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Old 05-29-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
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Ways to make tank less work?

Hi everyone,

I have two tanks right now, a 36 and a 20 high. I do weekly water changes and it seems like the maintenance is pretty much never ending. I don't mind normally, but I just found out I'm going to be having brain surgery and won't have the energy to tend to the tanks properly. I don't want to break the tanks down because I'm going to have a lot of down time and the fish are peaceful for me, but is there any way to make them a little less work? I won't be able to lift anything over 5 pounds for at least a month, so water changes would be pretty impossible since I'd have to do them a half gallon at a time. My mom could help some, but her priority will definitely not be the tanks. Any suggestions would be great
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:03 AM   #2
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I would suggest using a water changer. They go about 25 feet to 50 feet and you just connect them to your faucet. It should be pretty simple, it takes out water and fills up your tank. I personally do not use it but I hear many with larger tanks does.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:56 AM   #3
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I would suggest using a water changer. They go about 25 feet to 50 feet and you just connect them to your faucet. It should be pretty simple, it takes out water and fills up your tank. I personally do not use it but I hear many with larger tanks does.

Best of luck.
Sink Siphons work like a dream, Although I no longer have one at the moment. I used to use it to do water changes on my 20g long years ago. Only took 5-10 mins and you were done. The only set back it when you refill that tank, getting the temp right, and you have to treat all the water in that tank. Cant just add enough for what you added. Hence youll be using twice to three times the water conditioner per water change.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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Thank y'all, I'll look into the python. Hopefully I can get my mom to help me with it. I don't mind the extra water conditioner, that's definitely not a problem.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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If you have live plants (as long as its a low-tech tank) in the tanks it helps reduce the impact if water changes are missed for a while. You could drop water changes to once a month or so without having problems. I've even heard of people only doing water changes once every 3-6 months, but I'd hesitate to go that far... Water tests may look good but the trace minerals and such that the fish need are going to be lacking.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
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I do have live plants, so hopefully those will help. Should I stop dosing ferts right before my surgery? or does that matter at all? Hopefully I can instruct my minions on how to care for the tanks :P
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Yes, I would stop the fert dosings. More ferts increases the chances of your nutrient levels getting too high, which when left without water changes tends to lead to algae bloom.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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Maybe just cut back on the fertilizer but don't stop altogether. With less water changes you will delete the nutrients faster and trace elements. Like maybe does about 1/4 the amount your normally would and no more than once a week.

I like my aqueon water changer. It's relatively easy and maybe someone could even help you out if it was that simple.

Good luck with your surgery, hope you have a swift recovery.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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With enough of the right plants you can go 3 months or at least 2 with no water changes. Just top offs. My uncle hasnt changed the water in his fish tank in 9 years. He doesnt even use dechlorinater in his top offs.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:03 AM   #11
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With enough of the right plants you can go 3 months or at least 2 with no water changes. Just top offs. My uncle hasnt changed the water in his fish tank in 9 years. He doesnt even use dechlorinater in his top offs.
...random question, but he wouldn't happen to go by the name "beaslbob" on another forum would he? 'Cuz there's another aquarium forum with a guy with that name that follows that line of thought too and his methods are pretty heavily frowned on... I tried his methods once and after 3 months the tank really started going downhill... Looked and smelled terrible. Fish were unhappy too. I really don't recommend it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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The #1 way to reduce the need for WC/maintenance is to reduce your bioload. A lightly stocked tank will last loads longer than what most people would consider "stocked".
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #13
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Thank you, I was already thinking about thinning out my stock and only keeping my favorite fish so now that you said that I'll definitely start looking at rehoming some fish. Would reducing the amount of time my lights are on help too? My photo period is a little crazy because I'm up and down at weird periods because of being sick. I don't know if I want to go crazy long between water changes, I don't want to destabilize my tanks or mess up my fish, I just need to make this easier for whoever helps me (probably my mom) until I'm able to do this on my own again.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:05 PM   #14
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Reducing the photo period would reduce the plants demands on fertilizers, so it's not a bad idea. Lots of folks drop their photo periods when going on vacation for that same reason.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #15
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...random question, but he wouldn't happen to go by the name "beaslbob" on another forum would he? 'Cuz there's another aquarium forum with a guy with that name that follows that line of thought too and his methods are pretty heavily frowned on... I tried his methods once and after 3 months the tank really started going downhill... Looked and smelled terrible. Fish were unhappy too. I really don't recommend it.
I dont think so. I dont recommend his methods either but I was just stating lol I do however recomend the use of plants to reduce water changes.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #16
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Thank y'all a bunch I will get to work on making these changes.
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