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Old 08-02-2012, 01:26 AM   #1 
Unity
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3.5 Gallon Help

Even with consistently perfect water parameters should I still be changing water daily? And is 50% enough or is 100% absolutely necessary (as I have read here).


Thanks in advance!

edit: this is a filtered tank as well.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:49 AM   #2 
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Um.. what? Why are you changing water daily?

I have a 3.5 gallon tank. Actually, slightly under that. It's heavily planted and filtered. I change 30% 2 x per week, though I could do less if I wanted due to the plants - I just don't want to. My water's perfect (I do test it regularly, twice a week at least), and my fish is in absolutely glowing health.

No need to change it daily! ><
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:54 AM   #3 
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I actually have not changed the water yet as this is a brand new tank. I own a few tanks but this is the smallest and want to care for it correctly.

So essentially with a filtered 3.5 gallon a 30% change twice a week should suffice? One thing to mention is that there is only a 2" x 2" piece of Java moss in the tank - it is far from heavily planted.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:14 AM   #4 
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what kind of filter do you have?
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:38 AM   #5 
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In a filtered tank with perfect water parameters you do not need to perform daily water changes. Its always a personal preference but you might to do 2 per week. 1 at 30% and another at 100%.

Last edited by Kenny G; 08-02-2012 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:09 AM   #6 
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what kind of filter do you have?
Whisper - which is by far my favorite for 5gal (and now below 5g hopefully).
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:10 AM   #7 
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In a filtered tank with perfect water parameters you do not need to perform daily water changes. Its always a personal preference but you might to do 2 per week. 1 at 30% and another at 100%.

Thanks - that seems to be good advice!
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #8 
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You don't need to do a 100% water change. You can do two 50% 2x per week, one just water and one with vacuum or stir and dip method for cleaning the substrate. Cycling the tank would also help.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:23 AM   #9 
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You don't need to do a 100% water change. You can do two 50% 2x per week, one just water and one with vacuum or stir and dip method for cleaning the substrate. Cycling the tank would also help.
Is a 3.5 gallon large enough for a cycle?
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #10 
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Do have a think about sticking more live plants in. None of the plants but one (wisteria) in my 3.5 are actually in the substrate - the java fern's on wood and the anubias & crypts are potted . All the others float or sit on the substrate - and the tank's pretty much stuffed so that if the water chemistry goes haywire in the night, there's at least plants in there to sink some of the toxins. I find the tank vastly more stable planted than not, also - a LOT less mini-cycles happening (I've had one in the past several months, caught it early and dealt with it, none since).

I agree with Freya's post above - but really, it'd help to test your water daily until you see ammonia. Change water, repeat. This would give you a ballpark idea of how often your regular changes need to be. Every tank is different..

If you're cashed up, you can get stick on ammonia and nitrite alerts. I really want some for the small tanks, but at 36 bucks each at my Very Expensive LFS, it's a luxury..

And yes -- a 3.5 CAN cycle, mine is well and truly cycled. Thing is, with small tanks there's way less room for error and malfunction, and the cycle can very easily be thrown out of wack leading to potentially dangerous mini-cycles. Yet, despite all the emphatic nay-saying I've heard, it IS possible to keep a 3.5 cycled and stable. It requires a bit more vigilance, I think - but hey, large tanks crash too and kill fish too. It's a matter of getting to know your tank and fish so any warning signs can be observed (Cleo tail-clamps at .01 ammonia, lol.. I always know when something's up just by looking at her..) and regular testing to keep parameters in order.

Last edited by Aus; 08-02-2012 at 09:39 AM.
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