water change stress - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 14
water change stress

How do you guys do water changes?

It seems like a real newbie question. I haven't given it much thought in the past. Take some water out. Put some water in. Simple chicken. I have a 30g tank and I do 5 gallon changes twice a week. Vacuuming the gravel every Sunday. I do changes in the morning. Normal feeding time is in the evening an hour before lights out. On the days that I vac the gravel, my 8 red eye tetras are still tightly schooled near the bottom of the tank 10 hours later. So I dont feed them that day. On the day that I don't get in there to vac and clean things, they are back to normal in about an hour. The Cory cats seem like they care less.

Is there anything I can do to reduce how match stress I put on them? I match water temp with a digital thermometer and try not to bump the tank too much.
Asymetric is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 03:33 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
tylergvolk's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 1,730
Test your tap for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate so you know what your adding back into the system.
tylergvolk is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 10:24 AM
Planted Member
 
DBridges's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Posts: 221
It's normal for fish to school tightly when you're doing general maintenance; anything perceived as a general threat can cause schooling behavior. However, Red Eye Tetras are pretty hardy and bold, so that behavior continuing for so long is a little odd.

I would do a full set of water tests on both your aquarium water and tap water, and see if there are any major differences between the two. But honestly, only doing a roughly 17% water change I wouldn't think would be enough to greatly stress such fish.

David


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 gallon planted in progress Radion XR15FW x 2 w/Reeflink Fluval G6
DBridges is offline  
 
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 11:45 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Greeley, CO
Posts: 1,945
Tank Maintenance

Hello Asy...

Tank maintenance shouldn't be a huge task. Small water changes do nothing to maintain clean water conditions for the fish and plants. If you're getting the gear out to change the water, then change it. A 30 gallon tank needs a 50 percent water change weekly. Small water changes leave a lot of dissolved wastes in the tank to stress the fish. If your fish are acting abnormally, you're not taking care of the water, it's that simple.

Everything that goes in to the tank eventually dissolves in the water. If you remove the water, you remove what's in it. So, don't spend time vacuuming, just remove the water and replace it with fresh, treated tap water. This alone will keep the chemistry stable and safe for the tank inhabitants.

By removing and replacing a lot of the water and doing this often, your fish and plants will be much healthier. Pretty easy.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 14
Seems there's 2 schools of thought on the water changes. Weekly big ones or smaller ones more often. I am not really comited to any which way. I imagine, if they are going to be bugged out all day from the disturbance, it might be worth it to just change half the water.

I will test my tap water after work. Its city water, so I was assuming it is clean. The tank always tests 0 amonia and nitrite and between 0 and the first orange shade for nitrates.


I am not afraid for their lives or anything, it just seemed messed up that they would cower for so long after putting my hands/vac in there for maintinence. I do wash and rinse my arms good beforehand.
Asymetric is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 12:52 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
Some fish "get used to the routine" and some just don't. Cichlids in general come back to their personable selves in a short period. Jittery, "bait fish" like tetras will take a little longer. You may be over-thinking it from the stress point of view just a bit. If you use dechlorinated water at a temp really close to tank water and there aren't any other issues with source water, you should really have no worries.

Angelo

"Why can't my wife see all of this stuff as an investment?"
Bushkill is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 02:30 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Greeley, CO
Posts: 1,945
Tank Maintenance

Hello again Asy...

A series of small water changes isn't time efficient. If you do several small water changes a week, you're doing a couple of things. Leaving the bulk of the dissolved wastes in the water and wasting time getting out and putting back the water change equipment.

Work up to one large water change a week and you'll improve the water quality in the tank, by removing half the dissolved waste and what's left is diluted to a safe level in all the added clean water. Plus, you get out the equipment and put it away one time.

Vacuuming disturbs fish, plants and the bottom material. It isn't necessary. The organic material that collects on the bottom dissolves in the tank water and nourishes the plants. What the plants don't use is removed by changing the water.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline  
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 02:41 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Veritas's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello again Asy...

A series of small water changes isn't time efficient. If you do several small water changes a week, you're doing a couple of things. Leaving the bulk of the dissolved wastes in the water and wasting time getting out and putting back the water change equipment.

Work up to one large water change a week and you'll improve the water quality in the tank, by removing half the dissolved waste and what's left is diluted to a safe level in all the added clean water. Plus, you get out the equipment and put it away one time.

Vacuuming disturbs fish, plants and the bottom material. It isn't necessary. The organic material that collects on the bottom dissolves in the tank water and nourishes the plants. What the plants don't use is removed by changing the water.

B

I can't say I agree with that last part. In the past, I mistakenly didn't vacuum one area of my tank - and the build up of debris in that section astounded me when I realized what I had done. I feel like vacuuming is important to maintaining good water quality.

I do weekly 50% water changes as well, but I always make sure and vac up anything that looks bad.

-120g-
- Praecox Dwarf Rainbowfish, Glowlight Danio, Rummynose Tetra, Leopard Danio, Ember Tetra, Scarlet Badis, Anchor Catfish, Red Cherry Shrimp, Assassin Snail, Neirite Snail
-20G L -
- Celestial Pearl Danio, Dwarf Emerald Rasbora
Tank Journal (120):

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Veritas is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 02:46 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 12,048
Thinking of why we vac can be helpful in telling us how much of it we need to do. One reason to vac is to remove what is an eyesore. Do you like the "look" of the tank better? Then it is worth doing.
But if it is not an eyesore situation and the reason for vacing may be to get more of the debris off the bottom before it becomes nitrate. In this case you need to look at how leaving it might change the amount of nitrate left in the tank. Possible that not vacing does scare the fish less so that if it bumps the nitrate load from 20 to a still reasonable 30, you might be better to not vac.
I might suggest trying some other ways to see how the fish act. There are times when large water changes are fine with fish and other fish get really stressed when the water goes lower. Maybe it is the confusion of being chased by the vac?
Try some other methods and watch the fish to get better action from them. Small frequent water changes gets the same done as large so how the fish act should be the guide.
PlantedRich is offline  
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 14
Never really thought about why I vac. Its just "something you do". I do get a good amount of nasty out when I do, but the gravel doesn't look gross if I skip a week. I have never had a nitrate problem. It is always between zero and the first color on the API test kit.

I think I am going to, at least as a test, switch to larger water changes once a week. Many less disturbances will help some. I also realise I could be over thinking it. But if I am going to take responsibility of keeping animals, I think I'm obligated to provide the highest quality of life that is practical.

Even if they are "just fish".

That ks for the input.
Asymetric is offline  
post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 07:03 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 58
I also do more frequent, smaller water changes. One thing I haven't seen mentioned, and maybe you're already doing it, is to make sure you're adding Prime or something similar if you're adding tap water when doing water changes.
Zippos is offline  
post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 07:43 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
brandon429's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Playas, NM
Posts: 581
i drain my tank fully, and leave it empty for a while working on things

the guppy is emersed in a bed of wet plants he's ok

shrimp walk around like little dinosaurs

cleaned up everything wipe inside of glass etc, then refill 100% everything adapts.

small old reef tank:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


still running in 2018

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
brandon429 is offline  
post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 07:43 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
lee739's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 532
There is a good post on this forum - LINK about the benefits of larger weekly water changes. Worth a read. Shows how dissolved wastes accumulate over time with smaller changes.
lee739 is offline  
post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 14
I use jungle water safe plus tablets. A box of 100 came with the tank when I bought it. Each is individually sealed so I ffigured they are still good. None of the fish food that came with the tank (craigslist used setup) was out of date so its probably not that old.

I also have a 150ish gallon outdoor fish pond. With some goldfish in it. The first year i moved in here, I figured out just how important it is to get the chlorine out of the water. Just leaving the house in it at a steady drip to control the 100 degree water temp had them all dead by dinnertime. Live n learn.
Asymetric is offline  
post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 10:07 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
ErtyJr's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 516
Here is something you can try. All fish love food, and all fish love live food even more.

Invest in a bit of live food find out what they like. After you figured out their favorite treat, make tank cleaning time also treat time. start to treat them before you do the cleaning and work towards treating them during, and maybe eventually make it afterwards. This will begin to make them associate cleaning time with good food time, and more than likely they will begin to look forward to the cleaning.

Fish CAN be trained, especially with food. It's worth a shot if you ask me. If you do go this route keep me updated, I'll be curious to see how it goes.
ErtyJr is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome