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Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Am I in for a rude awakening?

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Jul 2 6:06 PM
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      --- 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 2 of 7 , Jul 2 8:24 PM
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        >
        > 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 3 of 7 , Jul 4 3:56 AM
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          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 4 of 7 , Jul 4 6:18 AM
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            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 5 of 7 , Jul 5 7:58 AM
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              --- 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 6 of 7 , Jul 12 8:28 PM
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                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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