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Old 10-08-2013, 02:17 AM   #1
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Tank maintenance - how do you do it?

I don't have any aquarium problems at the moment, just wondered what the best way is to keep things running smoothly.

Weekly water change of course - how much do you change?

Do you vacuum the gravel?

How often do you rinse out the filter? (I have a HOB)

What would affect these decisions - e.g. I've got quite a few plants, but they are all fairly easy plants like Java fern and anubias.

Any tips, or things I should be careful about?
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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I do weekly water changes of around 50% or 70% if I miss a week.

I don't vacuum my gravel.

I would rinse out my filters only when I can't keep my nitrAtes down.

In my experience the plant effect on nitrAtes tends to be overstated.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:45 AM   #3
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Wow - 70% seems like a lot to me, especially on a big tank.
Doesn't a big change like that stress the fish?
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:50 AM   #4
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Wow - 70% seems like a lot to me, especially on a big tank.
Doesn't a big change like that stress the fish?
I doubt they enjoy the process (In fact I know my silver dollars used to think it was the apocalypse every time it happened but then again they thought that whenever they saw a shadow as well) but I've never lost any fish because of it.

In addition if you miss a water change nitrAtes build up and depending on your stocking levels 50% water changes may not be able to control it.

In short in my opinion there's a bit of a myth that large water changes are bad but I'd argue that in fact large water changes are often fantastic.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:28 AM   #5
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I guess it would depend a lot on how many fish you have. I don't have an opinion about it myself, being too much of a beginner. I've seen some people say that some fish are so sensitive to water changes, that the stress of the change is worse than the drop in water quality. Must depend on what fish you have, I suppose.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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I do a 25% - 50% WC on my 29 gallon every other week currently. My tank is nowhere near stocked, and testing my water helped me figure out how often I really needed to change it. I like to have some nitrates in there for my stem plants!

Also, I use an Aqueon water changer system that hooks up to my sink. Man, that thing makes things soooooooo much easier for me. I'm able to do my WC with about half the effort as I used to. I know there's mixed opinions on filling from the tap straight into the tank, but I add prime and ferts first, then start filling the tank. I leave my filter off for an additional 20 - 30 mins before refilling it and kicking it up (it's a HOB).

I do gravel vac, but just lightly over the surface (no picking up gravel) since I use Ecocomplete substrate and I have mainly rooted plants.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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I do 25-50% PWCs once a week. I'll scrub off any algae on the glass before hand. I'll vacuum the gravel and give the mechanical filtration a rinsing once a month.

I also use the Python and couldnt imagine doing it without it. Of course, I have a 45g and two 20's (I just use a bucket for my two 10s). I wasnt aware there was controversy with them.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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I also use the Python and couldnt imagine doing it without it. Of course, I have a 45g and two 20's (I just use a bucket for my two 10s). I wasnt aware there was controversy with them.
Haha, maybe controversy is too strong a word. I just know when researching Python/auto waterchangers I found plenty of posts about how filling straight from the tap was a no-no. Not had any issue myself, but I don't keep super sensitive species.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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I do 50% changes and clean glass weekly on all 5 of my tanks via bucket method I rinse the media in old tank water every water change change the poly fill every other week and rinse the sponges off in the shower then dip in water treated with prime. I tend to over do things a bit but better safe than sorry. Oh and I ok not gravel vac when needed.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #10
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...... I pour tap water straight into the filter.... I use a python and fill the tank then prime then start filter and add tap water as needed to get it running. Never had an issue...
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #11
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...... I pour tap water straight into the filter.... I use a python and fill the tank then prime then start filter and add tap water as needed to get it running. Never had an issue...
Wow usually that would kill any benificial bacteria you have III n there unless you are lucky enough to have well water bit then you wouldn't need the prime.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:38 AM   #12
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Wow usually that would kill any benificial bacteria you have III n there unless you are lucky enough to have well water bit then you wouldn't need the prime.
Nope city. Honestly in my experience if you are not letting it sit you will be fine. Unless you got crazy super chlorinated water...
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:53 AM   #13
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Yeah I just do water changes when my nitrates get high=)
Test weekly (daily for new dirted tank)
I have 5g bucket sitting with a sponge filter and some dechlorinator for my water changes.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #14
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Yeah I just do water changes when my nitrates get high=)
Test weekly (daily for new dirted tank)
I have 5g bucket sitting with a sponge filter and some dechlorinator for my water changes.
Maybe I am misunderstanding this but isnt the point of a dirted tank low maintenance?
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #15
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I think the key here is NEW dirted tank. I'm doing 50% WCs every other day on my new (still cycling) dirted nano. Hopefully long term it will be much less often!!
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:35 AM   #16
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masha u will learn what works well for one person is different than what works well for someone else. take all the ideas you have been given and with time and practice u will also learn what works best for you. good luck with your tank
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:51 AM   #17
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Filling from the tap is fine. Adjust warm and cold mixture to temp match the tank. Add prime if required before filling the tank back up and dose for the entire tank volume. The more water changes you do the closer your tank is to your tap water and your fish will then appreciate the more frequent and larger water changes without being stressed. If your fish are stressed from large water changes then you aren't doing enough water changes. My school of silver dollars act the same during water changes, only because they are skittish not because the new water bothered them. My fish love big water changes.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:49 AM   #18
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For me it's a %35-%50 PWC once a week with a syphon to vacuum the surface. If my filters are to dirty I'll clean them in the old tank water I vacuum out. I run my fingers though the sand every 2-3 water changes. I use a sponge to clean the inside of the glass when ever its needed.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #19
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masha u will learn what works well for one person is different than what works well for someone else. take all the ideas you have been given and with time and practice u will also learn what works best for you. good luck with your tank
Absolutely ! I just find it interesting to learn about all the different approaches.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:34 PM   #20
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I think the key here is NEW dirted tank. I'm doing 50% WCs every other day on my new (still cycling) dirted nano. Hopefully long term it will be much less often!!
Ah my apologies. Shoukd have read that better. Can you pm me details about your setup? Im thinking about trying.
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