Water change : frequency vs quantity - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Water change : frequency vs quantity

Hi.

Which one do you think is better, higher frequency of water change at lower quantity % OR larger quantity of water change at lower frequency?

(ie: 30% change 1 x every 6 days VS 60% change every 10 days)

I opt for higher frequency at lower quantity as this is the most logical way to simulate natural condition where water is constantly at flow. I heard that smaller tank requires more frequent water change than the bigger ones. I changed my 25 gal 20-30% every 5-7 days. Of course this is such a hassle for the busy, and troublesome too (spills!!). Giant tank with 150gal+ in my opinion should have a series of plumbing installed to ease water change, just plung in the hoses and open the valves - fresh water displaces the old one... how I love it that way!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 02:25 PM
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Actually I change about 60% every 7 days (once a week).

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 03:09 PM
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My highligh tanks get a 50% to 90% water change every weekend.
my low light/no C02 tanks get a water change when it needs pruned, once each 2 or 3 months.

Craig

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 03:43 PM
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Because I'm trying EI, I have to reset my water prams every week = 50-60% water change every monday.

That's for the main tank.

Now the other tanks.... water change? what water change?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
My highligh tanks get a 50% to 90% water change every weekend.
90% water change? Would it left just a few inches from the gravel? Does it adversely effect the plants (limp,broken,etc)?
how about tank inhabitants other than plants? Do they cope well?

In my case where the light is rather high and desely planted and quite heavy bio load, what range do you think the best? The plants seems to love it when I change the way I do.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman
90% water change? Would it left just a few inches from the gravel? Does it adversely effect the plants (limp,broken,etc)?
how about tank inhabitants other than plants? Do they cope well?

In my case where the light is rather high and desely planted and quite heavy bio load, what range do you think the best? The plants seems to love it when I change the way I do.
I'll do that too once in a while...maybe every other month or so to completely reset the tank and give it a really good vacuuming. No adverse effects since there are enough plants in there. The only PITA is all the plants flopping over and stuff when the water is drained that much. Just keep an eye on the fish and once they literally start running out of room to swim about, then its time to stop. The water is about 6 inches or so from the substrate (in my 65g)

As far as your tank, most of us actually change between 50-60% every week.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'll give it a try changing more water (40-60%) and see if it gives better effect to the plants once in a while. Maybe they will start pearling.... or maybe not. Mine is such a densely planted one and 3.6WPG with well dissolved DIY CO2 but I guess the water never gets saturated enough because of the strong current.
It has been 3 months since setup and the system is starting to balance and kicks in. I guess I'll have to fill the water back in slower than I take it out in order not to shock poor fishes and shrimps.... poor thing they will be running out of water and then shocked by sudden change of water quality
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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How about giant displacement tanks? I'm setting up my 260gal and wonder if it can be done in less frequency due to the nature of more volume is better stability?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 06:21 PM
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Depends on the fish load really, and the quantity of what you are dosing. If in a 260g you have lots of fish and still dose as EI recommends, then the frequency and % of water change should not change.

Tom Barr had recommended a while back to start using a TDS meter to determine when a water change is due. You may want to invest in one (cheap and very effective) and just do some daily analysis' on the tank water increases to TDS so you can judge for yourself when too much build-up is occuring.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 06:39 PM
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Would topping off with RO water change the frequency of needed water changes? My thought is if I am dosing basically everything my plants need, and not over dosing them, The buildup would be caused by evaporation (up to a gallon a day depending on my room temperature). I have an RO system that I use to top off, though I use regular tap water for the water changes. If the evaporation is replaced with RO water (TDS of 2) could I safely go a few weeks without a water change? Any idea on what level would be too high as far as TDS for plants? Shrimp? Fish? I would be testing for KH, GH, and Nitrates to make sure they stay in reasonable parameters, but the only other testing equipment I have is a TDS meter, and a pH Meter.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 06:53 PM
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Tom has stated in the past that the once a week reset is kinda arbitrary. Nothing bad about stretching it out to two week intervals. I've gone as much as three weeks between 50-70% water changes in my 125, but after two weeks the water is noticably stained from the driftwood so asthetics come into play as much as parameter resetting.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharada
Tom has stated in the past that the once a week reset is kinda arbitrary. Nothing bad about stretching it out to two week intervals. I've gone as much as three weeks between 50-70% water changes in my 125, but after two weeks the water is noticably stained from the driftwood so asthetics come into play as much as parameter resetting.
How much would the tannins from the driftwood affect your chemistry? I have heard that they can be quite acidic, which I would imagine changes the KH to CO2 tables. Does anyone know how much this effects your CO2, or rather how much it effects your measurement of CO2? This should probably be in a new thread, but as this would be larger the longer you wait for a WC...


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safado
Would topping off with RO water change the frequency of needed water changes? My thought is if I am dosing basically everything my plants need, and not over dosing them, The buildup would be caused by evaporation (up to a gallon a day depending on my room temperature).
how do you know you are dosing just want your plants need? sure you can tell if your NO3, Fe, PO4, and other testable amounts are correct, but you don't know if you are overdosing K or general Traces.

So adding RO water will merely drop the ppm down of the excesses at first, but you will still get a rolling build-up over time. Plus, does the tank really evaporate that much? I have an open top Paludarium with high surface agitation and heavy lighting (so high temps), and I only notice a drop of about 5-10% at most over a week span.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safado
How much would the tannins from the driftwood affect your chemistry? I have heard that they can be quite acidic, which I would imagine changes the KH to CO2 tables. Does anyone know how much this effects your CO2, or rather how much it effects your measurement of CO2? This should probably be in a new thread, but as this would be larger the longer you wait for a WC...
Affects the KH/pH/co2 chart quite a bit. The best way to test this is to stop injecting co2 for several days (let it all aerate out, except for atmospheric levels). Then do a KH/pH/co2 chart test to see what it "claims" your co2 is at. If for example the chart says 10ppm, you know the calculation in the futre after starting back up co2 injection will be off by 7ppm (10ppm from the reading less 3ppm for atmospheric co2 levels). So if aiming for 30ppm, now aim for 37ppm.

but, this is also, as you mentioned about the length between WC's, will be greatly affected by how much tanic is in the water on day 1 vs day 2 vs day 3, etc. but, if you measure at mid-point for your test, then at least you have an "average".

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar
how do you know you are dosing just want your plants need? sure you can tell if your NO3, Fe, PO4, and other testable amounts are correct, but you don't know if you are overdosing K or general Traces.
Granted it is an assumption. You are correct that at least one of the chemicals would be overdosed. SO4 would be the obvious one as it is not used by anything to my knowledge, yet is dosed with Mg, and K. I don't know if SO4 is poisonous to fish, plants or shrimp at high levels, but that brings up the original question:

Any idea on what level would be too high as far as TDS for plants? Shrimp? Fish? I would be testing for KH, GH, and Nitrates to make sure they stay in reasonable parameters, but the only other testing equipment I have is a TDS meter, and a pH Meter.

I have never gone more than 2 weeks without a water change, but would like to know if this would be feasible, and at what point using TDS as a measurement should a WC be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar
So adding RO water will merely drop the ppm down of the excesses at first, but you will still get a rolling build-up over time. Plus, does the tank really evaporate that much? I have an open top Paludarium with high surface agitation and heavy lighting (so high temps), and I only notice a drop of about 5-10% at most over a week span.
I don't know about humidity in Dallas, but indoor humidity here in Utah, especially in the winter often gets as close to zero as possible. I have never measured exactly how much I add over a week's span, but 1-2 gallons every other day is about average. So let's say 3 litres a day. My tap water just tested at 195 TDS. I am not sure on the math here, so I won't guess at the effect of the TDS of the tank, but I can't see how topping off 60 some odd liters of non-RO water over three weeks, if I were to not do any water changes during that time.


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