Too many water changes for overstocked tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Too many water changes for overstocked tank?

I have a 10 gallon with 13 ember tetras, two otos, two young BN plecos (1.5 inches) and a khuli loach. The BN pleco and khuli loach were going to get flushed by a person I knew so I dumped them into my tank. I also have about 10 guppy fry growing out in the tank as well.

I talked to a few people and they said despite being grossly overstocked I am doing too many water changes?

Water change schedule before: 70% x1 per week, 30-50% x2 per week including gravel vac.

Water change schedule now: 60% x1 per week, occasionally additional 30-50% water change once a week.

After reducing my obsessive water changes I noticed plants are growing much better? Do I go back to doing more water changes due to the bio load? I've been dosing with glossofactory AIO and seachem potassium.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Overstocked tanks and lots of water changes
0.1 Cat
10 gallon: 13 ember tetras, 2 albino bn pleco, 1 sad khuli loach and 4 sparkling gouramis
Mini pond: 3 guppies, 2 rosy red minnows
Soon to start a 29 gallon
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 10:44 AM
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If plants growing better I’d go to 30% x2 and see what happens.

Just test your phosphates and nitrates and find sweet spot for your tank on water changes. Every tanks plant and fish bio load is different, can’t really comment on your tank really without knowing plant load and filter setup (pics?).

Last edited by DaveKS; 07-24-2019 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopps View Post

I talked to a few people and they said despite being grossly overstocked I am doing too many water changes?

.

Just curious did they said this was a bad thing or good? If you are dosing and you re-dose your tank after your water change the only bad thing I can think of is that you are using more chemicals so it is costing you more is all.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 05:30 PM
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Also, make you FULLY dechlorinate the water. If not, then the chlorine will kill a lot of the beneficial bacteria in the tank


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 10:08 PM
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Rehome those Plecos ASAP !
Plants like elevated ammonia levels, but you really have only one choice for the fish.
Get rid of the Plecos.

Bump: Rehome those Plecos ASAP !
Plants like elevated ammonia levels, but you really have only one choice for the fish.
Get rid of the Plecos.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 10:33 PM
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As long as your source water is good, I am a believer that there is almost no such thing as too many water changes. A few caveats there such as a tank that hasn't been maintained for a long time may be far off from your source water, there is *some* degree of stress, etc. But it is my experience that frequent partial water changes have very little downside and a whole lot of upsides. I agree that a 10 gallon is too small for one bristlenosed, let alone two. Their mass is probably more than all your other fish combined. And they like to graze algae and rasp wood, and would exhaust a tank that size pretty quickly.
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Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 10:57 PM
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Big water changes can be stressful to the fish if thereís no need. Essentially any changes in water chemistry (unless in an emergency response to problem conditions) can create stress. Plants too take time to readapt. So personally I would opt for more frequent water changes with less being changed as opposed to doing >50% at one shot.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:08 PM
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Perhaps I should have been more specific. In case my post seemed to suggest that 60-70% water changes are the norm, they are not! In my world a partial water change is usually 20-25% or so. I try to do those about every other week on my tanks with fish and monthly on my shrimp tanks. Everything changes when adding ferts, and you can kind of start draining away things you are paying to put in your tank.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Perhaps I should have been more specific. In case my post seemed to suggest that 60-70% water changes are the norm, they are not! In my world a partial water change is usually 20-25% or so. I try to do those about every other week on my tanks with fish and monthly on my shrimp tanks. Everything changes when adding ferts, and you can kind of start draining away things you are paying to put in your tank.


I wasnít contradicting you btw just referring to the amount of water changed at one particular time (separately from frequency of changes).


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:30 PM
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Fair enough but upon reading my post, I realize what I said could have been interpreted that way. What I was conveying in essence was, there's just about no such thing as "too many" water changes. Too large of one can have a very real impact on your ecosystem and I should have pointed that out. I worked for discus breeder Alan Wienke in Durham, NC and we did 50% water changes per day on tanks with fry that were no longer feeding on slime. Lots of dead bbs and such in there and only sponge filters/no substrate so it was needed but that really changed my perception on the matter. He had storage tanks of reconstituted heated RO/DI water, so it was a little easier than filling buckets or turning on the sink and feeling it with your hand though!

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
If plants growing better Iíd go to 30% x2 and see what happens.

Just test your phosphates and nitrates and find sweet spot for your tank on water changes. Every tanks plant and fish bio load is different, canít really comment on your tank really with knowing plant load and filter setup (pics?).
The tank is about 50% planted at least, maybe more. Plants are suffering a bit due to deficiencies and I have been seeing positive growth since decreasing the water changes. I am just extremely paranoid that my fish will suffer if I don't do enough water changes since it's so overstocked at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank158 View Post
Just curious did they said this was a bad thing or good? If you are dosing and you re-dose your tank after your water change the only bad thing I can think of is that you are using more chemicals so it is costing you more is all.

Cheers
They didn't think it was a good thing to do so many water changes (for the plants at least). My plants at the moment are suffering from nitrogen, phosphate and potassium deficiencies due to the number of water changes I guess?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ustabefast View Post
Rehome those Plecos ASAP !
Plants like elevated ammonia levels, but you really have only one choice for the fish.
Get rid of the Plecos.

Bump: Rehome those Plecos ASAP !
Plants like elevated ammonia levels, but you really have only one choice for the fish.
Get rid of the Plecos.
They will be going into a 29 gallon tank in two weeks. Like I stated above, they are in the 10 gallon because someone didn't want them anymore and were probably going to get flushed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
As long as your source water is good, I am a believer that there is almost no such thing as too many water changes. A few caveats there such as a tank that hasn't been maintained for a long time may be far off from your source water, there is *some* degree of stress, etc. But it is my experience that frequent partial water changes have very little downside and a whole lot of upsides. I agree that a 10 gallon is too small for one bristlenosed, let alone two. Their mass is probably more than all your other fish combined. And they like to graze algae and rasp wood, and would exhaust a tank that size pretty quickly.
They are fed a mix of repashy soilent green, community plus, frozen foods, NLS algae wafers. No issues with foods at the moment. Again like stated above they are in the tank because someone wanted to flush them. It was either let them get flushed down the toilet or toss em in the 10 gallon temporarily. I'm setting up a 29 gallon in two weeks so they'll be thrown in there

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarissaT View Post
Big water changes can be stressful to the fish if thereís no need. Essentially any changes in water chemistry (unless in an emergency response to problem conditions) can create stress. Plants too take time to readapt. So personally I would opt for more frequent water changes with less being changed as opposed to doing >50% at one shot.


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I'm already doing 3 water changes per week, I'm not sure how many more I should do? It's pretty much every other day. Although I've been seeing less deficiencies since I started doing less water changes. I am down to two and the fish seem much happier, as well as the plants! The ember tetras have colored up more. I've taken the advice of doing 2 x 25-35% water changes and have seen great results!

-----------------------------------------------------------
Overstocked tanks and lots of water changes
0.1 Cat
10 gallon: 13 ember tetras, 2 albino bn pleco, 1 sad khuli loach and 4 sparkling gouramis
Mini pond: 3 guppies, 2 rosy red minnows
Soon to start a 29 gallon
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 12:44 PM
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@Hopps

Good for you for saving those fish.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 09:18 PM
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A 29gal is barely acceptable for 1 bn pleco let alone 2.

As I said before, monitor your phosphate and nitrate and they will tell you how often you need to change water. A bunch of unneeded, especially if not properly prepared water changes is just as detrimental to your tank as not enough.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
A 29gal is barely acceptable for 1 bn pleco let alone 2.



As I said before, monitor your phosphate and nitrate and they will tell you how often you need to change water. A bunch of unneeded, especially if not properly prepared water changes is just as detrimental to your tank as not enough.


Yes but Iím sure a 29 gallon is enough for two 1-1.5 inch bn Plecos temporarily. Will be searching for them to go to a good home as they grow bigger.

Anyways with the plants Iím getting much more growth with less water changes! Since I started doing significantly less water changes my hygro is a lot happier. It hates it when my nitrates go below 20 unfortunately. Iím now increasing the dosage of my AIO ferts and potassium.

The fish seem a bit happier too, the ember tetras are coloring up even more!


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-----------------------------------------------------------
Overstocked tanks and lots of water changes
0.1 Cat
10 gallon: 13 ember tetras, 2 albino bn pleco, 1 sad khuli loach and 4 sparkling gouramis
Mini pond: 3 guppies, 2 rosy red minnows
Soon to start a 29 gallon
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 06:53 PM
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This might shock you but I had a neon tetra tank that did not have water changes for several years....


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