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aquadon2222
12-26-2013, 08:49 PM
Fairly new to the hobby but am curious - is there any reason why you couldn't base your water changes on parameters that you get when testing? In other words, closely monitor ammonia and nitrites and only change water when they register anything above "zero"...any problem with this approach? I don't want to "overcharge" the water because it seems to scare my fish when I start vacuuming and sticking hoses etc in the tank. I'd like to give them several days of just hanging out w/o me messing with their home.

aquadon2222
12-26-2013, 08:50 PM
Meant to say "overchange" the water, and not "overcharge" - autocorrect, argh.

OC Discus
12-26-2013, 09:30 PM
Depends on the age/size of the fish, feeding schedule, and size of tank. Minerals and oxygen can be depleted from the water before Nitrates get high, so water changes adds these back to the water. There is quite a difference between "tolerable" water conditions and "optimum" water conditions for discus. Grown fish in a large healthy tank would require less water changes than young fish being fed heavily 5 times a day to promote growth.

Also, many of the things that plague discus like parasites and bad bacteria don't show up on common tests.

People on SD will have different opinions, but some general guidelines might be:

1) Grow Out Phase- Power Feeding 5-6 times per day for growth = Daily to Twice Daily Water Changes. Some do this for up to a year to get jumbo fish.
2) Young Adult Phase- Some cut back feeding to 2-3 times per day and water changes to once a day to twice per week
3) Maintenance Phase- Fully Grown, after one year- Feeding Once or Twice per day, water change once or twice per week

Breeders do 50% to 100% water changes once or twice per day for "optimum" growth and health. Many will recommend this schedule for everyone. Many also automate their water changes so they can flip a valve and drain their tanks then flip another to fill them. Some are very passionate about this and may seem to be speaking to you with contempt if they think you are not doing it right.

Welcome to the hobby! What is your tank size, filtration, number, type and size of fish?

a volar
12-27-2013, 03:13 AM
Fairly new to the hobby but am curious - is there any reason why you couldn't base your water changes on parameters that you get when testing? In other words, closely monitor ammonia and nitrites and only change water when they register anything above "zero"...any problem with this approach? I don't want to "overcharge" the water because it seems to scare my fish when I start vacuuming and sticking hoses etc in the tank. I'd like to give them several days of just hanging out w/o me messing with their home.

There are tons of threads about water changes in this forum, it’s a never ending discussion, I invite you to "search" about it, you'll find lots of good information and will help you understand why we change a lot of water.............. And welcome to simply :)

nc0gnet0
12-27-2013, 09:01 AM
No fish has ever been killed by too much clean water. Your fish will adjust to your WC schedule, and if you do daily water changes, you will find they will eventually learn to accept it as normal, heck, I have breeding pairs that anticipate when I will be doing my water changes and they hold off on their spawning until after I perform the change.

sandy
12-27-2013, 09:45 AM
Depends on the age/size of the fish, feeding schedule, and size of tank. Minerals and oxygen can be depleted from the water before Nitrates get high, so water changes adds these back to the water. There is quite a difference between "tolerable" water conditions and "optimum" water conditions for discus. Grown fish in a large healthy tank would require less water changes than young fish being fed heavily 5 times a day to promote growth.

Also, many of the things that plague discus like parasites and bad bacteria don't show up on common tests.

People on SD will have different opinions, but some general guidelines might be:

1) Grow Out Phase- Power Feeding 5-6 times per day for growth = Daily to Twice Daily Water Changes. Some do this for up to a year to get jumbo fish.
2) Young Adult Phase- Some cut back feeding to 2-3 times per day and water changes to once a day to twice per week
3) Maintenance Phase- Fully Grown, after one year- Feeding Once or Twice per day, water change once or twice per week

Breeders do 50% to 100% water changes once or twice per day for "optimum" growth and health. Many will recommend this schedule for everyone. Many also automate their water changes so they can flip a valve and drain their tanks then flip another to fill them. Some are very passionate about this and may seem to be speaking to you with contempt if they think you are not doing it right.

Welcome to the hobby! What is your tank size, filtration, number, type and size of fish?


Nice write up


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John_Nicholson
12-27-2013, 10:50 AM
Lots of good advice here but I also wanted to add there there is more to water than just the 3 things that you talked about testing. Unless you work for a lab somewhere and can really analize your water then you really don't know. Long story short lots of people start out thinking they have come up with a better way only to find out that it has been tried and failed hundreds of times already. If you want really nice discus you change water. Simple as that.

-john

Rudustin
12-27-2013, 11:18 AM
I think so many people that are new to this forum try to reinvent the wheel and think that the "Old Way" can be improved upon but I would take John's advice because the wheel is still the wheel!
Lots of good advice here but I also wanted to add there there is more to water than just the 3 things that you talked about testing. Unless you work for a lab somewhere and can really analize your water then you really don't know. Long story short lots of people start out thinking they have come up with a better way only to find out that it has been tried and failed hundreds of times already. If you want really nice discus you change water. Simple as that.

-john

Keith Perkins
12-27-2013, 12:44 PM
Lots of good advice here but I also wanted to add there there is more to water than just the 3 things that you talked about testing. Unless you work for a lab somewhere and can really analize your water then you really don't know. Long story short lots of people start out thinking they have come up with a better way only to find out that it has been tried and failed hundreds of times already. If you want really nice discus you change water. Simple as that.

-john

I was thinking basically the same thing but John put it really well. Works well with the KISS method as well.

Ps - Good grief, how many times can you use the word well in two sentences? That's what you get I guess when you've been adding peppermint schnapps to the coffee for a good 3 hours. Merry Christmas!

ericatdallas
12-27-2013, 02:45 PM
I think a good way to think about it is this ...

Let's take an aribitrary material like Uranium (replace with anything else harmful).

If you replace water as it evaporates from the tap, then you're slowly going to concentrate Uranium into the water. Also, let's say uranium is in your fish food. Then as you feed your fish, even though the bio-waste may get recycled by plants, they're not likely to have significant uranium uptake.

Over time, you're just going to concentrate your uranium to a point that is harmful.

Again, using Uranium as an example, but if you look at your water quality reports, you will find uranium among the other possible contaminants in your water.

aquadon2222
12-29-2013, 09:04 PM
I was thinking basically the same thing but John put it really well. Works well with the KISS method as well.

Ps - Good grief, how many times can you use the word well in two sentences? That's what you get I guess when you've been adding peppermint schnapps to the coffee for a good 3 hours. Merry Christmas!

Haha LOL Cozy!

aquadon2222
12-29-2013, 09:10 PM
Depends on the age/size of the fish, feeding schedule, and size of tank. Minerals and oxygen can be depleted from the water before Nitrates get high, so water changes adds these back to the water. There is quite a difference between "tolerable" water conditions and "optimum" water conditions for discus. Grown fish in a large healthy tank would require less water changes than young fish being fed heavily 5 times a day to promote growth.

Also, many of the things that plague discus like parasites and bad bacteria don't show up on common tests.

People on SD will have different opinions, but some general guidelines might be:

1) Grow Out Phase- Power Feeding 5-6 times per day for growth = Daily to Twice Daily Water Changes. Some do this for up to a year to get jumbo fish.
2) Young Adult Phase- Some cut back feeding to 2-3 times per day and water changes to once a day to twice per week
3) Maintenance Phase- Fully Grown, after one year- Feeding Once or Twice per day, water change once or twice per week

Breeders do 50% to 100% water changes once or twice per day for "optimum" growth and health. Many will recommend this schedule for everyone. Many also automate their water changes so they can flip a valve and drain their tanks then flip another to fill them. Some are very passionate about this and may seem to be speaking to you with contempt if they think you are not doing it right.

Welcome to the hobby! What is your tank size, filtration, number, type and size of fish?

Thanks! I have a 300 gallon cube shaped tank, an Ehiem 5 gallon canister and a 30 gallon sump system...15 young adult (4-5") discus, some tetras and a couple of plecos.

I vacuum the substrate daily and the sump weekly, water change 30% 2x/week.

My fish:

2 x Blue Turqoise
2 x Albino White
2 x Brown Wilds
2 x Red Rafflesia
2 x Yellow Golden Sunrise
2 x Albino Spotted Greens
2 x Red Melons

OC Discus
12-29-2013, 09:27 PM
Wow Don, you went in big. Would love to see some pictures. I'm sure you have or will be setting up plumbing for automatic water changes. Good luck.

aquadon2222
01-01-2014, 06:40 PM
Thanks, yes it's a little intimidating but I'm hooked! I'm going to talk to the installer who set it up about automating the water changes...right now I actually enjoy doing it but I'm sure that will wear off after a few months, I may cut WC's back to weekly if my parameters stay good...I'll post some pics when I get it close to how I want it; right now my lighting isn't great and I'm still playing around with the hardscape and may possibly get a few hardy plants in there.