Hello, it is I again. :)
Hopefully others will chime in on this thread to correct/add on.
Originally Posted by Miss W
How do I do 50% and 100% water changes?
The easiest way to go about water changes is to use a gravel vacuum (siphon).
Here is a self-starting gravel siphon:
If the aquarium isn't set up next to somewhere for the siphoned water to drain to (e.g. sink), then you would need a bucket or two that could contain all the water from the aquarium.
You might also want a bucket to hold aged water. Allowing tap water to sit out for at least 24 hours will give time for chlorine and nitrogen to dissipate.
You would also need a good water conditioner that will remove the heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramine from the tap water. Seachem Prime is the only conditioner I know if that will remove chloramine, which will not dissipate like chlorine.
Before starting the water change, you would need to first remove the fish and set him aside in a lidded container (they are jumpers!).
Then position a bucket somewhere below the level of the aquarium, get the gravel vac started, and move it across the aquarium floor. You'll see the fish waste getting sucked up through the hose and into the bucket.
A 50% water change just means that you siphon out half the water in the aquarium in this fashion, then refill (with conditioned, preferably aged, water). You could do one weekly 50% water change in a cycled tank.
A 100% water change means you siphon out all of the water and scrub the tank, gravel, and decorations in warm water. (Note: Soap/detergent/alcohol etc should never be used.)
Then set up the gravel and decorations again and refill the tank with the conditioned water.
The 100% water change is a lot of work, so it would be best to cycle your tank (which means you would need a filter running in the tank at all times). There are three ways I know of to accomplish this:
1.) Follow the instructions for "Fishless Cycling" - you can Google that term or find a thread for it on this forum.
2.) Ask the fish store if you can have some mulm from the filter in one of their cycled tanks which you can add to your filter/tank. Here's a video on that:
3.) An expensive option would be to order some of this stuff:
If the principal won't allow for a filter to be plugged in overnight, there are battery-powered air pumps that you could attach a sponge filter to:
(Not sure why he would not allow it to be plugged in overnight - if he wants to avoid fire hazards, then I suppose the battery-powered air pump/filter won't be an option either.)
If you need to go filterless and can't cycle your tank, I would recommend a 5-gallon tank. This isn't too difficult to do 100% water changes on, and large enough for you to get away with doing one 100% water change once a week.