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Am I in for a rude awakening?

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  • mixitupmike
    I have a 55 gal. freshwater community tank. In the three years i ve had this tank going I have only done 2 water changes, and that was the first 2 months. I
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 2, 2006
      I have a 55 gal. freshwater community tank. In the three years i've
      had this tank going I have only done 2 water changes, and that was the
      first 2 months. I have had some death here and there, but I also have
      about 6 of the original fish I put in almost three years ago. I top
      the tank off every weekend and add some water conditioner, but thats
      about the extent of my care for the tank.The water is always crystal
      clear and the tank does not look dirty. My question is should I start
      doing the testing and water changes and the whole 9, or should I
      follow the old saying "if it ain't broke"
    • Patrick A. Timlin
      ... I say you are in for a rude awakening. Note that Ivan said to leave it alone but also note he says he does roughly weekly water changes. Did he mean
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 2, 2006
        --- mixitupmike <mix-it-up-mike@...> wrote:
        > I have a 55 gal. freshwater community tank. In the three years i've
        > had this tank going I have only done 2 water changes, and that was
        > the
        > first 2 months.


        I say you are in for a rude awakening. Note that Ivan said to leave
        it alone but also note he says he does roughly weekly water changes.
        Did he mean topping off or actual changes?

        Keep in mind that the fish live in a closed system and they basically
        swim in their toilet. Now consider all the food you have added over
        the years. Where is that food now? Some of it might be in the form of
        fish flesh as they have grown, but really all that stuff you add to
        your tank is mostly still in there. Where can it go.

        I bet you have water that is very hard but at the same time a low pH.
        The fish you have in there have been in there a long time and have
        adjusted to the deteriorating conditions so are better able to handle
        it. But have you noticed that if you try to add new fish, most end up
        dieing? If so, this is probably why.

        I would strongly suggest you get on a routine water change schedule.
        If you do it the same time each week, it will become part of your,
        for example, Sunday morning routine (e.g. make coffee, read the
        paper, drink your coffee, checck your email, then change a bucket of
        water from the tank). If you do it, instead, once in a while, it
        starts to seem more like a chore you try to put off.

        Here is what I would do. Start small. Get a clean bucket that has not
        been used for house cleaning chores, one that is free of soap and
        detergent residues. Then change that much water on a weekly basis.
        Even if it is only two gallons, at least it is something. I bet you
        will notice your fish perk up each time you do this. While I would
        normally suggest at least 10% weekly or more, I doubt you want to go
        from zero to changing 5+ gallons each week, so start somewhere and
        change a bucket's worth on a weekly basis. If you are in the mood, do
        an additional mid-week change as well.

        Do you have houseplants? If so, get in the habit of using your tank
        water for plant water. Then as you take out water to water your
        plants and re-top off, you have done a mini water change. Your plants
        will benefit because the tank water will be loaded with fertilizers
        vs. fairly fertilizer free tap water.

        Best of luck and let us know how it goes if you start changing water.


        Patrick Timlin
        http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
      • mixitupmike
        ... Thanks Patrick! I think I will start slowly with the water changes You are truly the Yoda of freshwater aquariums. Mike S.
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 2, 2006
          >
          > Best of luck and let us know how it goes if you start changing water.
          >
          >
          > Patrick Timlin
          > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/

          >Thanks for the input Ivan.

          Thanks Patrick! I think I will start slowly with the water changes

          You are truly the "Yoda" of freshwater aquariums.

          Mike S.
        • bodfrass
          I wonder how many people who do up to 25% water changes a week, to remove poop, end up haveing to add chemical fertilisers because there plants are
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 4, 2006
            I wonder how many people who do up to 25% water changes a week, to
            remove poop, end up haveing to add "chemical" fertilisers because
            there plants are suffering. Off corse thats if you do have a well
            planted tank! I beleave the key to a healthy aquarium is a good filter
            system and balance; a fish tank is an ecosystem and it needs to be
            seen and understode as such there needs to be a food chain all the
            inhabitants need to be doing a job for the benifit of the whole
            comunity, not just there because they look "pretty". My tank holds 70
            L and losses 5 L's by evaperation over a fortnight now if my maths is
            corect then thats 14% fresh water a fortnight. Personaly I think
            people who have to mess with there tanks a bunch to avoid problems are
            people who over feed there fish!
          • Doug M
            How often do you recomend to change a 30 gallon tank with 3 4 1/2 in gold fish??? Doug bodfrass wrote: I wonder how many people who
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 4, 2006
              How often do you recomend to change a 30 gallon tank with 3 4 1/2 in gold fish???
              Doug

              bodfrass <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

              I wonder how many people who do up to 25% water changes a week, to
              remove poop, end up haveing to add "chemical" fertilisers because
              there plants are suffering. Off corse thats if you do have a well
              planted tank! I beleave the key to a healthy aquarium is a good filter
              system and balance; a fish tank is an ecosystem and it needs to be
              seen and understode as such there needs to be a food chain all the
              inhabitants need to be doing a job for the benifit of the whole
              comunity, not just there because they look "pretty". My tank holds 70
              L and losses 5 L's by evaperation over a fortnight now if my maths is
              corect then thats 14% fresh water a fortnight. Personaly I think
              people who have to mess with there tanks a bunch to avoid problems are
              people who over feed there fish!






              Pipi Doug (The girlie-man)




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Patrick A. Timlin
              ... That is three gold fish, each about 4.5 inches long? Gold fish tend to be kind of messy fish and also very beefy so a lot of body mass for their length
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 5, 2006
                --- Doug M <pipi1947@...> wrote:
                > How often do you recomend to change a 30 gallon tank
                > with 3 4 1/2 in gold fish???

                That is three gold fish, each about 4.5 inches long?

                Gold fish tend to be kind of messy fish and also very beefy so a lot
                of body mass for their length compared to other fish. you can change
                a lot of water with goldfish very often and they would love it. But
                if you were looking for some sort of baseline, I personally would aim
                for no less than 3 gallons each week and that would really be just
                maintaining as a minimal level in my opinion.

                I have a 30 gallon that I change about a third of each time I change
                water. I admit I get lazy and tend to do it not every week like I
                preach. :) Inread I tend to hit it ever other or every third week,
                but that is one of the reasons I change a third of the water. Other
                tanks, for example, some bedroom 10-gallon tanks, I tend to change a
                gallon or two every week as they are easy to do.


                Patrick Timlin
                http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
              • Dave
                I ve adopted the weekly change routine myself. I ve even taken somewhat of a high-tech route in that I have set a re-occuring weekly task in MS Outlook to
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 12, 2006
                  I've adopted the weekly change routine myself. I've even taken
                  somewhat of a high-tech route in that I have set a re-occuring
                  weekly task in MS Outlook to remind me every saturday to perform a
                  20-25% change on my tanks. This worked really well when I had a 5,
                  10 and 29 gallon tanks. I've now added a 20 gallong and 75 gallon
                  tank to my collection, and altough the reminder still works, I have
                  spread it out over a 2-day period so I can collect up 20 gallons of
                  R.O. water for the change on 75 gallon planted Discus tank. I've
                  heard of some people doing that much of a change 2-3 times a week
                  for Discus, I'm not so sure that level isn't overkill. Especially in
                  a heavily planted tank, where the plants are doing a lot of the
                  filtration in addition to a properly sized mechanical/biological
                  fitration unit.

                  --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
                  <ptimlin@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- mixitupmike <mix-it-up-mike@...> wrote:
                  > > I have a 55 gal. freshwater community tank. In the three years
                  i've
                  > > had this tank going I have only done 2 water changes, and that
                  was
                  > > the
                  > > first 2 months.
                  >
                  >
                  > I say you are in for a rude awakening. Note that Ivan said to leave
                  > it alone but also note he says he does roughly weekly water
                  changes.
                  > Did he mean topping off or actual changes?
                  >
                  > Keep in mind that the fish live in a closed system and they
                  basically
                  > swim in their toilet. Now consider all the food you have added over
                  > the years. Where is that food now? Some of it might be in the form
                  of
                  > fish flesh as they have grown, but really all that stuff you add to
                  > your tank is mostly still in there. Where can it go.
                  >
                  > I bet you have water that is very hard but at the same time a low
                  pH.
                  > The fish you have in there have been in there a long time and have
                  > adjusted to the deteriorating conditions so are better able to
                  handle
                  > it. But have you noticed that if you try to add new fish, most end
                  up
                  > dieing? If so, this is probably why.
                  >
                  > I would strongly suggest you get on a routine water change
                  schedule.
                  > If you do it the same time each week, it will become part of your,
                  > for example, Sunday morning routine (e.g. make coffee, read the
                  > paper, drink your coffee, checck your email, then change a bucket
                  of
                  > water from the tank). If you do it, instead, once in a while, it
                  > starts to seem more like a chore you try to put off.
                  >
                  > Here is what I would do. Start small. Get a clean bucket that has
                  not
                  > been used for house cleaning chores, one that is free of soap and
                  > detergent residues. Then change that much water on a weekly basis.
                  > Even if it is only two gallons, at least it is something. I bet you
                  > will notice your fish perk up each time you do this. While I would
                  > normally suggest at least 10% weekly or more, I doubt you want to
                  go
                  > from zero to changing 5+ gallons each week, so start somewhere and
                  > change a bucket's worth on a weekly basis. If you are in the mood,
                  do
                  > an additional mid-week change as well.
                  >
                  > Do you have houseplants? If so, get in the habit of using your tank
                  > water for plant water. Then as you take out water to water your
                  > plants and re-top off, you have done a mini water change. Your
                  plants
                  > will benefit because the tank water will be loaded with fertilizers
                  > vs. fairly fertilizer free tap water.
                  >
                  > Best of luck and let us know how it goes if you start changing
                  water.
                  >
                  >
                  > Patrick Timlin
                  > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                  >
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