See less of these, support the forums and become a Super Subscriber today!

We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just 20 per month.

Water Change - Container Suggestions?

Author Topic: Water Change - container suggestions?  (Read 6075 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Water Change - container suggestions?
« on: December 29, 2014, 09:39:33 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I'm trying to make my water changes as quick and easy as possible, iv'e come to the conclusion, i need to gravel clean suction 60L out into one big container, then pump back treated water from another maybe 80 L container, tank lid on job done, then pump dirty water out of window. Can anyone suggest a container suitable for holding large ammount of water, i guess the "pump in" can be black dustbin but i would prefer green or lighter and square containers acceptable too, and pump out has to be lighter so i can see any suction casualties lol before i flush em away.

Offline naughtymoose

  • Super Fishy Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 09:54:35 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
AM Happy Crimbo!

I'm planning on using a python-like set-up for getting the water out, and then into the garden (where I'll fill some containers for watering the plants). This system could easily be used to syphon into the bath though.

I'm going to get 25L wine fermenting bins (found on Amazon, 3, with handles, 19.99) and then heat the water with some 25w heaters overnight). I'll then pump the heated/treated water in to the tank. The fermenting bins can stack, so will take up less space.

I suppose that you could use extra fermenting bins for the dirty water too.

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 10:04:06 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Seasons Greetings NM  ;D i do actually have two clean 32 L plasterers buckets from Wickes, but it means stopping mid gravel hoover and swapping over then again swapping pump over when emptying out of window, so one big container would be quicker lol Just need to find something suitable, i have one of those see through plastic storage containers but it seems a bit flimsy so daren't try it lol.

Offline Richard W

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Likes: 34
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 10:34:53 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
You could just change half as much water twice  as often ..................
 I'm never convinced that big water changes are always necessary or good for fish. I find 10% a week or even less, which is what I have been doing over the past year, has caused me no problems at all with my water quality or fish health. You have hard water and will have no problems with pH crashes and so you are only really changing water to reduce nitrates. I remember you are also setting up the tank for good numbers of live plants which will help greatly. Don't be convinced by people who, because they change 25% every week, insist that if you are not doing it as well then you must be wrong and are putting your fish at risk. Read enough posts here and you will find that even people who religiously change 25% a week still have "unexplained" fish deaths. Maybe sometimes those fish don't like having their water parameters disrupted every week?

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 10:37:36 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
That's a lovely thought Richard, i was planning 30% water changes but i am having Congo Tetras and Rainbow fish and the one thing that keeps coming up is, they need pristine water conditions, so i'm erring on the side of caution?

Offline Richard W

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Likes: 34
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 10:52:26 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
It depends on what is meant by pristine, the water that comes out of your tap is "pristine" but you wouldn't want to put your fish straight into it.
If you are concerned, I'd start with relatively large changes but test regularly. Obviously your ammonia and nitrite should be zero, but if the nitrate doesn't rise much during a week then you can reduce the changes. I reckon knowing what is happening by regular testing is more important than following a fixed regime.

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 12:42:43 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Ive been testing my recently cycled  (three month i think)90 L tank regularly, i do 30% on that and water is always 0-0 and all seems well, mind you that's robust platys and minnows. Well even 20% of 230 L would be easier. Thanks  Richard : )

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8730
  • Likes: 299
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 02:20:57 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
There is a chap on another website I'm a member of who is very knowledgeable in most areas. But he insists that nitrate must be kept under 10ppm and water changes should be at least 50% weekly  :o Compared to him, 25% seems quite a small water change!


I should state so that people know where I am coming from:
I have lightly planted tanks and I have low KH. I don't really want to increase my GH and pH which is why I don't use coral etc, and I do my 25% weekly water changes simply to top up my low carbonate. If it wasn't just 3 german deg, I wouldn't do that much water changes as my nitrate is very low from the tap and doesn't go up much between one water change and the next.

People with lots of plants and lots of carbonate should listen to Richard  :)

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 02:39:33 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Ah NITATE!  :yikes: i never check my nitrate, should i be doing that regularly too then?

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8730
  • Likes: 299
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 02:53:40 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Nitrate is the most unreliable of the tests we have. And it is even more unreliable if you don't shake one of the bottles very well (one of the reagents in that bottle settles on the bottom and all the shaking is to redissolve it). It is best used to follow a trend like watching to see if it goes up during fishless cycling so you know your nitrite really is being turned into nitrate.
But although the absolute level isn't that important, you can monitor a change. The general guideline for tanks with no live plants or only a few live plants is that nitrate should not go up by more than 20ppm between water changes. In this type of tank nitrate isn't the only thing that goes up - so do fish hormones etc - and an increasing nitrate indicates they will be going up as well.
Heavily planted tanks are different. The plants will use some of the ammonia made by the fish which keeps the nitrate level low.

Richard, do aquarium plants also absorb biochemicals secreted by the fish? Living on Teesside (and having a husband who started his working life as a chemist with ICI, eventually at Wilton) I am well aware of the use of reed beds to clear up chemical pollution - do aquarium plants perform a similar function?




As a matter of curiosity, I have just checked the nitrate of my main tank. I did tapwater too, that was 5. My tank was between the 5 and 10 colours and I last did a water change on Christmas Eve. So 5 days after a water change, my main tank's nitrate is 3 or maybe 4 above tap water level. If it wasn't for my KH..........

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2014, 03:53:31 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Oh i have done nitrate test at beginning of cycling, for comparison sake it was 5.0ppm on day 1 and 5.0 again on day 21 but to be honest i'm not sure what nitrate signifies, or how high is unwelcome

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8730
  • Likes: 299
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2014, 04:02:49 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Traditionally it has been said that nitrate is only bad for fish if it reaches the hundreds. But that chap on the other forum reckons anything above 10 is bad. Which, if true, would make things almost impossible for those UK residents who have 40ppm nitrate coming out of their taps  :-\

But the aim is to prevent the nitrate level in the tank ever getting as high as the level in your tap water plus 20. In my case, with a tap level of 5 I must never let my tank nitrate get over 25. In a heavily planted tank, the plants will stop it getting that high. I have read of people who have so many plants that their nitrate is too low for the plants and they have to add it to the tank. Though Richard will probably say that's not necessary  ;D

Offline Richard W

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Likes: 34
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2014, 04:20:18 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
There's a few things here that I'll think about for later................

However, isn't it odd that AM's nitrate is still the same on day 21 of cycling as on day 1? Shouldn't it have gone up after all that ammonia has been added?

Also, there does seem to be good evidence that fish can adapt to higher nitrates over time, but sudden exposure to levels higher than they are accustomed to is very bad for them, sometimes fatal. That's why the only time I do large water changes is before adding new fish, to get levels as low as possible, which in my tap water is about 10 mg/litre.

I do think floating plants are the best nitrate reducers, but I still find that they flourish in some of my tanks but die out in others, not sure why.

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8730
  • Likes: 299
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2014, 04:28:22 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Oooh, well spotted! {my excuse is that I'm still full of this cold. My husband is 6 days ahead of me and he's still not over it yet}

With fishless cycling, at the start all three chemicals stay the same. Then ammonia starts to go down, nitrite goes up and nitrate stays the same. Then nitrite comes down and nitrate goes up. The disappearing nitrite has to go somewhere. If it's the nitrite eaters at work, they turn it into nitrate.


AM, are you using the API kit? If you are, when you do the nitrate test, do you add 10 drops of bottle #1 and shake; then shake bottle #2 very hard for a minimum of 30 seconds, add 10 drops to the tube then shake the tube very hard for 1 minute, then let it stand for another 5 minutes before comparing the colour to the chart?

Offline Aquamaid

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Likes: 0
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2014, 05:47:21 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
You won't remember Sue, but i had a Nitrate duel with the staff of the local Maidenhead Aquatics with last tank, i had been advised on line to shake the bottle till my arm nearly dropped off, i was getting totally different readings to them, so we all tested my tank water and i won, they phoned there head office who confirmed that shaking the bottle made the test more accurate lol. im cycled with this new tank i think, so im doing big water change tomorrow, i will do nitrate tap and tank test beforehand though.

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8730
  • Likes: 299
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2014, 07:10:26 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I'd forgotten that!!
In that case, you do know how to do the nitrate test properly  ;)

Offline AdyDnt

  • Fishy Member
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Likes: 0
  • Tropical Fish FTW!
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2014, 10:00:51 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
My tap water is high in nitrates and I have been reading about floating plants to reduce it, what would be some low maintenance plant to try out ?

Offline Richard W

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Likes: 34
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2014, 07:50:14 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
The floating plant I have had most success with is Amazon Frogbit, but even that doesn't do well in all my tanks. It dislikes strong surface flow which swirls it around on the top of the tank. Where it is happy, it grows like crazy, but it's very easy to remove excess plants.

Offline SteveS

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 561
  • Likes: 1
  • With apologies to M.C.Escher
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2014, 02:41:13 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Oh i have done nitrate test at beginning of cycling, for comparison sake it was 5.0ppm on day 1 and 5.0 again on day 21 but to be honest i'm not sure what nitrate signifies, or how high is unwelcome

Once our tanks have cycled and the filter has matured and settled down, there are two main reasons for performing water changes.

Firstly, if you have soft water like Sue, you need to replenish the trace elements that cause hardness in water. These are called "buffers" and they prevent large and sudden changes in acidity / alakalinity. These are called pH crashes and the sudden changes are very harmful to fish.

Secondly, water changes control the level of nitrates in the water. Nitrates are the end-product of the filtration systems in your tank. Ammonia is converted to nitrites, nitrites are converted to nitrates. Left alone, the level of nitrates would continue to rise over time. At "high" levels, these are harmful to our fish.

Now one of the problems we face here is that no-one seems to agree on what "high" levels mean. The guy Sue mentions who reckons that "High" means more than 10 is living in a fantasy world; My nitrates, from the tap, measure 35-45! So I am poisoning my fish every time I do a water change apparently! Others say "50" is high, some, like Sue, reckon your tap levels +20 or so. In theory, this is a metric that anyone can reach.

Sue is generally pretty pragmatic about these sorts of things; however, and I'm going out on a limb here by disagreeing with Sue (Please no hate mail), It would be nice if Sue could explain how I can measure the nitrate in my tank and be able to tell the difference between 65, which is a "safe" level, and 100 which is an "unsafe" level.  The tests we use are pretty unreliable and, not having a spectrometer to hand, almost impossible to grade with any degree of accuracy.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Angelfish (1) - Panda Cory (10) - Harlequin Rasbora (10) - Otocinclus (10) - Japonica Shrimp (10) - Honey Gourami (10) - Galaxy Rasbora (10) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8730
  • Likes: 299
Re: W/C container suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2014, 02:55:35 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
You have hit the nail on the head, Steve. Nitrate is very difficult to measure in the home with any degree of accuracy.

With the API tester, the colours are yellow to orange to red up to 80ppm. Then 100 is a browny purple sort of colour. For my tanks, I would be happy for the nitrate to be any shade of red, but not that browny purple.

Then as for keeping below tap + 20, that is a tad more difficult, I agree. It is easy to see the colour change at my nitrate levels but I find it very difficult to see the difference on the shade card between 20, 40 and 80ppm.



Maybe this is the point to say that the Salifert nitrate tester is supposed to be easier to read (and more accurate) than the API one......

See less of these, become a Super Subscriber today! We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just 20 per month.
See less of these, support the forums and become a Super Subscriber today!

We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just 20 per month.

** Become a ThinkFish Super Subscriber **

It takes time and money to keep ThinkFish going, if you'd like to help, then a Subscription of your choice would be fantastic. Your subscription will help fund new articles, help pay for server costs and help fund development and promotion initiatives, helping us bring you more of the good stuff you love! You'll also see less ads. Why not become a Super Subscriber today!?

We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just 20 per month.

Tags:
 


Assess Tankmates In The Tropical Fish Community Creator


Topics that relate to "Water Change - container suggestions?"

  Subject - Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
1614 Views
Last post January 28, 2014, 11:25:19 AM
by Sue
6 Replies
1860 Views
Last post July 26, 2014, 01:33:37 PM
by Flaree123
6 Replies
2734 Views
Last post July 05, 2015, 11:59:11 AM
by Skittler
5 Replies
1332 Views
Last post October 09, 2016, 05:12:37 PM
by Charlotte
14 Replies
1287 Views
Last post June 30, 2018, 09:35:29 AM
by Sue
7 Replies
798 Views
Last post July 08, 2018, 09:11:37 AM
by Littlefish
7 Replies
826 Views
Last post August 21, 2018, 08:30:20 PM
by Sue

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 

Think Fish © 2004-2018 | Keeping Tropical Fish Forum - Everything you need for your Tropical Fish hobby
Tropical Fish Market Place
SEO Services in Kent
Legal | Contact Follow Think Fish on: