topic of off gassing your water, if its co2 you can tell by testing pH straight from faucet then let a container of water sit for several days and test again.

Great point! In my case the pH is always as solid as a rock, out of the tap, or sitting aerated for days. My best guess is that it must be dissolved nitrogen? (since the oxygen test flatlines at zero). I am not a chemist, but I suppose it could be dissolved carbon dioxide (or a portion is), and the water is just sufficiently buffered to keep the pH stable. Edited by tharlow

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