Partial water changes in high tec Aquariums

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by rods28, 22 Mar 2010.

  1. rods28

    rods28 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Hi all, as I am new to the hobby, and about to start out, I wanted to get some information regarding water changes. How is this achieved without disturbing the substrate and plants especially If using products such as ADA Aqua Soil. I have read somewhere that you must not use a gravel cleaner in these aquarium set ups. Also what temperature must the water be? Can I use cold tap water from a garden hose pipe or do I need to a mixture of cold and hot water from a kettle?
    Cheers.
     
  2. rods28

    rods28 Newly Registered

    Messages:
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    Anybody?
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Well, I mean so what if you disturb the substrate? In fact I highly recommend that you disturb the plants during a water change. If you don't disturb the tank then you will not be able to get rid of dirt as effectively. Accumulated dirt is one of the main causes of algae. John Rambo recommends that you "go for it" and disturb the substrate so that you can vacuum out the debris buried in the top sediment layer. Disturb the plants so that any weak leaves, hangers on and accumulated debris is jettisoned, giving you a better opportunity to take these out as well. In general, the more violent your water change, the better.

    After you replace the water the tank will settle down after a few hours non the worse for the wear - and it will be cleaner assuming you did a good job of vacuuming and netting.

    Cheers,
     
  4. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    Good advice as always, Clive. Any advice on cleaning algae off the glass below the substrate? I've got ADA Aquasoil Amazonia so this doesn't show much, but I'd still like to remove it, if poss. I don't want to damage the Glosso growing up against the front pane.
     
  5. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,298
    Location:
    London
    Before I start the pump to empty the tank for a water change, I turn on the Koralia and with it in my hand I just move it about the tank and "blow" the substrate and behind plants and in-between wood and rocks to lift up as much crap as I can, then start the pump ;)
     
  6. OllieNZ

    OllieNZ Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    Location:
    Witney, UK
    I use a tooth brush for doing that it works pretty well with minimal disturbance

    Regards

    Ollie
     
  7. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I have never had any algae in amongst Amazonia, but have got some with sand. What I do is use an old credit card, or something similar, and push the algae down where it shows on the glass. The card is angled slightly back in to the substrate. White cards work best, as it is easier to see the algae.

    I usually fluff all my plants up with a pastry brush on a regular basis, to clear all the crap out. Mosses really benefit from this.
     
  8. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    I do this too, although not with a credit card, but similalry shaped plastic scraper. unfortunately its dark blue, and white would indeed be much better.
     
  9. sanj

    sanj Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    You might be surprised (or maybe not) but i still come across people who think that waterchanges or rather cleaning the tank involved removing everything, rinsing the subsrate (gravel) under the tap and putting it all back together again. No wonder they think big tanks are hard work.
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    You can use gravel cleaners but you should also ensure that you vacuum out the debris that the cleaner kicks up. Remember that the sediment is usually somewhat high in ammonia so this might be where that concern originated. If your water change is large then this is much less of a concern because you will be diluting the ammonia concentration. This is a partial reason for large (50% or greater) water changes. Substrate disturbance accompanied by small or no water changes can often contribute to the inducement of staghorn algae.
    It depends on whether you have fish in the tank and what kind of fish you have. Thermal shock to delicate livestock can be induced if the inbound water drops the temperature by more than, say, 10 degrees F. or so. A garden hose can be used but in the winter for example, using water from an external spigot may not be the best idea. Of course if you have a container indoors you can hold the water and allow it the warm up over a few days. I've used a combination of garden hose water and kettle water during winter. Not fun. I can think of a few better ways to spend a Sunday morning, but hey, there's no substitute for cleanliness...

    Cheers,
     
  11. flygja

    flygja Member

    Messages:
    1,270
    Location:
    Penang, Malaysia
    Brings back memories of my goldfish tank from about 20 years ago o_O Only had a top filter back then and knew nuts about beneficial bacteria. The gravel (river pebbles) would have a *lot* of dirt in it after a while!
     
  12. rods28

    rods28 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    cheers guys, very helpful feedback!!
     

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