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Author Topic: Water change question  (Read 1174 times)
PaperclipGirl
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Water change question
« on: January 31, 2010, 02:50:46 AM »

I have a 14 gal tank and have tap water.

Here are my questions:

1. If you leave the new water out in buckets for 24+ hours do you still need to add a water conditioner (I have a "tap water conditioner: aquarium dechorinator" bought from pet smart)?

2. I tested the ammonia level of the new water I want to use in the partial water change, it was 0.25 ppm prior to adding the water conditioner. Should I be concerned about the ammonia in the water I'm adding to the tank or just the ammonia level in the tank after the partial water change? 

3. I heard the good bacteria lives on/near the top of the water of the tank, so when I change the water, do I use a syphon and change from the bottom?     


P.S. I am a first time Aquarium owner and goldfish owner. I never owned fish as a kid, and I have only had a betta in a bowl up till now (he lived 3 years so I think I'm ready to move on to more complicated fish, plus my kids say I need a stress outlet).
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smz
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 03:51:21 AM »

I suggest you use a dechlorinator if you have one or puchase it if you don't have it. Tap water in most countries, including the USA, has either chlorine or chloramine in it. You can let the chlorine from the  water evaporate in an open container for 24 hours or 48 hours, but this method will not work if the water contains chloramine. Chloramine is a very toxic substance to fish that is created by the chemical reaction of sodium hypochlorite and ammonia under alkaline conditions. The only way to remove chloramine is by using a  commercial dechlorinator like the one you already bought. Some cities , such as San Francisco , have already started using chloramine for water treatment.

Ammonia is very harmful to fish whether it is  in the new water or in the tank. You want to keep ammonia level as close to 0 ppm as possible.

The bacteria you are talking about will attach themselves to  any surface area in the aquarium and filter, including gravel, plants,  heater, tubings in the water, airstone, etc..  They are also present in the water and bio material in your filter.  I suggest you siphon the water from the bottom if you have gravel there in order to remove fish wastes and uneaten food that get stuck in the gravel.
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Nossie
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 04:44:42 AM »

1. I never leave the water in the bucket to stand for that long. I just take about one degree Celsius colder than the aquarium water, add water conditioner and bio filter booster, and add it to the aquarium (:
2. You don't need to test the water you're putting in the aquarium, rather put it in there, test it, and repair any problems if there are some.

3. Good bacteria live allover the place! In the filter, in the bottom substrate... So don't worry about them, they'll be fine as long as you don't clean it too often! (I recommend getting that filter booster if you're worried about the filtration bacteria, mine is of the brand Sera, and called "Bio Nitrivec" it takes care of nitrites in the water as well as cleaning it.)
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PaperclipGirl
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 03:04:33 AM »

Should I consider using another water source for the frequent water changes? I can't get my ammonia levels under control.


My test the last two days have been 4.0 ppm.  I added fresh (conditioned) water to the tank, but the reading 30 minutes later levels did not decrease.

I am buying a master kit later today to test all the other levels.

I made the ultimate newbie mistake. I did not cycle the tank before adding the fish and added too many fish. So now I am a little scared that they (my fish) are going to suffer. One goldfish's eye looks like its starting to bulge. I feel very st*pid that I didn't do more research first.

Should I also consider a major wc, not just a partial?

The activity of my little guy (although he is the biggest in the tank) appears to be normal, but I'm not sure I can trust that.
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Nossie
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 03:17:14 AM »

Oh! If they eye is bulging you should treat it as a bacterial infection right away! Add some salt at one tea spoon per gallon to reach a 0.3% concentration or buy some medicine for the kind.

Hm, and I'm wondering if you shouldn't try and get a bit less fish there... it's not going to work very long with an over crowded aquarium. Anyone you could give a fish or two to?

How long has your tank been filled?
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Nossie
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 03:22:21 AM »

By the way, how many and how big fish are there? (And how about tank decorations, a lot of them too?)
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Mindemae
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 09:35:51 AM »

PaperClipGirl,
Your tank is trying to cycle that is why the ammonia levels are high.
You need to add a beneficial bacterial to the tank. AND ADD it to the FILTER too!!!  This will give your tank the jump start it needs and ammonia levels should decrease after a week or so. You can also add an ammonia blocker to the tank or zeolite to your filter, but remember when doing so, your test reads on ammonia will still look high.
Take any sick fish out and put in a separate tank (hospital tank).
Add aquarium salt to the tank...1 TBS per every 5 gallons...this will help improve gill function and lessen stress and give the fish some electrolytes.  But DO NOT use salt if you decide to use zeolite.  Your tank should cycle in about 4 weeks.
As your ammonia levels start to decrease, you will see levels of nitrites rise, this is normal.  You can do 10% water changes twice a week but any more and the water cycle will have to start all over again.  When you start to see a decrease in nitrites, you will see nitrates appear on the tests.
Keep your filter in place and just add more rinsed carbon to it...do not rinse the filter with clean water, only use aquarium water, or you will be killing beneficial bacteria.  You can add a little extra conditioner to the water which will help protect the fishes slime coat.
Good luck!
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PaperclipGirl
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 09:56:59 PM »

I went to three LFSs in the nearest big city. None will take the extra fish.

My tank is 16 gal., there are 4 fish in there. They are small - the largest (the one with the eye) is almost 1 1/2 inch. The others are just over 1 inch.  As far as decorations I have one

One guy at a store, who was most helpful, said they would be fine in this tank until I got the 55g up and cycled (and he really emphasized that this was not a good size tank for this type of fish!), and helped pick out some medication to use. He also suggested daily water changes and testing.

I must also add, that while their equipment wasn't all nice and shiney like commerical pet stores (or the big W), their tanks were clean the fish looked very healthy, and they did not sell goldfish as feeders!! I fell in love with this store.


When I got home with all the stuff I bought, the first thing I did was test the water. I didn't buy the kit with the KH/GH but I know the water here is very hard (that kit will come later it was a little pricey).

Here are my specs before the water change:

NO2 - 1.0 ppm
NO3 -   5  ppm
NH3/NH4 - 1 ppm  * which surprises me but maybe I tested too soon after yesterday's wc
pH  8


I did a 50% wc and added the medication (Maracyn - TC).

So I hope this helps. 

Here are pictures of my tank and decoration (the Myan head is going since I'm afraid one will get stuck in there)

Its not a good pic of Hercules's eye but you can see a shiny green forming just around it.
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Nossie
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 09:27:19 AM »

So beautiful C: But I don't think it's over crowded as of now (considering the size of the fish), so they'll be perfectly fine until you've got the bigger tank ready!
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Katarine
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 10:28:28 PM »

as long as you get that big tank set up (and hopefully soon.. or else your fish may hit a growth spurt and grow really super fast Tongue ) then you'll be fine
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Fleabie
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 08:11:43 AM »

Try to get some gravel from an existing tank (Make sure it's a healthy tank without any sick fish). If you don't want to mix the gravel with the gravel in your tank, put it into a shallow glass bowl before placing it on the gravel. The gravel from the existing tank should contain beneficial bacteria which will help to speed up the nitrogen cycle.
Consider getting some live plants at some stage - they really help to filter the water of ammonia and nitrates.
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PaperclipGirl
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Re: Water change question
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 08:33:02 AM »

This tank is no longer set up with goldfish - I have my goldies in a 55gallon tank and when the weather gets nice the comets and common will go into a outdoor pond.

Then the tank will have new fancy goldfish inhabitants - I"m thinking either fantails or rukin (sp?)

The 55g tank is bare bottom and I LOVE it - water changes are so easy and the tank stays really clean.

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