Water changes ...

Brendanpat

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Hi all .back again..😁. Just looking for some advice on how people do water changes. I've got a 29 gallon. I change 45-50 %weekly . I use 2 buckets and a gravel vac siphon to suck water out . Then I fill the buckets from the tap to match temperature and treat the bucket with api tap safe .let it sit a while then jug it in . But this disrupts sand and plants .and make a lot of debris. Is there an easier way ? Is it completely safe to use a python directly from tap ? Then I have to treat the whole tank with dechlorinator ?I've always treated water before putting it in
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Adding the water conditioner to the bucket is always the preferable way to go.
I use just a simple flexible pipe to siphon the water out and this is also enough for me to clean my substrate a little each time. I never have 'a lot of debris'.
I also arranged my tank right from the outset to facilitate cleaning, with distinct low points in the substrate and even a small sand 'beach'. Most debris accumulates in these low points.

For pouring the water back in, my tank is 15" tall, with 13" clear water, between the substrate and the water surface. I pour the conditioned water directly AND SLOWLY from my bucket, (which has a handy pouring lip), over the beach. I note that the bubbles formed never hit bottom and I am yet to disturb the sand...though certain fish like to explore the new water coming in.
(In the wild, such bubbles of new water are often associated with new food entering the water).

A method from the Olden Days would have you place a small saucer in the tank, on the substrate and pour your water in over that.

I normally change 16 litres of my 88 litre tank at a time and have not bothered to equalise temperatures. (Remember that, under normal conditions, fresh rainfall isn't pre-warmed ;) ).
When I've done larger water changes, I have added a little hot water from a kettle, just to take the chill off. As you know, water from hot taps comes via copper piping, (or even lead piping in some older properties) and this should be treated before adding to the tank.
 

wasmewasntit

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My water changing method is a little unorthodox maybe

Water out.....a 2 litre plastic jug (would normally be used in cookery), jug full of water into a bucket til half way down aquarium, rinse the media in the water before throwing old water down the loo

Water back in.....grab one pack of 40 x 500ml bottles of mineral water empty said bottles into the aquarium, turn on the turbo filter and go recycle the empty bottles.

I repeat that for each of my 5 aquariums, takes about 90 minutes to get all 5 done and dusted. No additives in the water, fish happy & healthy...as are the binmen who come to collect the recycling once a fortnight :)
 

Naughts

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I used to use the bucket method and it was so time consuming.

We don't have a combi boiler which would make warm water (cold drinking water heated in the system) safe. Warnings on here about UK water tanks in lofts being final resting places for various creatures put me off using anything but cold (drinking) water mixed with boiled water in the buckets for refill.

But I cut off a length of garden hose and attached it to a gravel vac to drain the tanks. So this at least was less labour intensive.
Meanwhile my daughter was using warm water from a bath tap to refill her betta tank without any apparent problems. It's not an old house so the pipes wouldn't present any dangers.

I was still finding the water changes time consuming and had consciously restricted myself to two display tanks to limit the work. I considered buying another kettle to speed up the refilling. I considered buying a python but really couldn't accept wasting water. Eventually, with an aching back, I decided to fit a tap connector to the other end of my draining hose and refill the tank with warm water, adding the dechlorinator to the tank at the start. It went well and was a complete game changer so I continued without issue (well except when I started the tap without having added conditioner and the fish went crazy but luckily I quickly rectified that).

I prop the hose above the water line where it will disperse on wood and plants so the substrate is not disturbed too much. The debris that is flushed out soon gets hidden again when the filter is switched back on. I clean the filter media weekly. I add the amount of conditioner for the water being replaced, as advised on here and it has been fine. I do 50-75% on a 125 litre and a 180 litre.

I'm not sure this is completely safe, apparently some garden hose have chemicals in them, 1930's houses could have copper pipes, 1960's houses could have open water tanks...
But in my situation it is working for the past year.
 

Essjay

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If you don't mind using buckets to refill, I find pouring water into the tank through a colander stops the substrate etc being disturbed. Instead of one stream of water going in fast, there are many small streams going in at not quite the same place.
My colander is a 170 g pot of Fage Total yogurt with a lot of holes stabbed in the bottom with a knitting needle :blush:
 

seangee

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My weekly change is 200l (across 4 tanks). This is how I put it in. Can be done in an hour if I do nothing else in the time.
20180411_121123-jpg.87411
 

noobfish

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I use buckets and siphon to remove water and vac substrate, but then I use a hose to fill. I run it into the sink until I find the correct water temp, then I shut the valve at the tank end and drag it down the hall. I leave it run fairly slowly, probably taking 30min to fill the 20gal or so needed. As soon as I open the valve into the tank I add half the required dose of Prime. Then, after about 5-10gal, I add the second half of Prime. Been using this method for the past 4 weekly WC's and all has gone well.
And I set the hose so that the water falls on a large dragon stone so that I don't disturb plants or dig a hole in the substrate.
 

Slaphppy7

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I use the Python siphon to both empty and refill, no bucket-hauling for me.
 

Metalhead88

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I gravel vac into drum on wheels and move from tank to tank there is a submersible pump in the drum that drains right to the sink.

To fill I use a python with a splitter so I can fill 2 tanks at once.

Everything has quick connectors at the end so I can swap and stow everything as needed.

I also made pvc hooks that I use to fill and also to drain if I'm not gravel vacing. A 1'' pvc hook with a short hose at the end of it drains something like 100 gallons in less than 5 minutes.

I highly recommend making the pvc hooks. A T at the end that goes 1/4 or more into the tank means you don't have to worry about messing up your substrate.
 
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Brendanpat

Brendanpat

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Loads of interesting ideas and info ,thanks everyone . Lots to think about ...
 

StevenF

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I do about 50% once a week sometimes more, sometimes less. I don't bother with matching temperatures since the new water has been kept at room temperature for a week before use while the tank is also close to room temperature. Also since I am using RO water I don't use a water conditioner.
 

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