Water changes

Discussion in 'Community Tanks' started by Thomas Tim, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. f-fish

    f-fish Well Known Member

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  3. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    Well basically we have very little water here in the cape and it isn't getting much better. Just better if we do wc less often

    Small and consistent or big and consistent keeps water chemistry similar. I just have big and messy eaters so i prefer to do bigger
     
  4. Aqua man

    Aqua man Active Member

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  5. fishanatic

    fishanatic Tales of the sword

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    @Hendre do you not feel that by leaving the tank for 3 weeks before such a huge water change actually does cause inconsistency with your water parameters? Surely it's a massive difference between what your tank water is 3 weeks later vs tap water?
    Do you test your water?

    Agree with what @f-fish has been saying. I don't know anything about water in the cape but here in jhb I will not do anything bigger than 50% water change at a time. Learnt that the hard way when fish died within a day after a water change

    Sent from my LG-D620 using Tapatalk
     
  6. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    This is only on my big tank. PH comes out at 8.2 and is 7.5 in my tank usually
     
  7. Pezulu

    Pezulu Active Member

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    Irrespective of on which tank of yours it is, I have to agree that doing an 80% WC every 3 weeks is irresponsible, and endangering the lives of your tank inhabitants.
    Doing a 20%-30% water change you are actually using less, or slightly more water, than doing the massive WC that everyone is warning you about.

    Personally, I would have taken the water shortage into account, as well as the living conditions of the fish into consideration, before acquiring them.
    Knowing that they are messy fish is no excuse. I would have waited before getting them, until the water situation had improved.

    Finally, a stable pH is more important than getting the pH count right.
    The pH out of the tap can be 8.2, which then stabilises to 7.5. That is fine.
    With smaller water changes the pH level will be more consistent, than causing a massive change in the pH.
     
  8. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    You guys have good points; but as long as the conditions are stable I am going to keep with my larger water changes. Fish also release hormones that limit growth as well as nitrates that can stunt them, the fish I keep can handle it. Just say we have 100ppm nitrate (as an example), 3 x 30% water changes would bring that down to about 33ppm whereas an 80% gets rid of 80ppm.

    It's not the most ideal and only happens on one tank. I used to do 50% a week, and still do 50% every second week on my small tanks.

    I'll do some calculations after my physics exam to get some clarity on nitrate creep :)
     
  9. Aqua man

    Aqua man Active Member

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    Glad i am not one of your tank inhabitants. 80% water change eish.
     
  10. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    I did some maths. Just need to go through it but seems right14978664116771200892296.jpg

    I'm far from the only one doing it. Can get away with less really, maybe 50% is more ideal
     
  11. Pezulu

    Pezulu Active Member

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    I applaud your enthusiasm and dedication to keeping your livestock happy, as well as taking note of environmental factors the area you reside in.

    There is only one issue I have though.

    We all know that the nitrogen cycle converts ammonia to nitrite, and then converts the nitrite to nitrate.
    The nitrate is then removed from the water column via water changes.
    What you are doing by postponing the maintenance, and then doing a massive water change, is in essence the very thing you are worried about, namely nitrate creep, but in reverse.

    Nitrates build up gradually over time in the tank, and the fish become accustomed to those levels.
    Some may start to display symptoms of nitrate poisoning at fairly low levels of nitrate, while others may only display problems at a fairly high level of nitrate build up.
    By postponing the water changes from weekly to maybe once a month, the nitrate levels increase, which can lead to nitrate poisoning, or nitrate creep.
    Should you then do the 80% water change that you do every three weeks, you are causing a severe drop in the nitrate levels, which the fish have acclimatised to.
    The result is nitrate shock.

    The livestock in your large tank are fairly messy, with the result that their tank becomes quite dirty quickly.
    The result is faster increase of nitrate levels, than if you had for example kept just shrimp in the tank.

    There is a reason everyone is saying smaller and more frequent water changes are beneficial to the fish, compared to large water changes spaced further apart.
    The reasoning behind that is simple. Stability of the tank.
    You are removing excess nitrates from the tank environment, without causing huge fluctuations in the levels.
    The nitrate levels in your tank are kept in a safe range, and the pH is also kept more constant, which is vastly more important than getting the right levels.

    The advice given on this forum is from members that have been keeping fish for quite some time, and is usually given through experience gained.
    It's your choice whether you use the advice, or ignore it.
     
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  12. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    It's a good outlay. I'm going to deffo consider 50% a week now that I'm looking at EI.

    This is I never get 20+ nitrate. Definitely don't want to push my luck

    Thanks for the advice guys :)
     
  13. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    @Pezulu
    I agree. Small frequent water changes are better than one large one
    Not only does it prevent big swings in nitrates, but also possible big swings in ph too
     
  14. OP
    Thomas Tim

    Thomas Tim Active Member

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    So a weekly small water change is better than a sudden large one

    Sent from my SM-T815 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    Yes it is.
     
  16. Aqua man

    Aqua man Active Member

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    I see more and more noobs dosing or wanting to dose EI if you have anubias african water fern java fern what is the point of dosing EI you will just run in to major algae issues down the line. EI is more for tanks with fast growing plants in a high light co2 setup.
     
  17. Aqua man

    Aqua man Active Member

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    Glad that we could make you see the light welcome from the darkside
     
  18. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    Not 100% true. I have crypts, lidwigia, vallis and other that will appreciate some dosing. I plan on a low scale EI that should hopefully not over saturate the water column

    I used to do about 60% a week. Was just looking to save water.

    Polypterus are tough creatures but rather safe than sorry
     
  19. Aqua man

    Aqua man Active Member

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    Yes you are right there. what do i know only been keeping fish and plants close to 43 years.
     
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  20. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    That's almost 3 times longer than I've been alive :eek:

    I appreciate some knowledge from OGs
     
  21. Aqua man

    Aqua man Active Member

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    Hendre by no means am i trying to down you but people longer in the hobby than your age is trying too give you good advise but it seems you ask advice and then totally ignore it and carry on with your own thing which i respect everybody is entitled to his or her opinion but then don't ask for advice if you know you are going to ignore it or still carry on with what you are doing. that said ask away if you need to know anything but please don't argue with people that knows. and i am still learning 43 years down the line.
     
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