View Full Version : Water changes. Some questions

09-19-2006, 02:16 PM
We all know you are supposed to change 10-20% or so of your aquarium's water ever week or every other week. I know the reason for doing this is partly to help control amonia level's and other things, but I'm going to be honest. I have never really followed through with weekly water changes, in any of the fish or plants I have kept. I tend to lose some water in the tank fairly often, due to evaperation I suppose, and that is generally the only time I would ever add new water.

I monitor my PH and amonia levels, and they have always been good, amonia is always at or right near 0. I dont have any way to measure anything else, but I have never had a problem with any fish or plants I have raised doing this, and my water is always crystal clear. Outside of being killed by another fish, I dont recall ever having a fish just die on me. This makes me wonder, are these weekly water changes really THAT important if your water quality remains high? What other things might I be overlooking about water changes?

As mentioned, I do tend to add probably a few gallons of new water to my 75 gallon tank every month, due to what I can only figure is Evaperation. My water level slowly drops in the tank, so I will introduce new water to keep the tank full. This however is nothing over a few gallons a month at best.

I would also mention ive never had any real disease outbreaks either, and this tank was once a very heavily planted tank, and the plants grew great.

My Filtration include both an undergravel filter, and a magnum 350 canister Filter. I keep both the canister filter, and power heads for the UGF cleaned and operating as new.

Am I a bad fishkeeper for ignoring weekly water changes? If I am, then why have my fish always seemed healthy and happy for the most part? Am I putting myself at risk to something im not aware of by running the same water? Input and discussion appreciated.

Lady Hobbs
09-19-2006, 11:06 PM
25% of your water should be changed weekly with a gravel vacuuming at least once a month. This is for established aquariums! Apparently you've added your fish at a slow rate which has kept your ammonia levels from spiking so that's good news. However, high nitrite over a period of time is as deadly as ammonia and should also be checked....especially the first few months an aquarium has been set up.

If you ever have an ammonia spike, change 50% of your water to save those fish and also do water changes for high nitrites. Adding salt will keep water from being too toxic if nitrites are high, as well. When your tank is established, weekly water changes are important.

09-20-2006, 02:01 AM
No, your not necessarely a bad fish keeper. you don't say how much fish you have and which species. some species prefer water changes even if the water values are good other prefer older water like the water you have.

09-20-2006, 04:02 AM
I have raised 2 oscars in particular, from baby to full grown adult with this general Practice. Onlly adding a few gallons of water per month or so to replenish the evaperation.

Right now I have a 2-3 inch green terror, a 3 inch Convict, and a 6 inch pleco. I bought some feeder fish and had been keeping them sepearate, but due to my green terror's over aggresiveness towards the convict I now also have about 10 feeder fish schooling around the tank. ( in an attempt to deter the green terror's hostility toward the convict). Also a small mix of plants, Elodea, Water Sprite, and some amazon Swords (will be adding more plants soon.)

I just got in a bad habbit of ignoring water changes, My water I guess just seemd so clean and clear, and readings seemed good enough, so I didnt bother with the hassle of disturbing it, I never had anything bad happen as a result so I guess I fell into the rut of just ignoring it entirely now. I guess I should be changing the water, no matter how clean it appears to be.

Lady Hobbs
09-20-2006, 08:00 PM
Because bad things have not happened yet, doesn't mean they won't and it's good to recogonzie changes need to be made. Do not "top off" water in your tank but do water changes. Fish pee 24/7 and they will be happy for the fresh stuff.

You also need to vacuum to get rid of all that nasty stuff. You will end up with critters, worms, etc, in gravel that has been neglected.

09-20-2006, 09:58 PM
I also recommend starting making water changes when you have added the new fish.