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Do You Still Do Weekly Water Changes On An Understocked Tank?


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  • Regular Member

This may be a total newbie question but if i ever want a really big tank my answer has to come back good. Now i am not sure of tank sizes so i am just going to say over 100 gallon tanks in general.To do 80 percent water changes on a tank that size is a LOT of water. Do you do weekly water changes on a tank that big or can you stay understocked? Say if you have a ...100 for example, could you instead of maxing it out with 10 fish go with 6 or 7 fish and do biweekly water changes?

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  • Regular Member

I think it all depends on your ammonia and nitrate and nitrite levels and how comfortable you are leaving your fish in the water.

I might lower the amount changed each week to something more manageable rather than skipping it. Do you use buckets or would you get a Python? Pythons make water changes a breeeeze.

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I would still do weekly. Cause they still eat and poop.

But I only do huge water changes once a month or every couple. I think you could do with just 50% and then once a month or every couple do larger ones.

A python is a much when you have big tanks.

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I'd probably still do weekly water changes with a tank that size. I'm a big water changer (usually 85%), so maybe I'd cut down on the amount changed to, say, 50%, like Hidr said. But I think the goldies really enjoy a blast of fresh clean water every week.

Steph, is there a ginormous tank in your future??? Do tell!

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I have a python already. Can't imagine changing water in my 55 gallon any other way.But when you run a python you are running water the whole time it is emptying. And my water bill is sky rocketing. Almost 200 dollars this month. We live in a small town and they just seem to charge whatever they want. I really want to go bigger though. Right now i have a 20 and a 55. I think i would like to up grade the 55 to a 75. But we all know i will wind up still using the 55. Then i could use the 20 for bettas. Maybe i could up filtration and maybe extend the intakes all the way to the bottom of the tanks.And do a 25 percent one week and 80 percent the next?

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I have a python already. Can't imagine changing water in my 55 gallon any other way.But when you run a python you are running water the whole time it is emptying. And my water bill is sky rocketing. Almost 200 dollars this month. We live in a small town and they just seem to charge whatever they want. I really want to go bigger though. Right now i have a 20 and a 55. I think i would like to up grade the 55 to a 75. But we all know i will wind up still using the 55. Then i could use the 20 for bettas. Maybe i could up filtration and maybe extend the intakes all the way to the bottom of the tanks.And do a 25 percent one week and 80 percent the next?

Ohhh, so it's more about the water bill than the time it takes, I see. Yeah, that is a concern for sure. But I think 25% one week and 80% the next would be totally fine, as long as you keep an eye on the parameters!

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I agree I think it's still best to do weekly... But like Hidr said, maybe just do 50% most of the time, and on occasion do one big water change. The thing is, the main reason we do weekly water changes with goldies is because they produce so much waste that it's hard to keep the nitrate levels down otherwise. And to remove all of the poop and other waste that's in the tank.

But the other reason I think it's important to stick to WEEKLY water changes is because if you don't, there is more risk as far as shocking the fish because of a drastic change in water quality. I was thinking about this recently and thinking to myself.. "why is it that goldfish need weekly HUGE changes, and some tropicals can get away with a 25% change monthly". And I think it's because since MOST tropicals don't produce as much waste, the nitrates don't get as high, so a 25% change monthly keeps them in check, without shocking the fish. 25% still leaves 75% of the water in tact, so it's not a big stress on them, but it still reduces the nitrates. And ur still removing waste by gravel vaccing.

But With goldies, (and of course other messy fish like oscars for example) a 25% change is not enough. Some of us MAY be able to do a once a month 75% water change and still be able to keep the nitrates technically in check. BUT, if you were to do a 75% change, when the fish are not USED to large weekly water changes, it's totally changing their environment on them. And in that case a large change can potentially cause stress, which weakens the fish, leaving them susceptible to disease.

Am I making any sence? I feel like I am rambling (I know I am rambling) but it all makes sense in my mind, I just think sometimes it comes out wrong when I type it! LOL

Anyway, my POINT IS, you could probably keep the nitrates in check by doing 50% weekly OR 75% bi weekly.. It's pretty much the same thing.. Your levels would pretty much be indentical and the amount of OLD water left in the tank is still the same too. For example. Say you fill two tanks. The first you do a 50% weekly water change. That means after week one 50% of the original water is left. The following week you would do another 50% water change leaving only 25% of the original water left at the end of week 2. In tank two you are doing bi weekly 75% changes, so you are also left with only 25% of the original water at the end of week 2. So in a sence, the water quality should be similar with both methods.

BUT by doing it weekly, I it's less stressful for the fish since you are keeping them in the habit of changing the water once a week. The water is constantly being refreshed so its not really CHANGING the environment they are in. Where as every 2 weeks, or every month, a large water change would be more of a shock to their system.

Consistency is really the key, and that's why I think 50% every week is better than say a 25% one week and 80% the next like you suggested.

Have you ever noticed that sickness seems to come about after you've skipped a weekly water change? I have!! I've been pretty strict about keeping up with my water change schedule. Even during sickness, or depression. But there have been a small number of times something came up and I missed a change or two. And it DOES seem that soon after, I see sickness. I think the fish have actually gotten more used to the water they are in, then u do a large change 80% or more to make up for the missed week and all of a sudden the fish are getting a huge blast of tap water that they simply aren't USED to anymore.

WOW look at me go! When I'm back, I'm really back huh?! No short answers from me!!! LOL Hope that helped, and made sense at least SOMEWHAT! LOLOLOL

Final thought.. I know what you mean about the water bill being high. I hate it. But remember.. keeping up with the weekly changes will HOPEFULLY prevent SOME sickness, and we all know that typical sick fish equals massive water changes, sometimes daily, and sometimes expensive meds. Even salt can be expensive in a large tank like that!!! So in the long run, I think ur are saving money.

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I LOVE your big long know what your talking about answers. :heart:heart:heart:heart I've missed them. So glad you are back.And i totally get what you are saying. Steady water changes are best, the bigger the better,and keep a watch on my nitrates. I think i am going to start using my python the regular way as a syphon. Do any of you do that? Better to have that fresh water in my tank than going down the drain. So that will save water and that equals bigger tank!! Thanks again. I appreciate it.

Edited by Anielynn70
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I have a python already. Can't imagine changing water in my 55 gallon any other way.But when you run a python you are running water the whole time it is emptying....

I have a python too, for my 29 gallon. I only run the water to get the suction started, then turn off the tap and let gravity do the work. Sometimes I even unscrew the adaptor from the tap and put it down in the bottom of the sink to get it flowing faster. I have also heard of people putting their hose out to the garden to water the plants while they drain the tank.

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I'm so very happy I stumbled upon this thread! I've been wondering this very same question-- even though I only have a 30 gallon. Sue, I miss your posts too! I'm glad to have you back (and be back myself)! Oh man, turning the faucet off while the python is draining is definitely going to save money on my 90% weekly water changes!

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Sue covered everything I would have said! My main point was how much will the fish have to adapt to sudden changes in their environment. I'd still do weekly even if understocked. Biweekly is a very large gap and may potentially weaken the fish from constant attempts to quickly adapt to the changing water conditions.

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YAY! I am so glad that actually made sense!!! lolol And it's nice that my big long answers are actually a GOOD thing to some people! LOL (Trust with me, on a forum they may seem good, but live with me for a week and u'll all say "can u be quiet for a second?!) LOL

I like the idea of using the python to get started, then letting gravity work! I think thats an awesome idea for you AnieLynn! I don't think it will work for me though, because the majority of my tanks now are downstrairs BELOW the sink I hook the python to. So they would have to travel UP. Even USING the python WITH water pressure it's pretty slow! BUT, I COULD try putting the python outside and draining it that way! I'll have to give that a try!!

DESIREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was JUST thinking about u the other day!!! I happened to be glancing at my friends list on Koko's and I was thinking how I hadn't heard from u in a while and was wondering how u were! Got your PM - I'll head over to your oranda thread in a sec! Glad to see you!!!!!:heart

Sue covered everything I would have said! My main point was how much will the fish have to adapt to sudden changes in their environment. I'd still do weekly even if understocked. Biweekly is a very large gap and may potentially weaken the fish from constant attempts to quickly adapt to the changing water conditions.

I always laugh when someone comes along after me and says the exact thing I was trying to say in a simple, direct, concise form! It took me an entire page, and Lupin was able to get the point across in a small paragraph! LOLOL Ahh well!!! LOL

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LMAO! Sue, at least your long explanation will still make sense to some who still cannot understand why such thing should be dissuaded.heartpump.gif We're not the only readers, ya know. What about the guests and new members who never tried a forum before?krazy.gif

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  • Regular Member

They help! When i was getting started you (and newbiefishgirl) talked me through everything, i would read and reread your posts. You always do your best to explain as clearly as you can. Your posts are a wealth of information. Keep them coming!

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Awwwwwww Thank you!! I totally remember when you first joined actually! :-) I'm glad we helped so much! That makes me feel so good!

It's funny.. I remember when I first joined too, and I was so completely clueless! I came on here with 6 fish in a 29 gallon all dying from Ich and all the members started talking about water changes, and gravel vac and salt and I was like "omg I am so CLUELESS". It's still funny to me sometimes when I try to offer advice because it wasn't that long ago that everyone was helping me!!!!!

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I know a little asian fish guy told me to put salt in my goldie tank and i was like WHY would i do that there fresh water ...then i asked around and it was explained to me and well geee that makes perfect sence why doesnt EVERYONE tell you to do this i feel soo bnad for the people that truely love fish but will never find Kokos theres nothing worse then failing at fish keeping. Ive learned so much from being here and no one has ever made my silly questions seem silly. Back to the topic a bit i pump my water right out the window its so awesome makes it easier but i still have to fill it with a 5 gallon bucket sigh

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I never use the sink when draining the tank with the python. I either put the python down the close chute and let the water go down the basement floor drain. Or I put the python out the window or door. But never the sink.

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Well.. actually... a lot of people try to KEEP salt in there tank, and THAT'S not such a great idea... If you KEEP salt in your tank, then the fish may be more immune to it when a disease actually arises and you need salt to TREAT it. So it's normally a good idea to always keep fresh water, but have salt on hand in case of an emergency. Not keep tanks salted at all times

(I'm not sure how you meant that, but I wanted to say that just in case :rolleyes:)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

I know a little asian fish guy told me to put salt in my goldie tank and i was like WHY would i do that there fresh water ...then i asked around and it was explained to me and well geee that makes perfect sence why doesnt EVERYONE tell you to do this i feel soo bnad for the people that truely love fish but will never find Kokos theres nothing worse then failing at fish keeping. Ive learned so much from being here and no one has ever made my silly questions seem silly. Back to the topic a bit i pump my water right out the window its so awesome makes it easier but i still have to fill it with a 5 gallon bucket sigh

Howdy

My tank is currently understocked and I don't do large water changes, only if i see a problem or I get a build up of algae. Usually weekly, I'll empty 2 buckets. Very quick and easy.

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