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Old 01-18-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
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How to... Partial Water Change

I apologize if this is out there somewhere... I have been looking and can't find what I need. So, my family bought a used tank from a friend back in the fall, and got it all set up. I read the articles about the fishless cycle, and I think we were successful at that. We put about 5 fish in the tank right after Christmas. 3 zebra danios, and 2 pearl danios. we have a 26 gallon tank. Everyone seems happy, we are having fun watching them, and enjoying their personalities.

So, we've been doing partial water changes, taking out about 1/3 of the water and replacing it with fresh water. Adding API Stress Coat. Testing the water with the Master Test kit... everything seems ok.

So my question is this... when I do the partial water change, do I just replace some of the water? Should I try to suck up gunk from the gravel, or do I try to leave the gravel undisturbed? (My daughter has been overfeeding, so we have some floaties)

Do I need to take out the plants (artificial) and other decorations to clean those? Do I need to do anything to the inside of the glass, what about the filter?

Does it make sense that the water seems a little cloudy after I do the water change? Is that normal?

trying to be a good fish mama.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:58 PM   #2
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Answers in blue below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cstrick View Post
I apologize if this is out there somewhere... I have been looking and can't find what I need. So, my family bought a used tank from a friend back in the fall, and got it all set up. I read the articles about the fishless cycle, and I think we were successful at that. We put about 5 fish in the tank right after Christmas. 3 zebra danios, and 2 pearl danios. we have a 26 gallon tank. Everyone seems happy, we are having fun watching them, and enjoying their personalities.

So, we've been doing partial water changes, taking out about 1/3 of the water and replacing it with fresh water. Adding API Stress Coat. Testing the water with the Master Test kit... everything seems ok.

So my question is this... when I do the partial water change, do I just replace some of the water?
30-50% a week is a good number. For a 26 gallon tank I'd do a couple of 5 gallon buckets a week. Try to temperature match the water to get it close. To the exact degree is not required, just to the touch is fine.

Should I try to suck up gunk from the gravel, or do I try to leave the gravel undisturbed? (My daughter has been overfeeding, so we have some floaties)
Yes, it is a good idea to use a gravel vac and get out the gunk

Do I need to take out the plants (artificial) and other decorations to clean those?
If they are dirty, it won't hurt. Use an old (clean) toothbrush and you can do it right in the bucket of old water during a water change
Do I need to do anything to the inside of the glass,
An algae scraper is a must have generally for an established tank. The magnetic ones work really well.

what about the filter?
what kind of filter is it? That will help us suggest a good maintenance routine. One important thing - don't change your filter media too often... just squeeze it out in the old tank water during a water change. Rinsing it in hot water at the sink will kill off your biological filtration, which lives in your filter media. If you have carbon filters, they aren't needed. You can just use plain old filter floss, etc, without carbon. Replacing the carbon is a great gimmick for the manufacturers, but under ordinary circumstances won't do much of anything to help your tank. It has a time and a place (like after adding meds), but isn't needed all the time.

Does it make sense that the water seems a little cloudy after I do the water change? Is that normal?
It depends on the type of water and the type of cloudiness, I guess. A bit of cloudiness is normal I suppose, and should clear within in hour or so of doing a change.

trying to be a good fish mama.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:01 PM   #3
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Most people do 30-50% water changes weekly. It is good to swirl the drain funnel into the gravel lightly(not too deep) to get some of the mulm out. If you have artificial plants, take out and rinse clean only when they get gunky looking. You clean the inside of the glass with a fiber cleaning wand made for that purpose. You can get some with interchangeable heads for cleaning and scraping off algae. The filter should be cleaned only by taking out the pad and swishing in some of the drained off old tank water. This way the bacteria built up on it won't die. You need them. Then put the pad back in the filter. You only replace the pad when it starts to literally fall apart. Vacuuming the gravel and keeping the filter clean should keep the cloudiness to a minimum. I strongly suggest you get an API Master Test Kit and test your parameters regularly. Test for nitrates as you want to do your WC when your nitrates get 40ppm or above. Test for nitrates 2 hrs after you do a WC. Then again right before you do the next one. Take the difference between the two, divide by the number of days it's been. That will give you how much nitrates you accumulate per day with the fish load you currently have. It will give you an idea of how often you should do a WC for your fish's health. Good luck, OS.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:03 PM   #4
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+1 on everything Fort just said.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:40 PM   #5
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So I have an Aqueon QuietFlow Filter. Sounds like I should just rinse it in the tank water?

This is what my tank looks like, and these are my current test results (about 3 hrs after water change).


Thank you,
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:44 PM   #6
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Looks great!
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