Water changes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Water changes

Looks like many people have strong opinions about this subject. I think they are very important, but wondering if 50% weekly regardless of fish bioload would be an acceptable thing to do? Straight from the tap as well. Replenishing trace elements would be important right? Please let me know what you all think. Thanks pH from tap is 6.5.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 11:25 PM
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The reason for 50% changes you see thrown around is because EI and PPS Pro are adding more nutrients than necessary to ensure there are no deficiencies. To prevent build up and toxicity, the 50% water change is to "reset" the nutrient levels back to a good starting range for the week.

Both methods are a guideline to then adapt appropriately for your tank. Uptake of nutrients varies on so many conditions that we do EI / PPS to avoid having to test and micromanage things.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 02:12 AM
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Most people don't change 50% of their water straight from the tap.

I have a couple of 50 gal Rubbmaid round trash cans, and fill one with water, circulate it for a day or so, add anything like ferts I want to and, and use that water to make the water change.

Since I'm not using EI or similar methods for ferts, I don't need weekly 50% water changes. I do about a 25% water change about once a month. If I get lazy and skip a couple of months, then I'll do a larger water change.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 03:39 AM
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@DaveK makes a great point. That 50% reference is really for those of us running high tech tanks (high light + CO2). With lower tech tanks (or more dialed in), you can do it less frequently as he does.

I keep Crystal Red Shrimp, so I change water based on TDS rather than weekly 50% changes. We have very soft water with chloramines here, so I actually do smaller water changes right from tap.

Everyone's tank and water sources are different, so that's why you'll see so many differing methods and opinions
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 05:36 AM
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I think Dave is wrong about most people. I think most do change the water straight from the tap. I always do.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 07:05 AM
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Been using straight tap water for a few decades, and been changing 50 % of the water no matter fishes or plants for same length of time.
When I used to keep large cichlid's I sometimes changed 50 % twice a week when fry were present.(lots of food to grow em out quicker)
Change 50% of water in outdoor bait tubs daily sometimes.
All water from the tap treated with PRIME water conditioner before entering the tank/tubs.
At end of the week, water in tanks /tubs is close to same/same as tapwater pH,GH.=stable.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 07:30 AM
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With fish there is no such thing as too much clean water, I change a minimum of 50% once a week sometimes I do it more than once a week.

I do not add water straight from the tap I pre treat and pre heat it in a tub first for all my tanks and that means 250 liters.

I also put my fishes well being before the plants. I am a fish keeper with planted tanks not a planted tank owner who also has fish.


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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 12:13 PM
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I have done 50% straight from the tap for the couple years I've been keeping tanks regardless of the bio load. Only time I changed this was my shrimp tank since it had zero bio load and the shrimp don't care for changes in water parameters. If I skip a week, it doesn't really make or break my tank. I have always kept low tech tanks, lots of plants mass, lots of bio load. A consistent schedule has always kept me in line. Saturday morning I get up, put the hose in the tank, start the siphon, brew coffee, get my daughter up, potty time, change her clothes, hook the hose up to the faucet, adjust temp to 76*F, put hose in tank, treat with prime, drink coffee, enjoy a couple YouTube videos while the tank fills, done. My tank is in the dining room now, it was in the living room before, so it has always been in the central part of my home. It makes water changes very easy since I can do lots of things while it basically does the rest. I also have about 50-75g to change every weekend on my tank, so it does take a hot minute.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:14 PM
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I have a heavy bio load and a heavy plant load in my 60 gallon. I change 50% every week straight from the tap.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:18 PM
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I always do 50% water changes weekly, straight from the tap with a bit of Prime. You should see how quickly a high-tech tank goes downhill if you forget to change the water for one week. Algae immediately goes insane and takes over.

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:41 PM
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Definitely 50% or more weekly if you have a high tech setup. Using hoses or semi-auto instead of buckets and making it part of your routine will make it less of a chore.
From my experience, anything less than 50% weekly results in algae!!

My typical routine: pump out 50% or more of the water into the back yard (takes only a few mins using a Rio 1100 pump). Start re-fill using 1/4 inch tubing built into the system and hooked to a outdoor faucet (dechlorinator added as water refills). As i only let the water trickle in, the re-fill usually takes 45-60 mins. During this time the glass is cleaned, coffee, plants trimmed, coffee, general clean up, more coffee, etc. On average about and hour/week for WC and basic clean up. For a "deeper" clean of tank and sump, about 2-3 hrs.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 02:12 PM
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the single best thing you can do for a tank is a water change. Like mother nature a water change is like rain. The idea is to keep fresh water fresh. the amount of water to change is a somewhat great debate. Although it's true that plants can allow A lower volume water change, it is still an important aspect of tank maintenance. I change about 25% weekly and this seems to be sufficient. However I can see how up to 50% can also be very beneficial.
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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 03-07-2017 at 04:48 PM. Reason: fix smartphone typos
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 02:44 PM
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I am a firm believer in at the least weekly water changes.
If I am breeding and want faster grow out I will do 20% every day. I have found over the decades that that in itself can increase growth of the fry faster. In the other tanks I do a 50% at least weekly and if I have the time I'll do it 2x per week.
I have well water so I go straight from the tap. When I was on public water I would store it in vats and aerate, treat then change water. Back then I had way less tanks so it wasn't a problem to store the water.
Even now with planted tanks I find that everything does better with regular changes.

Whenever I change water in my cory tanks it induces a spawn. Same with many other fish.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrill View Post
I think Dave is wrong about most people. I think most do change the water straight from the tap. I always do.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 04:49 AM
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Change 50% water on all my tanks, every week.. I use a PPS-pro fertilization method. Use RO, kept in a barrel, with heater and circulation pump. The KH and GH are set at around 5. Also add Seachem Stability (benefical bacteria).
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