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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Water question

Why do I see people keep saying or recommending changing most of all the water every week for tank maintenence, that to me is bad advice

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Changing sry auto prediction

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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ah ok. Np.
Why is this considered bad advice? I do 50% WC's every week on all my tanks, have been for 3 years.
50% is fine but they are saying most if not all, from everything I've read, researched, been told 30% every week is what you want to aim for as that's for a tank that's not over crowded, good balance, well established, always been told never go over 50%

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 04:40 PM
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50% is just a general guideline that will cover most tank situations. It's a preventive measure as mentioned against fert buildup in EI and other hi-tech setups, but it also keeps the water low on organics that will increase the likelihood of algae. Every tank is different based on fish load, feeding plant mass and uptake. Both EI-based and ADA-based setups couldn't exist without a good water change on a regular basis for the most part.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have a low tech setup, I was looking at people's posts, and have saw people recommend 100%, that to me is a complete no no, I don't have a bigger bioload, my parameters are absolutely perfect
0 ammonia
0 nitrite,
15 nitrate
Phosphate 1.5
Gh/kh both 6
I do 30% every 10 days, I just don't agree with 100% as some people are recommending others do


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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But from my understanding when you do have to do 100% you do it over a several hour period called a "tank flush "

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:09 PM
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When you say low tech. Are you dosing ferts? If you are there's nothing wrong with big water changes. If your really low-tech and relying on the tanks organics to sustain the plants then big water changes can leave something deficient.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:48 PM
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The main takeaway from this discussion might not have much to do with water changes but still be very important. You are seeing recommendations which you don't understand, so you question it. That is a terribly important thing to know about any advise! Just because something is right for some other tank or some other situation, ask if it right for your tank and your situation.
There are times when a nearly 100% may be the only way to save the fish. If your daughter's nail polish remover gets knocked into the tank, you better change as much water as possible and quick!
But if you do a super big change and don't bother to match the water, it can kill all the fish within a few minutes.
Knowledge is power but it still takes some thought about when to apply which part of that knowledge.
Taking any advise just because you read it? Really bad!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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When you say low tech. Are you dosing ferts? If you are there's nothing wrong with big water changes. If your really low-tech and relying on the tanks organics to sustain the plants then big water changes can leave something deficient.
I dose flourish 1x a week, I'm asking about the water changes not just because I've see people recommend it to others but I have been told about 100x by lfs(s) people on forums, etc etc 50% is the max (barring something happens just regular tank maintenence) .

When I got ich and saw my loaches reacted badly to the meds even though I was using a half dose as per instructed, I did 50% then 25% 4 hours later.

Yes I know theres situations where you have to do a huge water change example of the post about nail polish, what in referring to is people saying most if not 100% Changes per week.

I have only anubias, ferns and a couple swords, so should I go from 30% to 50% or keep doing what I'm doing.



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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 07:05 PM
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I think 100% every week would wear most of us too far but there are times when it might be needed but not at one time. I had a situation where I got 90 cichlids growing out in a single 55 gallon tank and needed lots of water changes until I could change up the tank space. I might guess I was doing near 100% over a weeks time. Not something I recommend doing for long, for sure!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I cant see why people would be doing 100% a week.
I think you should stick to 30% because its obviously working for you and your having good results. But if you want to bump up to fifty, as said fifty percent is done by people who are usually dosing fertilizers via the estimative index method.
I agree and I don't know why people are recommending it for basic pwc's, at 30% every 10 days i get good plant growth even though I have very slow growing plants, I dint get any spikes in ammonia /nitrite, nitrate stays around 15-20 phosphate 1.5 gh/kh 6, I was just concerned I wasn't doing big enough changes, I wouldn't do a 100% unless something bad happened, I think my post was misleading making people think I did it which I didn't I was just curious if what I have been told for the last 7 years was wrong.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I think 100% every week would wear most of us too far but there are times when it might be needed but not at one time. I had a situation where I got 90 cichlids growing out in a single 55 gallon tank and needed lots of water changes until I could change up the tank space. I might guess I was doing near 100% over a weeks time. Not something I recommend doing for long, for sure!
Wow yeah that's a lot of fish in a 55, but you did it over a period of time not at once right? I may be wrong but from what I have read about doing that big of a water change (barring something bad has happened) you do it very slowly so that the fish dont get shocked from changes in pH, water chemistry in general, this is what I was told when I first started out and my nitrates were 80+

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 10:05 PM
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I've been in the hobby some 50 years and have participated in many fish related forums since Al Gore invented the internet <snicker - just couldn't resist> and I've never seen or heard of a 100% weekly PWC recommendation... Well short of a total tear down and restart.
20% to 50% weekly, along with good filter/tank maintenance has always been the general rule.
What we see more often is 'the rabble-rouser' saying they never do water changes!

But here's some [math] food for thought....
Lets say your tank generates 20ppm nitrates per week. You do a 50% water change dropping your nitrates to 10ppm. Next week nitrates are at 30ppm so the 50% water change lowers to 15ppm. Each week, nitrate levels climb higher and higher so at some point you need back to back 50% water changes or some other magic. Admittedly this may be more of a subject for a fish only tank, but still it's an interesting conundrum.

It's my understanding that some hobbyists/breeders with Discus do 50% (or more) water changes daily or every other day to keep the water 'fresh'.

It seems to me that the real key is not to shock the fish with dramatic changes in water chemistry. So if you do large water changes frequently, it's likely just fine...but to do a very large water change to a severely neglected tank could be disastrous. Then again, a severely neglected tank is a sad disaster.

In the end, the solution to pollution is dilution!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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I've been in the hobby some 50 years and have participated in many fish related forums since Al Gore invented the internet <snicker - just couldn't resist> and I've never seen or heard of a 100% weekly PWC recommendation... Well short of a total tear down and restart.
20% to 50% weekly, along with good filter/tank maintenance has always been the general rule.
What we see more often is 'the rabble-rouser' saying they never do water changes!

But here's some [math] food for thought....
Lets say your tank generates 20ppm nitrates per week. You do a 50% water change dropping your nitrates to 10ppm. Next week nitrates are at 30ppm so the 50% water change lowers to 15ppm. Each week, nitrate levels climb higher and higher so at some point you need back to back 50% water changes or some other magic. Admittedly this may be more of a subject for a fish only tank, but still it's an interesting conundrum.

It's my understanding that some hobbyists/breeders with Discus do 50% (or more) water changes daily or every other day to keep the water 'fresh'.

It seems to me that the real key is not to shock the fish with dramatic changes in water chemistry. So if you do large water changes frequently, it's likely just fine...but to do a very large water change to a severely neglected tank could be disastrous. Then again, a severely neglected tank is a sad disaster.

In the end, the solution to pollution is dilution!
Just did my water change on my tanks after watching that (beep) call in the lions game needed to let off steam lol, I was curious of my levels cause is been about 2 weeks since my last pwc as I was sick and could barely move for the week my water change was due, my nitrate creeped to 25, ammonia and nitrite were still at 0, no one touches my tanks but me, so I did approx 35%, I've seen many people say to others to do 100%, I don't know if they are just giving poor advice or if they really don't know what they are talking about.



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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 12:54 AM
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I would call that poor advise for several reasons. One is that it fosters the idea that high nitrates are killers. But then there really are lots of tanks that never get water changes and the fish live. One way to kill fish is to do a large water change on a tank that has never had a water change. The sudden change in conditions can be too much and they soon die.
Maybe it is just that we now have weaker fish or maybe we are way too paranoid but it used to be common practice to do what we would now call a disaster!
When raising and selling Guppies in the 56-57 period it was a weekly routine to take all the fish out, take the tank to the sink and totally scrub it with the hottest water we could stand, then try to get the tank filled with water close to the "normal" temp and dump the fish back in!
No idea of the nitrogen cycle and good bacteria. We just knew fish died if we didn't keep the water clean so we cleaned the heck out of it every Saturday! Dumped it all and refilled with clean water.
But we now feel it is much better to maintain a steady level of clean water. That means do get the pollutants out or knocked down but don't kill all the good bacteria. We also feel that it is far better to let the fish adapt to a steady setting rather than one that changes every time we change water. So water changes are best if they are done with water which is as close as practical to what is removed except for the nitrate content.
One reason I do not favor trying to change my tap water to meet what I might read is "needed" is that using treated water can leave me in a trap if I do ever need to do large water changes. If I were doing RO and mixing, I could not be as free with water changes. I keep a barrel filled with tap water and let it come to room temp. So I can do up to a fifty gallon change without rocking the water in any of my tanks.
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