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Old 01-09-2007, 11:50 PM   #16
Mangala
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nah, I'm just too lazy for 50% weekly. probably because it involves a lot of tripping over cats to and from the bathroom... I'm more of a 50% monthly kind of gal.
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b3x View Post
yes, I guess a 50% weekly water change would be effective at maintaining a healthy tank.

However, the logistics of that would keep me from doing it regularly. Do you have a 40 gallon tank circulating water all week?
A python or a simple hose and powerhead are not a problem?
Even if you do RO mixes etc, the [pump can add water anywhere and hose is not hard to pull out and hang on the tank to fill or drain, larger hoses can drain a 90 gallon tank in 5 minutes or less if you use 1-1.5" ID tubing.
Refill takes about 10 minutes with most bathrooms or with a strong pump.

I like to change the cat litter more than once a month, I flush daily, and brush the teeth 2x a day, not sure why taking good care of fish are any different.

I've heard every excuse to avoid a water change, most are rationizations for a lack of motivation really. Be honest:-)

Going with a non CO2 approach and balanced tank should be the goal if that is the case, thus you still have no need to cycle a tank.

So either way, you still never need to "cycle" with NH4.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:37 AM   #18
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I don't change water as often as I should, so I do large water changes. I just empty out half the tank, fill it up from tap (temperature matched), and add dechlor as it fills. Some folks add enough dechlor for the entire tank, some just add enough for the new water.

Some delicate fish don't care for the large water changes, though. I prefer to change about 30% but I am a bit of a slacker and don't do it often enough.
Please name one fish that does.........Discus and Altums, which by mostr standards are sensitive wild caughts, get 50-80% 2x a week or more.
Mine bred(the Discus).

Must like it.
Plants and every species I've ever kept for over 30 years have never had any issues with large frequent water changes, and I sure have grown more species(500-600) and plants(300?), as well as bred(40?) a lot more fish than most........
They do seem to look better, the tank looks better and I never have so called cycling issues, even after 30+ years of keeping fish.

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Tom Barr
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
A python or a simple hose and powerhead are not a problem?
Even if you do RO mixes etc, the [pump can add water anywhere and hose is not hard to pull out and hang on the tank to fill or drain, larger hoses can drain a 90 gallon tank in 5 minutes or less if you use 1-1.5" ID tubing.
Refill takes about 10 minutes with most bathrooms or with a strong pump.

I've heard every excuse to avoid a water change, most are rationizations for a lack of motivation really. Be honest:-)

Going with a non CO2 approach and balanced tank should be the goal if that is the case, thus you still have no need to cycle a tank.

So either way, you still never need to "cycle" with NH4.

Regards,
Tom Barr
emptying my tank is not the issue, i siphon right into my sump pump and out into the yard it goes. grass always grows very well there.

i guess your right about the motivation ... it is hard to be motivated to make a dozen trips up and down the basement stairs carrying 5 gallon buckets of water, while avoiding cats, dogs, and kid. tanks are in basement, no sink in basement or sink, so aside from running a garden hose (cold only) through the basement window, i am a bucket carrying fool.

my issue is that i never thought it was a great idea to go straight from faucet to tank without dechlorinating, as the chlorine was bad for the bacteria. thus i added dechlorinator as i was filling each bucket.

it seems to me that your assertion is that cycling isn't an issue if you just change water constantly, which seems completely plausible to me.

p.s. putting together a hose from my kitchen sink to basement is on my list of things to do ...
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:06 AM   #20
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That's a strange basement that has no hose bibs. Where is your washing machine located?
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:24 AM   #21
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emptying my tank is not the issue, i siphon right into my sump pump and out into the yard it goes. grass always grows very well there.

i guess your right about the motivation ... it is hard to be motivated to make a dozen trips up and down the basement stairs carrying 5 gallon buckets of water, while avoiding cats, dogs, and kid. tanks are in basement, no sink in basement or sink, so aside from running a garden hose (cold only) through the basement window, i am a bucket carrying fool.

my issue is that i never thought it was a great idea to go straight from faucet to tank without dechlorinating, as the chlorine was bad for the bacteria. thus i added dechlorinator as i was filling each bucket.

it seems to me that your assertion is that cycling isn't an issue if you just change water constantly, which seems completely plausible to me.

p.s. putting together a hose from my kitchen sink to basement is on my list of things to do ...
I feel your pain, but put that brain to work, figure out a truly lazy way to reduce work, provide a better place for fish etc.

You can do this two main ways: non CO2 approaches, they do work well and with kids, cats etc, not a bad idea........

Or run tap in there, but not from the faucet garden hose, run the tubing from the bath tub, where you have both hot and cold, the hand can measure differences of about 1-2F, and add a valve at the end so you can shut the water off after filling and then go up and shut off the bath faucet.

I drain, then dump the dechlor in and toss the refill hose in and crank it.
I've done this with all sorts of fish.

Salt water you must pre mix in tubs, trash cans etc.

Make things simple for your self, I'd not be motivated either if I was still part of the bucket brigade!!!

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Tom Barr
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:06 AM   #22
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Now I know why I did an automatic water change system. Your description of running up and down the stairs with 5 gallon buckets just doesn’t sound appealing unless you make it part of your workout routine. Then I’d increase your water changes to at least three times a week.

Seriously, I would look at running some line in the basement (I assume you have a drain in the basement) or consider running ¼” tubing down there like that which is used for ice makers. That should be easier to hide and will be sufficient to perform slow water changes. You can drain and fill at the same time. Here is link that calculates the effective volume change while draining from one end and filling in the opposite end (http://www.angelfish.net/DripSystemcalc.php). Lots of ways to attack the problem. Good luck

JT

Last edited by jt20194; 01-10-2007 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:46 PM   #23
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this thread ought to be moved to DIY

yes there are numerous ways to make water changes easier. The supply to kitchen sink run right over the tank. Maybe I should post on the DIY forum regarding ideas for a water changing solution.

Tom, When you say "non-co2" are you referring to a method which relies more on filtration rather than water changes?
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:08 PM   #24
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I have 3 cats and live on the 14th floor in a Manhattan building... enough said~
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b3x View Post
this thread ought to be moved to DIY

yes there are numerous ways to make water changes easier. The supply to kitchen sink run right over the tank. Maybe I should post on the DIY forum regarding ideas for a water changing solution.

Tom, When you say "non-co2" are you referring to a method which relies more on filtration rather than water changes?
Yes, but one idea can solve another, so it's not off topic here.
Non cO2 planted tanks are an excellent method, quite rewarding as well.

No water changes are the standard there, often form 6 months or miore at a time.
Slower, more mangable growth.
More time before things go off the cliff if you neglect things.
Takes patience, but the reward is amazing.

Balanced fish loads.
Moderately low light, 1-2w gal range using T12 light lighting or T8's.
Fish waste = plant demand for nutrients.

I top off with inorganic ferts once a week etc , maybe once every 2 weeks, I feed fish, I add water for evaporational losses only.

You neede a lot of plants from the start and easy to grow plants, moderate fish stocking levels, shrimps, SAE's etc are good to have etc as well.
Don't uproot and move plants around, top them mainly for pruning.

You can search my site for the non CO2 method, or look up Diana Walstad's book.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:56 PM   #26
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Default The way I ended up cycling my tank

Good day all,

What follows I had never done before and not certain to understand how it worked.

Little Hardware info 90g tank, Eheim Pro II, one big piece of drift wood, a rock or two 3 bags of flourite and 3 of small gravel, Coral life 4x65W inline 300W heaters. (see pic) [hum cannot add pic and I do not have a URl to link to my pics???].
One day I decide to 1/2fill the tank and start one of the filter (Eheim) I added water treatment and then had to leave, tank at 72F.
When I came back had to go to work, the office kept me busy the rest of the week. The tank went a bit green and cleared out during that period(?)

The next weekend I though; well better start cycling that tank, for whatever reason I decided to take some water with me to the LFS.

Once there the staff tested the water and every parametres were perfect, with maybe the exception of the PH @ 6.6 the tank was cycled???

I purchased a multi purpose Bio support, 9 blk line & 4 bleeding heart tetras, 1x small Nympae Lotus Zenkeri; Really nice red Lotus plant! 1x Microsorum Pteropus windelov; Nice green leaves & nicely shaped
and 1x Hygrophila Corymbosa Angustifolia; This one has nice long stem and cute leaves too.
I added the bio support solution and cranked in the 300W inline heater to reach 79f.

Once that was done I added the fish and the plants.
Then I started the second filter (Fluval 303). that was 2 weeks ago, since then I removed 5 liters of tank water and added 10 liters of treated water.
The plants are really nice and the fish real happy.

Question is how did that tank cycled itself in the week previous to the addition of the bio load?

There was no amonia or anything else, how could the parametres be all normal?



Thanks,

Cheers,

a.
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:11 AM   #27
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I just did a quick browse through this thread so if I repeat anyone's ideas/methods, please forgive me.

One thing I did not see was the exact species that were to be kept or where they were coming from. Most of the South American stuff available is wild-caught and most of the failures in keeping these fish is because that detail is overlooked. I'll state some things here that some may agree with and others will strongly oppose.......... such is the world we live in.

If you are getting South American species I am assuming they are from the Amazon Basin. If so, it will usually work in your favor to lean towards setting the tank up with soft water. I use RO water but if you do not have an RO system then fill the tank with distilled water. This may sound a bit radical but take into consideration that SA fish have never, NEVER, been exposed to the harmful effects of ammonia, and low hardness/low ph lessens the effects. Another plus to consider is that bacteria has a tougher time blooming in low hardness/ph, which just may give your new fish the time to adjust to whatever is in your water.

I am not saying that you need to keep these water parameters but, you would be better off being prepared to maintain the soft water for a period of time to let the fish settle in.

If you do run into problems with the fish the best approach is "Don't Panic". Usually higher temps and some treatments that won't harm the cycling process will do the trick. Stuff such as formalin and/or salt, depending on the species.

For cycling I agree with the others about planting the tank first. The surface area of the plants will give the nitrifying bacteria places to colonize. If you don't have the plants in the tank then you can use plastic plants or virtually anything that will provide a lot of surface area.

The water change recommendations I read were fine for an established tank but not for a new tank. I prefer to cycle a tank with the fish that will be in that tank as I believe were the wishes of the original poster. You are building an eco system here and the fish are only part of the equation. The nitrifying bacteria need to feed to survive but you will also have the fish to worry about. I will say that a 50% water change per week will most likely result in dead fish in a new tank setup. Doing so would allow the wastes to build up to harmful levels and at the same time you would be removing too much of what the nitrifying bacteria need to colonize. I would recommend frequent (daily) small water changes (no more than 15%) for the first two weeks and keeping the feedings minimal at the same time. If you can do more water changes that's even better.

After you have the fish to the point where you feel they are healthy and ready for some changes then you can introduce them to your tapwater. One species will react different than others and some take longer to adjust. The ability to do water changes will be your best friend. Using meds to remedy what your tapwater is causing can be your worst nightmare. Even using dechlor can cause you more problems than most people imagine.

Again, this is just my opinion and nothing in this hobby is carved in granite.

Good Luck and if I can be of any help at all just let me know.

RMC
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