Water changes in the winter - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Water changes in the winter

I know its bad to use the hot water tap if you have copper pipes and shrimp in your tank. The problem is that the cold water comes out of the cold water tap ice cold, and I don't want the fluctuate the temperature too drastically. Would heating water in an aluminum pot on the stove be a solution? I'd rather not have to put the water in the bucket and let it sit overnight to warm to room temperature. Thanks.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 04:28 PM
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why not get a submersible heater and keep that in the bucket, the water would be ready after about an hour and a half.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 04:48 PM
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If your water heater is in good condition you should be able to use a mix of hot and cold water for water changes. Tap water is treated so its pH is always high enough not to corrode copper pipes, which means it doesn't dissolve any copper into the water. Heating the water in a water heater doesn't change that. Further, water heaters use a sacrificial anode to prevent corrosion of the liner or copper parts, which is another defense against copper getting into the water. Any copper that gets into the water can be eliminated by running the water for a few minutes to flush out the standing water, before starting to use it for the aquarium.

When I had Cherry Shrimp I continued to do water changes, using a hot/cold water mix and the shrimp continued to reproduce rapidly.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 04:56 PM
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I use the Python and adjust the tap water as best I can to get it to about 72-74F. No problem using the hot water for my rcs tank.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbarossa4122 View Post
I use the Python and adjust the tap water as best I can to get it to about 72-74F. No problem using the hot water for my rcs tank.
I did this too when I had my 55g set-up without any ill effect to the shrimps. Right now I only have small tanks 3x 10g and 20g. I have my buckets filled with cold water a day or 2 before waterchange so that it adjust to the room temp. I also do hot and cold when doing an emergency waterchange. I have crs, OEBT, yellows and tigers.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bgssamson View Post
I did this too when I had my 55g set-up without any ill effect to the shrimps. Right now I only have small tanks 3x 10g and 20g. I have my buckets filled with cold water a day or 2 before waterchange so that it adjust to the room temp. I also do hot and cold when doing an emergency waterchange. I have crs, OEBT, yellows and tigers.
My wife use a bucket to do wc for her 10g rcs planted tank. The other 2 tanks are too big for buckets.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hoppy, that seems to go against the common wisdom. I've read your posts before, and you're pretty knowledgable on various subjects. I'm concerned that I'll start murdering my shrimp, but I'll try mixing hot and cold tap water and see what happens. I may hold you personally accountable though if my tank becomes a shrimp holocaust.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 06:30 PM
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I heat water in a large stainless steel stock pot and mix it with cold water until the temperature is the same as the tank. If I'm too busy or lazy, I'll stick a spare heater in a bucket of water until the same temperature is attained. I keep an extra thermometer with the water change bucket for this purpose. My tanks are small enough to do water changes with buckets.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 03:04 AM
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i do a submersible heater and 55 gallon drum when i do water changes. my turtle tanks need that much water
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 03:26 AM
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I use just enough hot water to keep my tap at about 55-60 degrees when doing 40-50% changes. I have done this for years, but have a tankless water heater now, so it is less relevant.

My shrimp thrive in this atmosphere, and breed readily after the cold changes. My cichlids LOVE it.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bluecheese View Post
Hoppy, that seems to go against the common wisdom. I've read your posts before, and you're pretty knowledgable on various subjects. I'm concerned that I'll start murdering my shrimp, but I'll try mixing hot and cold tap water and see what happens. I may hold you personally accountable though if my tank becomes a shrimp holocaust.
If you are really concerned, just run the hot water for 5 minutes before starting to fill the tank. That will flush out any copper that has accumulated in the standing water in the piping.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 11:51 PM
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Isn't there something else that can occur in the winter as far as gas buildup in the water pipes or something? I thought I saw a thread about it a while ago but can't find it.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 02:29 AM
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If copper disolved in hot tap water your hot water pipes would disolve and flood your house.

Of corse I wouldn't put a piece of copper in my tank as a decoration, or any rocks with copper in it or anythign like that, but I wouldn't worry about the pipes in your house. How much difference could a few degrees make that would cause cold water to be safe but the hot water to disolve out the copper?

And if you're really concerned about it you already probably have a lot more heavy metals and minerals in your tap water than you know, that's why us guys with reef tanks can't use it. But for nearly any freshwater setup tap water is fine. Hot or cold.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 03:01 AM
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Place your bucket of cold water in the sink and fill the sink with hot water. Your bucket of water will come up to temp pretty quick.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayanjungledog View Post
I heat water in a large stainless steel stock pot and mix it with cold water until the temperature is the same as the tank. My tanks are small enough to do water changes with buckets.
Same here. I use an RO/DI system that stores water in a 30-gallon Rubbermaid trashcan in our insulated garage. In the wintertime the water temperature gets down as low as 50 degrees. I simply take a 5-gallon bucket, fill it up with RO/Di water, add some of the water to a large stock pot, heat the water up, then return it to the bucket. It's a PITA, but it works.
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