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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm looking for ideas to put regular maintenance practices into place. What are your preferred methods of cleaning sand, filters and performing water changes?

So far, I have been doing 50% water changes weekly and stirring up all sand on the bottom. I alternate cleaning canisters every other week. Everyone seems healthy. Just wanna make sure I'm getting into good habits.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'd say for the setup in your signature that is a really good water change/maintenance practice. But these practices are all relative to how much waste is being produced, so how big the fish are and how much is being fed. It might be that someone is following good practices but is actually doing the bare minimum for their setup. Only they could know this by testing their water and observing their fish.

For my tanks I change 70% water & change filter media in sumps, every 5-7 days. I wipe down tank & sump walls every 2 weeks, and deep clean my overflows and sumps every 4-6 weeks.
 

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rb;

I would say because it is a complicated result affected by size of the tank, bioload, feeding, to name the top few...maintenance intervals should be a function of nitrate levels...which is really just another way of quantifying what Ken said..."how much waste is being produced"...

Cheers
 

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I am not disagreeing with the other responders, but 50% weekly is minimum...what is your nitrate after the 50% change? I like 10ppm or less.

I have never found it necessary to clean canisters more than once/month...HOBs weekly or every other week maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Canisters are each cleaned every other week. Nitrate is between 10-20 after cleaning. Never above 40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
More than 50% isn't harmful? I am filling from tap water but adding dechlorinator.
 

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More than 50% is not harmful. We are saying you don't have to clean the canisters so often.

You want your nitrate 10ppm after the water change and 20ppm before. Never even close to 40ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gotcha. Just making sure.
 

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richter.billy said:
More than 50% isn't harmful? I am filling from tap water but adding dechlorinator.
Just make sure the parameters match. I pre-mix in a bucket the below per 20 gallons since my water source is a desal plant and is basically r/o water. I also use Seachem Safe as the declor. While my tank is refilling I put this mixture in gradually like a big scoop every 7-8 minutes.

Per 20gal: 1 cup epsom salt/2 tablespoons baking soda/1 teaspoon Seachem Cichlid Salt.

When I kept Discus I used to change up to 90% during water changes but I made sure the water parameters matched the old water.
 

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I have observed that fresh water is to fish what fresh air is to humans (invigorating), so I change no less than 75% of my water every 6 - 8 days. I pour three caps of Seachem's Prime right into the aquarium as it's refilling.

Over the past year and a half, I've experimented with the timing of canister filter changes, going as short as two weeks and as long as six. With my current setup and fish load, 4 - 5 weeks seems to be the sweet spot.

Adding sponge pre-filters on my intake tubes really cleaned things up in terms of what is collected in the canister filters. I rinse out the pre-filters every week during the water changes.

I clean the inside of the glass with a polishing pad attached to a magnet twice per month or thereabouts.
 

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I too like 75% change, but I have a well with no chlorine.

I have heard from experienced fishkeepers on city water that very large water changes (75% or more) can impact delicate fish (like cyps) when the city fluctuates the amount of chemicals they add.

So ideal is 50% and keep the nitrates under 20ppm.
 

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DJRansome said:
I too like 75% change, but I have a well with no chlorine.

I have heard from experienced fishkeepers on city water that very large water changes (75% or more) can impact delicate fish (like cyps) when the city fluctuates the amount of chemicals they add.

So ideal is 50% and keep the nitrates under 20ppm.
We have great water quality here in southeast Michigan that is consistent but your point is valid, appreciated and noted. :thumb:
 

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Wow 50% plus every week? I'm at 20% and I'm at 10-15 nitrate after.

I also don't have a way to remove/fill with hoses so it's all mouth-syphon into Rubbermaid trash bins, dump in bathtub, fill from bathtub into buckets, and manually pour back in. Even 20% 150g water changes suck.
 

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880;

I agree that would suck (no pun intended!)...why do you want to do that to yourself?? I also still use the manual siphon and "Bucket Brigade" style on the 55g, and for draining in the upcoming summer, I'm actually thinking of a siphon system out the window next to the tank and into the yard...I'm sure the plants out there wouldn't mind!...but would agree, BB would be a serious pain for your 160g...I can do a 50% WC with gravel wash in about an hour, and can only imagine what it would take you...those Rubbermaid bins get mighty heavy (and unwieldy) filled with anything more than 5g...I use good old 5g buckets for emptying, and two cooking pots in rotation for refilling from the kitchen, but if I had a bigger tank, I'd definitely see about a hose system for filling also...

Cheers
 

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eighteighty said:
Wow 50% plus every week? I'm at 20% and I'm at 10-15 nitrate after.

I also don't have a way to remove/fill with hoses so it's all mouth-syphon into Rubbermaid trash bins, dump in bathtub, fill from bathtub into buckets, and manually pour back in. Even 20% 150g water changes suck.
Why don't you get a python?
 

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eighteighty said:
Wow 50% plus every week? I'm at 20% and I'm at 10-15 nitrate after.

I also don't have a way to remove/fill with hoses so it's all mouth-syphon into Rubbermaid trash bins, dump in bathtub, fill from bathtub into buckets, and manually pour back in. Even 20% 150g water changes suck.
Friend, that's no way to enjoy the hobby. You should get a Python Water Changer. Attach one end to the nearest sink (screws on to the faucet spout). Get a python extension if you need to go further. For the end that goes into your tank, get a water pump that has 3/4 inch hose output (see below); you may want to get a metal 3/4" hose fitting from your hardware store, which makes it easier IMO to attache & detach that end to the pump each time you do a wc.

Water Pump: I use the Aqua Mag pump https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BO50ZY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1 which has 3/4" ends.

Doing 70% wc even on my 450gal is minimal effort. Though it takes some time.

Step 1: attach Python to faucet and to pump. Put pump in tank and plug it in to empty the tank.
Step 2: unplug pump, turn your faucet on to refill tank.
 

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Step 3: detach Python from faucet and pump. Store in aquarium cabinet.
Setp 4: profit.
 

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Even without the pump it's quick and easy. 20 minutes to remove 50% of my 125G tank and 20 minutes to refill. Takes me all of the 20 minutes when water is going out to vacuum the substrate anyway.
 
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