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Old 11-11-2014, 09:19 PM   #1
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Water Changes

I have a 35 Gallon tropical community aquarium i am starting up. Is there such a thing as to frequent of a water change? I was planning on doing 15-20 gallons every 5 days along with a gravel vacuuming each time. How does this sound? and Cleaning the filter ever 2 months, and replacing the Activated Carbon every 6 weeks so that it doesnt release anything back into the water.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:42 PM   #2
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First, you don't need carbon at all. The space is better used for more biomedia. Filters need to be cleaned more often than every two months.. it depends on the media, fish load and filter type, but at least once a month, maybe once every 2 - 3 weeks. Carbon doesn't release things back into water, btw, that's a bit of a myth, but unless you have medication or nasty odours or colour to remove from water it's just not needed and in some fish, may actually be detrimental.

Water changes, well, technically you can't do too much, so long as the water you use matches in temperature and other qualities. Be sure to use a good quality dechlorinator.. Prime is one of the best and quite economical, as you use very little of it. The usual is to change maybe 25-30% weekly, but more or less may also be fine. If you have plants, often you can do less, as plants use up the nitrates.

Get a test kit, you will need it anyway to be sure of the cycle, and that will tell you when nitrates are getting to the point you need to change water. You need to test for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. You may or may not need a heater. It depends what fish you choose to keep and how warm the room is where the tank will be. Check the needs of the fish you hope to have, that should tell you if a heater is needed. I haven't ever needed any, but I keep mainly cooler water species, rather than very tropical species.

Most fish enjoy clean water, so having a more intensive water change schedule is not a bad thing in any way. It can get to be a fair bit of work though.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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First, you don't need carbon at all. The space is better used for more biomedia. Filters need to be cleaned more often than every two months.. it depends on the media, fish load and filter type, but at least once a month, maybe once every 2 - 3 weeks. Carbon doesn't release things back into water, btw, that's a bit of a myth, but unless you have medication or nasty odours or colour to remove from water it's just not needed and in some fish, may actually be detrimental.

Water changes, well, technically you can't do too much, so long as the water you use matches in temperature and other qualities. Be sure to use a good quality dechlorinator.. Prime is one of the best and quite economical, as you use very little of it. The usual is to change maybe 25-30% weekly, but more or less may also be fine. If you have plants, often you can do less, as plants use up the nitrates.

Get a test kit, you will need it anyway to be sure of the cycle, and that will tell you when nitrates are getting to the point you need to change water. You need to test for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. You may or may not need a heater. It depends what fish you choose to keep and how warm the room is where the tank will be. Check the needs of the fish you hope to have, that should tell you if a heater is needed. I haven't ever needed any, but I keep mainly cooler water species, rather than very tropical species.

Most fish enjoy clean water, so having a more intensive water change schedule is not a bad thing in any way. It can get to be a fair bit of work though.
I have a test kit that i test with, my tank is cycled. I will change my filter cleaning to more often then. 17.5 gallons would be 50% so i'de say i'm doing about 45% with 15 gallons. I have read many mixed reviews on carbon and I am still undecided if using it or not using it is benefical. Most use it to remove medicine from the water but others use it cause they say it helps keep the water clear. I just kinda go by the motto that it cant hurt, as long as i change it frequently.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:56 PM   #4
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Well, your choice of course. When I first kept fish, carbon was considered essential.. and most filter makers still put carbon in their refill cartridges. But we have learned a lot since then.

Carbon has its uses. But it's not essential. There is some evidence to suggest it may be related to some problems in some fish, by no means all fish, but some. I'd have to go find the article again to refresh my memory.

It helps keep water odourless, and colourless, but if you want crystal clear water, you want water polishing, and floss is one of the best media for water polishing. It catches even the most minute particles and is fairly cheap. All my tanks are crystal clear and I don't use carbon in any of the filters. I do use floss, always.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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Carbon is optionnal, I don't use it on my show tank. Never rinse filter bio media (the white or brown pellets) under the tap.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:33 AM   #6
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I would keep the carbon in the box and save it for a situation where you need it. For example, if you get a disease outbreak in your tank and need to medicate, carbon does a good job soaking up many medications after treatment.

As for water changes, 20-50% weekly is what most people do. The amount that you need to change out is dependent upon how sensitive your fish are to nitrates.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Tank Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by t57spikes View Post
I have a 35 Gallon tropical community aquarium i am starting up. Is there such a thing as to frequent of a water change? I was planning on doing 15-20 gallons every 5 days along with a gravel vacuuming each time. How does this sound? and Cleaning the filter ever 2 months, and replacing the Activated Carbon every 6 weeks so that it doesnt release anything back into the water.
Hello t...

The tank inhabitants would love large water changes daily, but this isn't a routine that most tank keepers can keep doing.

If you work up to changing half the tank water weekly, this will be sufficient to maintain a healthy tank.

The carbon (chemical) medium can be removed. An aggressive water change routine, like 50 percent weekly will easily take the place of this medium.

Filter maintenance can be done a couple of times per month or even longer if you're changing a lot of tank water weekly.

Experiment. See what your schedule will permit and stick to that routine. There are many ways to succeed in the water keeping hobby.

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Old 11-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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When people say carbon helps keep their tank clear, they are usually referring to Tanins in the water, carbon can help with that. I would not use carbon unless when removing medication.

As for the water changes, no you cannot do to many. On my 125g I typically do 50-60% once a week, however I'm currently doing 75% twice a week as I'm power feeding the tank. If you over feed or have an unusually high bioload it's necessary to do more frequent larger changes, for most people a 25-50% change once a week is suffice.
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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hanks for all of the help! I will eliminate the carbon until it is ever needed. Have any of yal used the Polyster pillow fill as floss? how did it work?
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