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  1. #21

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    3 Not allowed!
    I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I thought I would share some of my personal expenses when in a similar situation to yours.

    One thing to consider is if you have enough biological filter media in your filter to support the growth of bacteria in large enough numbers. I have always felt that what typically comes with a filter is never enough. I always replace the carbon and any type of media with biological filter media, only using the sponges (mechanical filter media) with it. As the majority of the bacteria that you will need will be in your filter media, you want to make sure you have all the biological filter media you can.

    As for the size of the water change, I have always found it to be best to changes a very very large amount of water, even once the set-up has been cycled. I have always liked to make sure that if I am in a situation where I am cycling with fish, that I keep the ammonia and nitrite levels under 0.5ppm. Yes, I do believe this slows down the growth of the bacteria, but I am always more focused on the risks to the fish. Even once your set-up has been cycled, I feel it helps to avoid other potential long term problems and the gradual build-up or organic and inorganic solids. I had a 90 gallon moderately stocked and heavy planted tank that I did weekly 75% water changes without fail. Sometimes even as much as 90%. Did that for about 6 years and that set-up did extremely well. It was actually one of the best and healthiest set-ups that I have had. The amazing tap water quality that I have also played a roll in this.

    As a completely opposite and proven approach to the one that I have described above is a Walstad method were you complete almost no water changes. I have never done that approach as I prefer my method

    As already stated, there are many ways to get and maintain a healthy and long term aquarium.

    You just need to consider the opinions and experiences of others, do some research, and go with the approach that will work and that you are most comfortable with
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  2. #22

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I thought I would share some of my personal expenses when in a similar situation to yours.

    One thing to consider is if you have enough biological filter media in your filter to support the growth of bacteria in large enough numbers. I have always felt that what typically comes with a filter is never enough. I always replace the carbon and any type of media with biological filter media, only using the sponges (mechanical filter media) with it. As the majority of the bacteria that you will need will be in your filter media, you want to make sure you have all the biological filter media you can.

    As for the size of the water change, I have always found it to be best to changes a very very large amount of water, even once the set-up has been cycled. I have always liked to make sure that if I am in a situation where I am cycling with fish, that I keep the ammonia and nitrite levels under 0.5ppm. Yes, I do believe this slows down the growth of the bacteria, but I am always more focused on the risks to the fish. Even once your set-up has been cycled, I feel it helps to avoid other potential long term problems and the gradual build-up or organic and inorganic solids. I had a 90 gallon moderately stocked and heavy planted tank that I did weekly 75% water changes without fail. Sometimes even as much as 90%. Did that for about 6 years and that set-up did extremely well. It was actually one of the best and healthiest set-ups that I have had. The amazing tap water quality that I have also played a roll in this.

    As a completely opposite and proven approach to the one that I have described above is a Walstad method were you complete almost no water changes. I have never done that approach as I prefer my method

    As already stated, there are many ways to get and maintain a healthy and long term aquarium.

    You just need to consider the opinions and experiences of others, do some research, and go with the approach that will work and that you are most comfortable with
    I will be doing a WC every week myself, 50-75%, now that my 26 gallon has cycled. It's sitting at 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 20 Nitrates.

    This is almost one of those details that I've seen unanimous across forums. One large WC, every week. There are many benefits to it, as you've said, not to mention you get fresh nutrients into aquarium on a frequent basis.

    Edit: By the way, thanks for bringing up the 'Walstad Method'. Looking into it for the first time and I'm actually interested to try it out on a small scale.
    Last edited by Kitterfly; 08-19-2015 at 04:27 PM.

  3. #23

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitterfly View Post
    The difference is though, as you said, concerns the hardiness of the fish in question. The fish the OP has can take those off water levels without the damage/issue
    Just because they can does not mean they should if we can prevent it. Yes, more frequent and large water change will prolong the cycle, but in my opinion, this is necessary for the health of the fish.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  4. #24

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mommy1 View Post
    Just because they can does not mean they should if we can prevent it. Yes, more frequent and large water change will prolong the cycle, but in my opinion, this is necessary for the health of the fish.
    Well, I did agree with the notion of 50% changes and Prime added. That should help them greatly along.

    I just don't like draining for it so much for the aforementioned reason AND the fact it seems to stress out the fish anyway. Maybe I am being overly sensitive towards their observable behavior but yeah, mine did not appreciate it. Most I personally felt comfortable doing was 75% at one time.

  5. #25

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    2 Not allowed!
    I don't know what fresh nutrients you are getting from tap water that fish need, as everyone's tap water is different, but the one thing for sure that the fish are getting with large water changes is a stable water environment where the osmotic regulation of the fish is not affected adversely to a point where the fish is stressed.

  6. #26

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    3 Not allowed!
    If the OP has nitrites at 3.0 ppm after adding 3 mollies, they do not have a cycled tank. They stated that is was set up a few weeks ago - was that with a new filter and media or with established/seeded media from another filter? If a new filter and media and doing a fish-in cycle, there is no way this tank is cycled. And I agree, these 6 fish do not belong in a 10 gal. Again, get the fish appropriate for the tank.

    They need to do however big a PWC to keep the ammonia < .25 and nitrites <.50. If that's a 90% change, then that's what they need to do.


    Here is the math needed to figure out how big of a PWC to do. It's the same for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    Desired reading, divided by current reading, minus 1.0, times 100 equals the % of water to change. Very simple math.

    For OPs nitrites - .5 divided by 3.0 (0.16) - 1.0 (-0.833) X 100 (83.33) = 83.3%. With a nitrite reading of 3.0 they need to change 83% or 8.3 gal. Nitrites of 3.0 ppm X 83.3% = .501 ppm. Simple.


    Nitrites are toxic and fatal to fish. You can argue about it all you want, but the nitrite level HAS to go down. No ifs, ands or buts. Period.
    Last edited by gronlaura; 08-19-2015 at 07:54 PM.
    75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Silvertip & Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Pearl Gourami, Black Kuhli Loaches, Whiptail Cats, Wild Caught BNP
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  7. #27

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by gronlaura View Post
    If the OP has nitrites at 3.0 ppm after adding 3 mollies, they do not have a cycled tank. They stated that is was set up a few weeks ago - was that with a new filter and media or with established/seeded media from another filter? If a new filter and media and doing a fish-in cycle, there is no way this tank is cycled. And I agree, these 6 fish do not belong in a 10 gal. Again, get the fish appropriate for the tank.

    They need to do however big a PWC to keep the ammonia < .25 and nitrites <.50. If that's a 90% change, then that's what they need to do.


    Here is the math needed to figure out how big of a PWC to do. It's the same for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    Desired reading, divided by current reading, minus 1.0, times 100 equals the % of water to change. Very simple math.

    For OPs nitrites - .5 divided by 3.0 (0.16) - 1.0 (-0.833) X 100 (83.33) = 83.3%. With a nitrite reading of 3.0 they need to change 83% or 8.3 gal. Nitrites of 3.0 ppm X 83.3% = .501 ppm. Simple.


    Nitrites are toxic and fatal to fish. You can argue about it all you want, but the nitrite level HAS to go down. No ifs, ands or buts. Period.
    Can he not do two smaller changes rather than one massive one? I'm namely asking this for my own curiosity because as I mentioned quite a bit above, I don't like huge WC's for the fish. 50% at once seems to not really phase them but getting about 75% they look flustered and cramped.

  8. #28

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    2 Not allowed!
    Yes you can do two or three smaller changes back to back and get the same results. But you have to change out more than 8.3 gallons total. If you do a 50% water change with 3ppm ammonia you will still have 1.5ppm ammonia. When you do another 50% water change you will still have .75ppm ammonia and another 50% water change will be needed leaving .37ppm ammonia. A 4th 50% water change will be needed to bring the ammonia/nitrite down to livable levels for the fish. 4 50% water changes on a 10g tank is approximately 20 gallons of water. Or you can do one 8.3 gallon water change and get the same results. Which method do you think is less stressful for the fish. Keep in mind the four 50% changes need to be done back to back, within a couple hours at the most, because the fish are constantly producing ammonia and adding to the problem.
    Last edited by mommy1; 08-19-2015 at 10:31 PM.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  9. #29

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mommy1 View Post
    Yes you can do two or three smaller changes back to back and get the same results. But you have to change out more than 8.3 gallons total. If you do a 50% water change with 3ppm ammonia you will still have 1.5ppm ammonia. When you do another 50% water change you will still have .75ppm ammonia and another 50% water change will be needed leaving .37ppm ammonia. A 4th 50% water change will be needed to bring the ammonia/nitrite down to livable levels for the fish. 4 50% water changes on a 10g tank is approximately 20 gallons of water. Or you can do one 8.3 gallon water change and get the same results. Which method do you think is less stressful for the fish. Keep in mind the three 50% changes need to be done back to back because the fish are constantly producing ammonia and adding to the problem.
    Well like I said, 50 for my fish don't seem to bother them. In fact many run to where I am trickling new water in and bask in it. At least, that's the way it appears. The only reason I'm not big on above 75% is due to the limitation of space. Seems to really bother them. All very hyper, active fish that love their space.

    I'm probably overthinking it though as I tend to do.

  10. #30

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    1 Not allowed!
    Once a tank is cycled a 50% water change a week is usually plenty. But when cycling with fish it is very important to keep doing as many water changes needed to keep the toxins down. It doesn't matter if you choose one large one or several smaller ones, it only matters that you keep the ammonia and nitrite down to .25ppm or less.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

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