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Old 10-06-2003, 03:02 PM   #1
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When should I do my 1st water change? And water change ?

Hello all!

I'm on my 2nd week of a new cycling tank (Thursday will mark 2 weeks) and i'm wondering if I could do a partial water change then?

The cycle seems to comming along nicely, amonia level have risen and leveled off at a little under 0.6mg/L and Nitrites have started to climb and are today at 0.2mg/L (all according to my Hagen test kit). I do not have a test for Nitrates, do I need one?

Now as for the 1st water change:

How do you guys heat the water to the apropriate temperature before adding to the tank? Kettle/microwave? I'd like to know what meathods you pros use that work well for you.

In regard to the PH of the water to be added, should I use PH-up to make it match the PH that is currently in the tank? (My tank has settles to a nice 7.2/7.3 and my Tap water is about 6.8 this week (its seems to vary)).

Thanks!

Stew
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:05 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, and how much water should I change the 1st time, and then weekly after that? I've heard 10-15%, is that about right?
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:32 PM   #3
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I do a 20%-25% change weekly right from the start, seems to do OK.
Have ocassionaly done a panic 50% when things go bad.

Looks to the Cycling GuRu for confirmation.


I set my water temp at the tap using a rapid response darkroom thermometer.
I may be lucky but once set my temp dosen't vary much. Unless someone turns on something that sucks hot water like the washing machine or dishwasher.
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:53 PM   #4
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*starts laffin* Cycling guru...oi *grin*

Coupla things stew:

For now, if I were you I'd water change whenever there were measureable levels of ammonia and nitrite. I do water changes on my QT tank every days or 2; as soon as nitrite levels reach .25 ppm I'm doing 20-30% changes (theres no ammonia).

Its different with my mature tanks. Since every mature tank is different, frequency and amount of changes will be different. As long as there is no ammonia or nitrates, let the amounts of nitrate to be your guide. 40 ppm and up are really not recommended levels on nitrate; you want it to be lower.

For example, my 55g gets a 20% water change once a week. Thats when my nitrate levels start hitting around 20 ppm and I prefer less nitrates in my tank. My planted tank gets a 20% change every week and a half to 2 weeks; the plants eat a lot of the nitrogen waste so the nitrate levels don't rise so quickly. When I was setting up my 55g, and my bigger guys were in a 25g, I was water changing 2-3 times a week to keep the nitrate levels to where I was comfortable.

So definitely get a nitrate test *grin*

As for temps, I just match temps at the tap; I use a Python so the water goes straight from the tap to the tank. Heh, dunno if I'm a pro (just a guru ) but it works for me!
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Old 10-06-2003, 04:20 PM   #5
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I tend to leave a cycling tank for two weeks before I touch it, then I'll do around 20-25% waterchanges weekly, more often if needed.


I suffered an ammonia spyke in an already cycled tank and I was doing 5gal a day water changes for around 16 days to get it under control.
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Old 10-06-2003, 06:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replys!

If I get python setup and take water right from the tap should I worry about inroducicing a rapid PH change that will be harmful (tap water being 6.8 and the water currently in the tank is around 7.3) or will I be ok?

As I understand it there has to be high levels of amonia and nitrite while cycling and the bacteria takes care of it? If I remove the amonia and nitrite levels to an unmeasuable level will I be stalling the cycling process?

I guess the botom line is I want to keep all my fish happy healthy stress free and most of all alive
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Old 10-06-2003, 06:59 PM   #7
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If water changes are done frequently enough, and you don't have anything that changes the pH in the tank (peat, some minerals, some chemicals) the pH shouldn't be too different from water change to water change.

As for ammonia and nitrites, you are absola utely correct. There needs to be some of those for the nitrifying bacteria to feed on. But there doesn't have to be that much, and since ammonia and nitrites are deadly to fish, better to have a longer initial cycle then dead fish *grin*
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:32 PM   #8
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Allivymar: Gotcha! I understand now. I will do a 10% water change tomorrow I think and see where my levels are at.

One more question.... if you are using water direct from the tap to the tank with a python, how do you add the aqua-clear (or equivillant) to reduce clorine etc. Do you add it after the tap water is in the tank?

Thanks again, your help is invaluable!

Stew
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1 Silver Molly
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4 Tuff as nails Neon Tetras "The Tetra Pak"
150 or so Molly fry in thier own 5 gal tank!
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:05 PM   #9
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Personally I put it as the water is flowing into the tank from the tap. Some folks add it after, some before. No one seems to have had any negative effects from doing any of the aforementioned ways; I think its just a matter of preference. The dechlor I use takes 1 tsp to treat 80g; since I'm only replacing 10-20 gallons I don't need much so I figure dropping it in while I'm adding the water is fine.
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Old 10-06-2003, 10:31 PM   #10
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Ok great... that settles that

thanks!
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4 Tuff as nails Neon Tetras "The Tetra Pak"
150 or so Molly fry in thier own 5 gal tank!
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