Tank cleaning

FloridaChick

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Established filters should be cleaned at least once a month. That means taking the media out and washing it in a bucket of tank water, and washing the filter case and impellor assembly under tap water.

New filters should not be cleaned until 2 weeks after the tank has cycled (usually 6-8 weeks). This allows the filter bacteria a chance to stick to the filter media. It takes time for the bacteria to develop a decent biofilm on the filter media and this stops it being washed off when you clean the media.
Glad you shared, I had no clue.
 

AbbeysDad

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Hi all
Some people are saying 75% some 20% is there any true figure or just what has worked from your personal experience? I don’t use tap water I buy the water from the fish shop btw thanks
Observing fresh water in nature, science, logic, plus 50+ years in the hobby had led me to the conclusion that the cleanest, freshest water is best for out finned friends that just can't flourish in polluted water.
I relied too much on the filter for sure!
Filters make water look more clear, but organics trapped in the filter decompose and pollute the water. See The Dirty Truth About Filters.
 

hansgruber7

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Yes, I agree large water changes are better all else equal. However, You also need to be more careful about equalizing temperature with the large changes. When you're changing 25% you can be a few degrees off and it won't have as large an impact. I use RO water, so for me it's a bigger risk to do a 75% change because my parameters might be off more than for someone using tap water (my tap water is unusable). The other point to keep in mind (happy to be corrected) is if you have something in your tank that is shifting a parameter significantly. I have a tank with a lot of driftwood which has a much lower PH than my other tanks for example. Then a large water change could be more of a shock.
 

carligraceee

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Hi all

is 20% water change weekly correct also best way and how often do clean filter thanks or a link to read this up thanks
All things that Colin mentioned is correct. This is what I do with an 'overstocked' tank.

I gravel and water vacuum about 75% weekly. I rinse the filter with old tank water and put it back. I test the water before and after the water change.

It is recommended monthly to do a full tank cleaning- without changing anything in the filter. Just cleaning decor/gravel/plants.
 

Gavin MaGrath

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50-75% water change surely this is to much weekly?
No, it's not. I had a chance to spend a lot of time with a world renound ichthyologist many years ago when I was a member of the Detroit aquarium society. Dr. Jim Langhammer. He was one of the leading experts on live bearers, President of the ALA and curator of Belle Isle aquarium in Detroit. I'm going on a bit bit you can google him. Anyway, he had 65 tanks and an advanced water changing system, all automated. He changed 50% of all the water. I wish I could remember how often but it was more than once a week. He told me that water changes are the most important element in fish keeping. It keeps the water closest to a natural environment. Interestingly, his fish were the largest and healthiest I've ever seen in the hobby. He was responsible for many fish surfing in the hobby. Especially halbeaks and certain Goodeids. I've always followed his advice and rarely had an issue. In fact, he said that testing water etc, was hardly necessary if you do those large changes. His filtration was interesting too. I did the same (outside of large tanks) just a small homemade sponge filter.
Hope this helps. I was very fortunate.
 

FloridaChick

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No, it's not. I had a chance to spend a lot of time with a world renound ichthyologist many years ago when I was a member of the Detroit aquarium society. Dr. Jim Langhammer. He was one of the leading experts on live bearers, President of the ALA and curator of Belle Isle aquarium in Detroit. I'm going on a bit bit you can google him. Anyway, he had 65 tanks and an advanced water changing system, all automated. He changed 50% of all the water. I wish I could remember how often but it was more than once a week. He told me that water changes are the most important element in fish keeping. It keeps the water closest to a natural environment. Interestingly, his fish were the largest and healthiest I've ever seen in the hobby. He was responsible for many fish surfing in the hobby. Especially halbeaks and certain Goodeids. I've always followed his advice and rarely had an issue. In fact, he said that testing water etc, was hardly necessary if you do those large changes. His filtration was interesting too. I did the same (outside of large tanks) just a small homemade sponge filter.
Hope this helps. I was very fortunate.
How neat to have known him? Like me, many novices think all they need to do is clean the filter ? I have seen major positive change since I did a couple of 75% water changes, may go down to 50% for now
 

AbbeysDad

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Just look at nature....fresh water is CONSTANTLY renewed by rains and snow melt. Consider the creeks, streams, and rivers that flow constantly towards the sea. For the aquarium, the fishkeeper makes the rain with routine periodic partial water changes....and there is rarely too much thing as too much fresh water!
---
Too many hobbyists think their filters clean the water, but The Dirty Truth About Filters is that they merely trap detritus where it decomposes and pollutes the water. Oh. filters are good for clarity, but not purification. And even with a good substrate loaded with good biology and fast growing plants, NOTHING beats replacing polluted water with fresh water.
---
Now if we were able to mimic nature we would have fresh water trickling into the tank and overflowing so the water is always 'fresh' and less polluted. But this requires plumbing and drains and just not convenient for the living room show tank. The next best thing is the periodic partial water change of sufficient volume and frequency so as to keep the fresh water fresh...and often more water and/or more frequent is much better than too little, too late.
[end rant] :)
Regular Partial Water Changes
Partial Water Changes
Partial Water Changes - Fast & Easy
 

FloridaChick

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Just look at nature....fresh water is CONSTANTLY renewed by rains and snow melt. Consider the creeks, streams, and rivers that flow constantly towards the sea. For the aquarium, the fishkeeper makes the rain with routine periodic partial water changes....and there is rarely too much thing as too much fresh water!
---
Too many hobbyists think their filters clean the water, but The Dirty Truth About Filters is that they merely trap detritus where it decomposes and pollutes the water. Oh. filters are good for clarity, but not purification. And even with a good substrate loaded with good biology and fast growing plants, NOTHING beats replacing polluted water with fresh water.
---
Now if we were able to mimic nature we would have fresh water trickling into the tank and overflowing so the water is always 'fresh' and less polluted. But this requires plumbing and drains and just not convenient for the living room show tank. The next best thing is the periodic partial water change of sufficient volume and frequency so as to keep the fresh water fresh...and often more water and/or more frequent is much better than too little, too late.
[end rant] :)
Regular Partial Water Changes
Partial Water Changes
Partial Water Changes - Fast & Easy
Makes SO much sense. My fish thank you!
 

PlasticGalaxy

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Just look at nature....fresh water is CONSTANTLY renewed by rains and snow melt. Consider the creeks, streams, and rivers that flow constantly towards the sea. For the aquarium, the fishkeeper makes the rain with routine periodic partial water changes....and there is rarely too much thing as too much fresh water!
---
Too many hobbyists think their filters clean the water, but The Dirty Truth About Filters is that they merely trap detritus where it decomposes and pollutes the water. Oh. filters are good for clarity, but not purification. And even with a good substrate loaded with good biology and fast growing plants, NOTHING beats replacing polluted water with fresh water.
---
Now if we were able to mimic nature we would have fresh water trickling into the tank and overflowing so the water is always 'fresh' and less polluted. But this requires plumbing and drains and just not convenient for the living room show tank. The next best thing is the periodic partial water change of sufficient volume and frequency so as to keep the fresh water fresh...and often more water and/or more frequent is much better than too little, too late.
[end rant] :)
Regular Partial Water Changes
Partial Water Changes
Partial Water Changes - Fast & Easy
Where would we be without people like you? Your knowledge is infinitely valuable here. :good:
 

seangee

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No, it's not. I had a chance to spend a lot of time with a world renound ichthyologist many years ago when I was a member of the Detroit aquarium society. Dr. Jim Langhammer. He was one of the leading experts on live bearers, President of the ALA and curator of Belle Isle aquarium in Detroit. I'm going on a bit bit you can google him. Anyway, he had 65 tanks and an advanced water changing system, all automated. He changed 50% of all the water. I wish I could remember how often but it was more than once a week. He told me that water changes are the most important element in fish keeping. It keeps the water closest to a natural environment. Interestingly, his fish were the largest and healthiest I've ever seen in the hobby. He was responsible for many fish surfing in the hobby. Especially halbeaks and certain Goodeids. I've always followed his advice and rarely had an issue. In fact, he said that testing water etc, was hardly necessary if you do those large changes. His filtration was interesting too. I did the same (outside of large tanks) just a small homemade sponge filter.
Hope this helps. I was very fortunate.
Good advice indeed. I change 75% weekly as a matter of course in all 4 of my tanks. I aslo use nothing but sponge as filter media, and have planty of plants.
I don't believe its a coincidence that I have almost 0 experience with fish diseases or poorly fish.
 

TWynnB

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what about using aqadvisor dot com? That way you base the water change based on tank size, volume of fish, and filter capability?
 

itiwhetu

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When you change 75% of your water, how do control your pH. Or do all your tanks just run at the pH from the tap, which means that most of the systems will be Alkaline. Then how do you keep acid loving fish or are they just something you don't consider.
 

Essjay

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Most of us stock our tanks based on our GH not pH. As long as pH is stable, it can be slightly outside their normal range. The advantage with large water changes is that it does keep GH, KH, pH similar to our tap water so if ever an emergency water change is needed it is safe to do so.

For example, how many times do we read of someone who accidentally dropped a tub of fish food in the tank; or a child decided to feed the fish and emptied the tub in there; or a toddler decides to feed the fish with their own food. The only way to deal with this is several large water changes back to back and unless the tank water is similar to our tap water this cannot be done safely.
 

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