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Old 11-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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How often should I do a water change?

How often should I change the water in my fish tank and what % should I be changing? I'm currently doing 1/3 every month. Water is 7.2 ph, hard, nitrates are 40 but no nitrites after a water change 2 days ago. I have a whisper filter 40i.
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Stacy~44gal pent. 2 fire belly toads, 2 fire belly newts, 3 neon tetras, 3 platys, 5 cherry barbs, 5 glowlight tetras, 1 spotted Raphael cat, 4 Burmese zebra loaches, 2 dwarf gourami, 2 otos ~9 gal w/6 endlers (class k), 2 scarlet badis, 5 orange bee and 6 RC shrimp
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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Stacy~44gal pent. 2 fire belly toads, 2 fire belly newts, 3 neon tetras, 3 platys, 5 cherry barbs, 5 glowlight tetras, 1 spotted Raphael cat, 4 Burmese zebra loaches, 2 dwarf gourami, 2 otos ~9 gal w/6 endlers (class k), 2 scarlet badis, 5 orange bee and 6 RC shrimp
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:11 PM   #3
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About 99.9% of the population of this site will say to do 25%-50% water changes every week. Otherwise your ammonia and nitrites (fish waste and other goodies) build up to dangerous levels that can actually injure and eventually kill your fish, in addition to making fish more susceptible to disease.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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Thank you. forgot to say what i have : 44gal pentagon tank w/ 30 gal freshwater. 3 fire belly toads, 2 fire belly newts, 3 neon tetras, 2 platys, 1 spotted Raphael cat, 1 Chinese algae eater, 2 Burmese loaches.
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Stacy~44gal pent. 2 fire belly toads, 2 fire belly newts, 3 neon tetras, 3 platys, 5 cherry barbs, 5 glowlight tetras, 1 spotted Raphael cat, 4 Burmese zebra loaches, 2 dwarf gourami, 2 otos ~9 gal w/6 endlers (class k), 2 scarlet badis, 5 orange bee and 6 RC shrimp
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #5
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You should do 20-30% water change weekly. Everyone will tell you something different, but it all depends on EVERYTHING you have in the tank. I do about 20%, sometimes a little less. But my tanks are planted, I have bottom feeders and scavengers, and I always maintain my schedule.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dreamwallaby
Thank you. forgot to say what i have : 44gal pentagon tank w/ 30 gal freshwater. 3 fire belly toads, 2 fire belly newts, 3 neon tetras, 2 platys, 1 spotted Raphael cat, 1 Chinese algae eater, 2 Burmese loaches.
Still 25%/week. Just get into the habit of seeing those numbers a LOT. Unless you want a low-maintenance tank, and then a lot of people on here are going to be trying to convince you to put in the time and effort. Which is true: you want your fish to be as happy and healthy as possible, right? Weekly water changes helps keep the water clear and dilutes any toxins that occur naturally as a result of fish waste and decay (from plants and leftover tidbits of food).

If you want to make this process REALLY EASY (like, under 1/hour a week) get yourself 4 5-gallon buckets from Wal-Mart ($2/each) and a water vacuum from your local fish store (price ranges by size; maybe $15-$25). You'll also want water conditioner. Fill 2 of the buckets with water from your tap, add the conditioner and let it aerate until you're ready to do a water change. If your tank is in your kitchen or your vacuum has a long enough hose just zip-tie one end to your kitchen faucet and use the other end in your tank. If it's not close enough those last 2 empty buckets will come in hand. Just put them by your feet and drop one end of the hose in there. Fill them both up, replace with the 2 5-gallon buckets you have and BAM! 25% changed.

I'd say 2 5-gallon buckets and not 1 10-gallon because water is really heavy, and you have to be able to lift it up over the tank to pour it. I'm lucky in that regard with my 10-gallon tank. I have 2 buckets; one's half-filled with conditioned water and the other's empty. It takes me about 5 minutes to do my 25%, and I do it bi-weekly (smaller tank=more water changes).

That's how I manage anyway; I'm sure some of these veterans have better tips than I do.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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When you say "Fill 2 of the buckets with water from your tap, add the conditioner and let it aerate until you're ready to do a water change."
How do you aerate them until you need them?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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When you say "Fill 2 of the buckets with water from your tap, add the conditioner and let it aerate until you're ready to do a water change."
How do you aerate them until you need them?
I just let it sit there a few days. Most water districts add chlorine to the water to kill bacteria. Well, in your aquarium you WANT bacteria: the good kind, anyway. That's why you use a water conditioner and let it sit. The chlorine is taken care of by the conditioner and will also evaporate into the air. Letting it sit also brings it to room temperature, which is crucial if you live somewhere where the water comes out of the faucet super hot or super cold. My apartment is closest to the water heater in my building and you can tell: everything comes out mildly warm to scalding hot.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:40 PM   #9
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I just let it sit there a few days. Most water districts add chlorine to the water to kill bacteria. Well, in your aquarium you WANT bacteria: the good kind, anyway. That's why you use a water conditioner and let it sit. The chlorine is taken care of by the conditioner and will also evaporate into the air. Letting it sit also brings it to room temperature, which is crucial if you live somewhere where the water comes out of the faucet super hot or super cold. My apartment is closest to the water heater in my building and you can tell: everything comes out mildly warm to scalding hot.
Most sites will say let it sit for 24 hours before you add it to your tank. I let it sit for a few days because I want ready water on hand in the event my tank starts a mini cycle, it springs a leak or I need to remove a fish and I don't want to put it into the tiny excuse I have for a quarantine tank (abbreviated on the site here as QT).
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:53 PM   #10
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If you use conditioner then you shouldn't have to let it sit for 24 hours, most conditioners (I use prime) makes the chlorine in your tap non toxic long enough for it to dissipate. If you only have chlorine in your tap and Don't use conditioner then you let it sit for a day or so, you can let it sit to get it to room temp but really as long as the water is remotely close to the tank temp then you don't need to. In fact if I let my water be room temp when I added it it would be 10 degrees colder than my tank. All I do, or what I did until I recently bought a aqueon water changer, was put tap water into buckets then add prime, then dump in the tank - that simple. You should be doing weekly water changes though just to keep quality up, and I've also been told on here that there or other nutrients your fish need are in clean water and that's another reason to be doing frequent water changes. I do 50% ever week or sooner if I can and everything is perfect in my tanks.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:06 AM   #11
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Depends on your water parameters. but yes,a lot of people would say 30-50 % weekly. I personally do a 20% wc every other day
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:06 AM   #12
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If you use conditioner then you shouldn't have to let it sit for 24 hours, most conditioners (I use prime) makes the chlorine in your tap non toxic long enough for it to dissipate. If you only have chlorine in your tap and Don't use conditioner then you let it sit for a day or so, you can let it sit to get it to room temp but really as long as the water is remotely close to the tank temp then you don't need to. In fact if I let my water be room temp when I added it it would be 10 degrees colder than my tank. All I do, or what I did until I recently bought a aqueon water changer, was put tap water into buckets then add prime, then dump in the tank - that simple. You should be doing weekly water changes though just to keep quality up, and I've also been told on here that there or other nutrients your fish need are in clean water and that's another reason to be doing frequent water changes. I do 50% ever week or sooner if I can and everything is perfect in my tanks.
Not familiar with the Aqueon, but how do you use water conditioner with it?
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:47 AM   #13
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Not familiar with the Aqueon, but how do you use water conditioner with it?
All you do is siphon out tank water, dose the Tank with your conditioner, then reverse the flow on the water changer and fill your tank. It's super easy! I would have got it sooner but I was confused about the conditioning part too haha
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #14
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I change 50% of my water every 2-3 weeks and my water is crystal clear gravel is clean,
I never let my water sit for a few days just fill straight from my tap and add conditioner as I fill it up!
Everyone does it different but end up with the same results!
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