How much water change is too much? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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How much water change is too much?

I didn't really quite know how to properly word the title of the thread but how much water removal is TOO much? I normally end up doing quite large ones, sometimes down to 2 inches left in a 40 gal long tank, and my BF thinks I'm doing too much...

The fish never seem to mind, and our ammonia and nitrite readings are always fine, but is there a point where it gets to be too much?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 10:10 PM
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I'm not sure there is such a thing, lol. What you're doing sounds fine to me. I do a 70% - 80% water change on my 75g every four or five days. They make everyone happy, fish and plants alike.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 10:48 PM
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I do a 50% once a week, although my tanks only smallish, people say 20% a week is more then enough, as long as its the same temp as your tank I don't see a problem, I've also done it at lower temps and it was still fine.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 11:06 PM
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I do a weekly 50% WC on my guppy fry tank and just now did an 80% due to excessive debris on the bare bottom. I wouldn't do anything larger than a 50% on my Cardinal/Otto tank because I hear they are sensitive fish.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Well current inhabitants are black skirt tetras, zebras, neons, a CAE and a Rainbow Shark. They never really seem to care, but my BF thinks I should be removing them when I do.

I normally get down to 2-3 inches of water, put on the bubbler, let it sit for 15-20 minutes to expose the GDA to air (kills it), and then fill it up. They never care for the most part, but his comment worried me... He's been keeping fish way longer then me.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 02:00 AM
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Really, you can never do too much water changes (quantity-wise).
I have a small tank with a bunch of Neons I want to breed - I do as complete a wc as I can once a week - get the water level down to 1" - fill the tank partially back up - clean & vac the substrate - siphon it out one again down to the 1" level, and fill back up.
Haven't lost a Neon - they're in great shape, but not quite mature enough yet - and I'm still experimenting with foods to get them into proper, conducive spawning condition! LOL
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshNeon93 View Post
I do a 50% once a week, although my tanks only smallish, people say 20% a week is more then enough, as long as its the same temp as your tank I don't see a problem, I've also done it at lower temps and it was still fine.
I change my water with my garden hose. The fish don't mind the cooler waters at all but I only do a fifty percent change.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 05:42 AM
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I am sure its possible if the fish are sensitive to parameter changes and the chemistry is vastly different than what the fish are accustomed to. I currently run a low tech 29g tank in which I do a 75-80% water change every 3-4 weeks. Generally at this time I have already lost about 5-10 gallons due to evaporation. My water change is a consistent 75/25 mix of R/O and tap though. I have been doing this for about 2 years with this tank and I don't have any fish loss because of it.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Really, you can never do too much water changes (quantity-wise).
I have a small tank with a bunch of Neons I want to breed - I do as complete a wc as I can once a week - get the water level down to 1" - fill the tank partially back up - clean & vac the substrate - siphon it out one again down to the 1" level, and fill back up.
Haven't lost a Neon - they're in great shape, but not quite mature enough yet - and I'm still experimenting with foods to get them into proper, conducive spawning condition! LOL
That's what I do monthly lol... Get almost all the water out, fill it up, do it again, until the tank is spotless. But weekly it's a pretty large water change. When I get to the 4th or 5th bucket, it's one of those oh screw it I can do another one or two. Then comes the time when I have to refill the tank and regret it
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 12:50 PM
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Water Changes

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Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
I didn't really quite know how to properly word the title of the thread but how much water removal is TOO much? I normally end up doing quite large ones, sometimes down to 2 inches left in a 40 gal long tank, and my BF thinks I'm doing too much...

The fish never seem to mind, and our ammonia and nitrite readings are always fine, but is there a point where it gets to be too much?
Hello Little...

Changing half the tank water weekly is plenty. It takes some time for wastes to build to toxic levels. If you remove 50 percent of the tank water every week on a tank the size you have, you remove most of the wastes before they can build to toxic levels. If you have plants in the tank, they'll use some of the dissolved wastes and the rest is diluted to a very safe level in all the new water.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 01:10 PM
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Only time I would say to avoid major water changes is if your tap water is unstable and hard to buffer/adjust to the conditions you need.

Go big or go home I say.


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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 02:49 PM
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I have advocated big water changes for over ten years. If you're using straight tap water, you stand little chance of making huge parameter changes. I do 75-80% every week to ten days.

Be careful in the winter. Straight cold tap water can get deadly cold.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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I do use straight tap water in my water changes... In my 10 gallon I do much smaller water changes, but the big tank I normally do huge ones. Most of the time I just get carried away with it. We do have wickedly cold water in the winter, but I just eyeball the temperature for the big tank with my hands.

They never care really about it, but I just worried when my BF said that. Our tap water has been unchanged for years. Not even any chloramines (thank you grand rapids for that). I mostly do it because it makes getting the algae off the glass WAY easier... after it dries I just take a paper towel and wipe off
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 06:01 PM
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Yeah, I judge temperature by feel as well.

My girlfriend and I have a rule in the house that rules above all rules-

You can tell me what to do or how to do it. Pick one. If you want to do both, do it yourself.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 10:21 PM
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Water Changes

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Originally Posted by Leaky Filter View Post
I have advocated big water changes for over ten years. If you're using straight tap water, you stand little chance of making huge parameter changes. I do 75-80% every week to ten days.

Be careful in the winter. Straight cold tap water can get deadly cold.
Hello Leaky...

I could have used you as a backup on another forum. There are some tank keepers there that don't believe there are benefits to large, frequent water changes.

I do work to match the temperature of the new, treated tap to that already in the tank.

Change a lot of tank water and change it often and you'll have no tank problems.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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