Water changes on 500L tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Ness, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Ness

    Ness

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    Hi all.

    I am planning ti set up a 500L tank. Lots of logistics to account for.

    Inhave a few questions:
    1 - how do you do water changes on a big tank?
    Do I siphon off the required water? What do you drain it into? And then how to get the water replaced and all at the same temp... I was thinking of improvising a fitting for hose onto kitchen tap. So I can premix the cold&hot water to the right temp.
    I read Zoom's article on the bucket and masking tape method, so obviously a bucket can be used to top up another bucket with a submersible pump.

    2- Size of water changes required?
    Anyone have any idea of a schedule Incan anticipate? I would like to do a planted tank.

    But a 50% water change is a LOT of buckets... Anyone care to share their methods with me? I plan to place the tank in an old inside fireplace that is out of commission. It is in our lounge. Hubby won't be happy with a Jojo tank in the lounge...

    3- Filtration:
    What filtration would be best? Can I get away with a canister filter?

    Thanks so much everyone
     
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  3. OP
    Ness

    Ness

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    Damn autocorrect. Incan = I can
     
  4. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Hi @Ness I’m following this thread out of interest in what the other guys would say, my biggest tank is half that size. What I can say is:
    - the frequency and volume of water changes depend almost entirely on your stocking levels, feeding schedule and hence the amount of waste the fish create
    - a heavily planted tank definitely helps, especially with fast growing plants that help suck up nitrates etc. you’ll stil need to do water changes
    - you’ll have to get a feel for your tank. Liquid test kits for nitrates but also ammonia and nitrites will help guide your water change regime
    - on average I probably do a 20-30% wc every week/ every 2 weeks on heavily planted tanks. But this depends greatly on what’s in the tank/ what’s happening in the tank. Personally I feel smaller, more frequent water changes works best for my livestock as it offers more consistency.
    - if for whatever reason equipment is hard to access, one is less likely to stay on top of maintenance
    - I’m struggling to wrap my head around manual/ bucket water changes for a 500L tank. I know many folks DIY an auto wc system
     
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  5. andries

    andries

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    A few things jumps to mind. Is your tank close to a window? Can you drain the water to your garden. Can you pump water from outside into your tank? What i've got working is a old checkers trolley, cut the top off and fitted a 120L plasic tank. After w/c I fill it, push it in its parking space in the garage, throw in the small 40 l/h water feature pump to circulate and cover it. When doing w/c push trolley to closest window, connect hose an fill tank.
     
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  6. mxz

    mxz

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    In my past experience with 650L tank, which I no longer have but miss dearly, I had an internal filter/sump with a strong pump. So I would connect a hose to the pump and then drain 20%.

    Draining it that way took about 5-10 minutes. I would then fill up directly from the tap with hose pipe and dose the entire tank with dechlorinator.

    This method worked for me without any issue for 3+ years and I kept a variety of cichlids.

    I agree with @A new day that depending on how heavily planted you go and stocking level, your water change schedule might vary.

    There's no way I would use buckets for water changes on 500L tank.
     
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  7. ZubairKhan

    ZubairKhan

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    Also following for my own education, I do water changes on a 100l tank and one bucket already annoys me... Something so big, you have to make it automated otherwise it just becomes something you slack at eventually...
     
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  8. top dog

    top dog

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    as mentioned before it all comes down to how many fish are in the tank creating a bio load, and how well your filter is able to cope with the bio load. i have 2 large 25mm hose pipes that i drain tanks directly into my garden onto the grass. filling always way longer.
    on my cichlid tanks i full with hose pipe directly, this is normally a 50% water change and i does dechlornator on tanks volume.
    for my rays i pre treat water and heat it up to 16-20 in winter before adding it with a pump.
    if you set up well a 50% water change on 500ltr tank should take less than 30 minutes.
    if my wife is around to help i can do 50% water changes on 2 700ltr tanks and a 37.5% change on a 2400ltr fill 1400ltr water prep station in 1hour 30 minutes, this includes changing filter sponges and socks.
     
  9. TheGrissom

    TheGrissom

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    Personally I would just get a long hose and run it into the garden for WC. Put a filter on the end so you dont suck out fish, start the syphon and sit back and relax while the tank drains. For filling up I would get a submersible pump and a 200 L barrel that I can connect and use for refilling the 500 L. If you fill the barrel a few days before your WC then the water will be at whatever temp the ambient temp and can be treated externally before being used.

    A canister filter will work, my preference is always a sump - both have advantages and disadvantages. Depends on what you want to do with the tank at the end of the day.
     
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  10. JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    I have a ~450 L tank (150 cm). I do a 20-25% water change every 3 weeks or so. This is quite low because: I have a very heavily planted tank, my stocking levels are quite low (lots of fish but they are small, like tetras, etc.), and I have a big sump filter. I know myself and how lazy I can be, so I over-specced my sump (100+ L, 120 cm tank) with 10+ kgs of bio/ceramic filter media and it works well.

    So, what I do when I do a change: I bought a bundle of 3x 120 L plastic tubs from Plastic Land (or West Pack or wherever). They nest in each other nicely for storage and the top one keeps all of my water change material like syphon, bucket, etc in it. I unstack them and syphon out water into one of the tubs until it is almost full: as much dirty water as I can take from the sump and the rest from the tank itself. I leave that tub and use it to water the garden over the next couple of days.

    I take the remaining empty tub and put it on a chair (balanced carefully) and fill it from the garden hose. I add Seachem Prime and, in winter, hot water from the kitchen tap. Then, as it is elevated on a chair, I just syphon it into the sump and turn the sump pump back on. (Sure, a dedicated pump might work better but I don't have a spare.) Bit of a procedure but, as I mentioned, I don't do it very often.
     
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  11. Whoknows

    Whoknows Comp Coordinator

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    Thanks for creating this thread, been looking for ideas also for larger tanks and water changes :thumbup:
     
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  12. OP
    Ness

    Ness

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    Thanks everyone.
    Good suggestions here.

    On a different note, noob question, how do I reply to a reply and not to the whole thread? I see it is possible with the orange quote in other threads, but I can't seem to find how to do it
     
  13. Whoknows

    Whoknows Comp Coordinator

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    Click on qoute in the lower right corner of the message you want to reply to. Then it will show like this.
     
  14. OP
    Ness

    Ness

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    Thank you kindly, WhoKnows
     
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  15. OP
    Ness

    Ness

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    I would be very interested to see more regarding an automated system
     
  16. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    For my 250l tank I use a 150l barrel but tend to change a bit more than that every week/biweekly. Big water changes also keep things stable if done frequently enough, and help prevent major pH swings with our notoriously soft water here in the Cape.
     
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  17. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    @Ness roughly halfway into the video she briefly talks about (and shows) how she does water changes on her 125 gallon hillstream tank, also well water like yours.

     
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  18. OP
    Ness

    Ness

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    Thank you kindly
     
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  19. Gavin the Babrabrian

    Gavin the Babrabrian

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    Interesting read as to how people go about water changes. see some of you mention you fill the tank directly from the tap the ad de-chlorinator (Prime in my case).

    Questions surrounding this method:
    1. temperature drop and how this affects your fish?
    2. while filling the tank you adding in chlorine and chloramine before dosing, does this not have an effect on the fish?

    I'm asking because I literally drain the water 50% (usually) then fill 3 x 25-liter plastic drums add prime and put them in the sun to warm up before I add it to the tank. as you can imagine this takes a while as I need to do 6-8 drums depending on the amount I'm changing.
     
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  20. Whoknows

    Whoknows Comp Coordinator

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    Mix hot and cold water from the tap to minimise the tempeture drop
     
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  21. Gavin the Babrabrian

    Gavin the Babrabrian

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    Don’t have a hosepipe connection for my faucet. Have to use garden hose and tap outside.....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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