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Water changes - what is "normal"?

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by sparkyjf, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Use a basic model gravel cleaner (like the one in the following link) to clean the gunk out of the gravel and drain water out of the tank during water changes.
    https://www.about-goldfish.com/aquarium-cleaning.html

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    Some test kits will show 0.25ppm ammonia or nitrite as the lowest level. You can check a sample of tap water and see if it has the same reading 0.25 or something less. If you can get a bottle of distilled water or reverse osmosis water (available from most supermarkets and hardware stores), they should have no ammonia at all and if you test that it should give you a 0 reading. If you get 0.25ppm ammonia and nitrite from distilled water, then that is the lowest level the test kit reads at.

    Check the nitrates before doing a water change and again after the water change and see how much difference the water change is making.

    Try doing a 75% water change each day for a week and see if it drops the nitrates to 0 (or whatever the nitrate level in the tap water is). If you do a 75% water change each day for a week and the nitrates do not drop, the test kit could be faulty or you are putting way too much food into the tank. In which case stop feeding for a couple of days and do 75% water changes when you aren't feeding and see if the nitrates drop, they should.

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    You could try growing floating plants in the tank and these will help reduce nitrates. Duckweed, Azolla, Salvinia & Water Sprite all do well in aquariums.

     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I think I know where you are coming from with this, but it may help to clarify especially for less experienced aquarists who might get the wrong idea.

    Nitrate was the issue here, and as this is toxic to all fish over time, the sooner one removes as much as possible, the better for the fish. There is no reason to acclimate the fish to healthier water when it is nitrate, just the same as with ammonia or nitrite. So if the tap water has zero nitrate, and the aquarium has high nitrate (80 to 160 ppm nitrate was the test results posted earlier) then doing a major water change to eliminate as much of the nitrate as possible is advisable. This will not shock or hurt the fish in any way (assuming the parameters are close).

    There are times when a major water change may not be advisable, such as when the tank has for whatever reason been allowed to go without water changes and the pH has lowered, nitrate has risen, and ammonia may occur if the tap water pH is basic. But when the issue is solely nitrate, getting rid of all or as much as possible in one change is better.

    Think of it like being in a closed room with a toxic gas. You do not want to continue breathing in the gas as you slowly reduce it; you want to get rid of it all immediately and breathe fresh air. Same here with nitrate, just like ammonia or nitrite.
     
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  3. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    pick the gas, pick the gas, inhaling, getting dizzy, falling down :/
     
  4. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Thanks for the clarification @Byron. I was in the office, and born in the wrong generation for lengthy explanations on my phone :(, when it ocurred to me that the only concrete fact we had was the high nitrates, which is why I suggested caution.
     
  5. Deanasue

    Deanasue Fish Fanatic

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    With some gases that could be fun. Like when I go to the dentist. As soon as I start inhaling that gas, I’m ready to party. Thinking who can I call to go have a drink with? Then they bring you down and you go like “what was I thinking?”
     
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  6. Cichlid4life

    Cichlid4life Fish Fanatic

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    Inhales gas, doesn't think about anything and starts doing dangerous things, gets dizzy, falls on to the ground, falls asleep, sweet dreams, wakes up and the world is upside down and all i see is talking fish, then i snap out of it, i found myself in the hospital, and i was told i was drinking and inhaling gases that made me a lunatic, sounds like a fun experience, i am in on what you guys are talking about!
     
  7. Deanasue

    Deanasue Fish Fanatic

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    That sounds like a really bad trip, Dude! Lol!
     
  8. Cichlid4life

    Cichlid4life Fish Fanatic

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    yup, but i guess that could happen, but i was only joking off of what the other two said.
     

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