For years I have used a 32 gallon garbage can filled to the top to do a water change.
Normally, once a week if life gets busy maybe once every two weeks, but normally once a week.
In the beginning when I first set the tank up 12 years ago, I had very, very, crazy hard well water. I remember testing the hardness and it was practically off the chart.
There was buildup on every water fixture in the house in no time flat.
The ph was at about 8.5 and rock solid. I picked up a Co2 system, and with the ph controller I drove it down to 7.5. In 12 years it never dipped below 7.5.
About 6 months ago my water supply was changed to Lake Michigan water that has a ph of 7.6, the hardness I have not tested yet, it is supposed to be medium.
When the water supply was changed all of my Cryptocorynes melted, I sort of had a feeling they would. But what surprised me was all of my stems died.
Wow wat a mess. 2 to 3 inches of green slop covered the whole tank bottom. Fish were fine, I lost no fish, and the Pennywort survived along with one tip from a giant hygro.
My ph went down to about 6.9 to 7 in the tank.
With all of that happening I picked up a larger 55 gallon water change garbage can.
I figured with all of the cleaning that I had to do, and the loss of all of the nitrate eating plants, larger water changes would probably be a good idea.
Especially since there are 5 full grown Blue Acaras in the tank.
Well that is where I am at right now.
Sounds like I should pickup a hardness test to see what is going on.
I had a calcium test and a KH test in the past, maybe I will hit the local fish store and see what they have in stock.