View Full Version : Water Change and Stress

01-20-2003, 06:20 PM
I want to ask about stress. Not mine.. the fish :o
I am doing daily water changes and all the parameters of the water seems very good but I am wondering about how stressed out the fish seem to get when I do the change. Some have suggested that the current of all the filtration I use (AC 500 and 300 along with 2 hydro sponges) is too much in my 55 gal but how about the addition of 25 gls of water everyday. I do not have a drip system nor can I afford to do so. I use a python to remove the old and so the buket thing for my aged water.

01-20-2003, 06:47 PM
Hi Peter,

Gee if your fish are acting funny after water changes then there could be a big difference from the water that you are adding in, and the water that is already in the tank.

What water are you using for water changes? is it stored water (heated and airated overnight) or is it straight tap or RO with some sort of dechlorinator? Do you have Chloromines in your tap water supply? (you may be able to find this out by going to your water supplier's website). Here is some very good info on aging water and other useful info:


You may want to check your tank perameters vs your water change water perameters. If there is a large difference such as PH, temperature or GH (or anything else you can think of) that may be the reason why they are stressed.

Please post your checks and maybe we can see somethign that is not quite right.

Welcome to the board by the way!
Chong :thumbsup:

01-20-2003, 08:29 PM
With your pre treated water are you storing it in a clean container? Are you absolutely sure it is contaminant free?

Do you heat it to match your tank temp?

Do you aerate it to remove co2?

How long does it age it before it is used?

What is the chlorine and/or chloramine content of your tap water?


01-20-2003, 10:33 PM
Hi Peter,
Are you using an aquaclear 300 and 500 on the same tank. That really seems like overkill. Either one of those loaded with 2 or 3 sponges would suffice for a 55. As far as water's concernedl, if you have chloramines try using prime or amquel as they help with the ammonia. The fish will slowly get used to the water change routine.


01-20-2003, 11:27 PM
My discus used to huddle in the back of the tank and glare at me after a water change. Back then I didn't know about pH swing. The pH of my tap water is 6.8, but after 24 hours of circulation in the tank (or in a storage barrel) it raised to 7.8!

So there I was trying to do the right thing by changing 1/3 of their water and in reality I was subjecting them to a big drop in pH. Now I can do 90% water changes and the discus swim happily about.
CArol :heart1:

01-21-2003, 10:51 AM
Water changes afford time for interaction with your fish. Many of mine rub up against my hand and love the incoming stream of water. If done with a pump, it also temporarilly infuses oxygen by surface agitation. I do not recommend doing water changes by means of the " Bucket Brigade ". This can be stressful by being too forceful--knocking the fish around. A python is a good method ---but can also result in cross contamination if there are more than one tank--especially when used as a syphon. I have separate syphons for each tank and wash my hands before going to the next tank.

Using a python to add back the awter is fine if not allowed to touch the water of each tank. I do not feel this is over-paranoa--just being on the safe side!

HTH, Joe ;)

01-22-2003, 01:36 AM
Great advice Joe! Thanks! :thumbsup:


Anna Piranha
01-22-2003, 06:25 PM
My mother is elderly and keeps awesome Discus. She is set in her ways about some things, including using buckets to do water changes. The best Christmas gift I ever gave her was a standard child's red wagon (Radio Flyer). Her buckets fit nicely in the wagon and she can easily move them from one room to the next without hurting her back. Of course the lifting is another thing, but this is part of her weekly exercise, so she isn't too keen on replacing it with a python.

I am still toting buckets myself, but I am hoping to change this in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I will continue to build my upper body strength ;D

01-22-2003, 07:30 PM
Anna, Lose the buckets and replace em' with a keg of beer---more resistance = better upper body strength. That Red Flyer will be able to tote a keg without a struggle--but you will have to put in a big muck bucket for the ice to keep the beer chilled. More weight is a +. My personal trainer says don't bother with the 1/4 kegs ( they're for wimps! ) Joe ;D

01-23-2003, 12:42 AM
How about a pond pump and hose from Walmart for Mothers day. ;D

Carol :heart1:

Anna Piranha
01-23-2003, 01:59 PM
Ok...lemme see...if I follow instructions carefully I will be one happy Walmart Shopper (1 Keg of beer, 'cause I'm no wimp + 1 trip to Walmart for a pump and hose)!

01-23-2003, 05:49 PM
All your water changing needs can be found at the HOME DEPOT. Pumps, tubing, PVC pipes, salt and etc. All that I have to say is try not to change the water parameters so drastically that you would end up stressing out the little buggers. Even Aged Water can throw things off.... just check before and after the water parameters of what is in the tank and what's going into the tank. *nuff*


01-23-2003, 07:27 PM
How long have you had your fish? if they are new fish they might just need some time to get used to you cleaning their tank.

01-25-2003, 09:55 PM
Great question Fossil~
I have only had the fish a few weeks and I am just now brginning to get the hang of this whole thing. Actually this week the little guys seem to be warming up to me! They are hanging out and enjoying(?) the water changes. I have been more careful about the force of the water by pouring in gal jugs of the aged water at a time. I think I will take a trip to Home Depot soon to get a pump. What size/brand/style do people suggest. I use a 22 gal rubbermaid container for my holding tank.
Thanks everyone for your input.
Peter ;)

01-25-2003, 10:06 PM
Remember, it's not how far you pump the water, it is how high. In your case, you only need to pump about 5 feet high. Don't get one that is too small (gallons per hour). You want to fill the tank up fast without creating a tidal wave. You can use a larger pump for a 55 gallon tank than a 29 gallon tank.
Carol :heart1:

01-25-2003, 10:13 PM
Thanks Carol,

I still need more info though.I am a total novice to this. Brand/model etc would be really helpful. :crazy:

01-25-2003, 10:24 PM
I use a Mag pump that's rated about 350 gallons per hour. I pump from the bathroom to the tank, the lift is about 4 or 5 feet. It takes me about 10 minutes to drain and refill 50% of my 55 gallon this way.


Anna Piranha
01-28-2003, 06:10 PM
I have a question about heating the aged water. I have a 32 gallon Rubbermaid and I am wondering if a heater would cause a melting of the container. Remember, someone here said that the only stupid question was the one not asked ;D

01-28-2003, 06:46 PM
:bounce2: :bounce2: Right you are Anna!!! Don't worry 'bout the heaters. I have 2- 35g RMs, collect & aerate the water & just hang the heaters wherever they lay in the tub. One is a ViaAqua titanium with the control hooked to the wall & the probe & heater hanging down in. The other I just lay the ebo on the bottom; both have powerheads to aerate. Before I start to pump water out of tub I pull the plugs on the heater & ph. No pblems so far, JMO Dottie ;D ;D

01-28-2003, 08:55 PM
Careful. I have burned holes in a couple of Rubbermaid garbage cans trying to keep the temperature at 86 with a VisiTherm. I finally set up the heater so it hung in the middle of the container with no chance of touching either the sides or the bottom.

Ignore this advice at your own risk :o :o :o

John R

Anna Piranha
01-28-2003, 09:10 PM
Gulp. John, you have scared me into heeding your advice! I am so glad I asked the question. I actually oiled my fish the first time I used my pump, (see "stupid pump tricks" in the beginner section) so from now on, I am going to ask ask ask before I DO anything new. I hope you guys don't mind :rolleyes:

01-29-2003, 06:08 AM

Did you remove any of your filtration? I have a similar setup with similar symptoms and am interested to know if you changed the current flow. I put ten 2.5" discus three weeks ago in my 55g which has two 4" airstones, a Hydro filter, and a FilStar XP3. I've been changing 20g daily and it seems they are getting scared of me more each day. They huddle in a corner, and are even hesitant to come up for food now - i'm begging them to come for it whereas it was just the opposite the first week i got them.

Ryan: do you submerge the Mag pump in the tank when you drain, and also, won't all the crap going through foul the pump?


01-29-2003, 07:51 PM
Hi Sammosammo,
Nope... I have left the filtration the same and the fish are doing really well. I think they are just getting used to me. Remember that Discus love stable as I have recently really gotten the hang of. Make sure the water going in matches the parameters of the tank water... pH, temp etc... give them time and be gentle...
How'd I do Al? Cary?

01-30-2003, 12:25 AM
Give them time and they will get use to you. My fish swim around the python, peck at my hand and actually get in my way!!! Haha... they did not do this when I first got them- they hid all in a huddle in the back and would dart from corner to corner depending upon which side I was cleaning.

This is also why I like the digital titanium heater, because I know exactly what my temperature is before, during and after a water change. The digital reading stays on constantly and can be seen across the room. I found it too hard to read the cheap stick on temperature and also did not feel they were accurate. By seeing the digital readout, allows me to be accurate in temp with the water change and therefore eliminated any guessing of possibilities of bouncing temperatures! I know exactly the temp at all times-

Weezy ;D

02-04-2003, 10:37 AM
:bounce2: :bounce2: Hi all, I'm using the Lifeguard digital thermometer with an alert system. This way I can be pretty sure the temp is within a10* range. I love the titanium heaters, but they are not digital so no way to read the temp except at the control. The Lifeguard alert is large & easy to read.

John R, I will not ignore your advice & will be much more careful with the heaters in the r/o tubs, though I have not had any problem in the year it's been set up. Thanks for the heads up; always best to be aware. Dottie :o :o :o :o

02-04-2003, 08:47 PM
Hi Dottie. The titanium II has a digital readout, as well as a control. I have 7 of them!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D

The one you are referring too is the regular titanium heater. The titanium II's are more expensive but worth it in my opinion. So, yours has an alarm? That is way cool!!!! :o


02-04-2003, 09:17 PM
:bounce2: :bounce2: Weezy, the alarm is separate; it's the Lifeguard digital temp alert with probe, battery operated. I love it. Will have to look into the Titanium II when next I need one, sounds good!!! Dottie ::) ::) ::)