Cleaning the fish water

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by blue fire, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    OK, I know there are directions on the Ph Bottle, but when I clean the fish water it just looks horrible soon after I clean it and it does not end well....... can I have a walkthroughvfor successful water changing?
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    The key is many small water changes. When you do a large water chance at once you throw off the ph and so on in a tank. I do this with ALL my tank, every couple days take out 10-15% of the water and add fresh till the tank is better. Once you have a tank that has a good combo of fish and plants water changes are not needed so often. On my 150 gallon FW I change the every couple weeks but NO MORE THAN 15%.

    Not sure if you have fresh or saltwater.

    I have both, for the fresh water I do not use under gravel filter, they are just JUNK. I make sure I have bottom dewlers that help keep things stired up. Loaches are great bottom feeders so are cory cats. Live plants help to lower nitrates and nitrites. The trick is to get the tank to the point where you any have to money with it.

    For the water chance I simply skim off the waterfrom the top. Then SLOWLY add the fresh water.
    If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  3. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Our fish store says to change no more than 1/3 at a time. I leave a giant stainless steel pot of water out overnight before I add it, and then add a cople drops of de-clor. The above is good advice as well.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    1/3 is a pretty big water change. Your average petstore type tropical fish can usually survive it, but it's not ideal if you ask me. (Though there are some things, like corydoras, where a large water change can be useful in getting them to spawn).

    To me, it is better to change more like 1/10th of the water, whenever water chemistry tests suggest it needs to be done (once you've had tanks for a while you will get a sense of other clues to high N or high P building up, but for the initial part of one's learning curve, I personally think doing tests at least for nitrites, nitrates and phosphates is more useful than sticking to some rigid timetable.) (edited to add: if you find the tests telling you to do water changes too frequently, that is generally telling you that you have too darn many fish in there and/or are feeding them too darn much)

    In most tanks, I think it is best to vacuum the bottom in the process of water removal (use one of those handy siphon thingies you can buy at the aquarium store), as that removes sources of *future* water quality problems as well as current. Usually you do not want to disturb the gravel too much when you do this, just get the stuff off the surface of the gravel. Exceptions to vacuuming would be if you are raising or breeding a species where the adults or fry subsist largely on microscopic critters living among that grungy gunk.

    For the replacement water, personally I think it is better to use GOOD wellwater than dechlorinated municipal water if you have access to good wellwater; but otherwise let the water stand for a few days in open buckets (my preference) or use the dechlorinating tablets if you must.

    Pour the replacement water in ONTO SOMETHING; if you have a large rock or such in the middle of your tank, that may be sufficient, otherwise submerge an impeccably-clean bowl in the tank and pour into that. Reason being, you want to break the force of the water so you are not drilling into the gravel and releasing all sorts of NEW water-polluting crud [​IMG] Pour gently and slowly, too, for the same reason.

    And, it is unwise to combine a water change with a filter cartridge change at the same time. In a well run tank you can get away with it, but oftentimes tanks are unknowingly not quite so robustly well run [​IMG] and separating the two events will give you more margin for error. Best arrangement is to change (or clean) your filter medium a few days to a week AFTER your partial water change.


    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I only use under gravel filters an see everything else but skimmers as junk. I also use a gravel vacuum an change no more than 10% at a time. I do salt an fresh the same. My big saltwater tank had a under gravel filter an a skimmer. I did a 10% water change an vacuumed the rocks once a week for the first 2 months, once a month for the rest of that year an once a year for the next 6 years. When we sold it, it looked great.
  6. Rising_Phoenix

    Rising_Phoenix Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2009
    Eastern Ks
    Here at my house I do a 25% water change once a week, all you do is use a gravel vac to remove 25% of the water in the tank, fill up a bucket (we use a 5 gal bucket just for fish water changes) follow directions on bottle and add de-chlorinator, this stuff called black water extract (lowers Ph of water) follow directions on bottle for how much to add per volume of water that your adding back to the tank, then add to the tank and Ta Da your done with your water change.
  7. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    25% every couple of weeks using one of those suction cleaner thingees to clean the gunk out of the gravel - then I use things to keep the biological filter happy - Cycle is more important than the Ph thing - Once all of that is balanced, you'll have a great, clear and healthy tank. Your filter should have charcoal and nitrate/nitrite balancers and all of that if you can. Otherwise, have plants - they even out everything (I can't have them for long - I have HUGE Koi - they eat everything green)

    If I haven't done a change and an algae clean for a while, I'll do a 50% change on occasion, but not without a great deal of bio support and cycle - I also keep aquarium salt at a healthy level for Koi - keeps all kinds of things in balance.

    Get the test strips - simple and accurate
  8. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    sorry I did not elaborate..... please don't get mad [​IMG] it is just a wee little beta fish in a flower vase...... does that change anything?
  9. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:LOL no not really, just draw off a little of the water and add fresh to it.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:LOL, oopsie [​IMG]

    That's really not very good living quarters for a betta, no matter what the guys at the store probably told you. It would be a WHOLE LOT better to get a small actual fishtank for him -- even just a 5gal would be a big improvement -- with a small filter, and then you can reread the previous posts and go by them [​IMG]

    For now, though, in the fishbowl, it may indeed be better to do 100% water changes. I still think that the best thing is to use good wellwater if you know anyone whose home faucet you could borrow [​IMG], or even buy a big jug of bottled spring water with dissolved solids below about 250 ppm; or if you have to use municipal water, I would personally let it sit out in a large bucket (so the layer of water is fairly shallow) for a couple days to blow off the chlorine *that* way. But, if you really want to use the dechlorinating drops, go ahead, just follow the bottle directions (basically you will have to get a measured quantity of water, probably larger than you end up using, and put X measured #drops or tablets into it).

    I am not sure what 'pH stuff bottle' you are referring to, but unless it is a brand name and the stuff IN the bottle is dechlorinating solution, do not use it.

    Pour the fish gently, with its preexisting water, into an IMPECCABLY CLEAN (no soap residue whatsoever!) GLASS container; scrub the old one out under the faucet using lots of scrubbing but no soap or bleach; rinse one final time; refill with your new water; then put fish back in gently with as little old water as possible.

    Then, step six, go get him a tank and filter, honest [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,


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