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Too Many Water Changes?


Guest jinyu

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Is it possible to do too many water changes? It seems like every time I get on this site and read everyone's posts (especially in the disease section) I do another water change. Am I doing more harm than good?

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75-80% about 3 times a week. sometimes more. I have a post in the d&d section about a bottom laying (side laying??) and don't know if the two could be related.... Anyhow, do I do water changes too often? (I don't know the exact size of my tank, I have 2 fish a fantail and an Oranda, but I suspect I could be overstocked....) I will try to post a pic later

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Actually you could do to much...The way to know is your water tests. Also how clear your water is, what i mean is when you do do a water change does the water get cloudy or stay clear?

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the water is clear. I haven't bought any water testing kits, because I live in China and can't read or speak Chinese very well to explain what I want to buy. Are there any kind of "home remedies" I could do?

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ok. I will go today to get the water tested. In the meantime, here are the measurements of the tank since I don't know the exact gallonage (is that even a word?):

width: 19'' height: 10'' depth: 8''

I have one fantail and one oranda each about an inch and a half not including the tail. Is this too much fish for this sized tank? I did the typical "by some fish, stick them in a bowl, realize that wouldn't last very long, buy a tank, fill it with water and plop the fish in w/o cycling (although they never acted sick from that), read about koko's and find out everything I did was wrong :blink: " and now I try to make up for a possibly overstocked tank by doing very frequent water changes. sigh....

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Is that depth the length of the tank? if so your tank is only 7 gals, which isnt big enough for one fish...You would be doing alot of work trying to keep them healthy in a tank that small :(

So I would do is start to think about a bigger tank, you most likely after getting the water tested find out you will have to keep doing water changes like this, which can be stress full and the tank won't stabilize either :(

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Actually, with a small tank like that - massive water changes is all you CAN do to keep your fish healthy and happy, until you find something more suitable for them. Less water changes, and the toxins will pile up really fast in such a small water volume. You do have a filter on it though, right? :)

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yes, of course! But I do seem to have to restrain myself from cleaning too much (I would like to scrub all the walls of the tank and make everything sparkly, but I know that that would get rid of all the good bacteria and then I would have REAL problem.... I was just worried that I was also changing the water too often

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Yeah, the scrubbing down the wall thing is a bit of a temptation. For many people, so is the idea of the filter media needing to be clean at all times. Its a bit counterproductive, since - like you said - we are washing away the good bacteria.

A compromise I always can live with - I clean the front glass, and sometimes the sides, and leave the back untouched. :)

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you know, now that you mention it, I took off the intake valve from the filter and shook it with some tank water (there was a lot of stringy brown stuff...algae?) and also changed the filter cotton stuff (I don't know its real name; it's the stuff that catches the crud before it goes back into the tank- the last step of the filtering process). I wonder if that could have caused a crash in my tank cycle. My oranda has been bottom laying for almost a week now, but I haven't been able to by a water test yet (long story)

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you know, now that you mention it, I took off the intake valve from the filter and shook it with some tank water (there was a lot of stringy brown stuff...algae?) and also changed the filter cotton stuff (I don't know its real name; it's the stuff that catches the crud before it goes back into the tank- the last step of the filtering process). I wonder if that could have caused a crash in my tank cycle. My oranda has been bottom laying for almost a week now, but I haven't been able to by a water test yet (long story)

Edit: okay, I just noticed that you were talking about your mechanical filtration (which keeps the muck out of your filter). Replacing that shouldn't do anything to your cycle. The stuff you removed might have been algae. I don't know if removing that would have any effect on the cycle though :unsure: .

So ignore this :rolleyes: (but I left it, because it might be of help to someone):

[Did you remove all the filter material at once? If so, you would have also removed all (or at least most) of the beneficial bacteria in your filter, which would most definitely cause a cycle crash (unless you're really really lucky I suppose). Although I'd think that excessive water changes might be stressful for goldfish (which depends largely on the fish's personally though), doing regular (if not daily) water changes in an uncycled tank (which is what you basically have after a cycle crash) is the only think that keeps down the ammonia and nitrites (which are far more stressful than water changes), so I'd not advice to stop doing that]

Edited by Erinaceus
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Yes, I've been doing massive water changes (only leaving enough water at the bottom so the fish are still able to swim) every day. Do you think it's necessary to do them more often, like twice a day? How long until all the good bacteria grows back? (wouldn't it be nice to go to the store and buy a few ounces of BB? "Yes, give me a hamburger, fries, and a side of beneficial bacteria") :rofl Seriously, how long does it take? what does it like to eat or grow on? how can I speed things up?

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Yes, I've been doing massive water changes (only leaving enough water at the bottom so the fish are still able to swim) every day. Do you think it's necessary to do them more often, like twice a day? How long until all the good bacteria grows back? (wouldn't it be nice to go to the store and buy a few ounces of BB? "Yes, give me a hamburger, fries, and a side of beneficial bacteria") :rofl Seriously, how long does it take? what does it like to eat or grow on? how can I speed things up?

Actually you can buy benificial bacteria in a bottle :) . You may want to read this thread: CountryLovah is currently testing several brands of 'BB in a bottle' against each other and against 'adding nothing'. The thing is, they might be able to speed up you cycling, or they may end up doing nothing, but there is no real down-side to trying it anyway. Apart from that, cycling speeds vary between tanks and people, and it doesn't seem that you can influence them in other ways except by following the cycling procedure correctly and maybe by adding the BB in a bottle.

Doing a w/c ance a day would certainly be advisable when cycling, especially in a smaller tank. If you can test your water parameters, you can adjust your w/cs accordingly. If not, and if additional w/cs don't appear to cause additional stress, then it might be better to err on the side of caution and do the additional w/cs anyway.

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