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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Water changes and cycling?

    While my 35g tank is cycling, how many/often should I do water changes? It's been 6 weeks and I've done one water change, changed the filters twice, and the ammonia levle is still at 0.25ppm, nitrate at 0.25ppm and nitrite at 0.025ppm (Salifert test kits). No clean up crew, yet (except what is on the liverock.) I have only 20lbs of liverock. My tank will be a fish only with liverock tank. So what's next?


  2. #2
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    The safest answer is 20% every other week.

    But you really need to establish your own method. You might (for example) try once every 3rd week, but test weekly. If you find the numbers on week 2 aren't where they should be, you may need to do a partial every other week.

    If the numbers are still good on week 3 maybe you can move it to every 4 weeks.

    Everyone has a different set up and a different schedule, but they typically run between every 2 - 4 weeks.

    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  3. #3
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I agree with krugar on that one. It really depends on your schedule, and how much you really care about your tank. 20% water changes every two or three weeks is good in the beginning and during cycling. I've found that water changes aren't as important later in the tank's life, however they still need to be done (just less frequently.) It all depends on where your nitrates/nitrites and ammonias are, and where they need to be. "topping off" your tank with RO water is a good thing too, and reduces the amount of water changes that your tank needs.
    Anyway, just experiment with your water, and see what happens with your nitrates after a 20% water change every two weeks or so.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Normally I never do water changes until the tank is fully cycled. Once cycled a 25% change would be in order before adding stock. However your "curing" new rock in the tank so you would be best to keep the water in tip top condition to preserve as much of the live stuff on the rock alive. Because your doing water changes the complete cycle will take a longer then usual but you should be close to done now at 6 weeks into it. Perhaps it is time to do the 25% change ... get settle down for a few days and re-test.

  5. #5
    Moderator cres's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    To a certain extent it will also depend on your final Nitrate levels.

    Unless you have something to remove the Nitrate, you will have to water change it out. You can use chemical solutions (not recommended), clams (not recommended in a new tank) and water changes. There may be others I don't know of.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Thanx for the info, and for the fact that water changes can be a personal matter. I'm going to do a water change today and then will retest the parameters. Hopefully things will be close to being ready. My kids can't wait to get some hermits, snails (they really like the strawberry conch, but I still have to read up on it) and hopefully a shrimp (not sure which one yet.)!

    I am so thankful that I am taking a more informed approach to this hobby. Twelve years ago I didn't know a thing, didn't have a computer, and was afraid to ask questions for fear of someone taking a strip off me for doing it all wrong! :biggrinbo

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