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Questions about water changes;

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Jim Hollingsworth, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Jim Hollingsworth

    Jim Hollingsworth Junior Poster

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    Hi Tom;

    I have four questions about water changes;
    1) Water changes are a pain. Why are they needed? It would seem that with lots of plants, a
    moderate fish load and a good biological filter any problems with ammonia, nitrites and
    nitrates would be taken care of easily. Whats left to dilute?
    2) How does one do water changes on a large tank (say 150 gallons)? The water needs to be
    treated to remove chlorine etc and it needs to be brought up to close to the temperature of
    the aquarium. The only thing I can think of is a 35 gallon garbage can. This is sort of a large
    thing to have sitting around my living room. How do you do water changes? When do you
    put in the water treatment and how do you adjust the water temp when doing water changes
    on a large aquarium?
    3) Do you recommend any particular water treatment, or are they all the same?
    4) What do you think about adding bacterial starter cultures (either for cycling or for adding to
    water changes) ? Can you recommend any of these products?

    Once again, I appreciate your experience and help, Jim : )
     
  2. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Jim!
    I'm not Tom but ...
    Water change doesn't have to be a pain.
    Jarge diameter hose direct to drain and refill direct from the pipe.
    Add dechlor direct to the tank.
    It takes 15min for me to make 70% wc in 180lit , not a single drop spilled.
     
  3. Jim Hollingsworth

    Jim Hollingsworth Junior Poster

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    Cool... Do you adjust the water temp at the tap?
    Thanks for your help. I haven't done an aquarium before and appreciate you help.
    Jim : )
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Jim,

    1). Changing the water also REMOVES many waste products. It dilutes anything remaing and adds new micros to the water column.
    2). I have a spare mag 500 pump. I attach a long hose to this and drop it in my 180 gal tank. 30 mins later I have removed 85% of the water. Then I just use another hose and attach to the tap for filling. Temp is not an issue for me, but I assume you can adjust the taps if in a cold climate.
    3). As long as it works. Sodium thiosulfate will also work.
    4). I would suggest a mature sponge or two from an established setup.
     
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    1) you never really know entirely what's building up in your water. Did someone dust something? Did you paint something in the other room? Dust recently? Patch some drywall and then sand it down? Did your idiot condo association or neighbor decide to spray the outside of the place for bugs and not tell you so you could close the windows first? Etc. Dumping the tank periodically lets you get rid of any of this.

    2) I have a 1" hose that I start a siphon on and dump the end into the tub. Takes maybe ten minutes to nearly drain the tank. I then use a python water changer to refill the tank. Takes a while but no biggie. You can adjust the temp to be close. I usually leave it a few degrees colder as this seems to stimulate many of the corys to breed and water temp often drops a bit when it rains.

    3) I use Prime. Others can work fine.

    4) I don't usually bother with starter cultures for water changes or for new tanks. I typically have other filter media lying around for this purpose that I can seed in existing tanks for a week or two ahead of time.

    -
    S
     
  6. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    If you live in a hot area, like Texas, the water from the tap some days can be 4 to 5 degrees warmer than the average temp of a tropical tank. I combat this problem by adding water slowly and having it come in near the top of the back glass so it can cool slightly as it splashes in. I then just keep an eye on the thermostat on the tank as I go. If I see the temp rise, I stop for a bit. Generally, I don't have to stop though.

    Shoggoth, how come you don't use the Python to remove the water also, just out of curiousity? Is it that much quicker with the 1" hose? I'm sure it is less messy, as draining with a python always leaves a few puddles around the sink for me.
     
  7. Jim Hollingsworth

    Jim Hollingsworth Junior Poster

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    Thank you all for your help. It feels good to have some support on this hobby. I am sure I will be back in the
    public forum with more questions in the future. -- Jim : )
     
  8. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    The python is a 1/2 inch hose. The 1" hose is just MUCH faster than draining via the python. Filling back up with the python is just as fast as anything else.

    -
    S

     

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