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Hey everybody! I have a 10 gallon tank which never has perfect levels. Whenever I change a filter pad, my nitrites spike. Whenever my nitrites are fine, which is not often, something else is wrong. I heard that some people with small tanks do 50% changes weekly and then 100% changes monthly. Is this a good option for me? My tap water is perfect so it seems like a good idea to me!

Since my tank is so small I cycle with high levels and with only one filter the bio-wheel cant do it all cycle wise. I cant wait I get my new tank in!

So if the 100% water change thing is an option, how does that work? How should I execute it? What should I do with my fish?

Thanks Guys!

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Guest Orandaa

What kind of filter do you have?

What I do with my 10 g is 40-50% water changes, twice a week. I may do one on Sunday, then on Wednesday or Thursday. I do a 100% water change about every month.

How I do that is I take a large bucket (holds about 20 g) and I put all my current water in that. Along with my fish, ornaments and airstone. I then clean anything that needs heavy cleaning, but don't clean all the algae. I then treat the new water, put it in the tank, and let it cycle for a while. Then put the fish back in.

It's important that when you clean any ornaments from your tank during a full water change that you dont rinse them under tap water as this will kill most good bacteria, and potentially add harmful bacteria. Rinse it off in your tank water that you poured into the bucket, or other container.

Edited by Orandaa
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Hello,

Could you tell us the nitrite and ammonia readings?

This will help to answer your question and lead to solving your water quality issues :)

I'm guessing that either:

1. Filtration isn't up to it because it can't process the fish waste quickly enough from ammonia to nitrites to nitrates; or

2. Filtration is up to it, but you don't have enough bacteria growing in your filter.

How long have you had these water problems and how exactly do you clean? Orandaa has given very good advice on cleaning with tank water only.

Apologies for so many questions, but even partial answers will help find a way.

Regards

Slugger :)

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  • Regular Member

Hi there,

While waiting for your answers to the excellent questions from the members above, I wanted to ask some additional questions.

I heard that some people with small tanks do 50% changes weekly and then 100% changes monthly.

Actually, about 50% w/c per week is basically what most members do, regardless of their tank size. In the case of a smaller tank, such as 10 gallons, I would in fact view that as a minimum. But I should note that all in all, the amount and size of your water changes should always be dependent on your bioload (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate; hopefully only the last one): you need to do them in such a manner that you keep your nitrates under 40 ppm (at the least), while your filter should normally make both your ammonia and nitrite level be zero at all times (is this the case?).

Since my tank is so small I cycle with high levels and with only one filter the bio-wheel cant do it all cycle wise. I cant wait I get my new tank in!

Could you tell us what kind of filter you are using (which type, which size, how many gal/hour)? That might give us some idea of whether it is up to the task.

Whenever I change a filter pad, my nitrites spike.

Which filter pads are you talking about specifically, and how often do you replace them?

My apologies for the seemingly random questions, but as Slugger mentioned, the more information we have, the better we should be able to give advice :) .

Edited by Erinaceus
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