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Hi all,

I'm new to the forums and would like to ask a newbie question.

I have a 135 gallon cichlid fishtank that was setup 2 weeks ago. The link below is a video of my tank:


I have 2 AC110 hang on back filters and a 30 gallon sump tank with the CA 4000 water pump rated at 1300gph. The 2 AC110 hob filters were from 2 smaller established tanks that I took and put it on the 135 gallon tank. The smaller tanks have been decommissioned and all the fishes are now together in the 135 gallon tank.

I have 2 big pieces of driftwood in there that I have soaked in water for 3 weeks prior to putting it in the tank. I don't have a big pot or container to place it in to boil as suggested from some forums. The water is still getting yellow.

The fishes were fine for a week then I noticed one of my flower horn had a little fin rot with fins ragged. I check my fishes everyday for diseases and caught it at early stage so I did a 40% water change 3 days ago and now the fins are growing back.

My question is, how often should I change water on the 135 gallon and how much each time? Do I need to use water conditioners such as Tetra's Aquasafe with bio-extract to remove chlorine and chloramine everytime I do a water change?

I live in Southern California in Orange County and hope that an expert that lives in my area could let me know if the water in my area needs to be treated with water conditioners and what's the best brand out there?

Thanks in advace for suggestions and comments.
 

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well how much to change and how often will depend greatly on the nitrate levels. I would say test the levels everyday till they get to about 20-30ppm, thats when I like to change them. At that point I would do 25% water change. test after the water change to see were the levels are. Continue to test to see how quickly it comes back. If its to quick for your schedule. Then do a bigger water change, If you rather to a bunch of smaller water changes then go with less and more often. As far a water conditioners I dont use any but I have well water on a conditioning system, so I dont need them. If you live in a city and use there water I would say every time you need to dose to dechlorinate the water.
 

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well i watched the video and i hope you have another big tank ready if you still have that tiger oscar and that jack dempsey in there...... but as far as your water no idea but i would do a 25% water change every week and i would say that you would probly add a de-chlorinater each time you did a WC.....and as far as brands i would stick with whatever youve been using!
 

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Unless you know that you are on a private well and there is no chlorine or chloramine used to treat the water, it is almost certain that you do need a water conditioner. If you buy your water, they would not dare sell untreated water. The one many use is Prime. It works very well and is as cost effective as any. You probably do not need bio-extracts and such. They don't hurt but are not usually needed either.
One big thing that you may have missed is why tanks go through a cycle. This is vital information that you will need to know at some point. If it is not a problem now, it is still important to know. For more info on that than I could ever give you , try this site:
http://www.freshwater-aquarium-fish.com/water_chemistry.htm

Next step would be to get some type of testing equipment. If you are not sure you want to get into test tubes, etc. I find the 5-in-1 test strips do well enough. I buy them cheaper at Wal-mart, Target,etc. Testing is the only sure way to know when and how much water to change. We all have different water,fish, and feeding habits. Changing 25 % every week or ten days will possibly do the job but testing will tell you if things are good or if they are drifting off. It is far,far better to keep the water in good shape than to try to cure disease. Far cheaper, too. Compares to us drinking good water vs. curing malaria!
 
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