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Old 07-03-2010, 06:16 PM   #1 
vilmarisv
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Question 100% Water Changes... What does it REALLY mean?

I have 2-2.5 gal tanks with filters. I do 50% water changes using the gravel vacum every 2 days.
At the end of the week I do 100% water changes where I take apart the tank and wash the gravel, plants, filter and decorations. I haven't replaced the filter cartridge yet because I've only had it for a couple of weeks.
Then everything goes back in the tank with completely fresh water that I prepare in advance on the last water change.

My question is... When you guys talk about 100% water changes, is what I'm doing right? Or should I use the vacum to remove all the water and just put fresh water in without cleaning the decorations and filter?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:16 PM   #2 
FloridaBettas239
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Its hard to say everyone is different, But people usually do 100% WC when they have 1 gallon containers or smaller. A 2.5 or even a 2 gallon tank will cycle. You dont need to do 100% the, tetra fish program says on a cycled tank to do 25% WC every week. To take everything out and clean once a month, And to replace the filter cartridge once a month. also remember that when you replace the filter you are getting rid of the good bacteria that kills the ammonia. So i think on a 2 gallon you should cycle the tank if your doing 50% every 2 days and 100% at the end of the week the tank is never getting to cycle. I always like having a cycled tank its easier on the fish and me, because i dont want a full time job just an aquarium, and 2nd because you need to have the new water the same temp as the water your changing or it can cause problems with the fish and even if it dont It will stress the fish a little...
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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In the 2g and 2.5g with a filter-I would make 50% twice weekly water changes, and gravel vacuum with just one of the weekly water changes

On the filter media-give it a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change 1-2 times a month and when the water flow slows to get the big pieces of gunk off, you want them to look dirty.

As FB posted- you are killing the cycle with every 100% water change and over cleaning of the filter media.

Don't over feed and remove any uneaten food after feeding to keep the water quality good between water changes.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:26 PM   #4 
Adastra
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If you are planning on doing the uncycled method, then yes. You are doing it right. You can't do both, though, either you must intentionally cycle or keep doing what you're doing.

If you want to cycle the tank, I always advocate the fishless method. I suggest researching that technique if you feel that you want to cycle the tank at some point.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:21 PM   #5 
vilmarisv
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The 100% water changes as I was doing it didn't feel right for some reason. I kept thinking of the new tank syndrome and if I was exposing my fish to it everytime.
I'm very meticulous about my tanks and never skip a water change. I don't overfeed as I feed my fish frozen bloodworms one by one.
I read somewhere to just change the carbon inside your filter every few weeks instead of the whole cartridge to preserve the bacteria, is that ok?
Thank you so much for you advise!
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:04 PM   #6 
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Most of the activated charcoal or carbon in the filter media are of low quality and need to be changed every 2-4 weeks, however, carbon is not needed in my opinion when a water change will do the same thing.
Activated charcoal-removes tannins, odors, medications, heavy metals to name a few....
When I used store bought filter media I would cut a slit in it and dump the carbon out and save for later if needed and I would use my filter media until it was falling apart only changing it 1-2 times a years. I would give it a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change to get the bigger pieces of gunk off 1-2 times a month or if the water flow slowed, now I make my own filter media with polyfill I get in the craft department for pennies.
When you only have a couple of tanks to tend to and you have the money to spend-Activated charcoal is fine to use IMO- but it needs to be changed as per the labeled directions.
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