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How Many Water Changes Do You Recommend


Nick

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I have a 20 gallon tank with 2 commons and 2 comets (dont say im overstocked, cause i already know) :'(

Right now im doing about 8 gallons a week water changes... (4 gallons each time : twice)

Today i decided to do 4 gallons Fridays, 2 gallons Wednesdays and 2 gallons Mondays.

Do you think i should cut down in gallons a week?, maybe to 6 gallons?

Please say what you think is apporiate.

Thnx

~Nick

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Please say what you think is apporiate.

Thats a difficult question to answer without a test kit. I already read in another tread that you cant get a test kit right now so you're in a tough situation because you are trying to cycle an overcrowded tank without knowing how high the toxin levels in your tank are on a giving day/time. It would help to know how many days the fish have been in this tank and what is the exact name of the filter you're using? Are you using a water conditioner or dechlorinator? I also noticed in another tread that you vacuum your gravel......since your tank needs to cycle you need to just change your water without vacuuming the gravel until the tank finishes cycling because alot of the good bacteria will need to form in your gravel. The good bacteria also needs to form in your filter so try not to change any filter pads if it isnt neccesary. Have you noticed the fish looking distressed or sluggish lately? Do they keep their top fins clamped down? are they spending more time than usual at the surface gulping air? If the answer to any of those questions is yes then its probably due to the toxin level (ammonia &/or nitrite) being high and when you notice them acting that way you'll know its a good time for a water change. I think i would at least double the amount of water you're changing just to be on the safe side. So instead of 4-2-2 try 8-4-4 with dechlorinated water. This is why people always recommend test kits...it helps you to know when your ammonia or nitrite is too high and that a water change is in order and it also tells you when the cycle is finished.........without one you are just left guessing. Fishkeeping is alot easier after the tank cycles because then you only need to do water changes once a week. Right now your fish are real small but the bigger your fish get the more often you'll need to do water changes even after your tank is cycled because you have 4 fish in a 20G and Commons & Comets grow fast.

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Ok..

Here are some answers.

My filter is a LifeTech AP1300F

I use Stress Zyme

Prime conditioner (removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia. Detoxifies nitrite and nitrate)

well, thats wierd, right now they are up the top. It doesnt seem like there is too much ammonia - i think they might just be having fun or something. Because they do go down.

I think they are up the top because they know when it is feeding time, so they all rise to the surface.

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My filter is a LifeTech AP1300F

After some searching i found your filter (Never heard of that brand in the US)and it looks like an internal/underwater filter thats similar to the Fluval3 and after doing the math and conversions i figured out that your filter is turning the tank over almost 7 times an hour which is ok for now. I'm pretty unfamiliar with internal filters but i'm guessing it has a filter pad like the other types....so like i said in my last reply dont change it unless you have to because its clogged up to a point that you have no water output....even then i would try just rinsing it in old tank water first to see if you can get it to unclog. If you dont need to touch it at all it would probably be best. I was glad to see you're using a good water conditioner to dechlorinate the water as alot of new tank owners make the mistake of not using it. Chlorine would kill the bacteria in your tank thus never allowing it to cycle.

well, thats wierd, right now they are up the top. It doesnt seem like there is too much ammonia - i think they might just be having fun or something. Because they do go down.

I think they are up the top because they know when it is feeding time, so they all rise to the surface.

From what you're describing it sounds like just the usual surface combing they would do when they know they're about to be fed. I was talking more about them doing it alot more than they normally would especially when they dont know that you're there and are not expecting food. The best sign to know there is a water problem is the clamped top fins and/ or sluggish or sick looking behavoir. I advised you to double the waterchange amounts to be on the safe side because you have no real way of knowing for sure without a tester.

The one question you didnt answer is how many days the fish have been in the tank. If its been anywhere between 2-5 weeks then its during this time period you should especially change more water as the worst toxin spikes usually happen during this time period.(again we cant know for sure without a test result) It also during this time that the fish might show some of those signs they are not feeling good that i described. Theres no way to know for sure when your tank will finish cycling but just as a point of reference, it took my 29G tank 6 weeks to cycle with 2 GF that were 5cm long each.

Hope that helped.

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BTW i just noticed you have a signature listing your equipment ...........was that there the first time i asked for more info? I'd feel dopey for not noticing if it was. The reason i'm posting again is to say i noticed you also have a heater.......if you kept the tank to 75-76F it would help to speed up the process and make the good bacteria stronger faster.

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Hi,

Like others have said, if your fish seem fine (swimming around, eating well, no clamped fins or staying at the bottom), they are doing ok for the time being (even though it is really too small of a tank--you already know will need to get a bigger tank sometime in the future).

I have two 3-3 1/2" goldies in a 20 gallon tank. Once a week I change out 25% (5 gallons). I vacuum the gravel and it get so gunky in just one week.

It sounds like your original plan is fine. *8 gallons a week water changes... (4 gallons each time : twice)*

Is your tank cycled? Do you test the water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? The only reason that you would need to change the water more often is if there is even a trace of ammonia or nitrite. Or the fish appear sluggish.

:)

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