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the art of changing water

Discussion in 'Goldfish Conversation' started by bluebelly, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. bluebelly

    bluebelly Ambassador

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    chesterland,ohio,usa
    There are some posts that start with saying I have a dual cell ,reverse polarity, micro chipped, fuel injected ,380 mega hurst, quartz lined, stick shift filter on my 30 gallon tank is this enough?. I think we sometimes over complicate the hobby. The art of changing water is referred to but not always adhered to. There appears to be two thoughts in the hobby. No filters and 100% water changes ( no cycling the tank), filters to infinity with 50% water changes. Either way it involves water changing. Knowing when to change the water is essential to the system. Scheduled changes are fine but some times you look at the fish and know, It's Time. Every city or town may have a different quality of water. We should ask fellow members what works best for them as we set up new systems. I mentioned before when the bep came to this country Mr.A Thomma was the first to breed them. He immediately gave me the fry and asked me to raise them. I did it the best way I knew how. I gave them to my friend and former curator of the aquarium. He set them up in a flow thru system with a small sweater box under gravel filter. i asked with all the filtration available why this. He said it was the best system for the fish using his well water ,biological filtration with water changes.. He was constantly refreshing the water and the filter was polishing the water. There are very famous breeders who do not use filters, they say it makes the water appear to be good when the quality is really bad. For convenience with working and lack of time filters can certainly help but water changing is still the best. Spend more time refreshing the tank. Just my thoughts
     
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  2. small_ranchu

    small_ranchu Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Bergen, New Jersey
    Thanks for the post. water change water change water change... This is what I am doing too and also encouraging all new comers to do water change as well..
     
  3. Corrie

    Corrie professional fish sitter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    latitude
    amen, I keep 3 times more water in storage than the systems hold
     
  4. Noblefish

    Noblefish New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Okay so im not the only one with tubs full of water im prepping for my tank haha, Treat the water, let it sit to get to room temp (70 deg F) then do a 30% water change per day, I even keep my old worn out filter in that bucket to help start the bacteria that is like my tank. After awhile you tend to find what % of change is needed to keep the water as perfect as you can. Of course fish grow so you have to take that into picture.
    :Fish_tank:
     
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  5. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I store or age nothing

    First I have two seasons,warm city water and heated city water, the second is in the winter and limits my ability to change water.

    Spring and summer:
    Indoors: 81 of my 84 tanks and tubs are drilled so I turn water on and time it for one hour twice a week. On Friday nights or Saturday, I siphon off the organics and in baby fry tanks remove all residuals. This is very close to a 100% water change twice a week. Outside the ponds and tubs under 400 gallons get a timed flush to the drain with tap water. I only use PRIME if the tank or pond is 1/2 empty at the start.

    Fall and Winter:
    Tap water falls to about 35F in the mid winter, so I mix hot water with tap to get something about 60F. I never change over 50%, and this is often only once a week, unless the fish are fry or I am trying to get them to spawn.

    Outisde:
    Two of my four big ponds get rain water from the roof. I flush water water by overfilling once a month in warm months. The KOI/Bristol pond is 10,000 gallons. It gets a monr water backflush of the bead filter once a day ( 350 gallon) and a 20% purge if foam develops from the water fall. I also purge after the koi spawn. No chemicals typically used unless I forget to turn the water off.:D

    Thanks Dave, I was begining to think I was going to have to name my fish to stay on the page:BackOut:
     
  6. bluebelly

    bluebelly Ambassador

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    chesterland,ohio,usa
    George Foreman 1,2,3,4,5

    How many Garys would that be, Gary 1 to Gary 19876?
    The art of filtration is important and I would love to hear from the heavy duty filter people on their side of the question. There are advantages from heavy filtration, could you expound on them so as to educate us who shy away.? I was always told that a filter is at it's absolute best minutes before it crashes and dumps everything back in the water?
     
  7. bluebelly

    bluebelly Ambassador

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    chesterland,ohio,usa
    exactly

     
  8. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    My filtration

    Indoors my 75's to 150's have Porret ( Swiss Tropicals.com) foam walls, this is the best for any tank. They also has airstones and sponge filters( Jehmoc.com or Kens fish.com. Porrett only has to be washed about once a year, Yea!!!:yeahbaby:
    My shallow tubs for ranchu have a short modified sponge and a airstone bar that is about 8" to 12", since there is no gravel they have to be weighed down. I have found that these bars circulate the water in shallow tubs and prevent dead spots. This has really helped in prevent fouling of the shallow tanks.

    Historically my preference for power filters has been and still is Aquaclears, ( get the biggest you can afford)as they only require washing twice a year. There return water goes across the surface of the tank, thus avoiding current in the swimming zone.

    In my small fry tanks, 20 gal and 45 gallon breeders I use an airstone and a sponge filter or get this a plastic box filter with floss.

    I have also used wet/dry filter, canisters, Hang on back filters, in my opinion they all suck for goldfish as you can't tell easily when they are plugged or gone anaerobic, which in turn leads to severe fin rot and aeromonas infections.

    Indoors I have one tubewith UV and plants and an airstone for very large veils older that 6 to prevent fin congestion.

    My outdoor tubs and ponds have nothing but 6" airstones and plants except for the Koi/Bristol pond that has a 125watt UV and a bead filter. Note, bead filters require daily back flushes which is incredibly painful.

    In summary, Porrett is the only way to go in my opinion, pricey yes, but extremely clear water and very low power usage and almost maintenance free

    If you are going to use canisters or hang on tanks or wet dry, I urge you to have a fixed maintenance schedule for tearing them down and washing out the black stuff or you will have sick fish.
    :donot:
    Simplicity with routine, inflexible maintenance is the key.:yess:

    How is that Dave?
     
  9. bluebelly

    bluebelly Ambassador

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    Dec 29, 2008
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    chesterland,ohio,usa
    good point

    [QUOTE=Cincy Ranchu
    My shallow tubs for ranchu have a short modified sponge and a airstone bar that is about 8" to 12", since there is no gravel they have to be weighed down. I have found that these bars circulate the water in shallow tubs and prevent dead spots. This has really helped in prevent fouling of the shallow tanks.
    How is that Dave?
    Good and informative.
    I find dead spots in some of the ponds or 125 gallon aquariums. I have old otto power heads that I use with a side bar to skim the surface or vent to stop dead spots in the tank for the bigger fish.
     
  10. Ripitake13

    Ripitake13 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    hgvfjvfujfgvgkj
    Question

    Here is a question is there a thing as too much water changes? Like what if I did like three 100 percent water changes everyday. Would that be Bad for my fish?
     
  11. LadysSolo

    LadysSolo Breeder/keeper

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I use sponge filters rated for 100 gallons in my 40 gallon tubs, and squeeze them out to clean them each water change (2-3 times/week in the summer, not till spring in the winter during hibernation when the fish are not fed at all unless temps are near 60 degrees.) Water changes are 50 % each change. Carolyn
     
  12. fantail1

    fantail1 Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    I suppose I am one of the heavy duty filter people so I will have a go.

    The great advantage is that with a properly cycled biological filter, the ammonia and nitrite are consumed by the bacteria in the filter on a constant basis.

    [Of course there are still peaks - at or shortly after feeding, but that is inevitable in a closed environment such as a small pond or tank.]

    Therefore, there is less risk of ammonia build up over a few days that peaks immediately before a water change. That, of course, is a problem if the water change is delayed for any length of time. Additionally, any change of less than 100% must leave a residual ammonia content in the retained water and in turn that will mean the ammonia will be higher at the time of the second change than it was at the first, assuming of course feeding regimes remain constant.

    What matters to make a filter effective is the combination of mechanical and biological filtration. The removal of solids has three beneficial impacts:
    1 They are a source of other bacteria harmful to the fish's health
    2 They are a further source of ammonia as they decompose
    3 They clog up the biological media reducing the surface area for the beneficial bacteria.

    Therefore some screen, eg sponges or brushes, are needed to remove the solids, which can be washed away.

    The biological media then has physically cleaner water and will be a more effective host for the bacteria needed to remove ammonia and nitrite.

    The product of all this is nitrate but as we know, that is much less of an issue, especially for Goldfish, so water changes cane be reduced (and you can go on holiday - in my case up to 17 days, without needing to worry about the fish). You can also increase the feeding eg brine shrimp for fry, with reasonable confidence that the filter will cope and the risk of pollution killing the fry is much reduced too.

    Where there is a problem is in the Spring after the cold / hibernation. It takes a few days for the bacteria to "wake up" so there is always the risk of ammonia build up when feeding recommences so I warm everything up but delay feeding for a couple of days to try to balance these out.

    As far as I know, there is no reason why a filter should crash if it is maintained properly and its efficiency is based on the capacity of the filter, the flow rate and the feeding / stocking regime for the aquarium or pond.

    Does that help?
     
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  13. bluebelly

    bluebelly Ambassador

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    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    chesterland,ohio,usa
    thank you

    You make a good point which the newer members need to learn. You understand your filtration and its affect on your water and fish. You know the limits, the positives and the negatives for your system. this approach is so much better than just having all the gadgets with no practical knowledge of how they work.
     
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  14. fantail1

    fantail1 Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    Thanks Dave. You are spot on.

    Having just changed my filter system, I am still getting used to changing from brushes in the first bay of my filter to using sponges on the stand pipe and no brushes and while it works, it needs more maintenance and wouldn't be useful for a vacation period (the sponges block too quickly for that) so understanding the filter is key. However, if you are on a limited budget and a water meter, then filters rather than 100% water changes are a cost saver in the long term.

    The best guide I can find to all this is in this link It runs to 5 pages but explains it all well.

    http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/filtration/koi1pollution.htm
     
  15. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    good question

    Water changes are critical to remove wastes, residual nitrates and the excess bacterial population. Fish tanks have from 100,000 to 1,000,000 bacteria per ml. Changing too much water , like daily, reduces all the flora, including the traces of pathogens.
    People who have too clean of water end up with fish that have low immunity or resistance. Often these perfectly healthy fish are sold, given or just put in a pond outside and voila, instant bacterial or protozoan infection.

    There is a balance between frequency of water changes and space per fish and food volume fed daily.
     
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  16. CStufft

    CStufft Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Excellent Thread

    This is an excellent thread. Only thing I'd add, is that besides knowing what ever system and it's limitations you choose, you have to observe your fish. You have to know what is normal behaviour and what is abnormal. I've been making a point to sit and observe each tank daily for over the past year. I feel this has made me a better fishkeeper.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
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  17. Virginia ranchu

    Virginia ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Arlington, Virginia
    I like this thread too. While I agree that solid wastes need to be removed regularly, I noticed that ranchu kept in a flow through filtered system (wet/dry filter in my case) did not develop as well as ranchu kept in still water with an air stone and sponge filter. Maybe this is due to the constant current created by the returning water from the filter. Perhaps an ideal system would have a slanted bottom or a depression that would allow the solid wastes to collect and then be easily removed once a day...even better if this could be automated and put on timers.

    Rob
     
  18. LadysSolo

    LadysSolo Breeder/keeper

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I agree with Chris - When I go down to the basement and check my tubs every night, I can see every now and then that one of the tubs or another may need an extra water change even though it is not "their night." (Basement tubs are unfiltered, on 100% water changes twice weekly.) Look at your fish - you will see by their behavior if you need to fix something. Carolyn
     
  19. Ripitake13

    Ripitake13 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    ???

    I dont understand why SOME people say that it is BAD to have a HOB filter? (yes I have had people tell me that I should remove my HOB filter) If they think that it will make the water look good when its bad makes no sense. I mean it does not matter what the water looks like. You MUST do water changes at LEAST once a week. Its that simple.

    Well at least this is the way I look at it.
     
  20. comet

    comet Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I just started taking care of fish less than a year ago, and have been an avid reader of this forum now for a few months. I need to get this off my chest. Hope I don't step on any toes....

    [Start rant]
    If you keep fish, you need to understand the nitrogen cycle http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/The_Nitrogen_Cycle.

    I monitor my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels every other day and have only just cycled my new 75 gallon tank with 3 fish about a month ago. I have a eheim canister filter to handle double my tank size. It ensures that all I really have to worry about is nitrates. I manage the nitrates with small (10-20%) water changes each week.

    I am not nearly as experienced as ANY of you but I think changing 50-100% of the water multiple times a week is crazy. It is extremely expensive and wasteful especially with the limited amount of fresh water on earth.

    I did some research and there are a few things you can do to remove those nitrates from the water...

    1. Put some plants in your tank. Plants eat nitrates.
    2. Put an algae scrubber in your tank or sump which you can build (or buy) which grow algae which remove nitrates. (This is the route I am going and will let you know how it goes)

    Maybe I just am just too much of a novice to really understand why the extremely large water changes are beneficial for the cost to my wallet and the environment and why exploring alternatives is not talked about. Maybe one of the veterans could explain this.

    [End rant]

    Phew! :)


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk - now Free
     
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