Question about water changing. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question about water changing.

When ever I do a water change, 15 gallons from my 50 looks a lot like the water is almost half way down already. If I was to do 25 then my water would be 2 inches from the gravel My question is, do gravel play a part in the amount of water subtracted? For exp. if my tank was 15 gallons and my substrate takes up 5 gallons. Do I need to do 5 gallons or 7.5 still?



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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 10:53 PM
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When you put something in the aquarium its going to displace water. If you can only fit 10 gallons of water in a 15 gallon tank, then your 50% water change would be 5 gallons, since there is only 10 gallons of actual water. The 50% water change is a guideline, you can do more. I just empty the tank half way down the height of the tank and call it a day.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 11:22 PM
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+1 to greaser. I just guage it on how far down I drain. Otherwise it's just academic; 50%, 45%, 58%...
The point is to manage the tank's water quality; not meet some arbitrary percentage. You'll know if you're not doing enough.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 11:51 PM
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I agree with what's been said. No need to be exact here. Just drain your tank about half way down. Leave the rulers where they are just eyeball it. You hear specific amounts for fertilizers, water changes and everything else in this hobby. The truth is, just get in the ball park and you'll be fine. I know that's a weird thing to say but quite true.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not trying to be exact or perfect in the measurements but I was just wondering since water do expand into the substrate... I've been measuring it by mind and above the substrate. I was just testing to see how much water I'm removing with a 5 gal blue bottle.



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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:28 AM
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Actual capacity of a standard 55 gallon is somewhere 45-50 gallons, and everything in the tank including substrate is going to cut the volume further. It's quite likely that your actual usable water volume is 40 gallons or even less.

By the way, even in a planted tank, some light substrate vacuuming is better than just taking water out - hope you were just estimating with the five gallon bottle for future reference.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Mine is a 50. So it is actually a 30 something gal tank water wise I have many juveniles so gravel vacuuming is a must. For the blue 5 gal drinking water container, I would definitely choose it over buckets if I ever had to change water the old school way.



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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chibikaie View Post
Actual capacity of a standard 55 gallon is somewhere 45-50 gallons, and everything in the tank including substrate is going to cut the volume further. It's quite likely that your actual usable water volume is 40 gallons or even less.
How did you figure that out? The dimensions on a 55 gallon tank are 48" x 13" x 21". That's 13,104 cubic inches. One gallon of water occupies 231 cubic inches. 13,104 / 231 = 56.7 Gallons.

A 50 gallon (36" x 18" x 19") tank COMPLETELY filled can hold 53.3 gallons.

Maybe you reversed the volume of a liquid gallon, 231 cubic inches, with a dry gallon, 268.8025 cubic inches? There's a difference.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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He means that you will never fill up your tank all the way but I feel like his numbers are a little too low.



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Last edited by Krispyplants; 05-28-2014 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:33 AM
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The stated dimensions are the outside of the tank glass and don't account for the thickness of the glass itself. Manufacturers use them because bigger sounds better. I did not do the calculations myself; they're what I recall from a chart I saw years ago with actual vs. stated (gotta be honest here, I thought it was common knowledge that tanks never hold as much as they say they do, so I have no reference). I may be off and it's closer to 50 than 45, as my memory isn't that good. Still, same point.

There are a few exceptions; the 40 breeder is one. Outer dimensions will put you around 44 gallons - it makes no sense at all.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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I'm also pretty sure that the measurement goes all the way to the very tip of the tank on the top.



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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chibikaie View Post
I may be off and it's closer to 50 than 45, as my memory isn't that good. Still, same point.
Not trying to be argumentative. Just didn't see how this was possible. The glass thickness would certainly make a difference. Simply never heard this one before. These posts last for years so I think it's important to ask questions if I have them since I may not be the only one with them. It cetainly wouldn't be the first time I was wrong lol. So if the glass on a 55 gallon was 1/2" thick (it's not) that would still be 50 gallons. Again. I was just looking for clarification.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 04:30 AM
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Then to get it right we have to deduct for the loss at the bottom where it is up about an inch? Throw in a few rocks, wood and plants and we better just go with an estimate and be happy! Does algae displace more water than a sword?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 04:36 AM
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Throw in a few rocks, wood and plants and we better just go with an estimate and be happy!
That's about it in a nutshell. Eyeball it and move on.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2014, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Then to get it right we have to deduct for the loss at the bottom where it is up about an inch? Throw in a few rocks, wood and plants and we better just go with an estimate and be happy! Does algae displace more water than a sword?

depends on how bad your algae level is some might have some to equal a golf ball and some might have a farm. The thing is if you have a good filter with good flow then the amount of water wouldn't really matter because you can surely stock more fish with regular water change. Don't forget that a big fat fish can take away water volume too.



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