Water change max - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Water change max

Hey everyone
Ive searched the internet and these forums but cant seem to find what im looking for or am wording it wrong. However, i have a 50 gallon tank and had a little bit of ammonia at around 1 ppm. I did a water change and got it down to around .5. I want it at zero. I am willing to do water changes as often as possible. I spend hours a day reading up on the fish and aquarium or doing cleaning, but i want to know whats the maximum amount of water changes i can do in a given period? I would do water changes repeatedly until ammonia reaches zero but i think that would cause some stress factors on the fish. Any advice is appreciated
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 12:31 AM
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You need to determine what is causing the ammonia reading and correct that issue. Things like overfeeding, dead vegetation, dead livestock, etc. can cause ammonia issues. It could also be that your tap comes out reading ammonia to start with.

A paranoid shrimp keeper, is a successful shrimp keeper.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 04:08 AM
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as long as your matching temps of the water you could honestly do a 100% change. discus breeders do it daily often.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Kampo View Post
as long as your matching temps of the water you could honestly do a 100% change. discus breeders do it daily often.
yup do as many as you want given its the same water each time.good advicer


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 07:31 AM
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I agree with turning completely, but to answer your question you can do a lot very frequently. I just wouldn't do a 100% water change and clean your filter at the same time. The combo of both of those could really disrupt function of your biofilter for a few days.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 07:51 AM
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I dunno, I used to run HOB filter's and cleaned em each week with large water changes.
But is a good point bout cleaning too much in the tank all at once.
Only time I would be fearful of performing large water change is if water changes have been few and far between.
In that case,it would be best do to smaller water change's while gradually working up to larger % of water changed.
Also would be fearful of large water changes if source water was very different from tank water due to buffers used in the tank and source water did not match the tank water pH.GH.

Last edited by roadmaster; 08-11-2017 at 08:10 AM. Reason: additional
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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I have been doing water changes roughly every 3 days. Everyday i scoop whatever debris is floating around. Yesterday when i cleaned i had to reprime my canister filter and it shot out a bunch of white stuff. I tried to scoop out most of it but idk what it was. I also found what was a dead shrimp or fish but it was very little left so it was hard to identify.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Stayinblitzed View Post
I have been doing water changes roughly every 3 days. Everyday i scoop whatever debris is floating around. Yesterday when i cleaned i had to reprime my canister filter and it shot out a bunch of white stuff. I tried to scoop out most of it but idk what it was. I also found what was a dead shrimp or fish but it was very little left so it was hard to identify.
The white stuff could just be calcium deposits or something. Is your water hard? Anyway the dead whatever it was is most likely what caused your ammonia spike. If you have some water conditioner like Prime it will detox the ammonia for up to 48 hours to cover you during your 3 day water changes while you get the levels down. I'd probably do a big one all at once though if I knew that was the source.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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The kh was at 1 or i guess could be lower it just changed the color at 1 drop and the gh was around 9 when i keasured everything a couple days ago. Ill keep doing water changes until its gone. Ill probably do a couple when i get off work today. Is the calcium build up anythung to worry about?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Stayinblitzed View Post
The kh was at 1 or i guess could be lower it just changed the color at 1 drop and the gh was around 9 when i keasured everything a couple days ago. Ill keep doing water changes until its gone. Ill probably do a couple when i get off work today. Is the calcium build up anythung to worry about?
Your kH is 1? What do you mean do water changes until its gone? The ammonia or the kH?

With a gH of 9 I actually feel less like its calcium, unless you are adding a lot of calcium through like a liquid supplement or something... are you? Was the white stuff flaky?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes kh is 1. I meant do water changes until ammonia is gone. The white stuff wasnt necessarily flaky. It looked soft as it floated in the water and when i scooped it out. I would think it would have to be something building up in the filter. I havent been adding any chemicals besides prime and root tabs and i had to dose some meds at one point. I have the eheim 350+ pro canister i believe. I only used the filtering products that came with it. As for the white stufd Ill see if i can find out what it is online or at least a pic of it.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 02:04 PM
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Yes kh is 1. I meant do water changes until ammonia is gone. The white stuff wasnt necessarily flaky. It looked soft as it floated in the water and when i scooped it out. I would think it would have to be something building up in the filter. I havent been adding any chemicals besides prime and root tabs and i had to dose some meds at one point. I have the eheim 350+ pro canister i believe. I only used the filtering products that came with it. As for the white stufd Ill see if i can find out what it is online or at least a pic of it.
Ok. I'm not sure if you are keeping the kH low on purpose (for CRS or something), but if you aren't that low of a kH makes your pH prone to crashing which could have been the cause to whatever died. What substrate are you using? Have you ever used any kind of pH down chemical? I'd raise your kH to at least 3 to make your pH a little more stable. You can do this by adding a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This will also raise your pH slightly.

What was the med used? As of right now I'm unsure of what the white stuff was. Maybe some form of algae...? Hard to say. I know I have a brown kind of algae that lives in my tubing and when I clean the filter and turn it back on it blows a decent amount out. Mostly harmless though.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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The substraate im using is flourish black sand. Im not keeping the kh that low on purpose and ive looked into it. I have seen that you can either add coral or baking soda. The problem is ive also read that messing with the kh might mess the balance of the aquarium up. Do you know if i would add baking soda every water change or just every so often. I really do want to make the fish the happiest and healthiest i can. I have no problem putting the work into it.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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So when i got home i decided to do another water tank and rinse the filter. I opened the filter and their were 2 shrimp in there. I have no clue how they got in as they were far to big to squeeze through the slits in the intake for the filter. Itleast i think so. Then when i hooked the filter up after cleaning it refilled with water and pushed bubbles put alond with a crap ton of the white stuff. I took some pics this time so here they are. The first pic is what i scooped out and put in a little holder tank to take a better pic. The second is it floating in my tank.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Stayinblitzed View Post
So when i got home i decided to do another water tank and rinse the filter. I opened the filter and their were 2 shrimp in there. I have no clue how they got in as they were far to big to squeeze through the slits in the intake for the filter. Itleast i think so. Then when i hooked the filter up after cleaning it refilled with water and pushed bubbles put alond with a crap ton of the white stuff. I took some pics this time so here they are. The first pic is what i scooped out and put in a little holder tank to take a better pic. The second is it floating in my tank.
That stuff just looks like the crud that lines the inside of the tubing to your filter. It is mostly harmless but can be removed if you clean your tubing. Most people don't bother but it will blast that stuff out whenever you mess with the filter. Whats more important is figuring out whats going on with the shrimp.

As for the baking soda you should only have to adjust your kH once initially and then just when you do water changes, assuming nothing is messing with your kH (which nothing should be)
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