Water changes.

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Nov 15, 2023
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About Preparation.

How do you guys prepare your water for water changes... Left alone special treatment for special environment.

At the moment I use a large 14 gallons plastic pail to let the chlorine vent and the temperature raise with a small air stone. Then I take the water I need from that and put it in a smaller pail with a Water heater and heat it up to match thank temp before doing the water changes. And refill the main pail to have degassed water all the time.

After reading a while on the forum and hitting a couple of thread about strange "looking well" tanks meltdowns after a water change... It really triggered my Paranoia. So I thought that running the water over activated carbon in my main pail instead of only an air stone could insure me a good chances if some nasty product get induced they would be removed... I see reports of Activated Carbon can remove more than 225 chemical product, tested in Labs. And I still use water treatment before using it for changes, just in less quantity.

Am I going too far with this....
I am quite cavalier about prep - I do none. I use a food safe hose with a mix at the tap. I pour it in so it's agitated, after having added dechlorinator. Any brand will do.
I have good old fashioned, easy to deal with chlorine to deal with - no chloramines here. That simplifies life.
I have very good, clean water though. Not everyone does. So the question of whether you are over-prepping is still open. It really depends on what you are dealing with, water-wise.
It does seem like a regime that would become discouraging in time because it's so complex.
Unless you've had a major chemical spill in your immediate area, you're probably overthinking it. :) Get a cheapo aquarium thermometer for your bucket, and use hot/cold tap water to get it within a few degrees of your aquarium. Treat it with a good conditioner (plain old API Water Conditioner and Seachem Prime are the two major standbys around here) and dump it in the tank.
Personally, I have large tanks and I don't like using buckets. So I use a Python to empty out about 50-70% of my water into the sink. Then I add enough conditioner for the whole tank, let it circulate for a minute or three, and fill the tank back up, sticking my hand in once in a while to make sure the temperature feels about right, adjusting at the tap as necessary. So far the fish haven't filed any complaints about this method.
I don't prep water when I'm doing a water change. Partial tank water level gets out, and new tapwater gets in... That easy overhere...
What a faff! If I had to do that with every water change I'd be packing in the hobby.

I siphon out the old tank water straight out the window onto the lawn. I then fill the tank back up from the kitchen sink via a long hose attached to a pond pump sitting in a bucket. The tank is treated with API before the water goes in...Bob's your uncle 🧐
my "simple" method of water change has made my arms very strong...
I take around 4 buckets of water from my 75 g, carry it to the lawn and dump it on the dry spots.
Then I take a hose and fill up the buckets. In winter I will add around a quart or two boiling water to balance the temperature. I make a little vortex and add some conditioner , just enough for 5 gallons in the bucket.
Use python with 50' hose to drain tank water into garden, and standard garden hose with plastic spray nozzle to fill (I don't use the python for filling because the fittings are not up to our water pressure). I draw the new water from a utility sink, using a Y on the end of the tap with one end of the y into the sink and the other as the source into the garden hose, running the water into the sink only I adjust the temperature, then close that side of the y and open the side feeding the garden hose, the spray nozzle allows me to control the flow at the tank and the water is no more than a couple of degrees different from the tank water. I can drain (80%) and fill a 75 gallon tank in less than 30 minutes. I use dechlorinator with the amount based on the 70 gallons.
I have to use buckets as the tanks are no-where near a water source, but if I'm desperate (eg. filling up a large 50 gal from scratch, which is a task I'll be carrying out this afternoon) I get the garden hose and link it directly to the water tank outlet.
OK....... Thanks for all your responses !

I understand. Prepping water with larger tanks is nearly out of question for obvious reasons.

I always did it this way because our water supply is almost nearly sparkling water. And if I do a temperature match add conditioner and do a water change immediately. The tank will become filled with tiny air bubbles that can remain for days before going away (There's no aerator on the tap I use, but still). And I really don't like that.

I only have a small tank and It's not that bad as a chore. Once the water is ready, I use 2 buckets, 2 siphons and a stool. I do what I call a "Ghosted water change"... Start draining from one side wait a little and start adding in the filter. Keep an eye on the level as it goes, I run 4 gallons like that in a 5 gallon tank resulting in around 45% change. Nobody in the tank notices there's a water change going on.

Since I'm paying for my water supply Pythons are out of the question. But I'll Keep in mind that I can used the dirty water for the garden next summer.

Again, thanks a lot for your comments 👍
I have really hard, alkaline, well water ( so at least no chlorine to deal with ) I bought a dedicated RO unit for my aquariums... that runs into a 35 gallon translucent plastic drum, ( so I can see how full it's getting ) then I have a remote switched diaphragm pump, that pumps it through a food grade silicone hose, into the tank that needs water... so right now straight room temperature RO water goes into my tanks... RO units are pretty slow flow, so I try & let it run all the time, & when the barrel is nearly full, I do that much of a water change... I have a 7 gallon bucket, that I fill to the 5 gallon level, ( so I'm not slopping it, when carry it to the toilet to dump ) so I do the water changes a "full" 5 gallons at a time, whenever the barrel gets full... or if I have time, & it's time to do them...
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Since I'm paying for my water supply Pythons are out of the question.
I pay for my water supply but I have a septic field. The only reason I got a Python is that it was just as cost effective as any other long 50' tank siphon. I would never use the venturi device to pull water from a tank when you can use gravity. Plus the Nitrate is good for the plants. The Python hose seems to have just the right amount of flexibility to make it easy to work with which is why I use one.
The only reason the waste water from the tanks goes into the toilet, is currently all my tanks are in the basement, and it’s easier than carrying full buckets out to the lawn
I have plain chlorine in my local city water . I have a 44 gallon Brute trash can which is labeled food safe that I keep new water in under aeration . I use NO dechlorinator and when I refill the Brute after my water changes I can smell the chlorine gassing off . It stops reeking of chlorine in about two days . I age my water 6 days . I keep a heater in there too so that the water is the temperature I want . Another advantage to this is that I have water ready to go in case of emergency which sometimes happens or if I set up another aquarium .
I have several large tanks (120, 120, 125) so my prep is that I use my python (not hooked up to the water faucet), and will use gravity to drain usually 50% of the tanks into the basement floor drain. During the first part while it is draining I will also clean the gravel. Gravity draining is not the fastest so usually 25% of the tank is drained by the time I'm done cleaning the gravel.

Why do I change so much water? Every single tank has at least three plecos in it. So the tanks are dirty and in desperate need of large water changes. I used to be more regiment with the water changes however I have been slacking and have been doing water changes every two weeks which also explains the need for a larger water change.

When I refill my tanks I use the python hooked up to the faucet, and I dose my tank was Safe (Seachem powdered version of Prime) prior to refilling it.

My 125 has the largest pleco population with one Royal watermelon pleco, one Royal striped pleco, three bristlenose plecos, one Medusa pleco, and for clown plecos. This tank also has live plants in it...well at least the roots are. This way it will absorb a lot of the nitrogen in the tank in between water changes.
The 120s also have a large amount but the royals are pretty much wood eaters so they make the biggest mess. Not that personal noses are any better, plecos are big poopers irregardless of what they eat, LOL.

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