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Old 12-11-2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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Water change or no water change?

Should I do a water change before adding new fish? I just did a water change on Friday, but I was going to buy new fish today and I just fed the ones I have.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:23 PM   #2
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Weekly water changes are good as long as your parameters are healthy and stable.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:17 PM   #3
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So if I don't do a water change before adding new fish, I'll be fine
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Anna94 View Post
Should I do a water change before adding new fish? I just did a water change on Friday, but I was going to buy new fish today and I just fed the ones I have.
It's always best for the new fish for you to do your routine water changes prior to adding the new fish. This way, they have some time to adjust to the new water you just put them in before needing to adjust to the water change. Water changes also stress the fish to some degree and can cause some diseases to enact so the object is to keep the new fish as stress free as possible.
That all said, the best thing to do is to put the new fish into a quarantine tank for observation before adding them to your main tank. Since you don't know what "hitchhikers" may be coming in on these new fish, a QT tank will help them better get adjusted and should they get sick, they would not infect the whole tank.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:29 PM   #5
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I don't have the room or money for a quarantine tank.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post
It's always best for the new fish for you to do your routine water changes prior to adding the new fish. This way, they have some time to adjust to the new water you just put them in before needing to adjust to the water change. Water changes also stress the fish to some degree and can cause some diseases to enact so the object is to keep the new fish as stress free as possible.
That all said, the best thing to do is to put the new fish into a quarantine tank for observation before adding them to your main tank. Since you don't know what "hitchhikers" may be coming in on these new fish, a QT tank will help them better get adjusted and should they get sick, they would not infect the whole tank.


Quarantine tanks are often bare, with no substrate or decor except the odd PVC pipe, minimal to no tank mates. Some people dose quarantine tanks 'just in case'. It's another tank to acclimate to before the final destination.

I get why people use quarantine tanks. It makes sense so no issue with the concept but I often wonder whether these holding tanks are more stressful in the long run. If water changes can stress them surely so can the above.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:58 PM   #7
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Quarantine tanks are often bare, with no substrate or decor except the odd PVC pipe, minimal to no tank mates. Some people dose quarantine tanks 'just in case'. It's another tank to acclimate to before the final destination.

I get why people use quarantine tanks. It makes sense so no issue with the concept but I often wonder whether these holding tanks are more stressful in the long run. If water changes can stress them surely so can the above.
To properly do long term quarantining, you don't keep these fish under those circumstances over the entire quarantining time. What you are describing is the first stage of QT. You want nowhere for a parasite to hide or breed and a tank where medicating the fish, if necessary, can be done more effectively. Usually a sick fish will break down within a week or 2 or sometimes sooner. Once the time frame for this is over, the fish are then transferred to a tank that is set up like a DT in order for the fish to get used to a new feeding schedule, foods, and typical water parameters. Since this tank should have water parameters kept similar to the display tank, there is no second acclimation to a new water. So the first "tank" does not have to be an expensive or elaborate set up or even a fish "tank".

That all said, one has to decide what is more sensible for them: shooting craps that they won't lose an entire tank of fish by a new sick fish or setting up a tank to prevent this. Some people have a lot of money invested in their prime set ups and medicating is not an option for them. I would think that they would want to do whatever they can to prevent a total wipeout. Considering that most places today don't have good systems to contain sickness within their system, it is truly a crap shoot. How would you feel if you lost a fish you've had for years due to a new fish bringing something into the tank? FYI, it happens often. Just read the threads on this forum.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:14 AM   #8
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How would you feel if you lost a fish you've had for years due to a new fish bringing something into the tank? FYI, it happens often. Just read the threads on this forum.

Thanks Andy. I was hoping to avoid this line of questioning. As mentioned I am not struggling with the logic behind QT. For many QT is just not practical even when using only one tank and now there is another? That said, I'd be surprised if the new addition didn't show signs of disease after all the stress of all these changes. A discussion for another thread perhaps.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:55 AM   #9
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I would also recommend a quarantine tank. I was stubborn for a year and didn't want to spend money on a quarantine tank. Turned out the new fish had ich and flukes and infected everyone else. It's like if you are in a room with another sick person, everyone else will get sick also. And flukes are incredibly hard to completely get rid of. You run the risk of infecting your whole tank with you new fish, and it sounds like you are getting your fish from Petco or Petsmart judging by your other thread which is more reason to quarantine your fish as they are known to be sick from there.

Much easier to do water 50% changes in a small quarantine tank, than your main tank. You will thank us later if you bite the bullet and get a QT.

I know that is not an answer you want to hear with me saying to spend money on a QT, but you will save money and your fish's lives in the long run. And it is a one time purchase to get a tank. Petco usually goes a $1 per gallon sale and a 10 gallon tank would be sufficient.

Go on my page and look at the threads I created back in 2014 and look at all of the problems I had because I didn't use a QT and I still got my fish from PetCo. I just don't want you to make the mistakes I made. It was very stressful for me, and I felt like I was hurting my fish which made me want to quit altogether. I hope this helps!
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
Thanks Andy. I was hoping to avoid this line of questioning. As mentioned I am not struggling with the logic behind QT. For many QT is just not practical even when using only one tank and now there is another? That said, I'd be surprised if the new addition didn't show signs of disease after all the stress of all these changes. A discussion for another thread perhaps.
For me, it's not a matter of logic vs practicality. It's about realistic vs blind hope, finger's crossed, I'll just take my chances. As it was once said to me: Why would you buy a dog if you didn't want to feed it? Buy a car if you didn't want to buy fuel for it? ( and today, even with hybrid and electric cars it still could be asked because you have to pay for the electric to charge it. ) or now, in this case, buy fish if you don't want protect them to live a good life?
That's been my mantra for decades now because it works and the truth.
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