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Water Change Question


Guest 2manypets

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Guest 2manypets

Hi everyone

I have 3, 3-year-old goldfish (the common kind) living in a 35 gallon aquarium. The tank has 3 plastic decorations and no gravel in it. It has the kind of filter that hangs on the back of the tank with carbon and a sponge filter in it. The fish are about 3.75 inches long each.

For the past (as long as I can remember) I change about 40% of the water about once a week. This is about 4 buckets full. The problem I have is that if I forget or put it off for a few days, my fish get fin rot. The ideal for my aquarium would probably be changing 4 buckets about every 4 days.

What I was wondering is if I change one bucket per day, rather than 4 buckets every 4 days, if these are equivalent. I see that water changes are generally recommended once a week, and I'm wondering if there's any reason for it.

The thing is I think I can more easily remember to do a bucket every day or so rather than try to remember every 4 days. My poor fish have fin rot again and I just hate seeing them sick.

What do you guys think?

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  • Regular Member

You could give it a try and see how it works out. Sometimes it is trial and error to see what works the best for your situation.

You could also add another filter to the tank. What is the size and brand of the filter that you have currently?

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Guest 2manypets

You could give it a try and see how it works out. Sometimes it is trial and error to see what works the best for your situation.

You could also add another filter to the tank. What is the size and brand of the filter that you have currently?

Hello, the brand is AquaClear if I remember right. It is the correct size for my tank, I think it is rated for 25-50 gallon tanks. I know I need a bigger tank but I can't afford it right now. Im hoping that changing the water enough will help the fish to stay healthy.

Oh I forgot to mention that I have the chemicals to test the water with, where you put the tank water into a glass tube then add the chemicals with an eye dropper. The solution changes colour and you match the colour chart to see what your levels are. My levels (ammonia, Nitrate and PH) are always normal but the fish still get fin rot. So something is wrong that my tests don't measure correctly.

Therefore I do not trust those tests to tell me if changing water everyday is as effective as changing more water once a week.

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i think if you change large quantities more often it would help. doesn't have to be 40%, but not only like a bucket. also, if you are, don't clean out the filter in tap water, and make sure the water you put into the tank has either been aged for a day or 2, or has a water conditioner in it, like prime because there are chemicals in tap water that kills the good bacteria in your filter and tank, and letting the water sit in an open container for atleast a day will allow those chemicals to... i dunno, evaporate? turn to gas? dissipate? i rinse out my filters in a bucket of tank water every time i do a water change, and the amount of crud that comes off is pretty amazing, and the flow rate on the filter increases too.

also, when i do tests, i always do it between water changes, so if i change it saturdays, ill check it on a wednesday or so, or check it right before i do a water change so i'll know what the levels are at their peak.

how are the fins looking? one of the major contributers to fin rot is stress, which could be caused by poor water quality or deseases, but weekly water changes should be good enough to keep water quality well as long as your filter is fully cycled.

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Doing water changes once a week is more of a general guide line to get people to do water changes. Otherwise a lot of people wouldn't do water changes at all.

Some aquariums need water changes more than others (depending on the size of tank, filteration and fish that are kept). I have one goldfish aquarium that I do a 75% water change once every 2 to 4 weeks. I have two other goldfish aquariums that I do a 50% water change everyday. I've kept fish for a long time so I know how often I need to do water changes on each tank based on size of tank, number & size of fish and filteration.

The recommended once a week water change doesn't apply to everybody. Experience has shown you that you need to do a water change more than once a week to have a healthy tank. Doing water changes with a bucket can turn into a lot of work. There are a couple ways that I've found that make a bucket water change easy (The other way is with a python). One way is to get a long hose for your syphin and stick the end out the window. That way you won't have to carry and dump heavy pails of dirty water just fill the tank. The other way is to get 3 pails. Before starting the water change fill and condition one pail of water (It can be right before the water change or a couple hours before, it doesn't matter). Then set the other two pails next to each other in front of your aquarium and start the water change. As one pail gets full continue syphoning just put the end of the hose in the other pail. When the two pails are full end the water change. Take the pail of water that you filled before hand and dump it into the aquarium. Then start filling the pail with water again. As your waiting for the pail to fill with clean water dump out your two pails of dirty water. After you dump the dirty water the pail your filling should be just about full. If you want of change more than 2 pails of water use the same method. Only instead of filling both pails and stopping. After you fill the first pail put the end of the hose in the second pail. As the second pail is filling dump the first pail. When the second pail is full put he end of the hose into the empty first pail. This can be done an unlimited number of times. I have done 150% water changes using this method. When doing a large water change like that you have to fill your pail and add water to the aquarium as water is being sythoned out.

For your aquarium I would probably do 2 pails every two to three days. I use 5 gallon pails. A 5 gallon pail might be heavier than what you want ot carry. That's just what I use.

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I would suggest upping your water changes, plus adding another filter to the tank.

When you have an overstocked tank, it can't hurt to add another AquaClear. The other good thing about having two filters on the tank, is that you can rinse the foam in one at one water change, then rinse the foam in the other at the next water change. I have two filters on all of my tanks.

The thing about water is that you cannot test for detrimental bacteria at home. We can test for alot of other things, but not bacterial loads. So, the water test results may be good, and the water may look clear, but can still high a high detrimental bacteria count.

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My method is a little obsessive, but my fish seem happy with it.

I have a forty gallon tank. I do an (about four or five gallons) change daily, or every other day if it's a busy season.

Thus it makes it easier on me -- "Did I do my water change today?"

I have a single five-gallon bucket, though the nearest water source is about twenty feet from my tank, and strengthwise it isn't that bad a haul. It takes me about ten to fifteen minutes to get a water change complete... and generally gives me a little of my exercise for the day. ;) Just enough to keep me moving.

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For me, I use python and change water twice a week. In wednesday, I change 50% and change 80% in Sunday. In that way, I make sure Nitrate is under 40. I test the tank water by Saturday and if Nitrate is over 40, I change 20%.

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The Python is wonderful for large tanks (55 gallons and up). But for the smaller tanks 29 gallons and less the pyton is to much bother. So I would prefer using the pails for the small tanks.

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2many -

Better off with fewer larger water changes to reduce nitrate to acceptable levels. If you are getting toxicity symptoms if you forget for a few days, then your nitrate level is likely to be very high (too high). Have you tested it? If so, what levels do you have?

Example - If you have 100 ppm nitrate and do ten 10% water changes (one after another), your nitrate level will be about 35 ppm. You will have changed the complete volume of your tank. You can accomplish the same result with one 65% (two thirds) water change.

You should do one or two very large water changes (around 75%) to get the level down, then go on an increased water change schedule.

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