Water Changes, Can there be to many?

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Discuss all topics related to freshwater and planted tanks.

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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:34 am

Water Changes, Can there be to many?

by bacrosslin

I have recently converted my 55Gal. African Cichlid tank from gravel to white sand and of course the waste is much much more noticable since is stays on top. The question I have can there be to many water changes on a tank. Before i converted to sand I did my usual 25% weekly and 50% monthly always using a gravel vacuum. With the poop being more noticeable I almost have to vacuum every two days which results in 10-25% water depletion. Is this ok? My cichlids show no signs of stress due to the extra cleaning, actutally they seems to like it more, I have read that they like the water changes b/c it simulates rain to them which makes them want to mate more. Any advice??

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by a1k8t31524

i see no problems with that. i do 20-25% every third day. you have to think fishes natural environment gets probaly gets a massive water change daily especially if it is a "river or stream" fish

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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:38 am

by adehaan86

This is what I would do If the water is dirty then you can clean as much as you like. But if your unsure check your ammonia in the tank , ammonia is the big thing to watch for and can build up fast. I do mine every three weeks this also gives time for good bacteria to grow. As far as a water change too much yes, but knowing cichlids they are messing and need the extra water changes.

All in all, you can do it to keep the tank clean. Or you can use a very good filter but replacing every few weeks.

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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:55 am

by jweb1369

I have the same problem man. I just don't clean it out that much. When I go to actually take the rocks out and deep clean the sand, you wouldn't believe all the shit I suck up. You gotta think, every time you feed your fish they shit. So If you don't clean it, it doesn't just disappear. Cleaning it that frequent won't hurt, just make sure you don't wash out the filter sponges with tap water and you should be fine.

It took me about 2 hours to clean the tank tonight (50% water change), but I also trimmed plants and cleaned algae off of rocks and stuff.

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by Tmercier834747

I actually find sand a whole lot easier to clean. With enough water flow directed in the right places and your substrate angled to bring all that doesn't belong to the back of the tank where the filter intakes are, and some bottom feeders to stir things up, your tank should only have a few spots where detritus will collect.

I have a Rena XP1 (250gph) and a penguin power sponge filter (170gph) in my 30gal and a small crew of 6 panda corys and there's never any detritus sitting on the bottom. There's also enough dead spots in the water column for fish to rest in.
Of course water changes are still absolutely necessary but I never have to ''vacuum'' this tank. The only place any collects is in the cave, which if I pick up or move everything under it is sent straight to the filters.

Also this is a kind've coarse sand grain so really fine sand might not work out quite so well as it could follow the detritus into your filter and cause some problems with so much water flow.

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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:34 am

by bacrosslin

its fine sand but so far i havent had any problems with it getting into my filter, i keep the intake about 6" above the sand. The most spots where the poop accumulates is in and around my rocks, which by looking at my pic u can see it is a pain to move them around. I think i am going to sell my pleco b/c he is 4 yr old and HUGE and cannot move around between cracks and buy a smaller one for this tank. I will possibly invest in a undergravel jet system in the future, i have been told that it can help ALOT.

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:30 am

by dizzcat

Instead of changing water, you can do what I do. I take a turkey baster and suck up the poop every day. The end of the baster can get right into the rock crevices too. Then I fill a jug with water to replace the small amount the baster sucked out. Works very easy :-) That keeps it clean looking until I do the major cleaning on the week ends. African Cichlids are so ornery, always digging and chasing, so if I don't the poop flies all over the place ALL the time LOL. It has been a lot better since I bought a new filter tho. I got one designed for a tank twice the size as mine.

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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:34 am

by bacrosslin

hey thats a killer idea, thanks, ima go grab me one tonight :) Lol ima baste my fishes lol

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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:24 pm

by yasherkoach

monitor the water via your testing...do this every other 3 days, if the ammonia and nitrite go up, then yes, 25 or even 30% water change every 3 or 4 days is fine...if the nitrite and ammonia remain at zero, you are fine...also of course, monitor the nitrate, if the nitrate goes over 30 ppm, but holds steady at 40 ppm and under, you are safe, anything over this stresses the fish...

as for your question, are there too many water changes?

20-25% per week is normal...20-25% every other day you may wipe out the nutrient levels in the water column (there is much debate on this subject in and out of this forum...been there already on this forum, so I know :), but in the overall, as long as your gravel is with good bio bacteria and your filters hold good bacteria, you should be okay

best thing to do in this situation is watch your water testing or monitoring very closely...water testing will tell you exactly what you need to do (only if fish could talk english :)

also possibly more areation at the surface level will give the fish more oxygen

but for now, test your water and go from here

Water Changes, Can there be to many?

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