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Water Changes


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  • Regular Member

I haven't done a water change on my tank since it cycled. I check the water maybe once a month for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, ph, and somthing else (I forget). And when the water level is low I add new water, w/ declorinator of course. But, my ? is should I perform water changes? If so, OOPS! and how much?? thank you! :)

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  • Regular Member

Ohhh...totally..water changes are very important to maintain the quality of the water in your tank...water changes help clean the poo and gunk that gets collected at the bottom of the tank....the gravel usually looks ok...but there is a lot of uneaten food and fish poo...that keep producing ammonia which leads to poor water quality...besides water changes help keep the oxygen levels good in the tank...25% every week is recommended...I personally love to siphon out water..this helps vacuum the gravel and bottom of the tank, thereby getting rid of everything collected there and also getting water out at the same time...You can get a siphon for about 3-4 bucks at any pet store...Collect the old tank water in a bucket (I like to have a dedicated one for the fish only..that way I avoid any soap or harmful chemicals getting mixed with it...)..In the old tank water, rinse the filter media and decor or plants you wish to clean...Avoid cleaning them in oure water becuase you could lose your useful bacteria and also avoid any chlorine getting into your tank...To replace the water in the tank use aged, conditioned water..I always have a bucket of water sitting out which keeps aging and gets rid of any chlorine in there...usually when the water evaporates, say in 4-5 days, you could take that as an indication for some water change...

Your fish will be happy and healthy..and your tank clean and nice...

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water change is VERY important along with gravel vacs ..nitrAtes should be no more than 40ppm which is on the high side and calls for a wc and with no waterchange they will sky rocket as evrything is being converted to nitrates ..also another thing that will lurk in water that is not changed is NASTY bacteria that will multiply like crazy and potentially harm your fish making it VERY ill , the only way to keep that low is waterchange after a cycle you should change 30-50% weekly your nitrates will tellyou how much so if you were at 20 ppm to bring it down to 10 calls for a 50% wc ..the lower the nitrates the better ,high nitrAtes will cause a fish to flip

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:wacko: oh no! I can't believe I didn't ask this sooner. I'm still a newbie at this...I should have asked more questions. I thought you only did water changes after a tank cycles...

btw I have a bare bottom tank and my filter picks up the waste on the bottom so I don't use a siphon, although I have one for my turtle tank I use a lot. I haven't seen Gabriel "flip". Do you mean he flips over or rolls over or something? I have liquid drop test in test tubes. It has a color chart and I usually go by that, how do I know the ppms?

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  • Regular Member
:wacko: oh no! I can't believe I didn't ask this sooner. I'm still a newbie at this...I should have asked more questions. I thought you only did water changes after a tank cycles...

btw I have a bare bottom tank and my filter picks up the waste on the bottom so I don't use a siphon, although I have one for my turtle tank I use a lot. I haven't seen Gabriel "flip". Do you mean he flips over or rolls over or something? I have liquid drop test in test tubes. It has a color chart and I usually go by that, how do I know the ppms?

on the colour chart does it tell you the range ???? and do not use the same sypon that you use for the turtle...aand yes flips as turned upside down ...can you give us all your readings like ammonia ,nitrItes ,nitrAtes and ph to see if there may be a problem so we can help you if needed :)

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pH is between 7.2 and 7.6 but not as dark as 7.6 so very close to 7.2

ammonia is at 0ppm (lol, it says it on the card. I didn't notice that be4)

nitrite is at 0ppm

nitrate is a little difficult to tell, it seems to be between 0 and 5.0ppm

and do not use the same sypon that you use for the turtle

I'm not trying to be combative, I'm just wondering why? Is it a transfer of bacteria or something? Could I steralize one of the syphons I don't use for the turtle in boiling water and keep it for fish use only if I need it?? I'm really sorry to have all these questions!!

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  • Regular Member
pH is between 7.2 and 7.6 but not as dark as 7.6 so very close to 7.2

ammonia is at 0ppm (lol, it says it on the card. I didn't notice that be4)

nitrite is at 0ppm

nitrate is a little difficult to tell, it seems to be between 0 and 5.0ppm

and do not use the same sypon that you use for the turtle

I'm not trying to be combative, I'm just wondering why? Is it a transfer of bacteria or something? Could I steralize one of the syphons I don't use for the turtle in boiling water and keep it for fish use only if I need it?? I'm really sorry to have all these questions!!

First, don't ever be sorry for wanting to know how to better take care of your fish. It shows you care! We love people who ask questions and we love to help!

Luckily, your water parameters are excellent and it appears that your tank is fully and perfectly cycled! But, you still need to do weekly water changes of about 50% and a monthly 100% change.

Yes, it is because the turtle could carry some sort of bacteria, virus, fungus, etc. Yes, you can sterilize one of your siphons and keep it dedicated to just your fish. I wouldn't use bleach or soap as it can permeate the plastic and remain. I would consider boiling and/or soaking in vinegar.

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  • Regular Member

I agree that even if your water looks ok, water changes are a good thing. I have a big tank with just 3 fish right now, and my perams don't seem to change at all, even if I go a week without a water change. I still do them though, because there are lots of things we don't test the water for, like bacteria. IMO water changes never hurt :)

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  • Regular Member

I once read a thread about an experiment done with two ponds (and for the life of me, I couldn't find this thread).

Two identical ponds, both with the same number of fish, equal starting size, and roughly the same amount of sunshine. The only difference was that one had a constant flow of fresh mountain water coming from some sort of spring, and the other pond, a closed cycle with the same perfect params (same as our aquariums per say). Difference?? The fish in the ever changing fresh mountain stream grew twice as big as the fish in the closed cycle of water. Aparently, fish excrete some sort of hormone that regulates their growth based on their surroundings. The more fish, the more of this hormone in the water, therefore the more signals that there is not enough room for continued rapid growth.

Darn it I wish I could find that article. Maybe someone here knows where it could be. I am almost positive it was on this board. I am also part of a Local fish club board, so maybe I will look there as well just in case. : )

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I once read a thread about an experiment done with two ponds (and for the life of me, I couldn't find this thread).

Two identical ponds, both with the same number of fish, equal starting size, and roughly the same amount of sunshine. The only difference was that one had a constant flow of fresh mountain water coming from some sort of spring, and the other pond, a closed cycle with the same perfect params (same as our aquariums per say). Difference?? The fish in the ever changing fresh mountain stream grew twice as big as the fish in the closed cycle of water. Aparently, fish excrete some sort of hormone that regulates their growth based on their surroundings. The more fish, the more of this hormone in the water, therefore the more signals that there is not enough room for continued rapid growth.

Darn it I wish I could find that article. Maybe someone here knows where it could be. I am almost positive it was on this board. I am also part of a Local fish club board, so maybe I will look there as well just in case. : )

I've tried looking for an original scientific article for such a study but without luck, possibly because such a study would have been conducted a long time ago (and would therefore not (yet) be included in the online databases). Hopefully someone the forum will remember which topic it was mentioned in...

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I should have done a search of the forum be4 posting b/c those links answer every question I have about this subject (now I have NEW questions). But it was nice to get a good response so thank you to everyone who posted.

1) since I haven't been doing water changes regularily will that growth inhibitor hormone permenately effect my fish?

2) do I need to add more salt after a water change? or do I not need any salt now? I had put in some salt to help w/ the cycling of the tank months ago.

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NOW I understand where the idea comes that the fish will grow in conjunction with the size of the container its kept in. I never could figure out why people thought that, and the growth inhibitor hormone was a new one on me!

I learn something new almost every day here! :exactly

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The fresh water change (even when the water tests good) can be compared to how we feel after winter. The house has stayed mostly closed up. Then spring comes & we open all the windows & start freshening & cleaning everything! It just breathes new life into your home!!

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On the growth inhibitor... now, what I've heard is that it restricts growth of the body size, but that the internal organs continue to grow, causing them to become twisted and deformed. Is there truth to that?

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Yes, that is true Lynda. This is one of the arguments I used to keep the store I work at from using goldfish as prizes during their carnival. The outer body doesn't grow, but their organs do, causing them a premature death, and probably a lot of pain.

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Guest Montman

I used to try to go too long between water changes. Back then I was keeping African Cichlids - and they are not very tolerant of Amonia, Nitrites or Nitrates.

I gave up keeping aquariums for several years and then 3 months ago I started again.

This time I was determined to do a better job keeping the tanks clean and looking good - and not overcrowding my tanks.

Ever since my tanks cycled, I've been doing an ~80% water change every week.

I can already see a world of difference.

In less than 3 months a couple of my GF have doubled their body weight!

The others are growing quickly too.

And none of them have any splits or tears in their fins.

They are so healthy, it's amazing.

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