What to be careful when doing a WC? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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What to be careful when doing a WC?

I now have diatoms algae in my old tank after a 90% water change. I believe i got it because when i cleaned the filter i left the ceramic media for 2 hours sitting in tank water in a bucket until i cleaned the tank. Then i filled in the tank with untreated tap water since i have no fish, connected the filter to its hoses so that the tank water flows in and started the filter. I think this killed alot of bacteria.

1. Did the tap water or the siting for 2 hours in still water do the damage?

2. Also dis the tap water places in the tank did damage to the bacteria in the gravel?

3. What do u guys think someone should look out for when doing a water change?

Thanks
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 10:04 AM
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Why did you do a 90% change? I don't see a reason to do that much. It's great you're doing a water change but I'd say 50% is the most necessary. I prefer to just do more frequent water changes with less amount, like 15-25%.

So you already know the answers:

1. yes

2. yes

3. Do more frequent water changes with less water. Make it a habit, do 25% every other day for example. Treat your water before putting it in because its REALLY easy to put the water in and then walk away. If you're using a hose to fill in the water, treat it before you add the water just so you don't forget after (again make it a habit). If you're filling in buckets and then putting the water in that way, treat the water in the bucket before adding it in

The bottom line is straight tap water will hurt the beneficial bacteria. It happens, not a big deal but it might set back your tank (sounds like a new tank setup with just plants waiting for it to by cycled). Tank/water maintenance isn't glamorous and it's redundant but it's really important so don't get lazy on it. Also, if you do get on a schedule and miss a few water changes, don't go nuts and do a 90% change - you're doing more harm than good I say. Just 30% water change and get back on your schedule.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Yiannis View Post
I now have diatoms algae in my old tank after a 90% water change. I believe i got it because when i cleaned the filter i left the ceramic media for 2 hours sitting in tank water in a bucket until i cleaned the tank. Then i filled in the tank with untreated tap water since i have no fish, connected the filter to its hoses so that the tank water flows in and started the filter. I think this killed alot of bacteria.

1. Did the tap water or the siting for 2 hours in still water do the damage?

2. Also dis the tap water places in the tank did damage to the bacteria in the gravel?

3. What do u guys think someone should look out for when doing a water change?

Thanks
The bucket most likely did not hurt the bacteria. The untreated tap, eh it killed some, not all.

And there is nothing wrong with a 90% water change. I ddo70-80% once weekly. My plants nor my fish complain.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 12:33 PM
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I beg to differ. I think 90% is too much. Cycled or not. At the most I have done is 75 but that was only once because I didn't do a WC for like 6 weeks. Plus my water is a 70/30 mix of R/O and tap. Typically I do 50% every 2-3 weeks.

Treating the water prior to putting it in the tank can be easier but not necessarily. I have not done this though. I always just add my water to the tank and add in a little extra water conditioner. I don't even worry about cooler temps. Sometimes it aids is encouraging breeding with my cories as long as I feed blood worms along with the WC for a few days.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by flight50 View Post
I beg to differ. I think 90% is too much.
For conversation's sake, why do you believe this? Bacteria is on the plants and in the media. What do you feel is lost or harmed by a larger water change? Short of the possitives of removing hormone and chemical buildups in the water, I can't see any harm in a 90% change, unless you're concerned about "freaking out the fish" or similar.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 02:41 PM
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... Plus my water is a 70/30 mix of R/O and tap. Typically I do 50% every 2-3 weeks...
Do you add anything since you are using 70% RO water?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yiannis View Post
I now have diatoms algae in my old tank after a 90% water change. I believe i got it because when i cleaned the filter i left the ceramic media for 2 hours sitting in tank water in a bucket until i cleaned the tank. Then i filled in the tank with untreated tap water since i have no fish, connected the filter to its hoses so that the tank water flows in and started the filter. I think this killed alot of bacteria.

1. Did the tap water or the siting for 2 hours in still water do the damage?

2. Also dis the tap water places in the tank did damage to the bacteria in the gravel?

3. What do u guys think someone should look out for when doing a water change?

Thanks
Diatoms usually are present in newly setup tanks so getting them now may be an indication that you killed too much bacteria. Bacteria can be killed by being placed in untreated water so that may have been what happened. You may have also lost a lot of bacteria by over cleaning the filter. Contrary to what seems to be common sense thinking, a clean filter isn't necessarily a good thing. You want to get the big crud out, but leave the brown filmy stuff there. That's where your bacteria is living.

The 90% water change did not cause your problems. A large water change can be problematic for fish and inverts if the water parameters of the old water and new water are vastly different (this usually only happens when someone was using altered water (i.e., RO water, pH altered water) and suddenly switches to tap water or visa versa).

The notion that changing old water with fresh water with equal parameters is somehow harmful just makes no sense. It's the same argument of leaving a person in a smoke filled room. Fish benefit from clean water just as we benefit from clean air as long as the parameters of the water are the same. If the parameters are drastically different, then it's better to acclimate the fish to the new water which can be done by performing multiple 25%-50% water changes back to back over the course of a few hours. But bottom line, clean water is good for fish.

To be clear, I frequently change the water in my QT tanks at 90%. I take out as much water as I can, ensuring that the water covers the fish's body (generally I leave about 1.5"-2" of water in the tank). I then add Prime and fill the tank with tap water. I have done this repeatedly for 5 years. I just did it today with my juvenile Pelvicachromis. It's not a problem.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by flight50 View Post
I beg to differ. I think 90% is too much. Cycled or not. At the most I have done is 75 but that was only once because I didn't do a WC for like 6 weeks. Plus my water is a 70/30 mix of R/O and tap. Typically I do 50% every 2-3 weeks.

Treating the water prior to putting it in the tank can be easier but not necessarily. I have not done this though. I always just add my water to the tank and add in a little extra water conditioner. I don't even worry about cooler temps. Sometimes it aids is encouraging breeding with my cories as long as I feed blood worms along with the WC for a few days.

ill respond with. change 90% every day and see how ur fish react. they wont care. they will more than likely love it
the larger water change i do, the healthier my system stays,
some weeks i change 80% 2-3 times just to make sure i dont have a buildup of mulm in the susbstrate gives me an extra chance to prune plants and fluff the debris off them,

some discus owners change 50% DAILY when rearing young discus. they like CLEAN water. not full of plant and fish horomone and broken down organics.

you are more than welcome to do things you way but simply, as far as water changes go, its hard to do too much
all im asking is to test yourself and see the results. don't just disagree. find out why should or should not agree

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 02:21 AM
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Do you add anything since you are using 70% RO water?

Thanks
I still add water condition for I don't have my carbon cataylic filter hooked up yet to rid of the chloramines. Plus its a safety net. Chloramines are more difficult to rid of than chlorine so less new water will dilute better in more old tank water considering I add right to the tank and not to a storage tank to do the diluting.

I don't do large water changes because I have yet to find a way to grow a money tree in my back yard,lol. I don't want to burn thru that amount of water in which cost money, something I don't have a ton of with a family of 5. Especially when I have to fight the Texas sun and give that water to my lawn.

I never mentioned water changes and bacteria. I know bacteria is not in the water column. They grow on surfaces. R/O water alone burns thru alllllot of water. Why do unnecessary burning of water if I can do without. I don't keep Discus nor do I want to. Plus I personally don't find Discus attractive. They require water that I don't care to provide. I only keep fish/plants for water conditions that I up for providing that is cost effective for me.

Try changing the water in your swimming pool once a week and see if you care. I'd think everyone would argue "why" when you don't have too. For each is own though. Those who change larger or more frequent than others, more power to you. Every tank is different as every fish hobbyist has different methods of doing things. Most of the time there is no wrong or right but there is a more effective or less effective way to go about things.

Last edited by flight50; 07-08-2012 at 04:51 AM. Reason: added info
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 03:53 AM
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I never done 90% water change. Did your fish even have room to swim with that little water? I think the most I've done is 75% tap when I had a bare bottom 80g tank with discus but I treat the water


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 04:23 AM
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When I want to do a 90% water change, which is very rare, I will do two consecutive smaller changes. Two consecutive 75% changes removes about 90% of the original water. That way I don't drop the water level too far for the fish. The last time I did this it was because my water was cloudy from either green water or bacterial growth. It helped a great deal. Routinely I do 50-70% changes once a week. Just drain the water out, add cold tap water and enough Prime to treat the whole tank. The fish clearly like it.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 12:31 PM
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When I want to do a 90% water change, which is very rare, I will do two consecutive smaller changes. Two consecutive 75% changes removes about 90% of the original water. That way I don't drop the water level too far for the fish. The last time I did this it was because my water was cloudy from either green water or bacterial growth. It helped a great deal. Routinely I do 50-70% changes once a week. Just drain the water out, add cold tap water and enough Prime to treat the whole tank. The fish clearly like it.
Having a sump helps to do a 90 as i can drain it dry the fish are left about an inch of water when its all said and done.
I add cold water as well until the water here hits 45 degrees or less. I dont want to have swimming icicles!

Youd be surprised how much heat is stored in the substrate

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 06:59 PM
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I hope my fish dont read this thread they only get 25 -30% changes per week. i would rather do a couple smaller changes than one large change. I dont want drastic changes. I dont pay the water bill but have no reason to change 50% or more.
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