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How often should I do water changes?


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I have a twenty high tank and two goldfish.  I known probably not the right size for the number of fish but I rent and am grateful they aren't forcing me to have a smaller tank.

IMG_20210407_182848.thumb.jpg.7a1aba1f3f1e1a47ecc9907e7aabd7b3.jpg

This is a current photo of my tank.  (And laundry basket and soap.  Oops) I already know there are problems such as too many fake plants and the yarn mop.  I'm thinking of removing them next water change.  Not all the fake plants though. At least not for now.

I got a marine land filter which runs most of the day.  Here is a photo of the hood and filter.  Still need to "fix" the hood.IMG_20210407_183425.thumb.jpg.dfb6a38c2d1561814a9515737dc10445.jpg

How often should I do water changes?

 

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It looks good! In a tank that size I’d be going 1-2x per week, 80% changes. Your water tests will tell you if that’s frequent enough, if your nitrates are climbing above 10 ppms from water change to water change that means you should probably step it up to twice per week, and make sure to knock out your mechanical filter media monthly. 

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I would also maybe suggest removing the gravel, or at least make a much thinner layer of it. Doing that will make cleaning 10x easier for you :) 

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agree with Mikey, just enough gravel to cover your bottom to give the fish to forage and to keep nitrifying bacteria established. I would go with either 2 50% water changes per week or one 85% change along with vacuuming your gravel bed. A 20 gallon high is really pushing it with two goldfish

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A good rule of thumb for water changes is 10% of your aquarium size once a week. Use one of those gravel vacuum tubes to clean all the poop and debris settled to the bottom or mixed into your substrate. If you have a lot of live plants rooted in your substrate then you only really need to clean/vacuum the top layer as the plants will use it up as fertilizer. A win win - healthy plants and a healthy aquarium ecosystem. 

If you think you are still having water issues you can always take a water sample to any aquarium or pet store and they'll test it free of charge.

It could be a alternation to your filter medium is needed.

Remember to always clean your filter medium in aquarium water, NOT TAP WATER! The chlorine in tap water will kill all your good bacteria you worked so hard at building up the right balance.  :fishtank:

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@EdmGuppyGal actually that’s far too little for most goldfish, but they’re heavier waste producers than most freshwater home aquarium species.  We don’t recommend less than 50% water changes weekly, and more is often preferred. Either two 50% changes weekly or one larger 80% one works well to keep nitrate in check. Otherwise many owners find it creeps up into the dangerous zone very quickly and makes the fish ill.

For those of us with dodgy tap water that isn’t great quality or already has ammonia or nitrates present, the smaller water changes multiple times per week are a better idea. But yeah, 10% is too low, even for many tropicals. In a lightly stocked tank with large surface area, or an algae filled pond, it’s a different story, though :) the rule of thumb varies a bit there.

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Best if:

- Monitor the levels of toxicity daily to see yourself the answer to your questions, ie test for Amonium / Nitrate / Nitrite.

- You had a LONG 20g tank, instead of a HIGH 20g tank.  More swimming room and more oxygenation.

- 1 Goldfish instead of 2 (unless they are baby), especially with fake plants and 1 small filter.

- Real Plants instead of fake, to help filter your water.  Real underwater plants would be Anubias and Java Fern.  Or, Emergent Plants such as Pothos (has to have all leaves out of aquarium, only the green part which will make roots). 

- Aquafilters instead or in addition to marineland.   Or more even.  Also, try to see if you can fit any plants emergent safe plants in your aquarium.

- A REAL aquarium stand that is well leveled.  With what you have, your tank may eventually get cracks / leak.

And yes, this means making actual room for the aquarium, and to account for splashes / water leaking when doing water changes, and thus having a cover on the floor for it.

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Regular Member

Is it okay to do a hundred percent water change?  If so, what is the best way to do it?  My aquarium walls have a dirty film I guess on the glass.

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17 minutes ago, Miss Bad Wolf said:

Is it okay to do a hundred percent water change?  If so, what is the best way to do it?  My aquarium walls have a dirty film I guess on the glass.

To get off the film I just use a piece of filter floss pad as an algae scouring pad and usually do a 50% water change, scrub the glass while the water level is down, refill to about 80%, and then drain back down and refill again.  Two partials change a significant portion of the water volume, and usually plenty for proper glass cleaning.

 

Now if you genuinely need a 100% change I do the same technique as above, but instead I’ll drain it down to an inch or two of water, just enough to cover the fish. Then refill it halfway, drain back down to an inch or so, and refill it all the way.  This is effectively a 100% change for anything except getting actual toxic chemicals out of the tank.

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