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Old 06-22-2010, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
13,448 posts, read 15,511,011 times
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How often should you change the water? I get differing opinions. Some say 10% each week (which I find a bit much), others say 25% once a month. I test my water at Petsmart, and it falls within normal. It is a bit cloudy, however, so I'm going to change the water this weekend. I have a community tank of tetras, assorted platys, a gourami, two cory cats, and a 7" pleco. 55 gallons. Top Fin filter. So yeah, it's not really top of the line.

Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:25 AM
 
5,064 posts, read 15,917,191 times
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I do 20% weekly partial water changes, with a gravel vac. I have four fish tanks, with a lot of fish. That's the recommendation from "experts", although it varies depending on your bio load. If you have few fish or too many, you would need to do a little less or a little more. It really is better to do frequent partial water changes, so that you don't suddenly overload your fish with ammonia. It's only a matter of time before you'll have problems if you don't. And it's better not to empty out all the water at once, as you'll disturb the natural bacteria. But if you do, be sure to leave behind your current filter, which will help with the re-cycling process. I've noticed from previous posts on CD that a lot of members don't know about cycling, and nitrate and nitrites. It's what keeps the fish healthy (or not). And if Petsmart is using those test strips, just a word of warning, they aren't reliable. You should use a liquid test, such as API, and test for ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.

All that fish poop and any leftover food bits do accumulate. Do you ever vacuum your gravel? If you never do, and suddenly try it, you should only do a small area at a time. Otherwise, all the yuck under the gravel will disperse throughout the tank, and you'll get a big ammonia spike.

Rather than go on and on, I thought it would just be easier to post a link that explains the importance of water changes and gravel vacs, so you don't think I am just long-winded.


Cleaning Your Aquarium - The First Tank Guide - Performing Your Weekly 10-15% Water Change
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:45 PM
 
Location: USA
3,966 posts, read 10,707,768 times
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I'm not advertising the product, but eheim has a gravel vac that is battery powered and uses a filter so you don't have the problem of polluting your take with under-gravel nasties.

I want to try it out as im sure it would be better that way then doing it while i suck up the water.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,272 posts, read 2,376,497 times
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For myself I do I change approx 20-25% on a monthly basis. But I also monitor my own tank and will do a change quicker if I see the need.
I would recommend that you also take over checking your own levels.
This way you can hop onto any problems quickly rather than waiting on the store.
A good test kit will run about $30-$40 for freshwater or reef systems.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
13,448 posts, read 15,511,011 times
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Thanks for the advice guys. Changed the water last week. Problem is that gravel vac-ing uproots all the plants and stuff and we have to fix the decor every time. I'm leaning on a compromise -- maybe every two weeks?

Also, how unreliable are the test strips?
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,563 posts, read 5,384,598 times
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Default every two weeks change it all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
Thanks for the advice guys. Changed the water last week. Problem is that gravel vac-ing uproots all the plants and stuff and we have to fix the decor every time. I'm leaning on a compromise -- maybe every two weeks?

Also, how unreliable are the test strips?
the species you have are pretty tough. Every two weeks change almost all the water and they'll be just fine. Gravel-vac lightly to not disturb the plants. That's it and good luck with your tank.
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