Safe Partial Water Changes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Safe Partial Water Changes

So, sadly, I noticed a dead shrimp today.

My water parameters are fine. I think the most likely cause of death is shock from a partial water change. Which makes me think I need to add the water slower.

Does anyone have a technique for adding water slowly? Perhaps some sort of DIY device? Or some sort of low-tech solution?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 07:23 PM
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I'm assuming you have a smaller tank. I usually take my prepared water and use a large plastic cup (mine is about 32oz) and I slowly pour it in in a random pattern so it mixes all around the tank. You could also set up a drip. I used to do this when acclimating. I'd get a gallon container that would balance on the corner of the tank. Use airline tubing with an adjustable valve to adjust the speed of the drip.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jimbo~

My tank is actually 50 gallons. Here's a description of my tank from another post:

I have a 50 gallon tank with undergravel filters attached to powerheads (that have sponges over their intakes). There is also a filter that uses a powerhead to push water through a water bottle packed with the dense roots of a pothos plant (powerhead also has sponge). I use it to keep my shrimp (part of the reason I think my water parameters are off) and it is somewhat heavily planted. It is well-lit with 4 27 watt CFL bulbs and one LED bulb. There's a piece of malaysian driftwood in there and currently one indian almond leaf. There are lots of ramhorn snails. The plants are so dense that I rarely see any of the shrimp. I originally bought 30, but I think that number is down to about 10-15. I saw some confirmed deaths when I was making rookie mistakes with the tank (overfeeding, filter accidents). Though if they died, I really wouldn't know if it even happened or not (ramshorns and other shrimp probably got to them first). The original shrimps I bought (dunno who's still alive) were 10 dream blue velvets, 10 dream blue X blue velvet culls, and 10 cheap blue velvets. I haven't seen the dream blues for months (finally saw one about a week ago. At least I know one is alive...) The pH stays at 7.4. Nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia all generally stay at 0 ppm, although the nitrate went up to 20 ppm recently. I do weekly/bi-weekly partial water changes. The temperature hovers around 74 degrees F.

But I think you're right about the drip technique with an airline. I'll do that from now on. Kinda obvious in retrospect lol. Thanks for the suggestion!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 01:54 AM
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If you premix the replacement water, then check the GH, KH, pH, TDS.
Make sure these are where you want the tank to be, and not too different from what the tank is currently.

Example #1:
If the tank water is getting too soft, and you want to raise the GH, KH, or TDS then make the new water a bit harder so that when it is mixed with the tank water the end result is the GH, KH or TDS rises by no more than 15% at any one water change.

Example #2:
If the tank water is getting too hard, and you want to lower the GH, KH or TDS then make the new water a bit softer so that when it is mixed with the tank water the end result is the GH, KH or TDS drops by no more than 10% at any one water change.

These amounts of change are safe for delicate fish, and highly likely OK for shrimp, too.
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