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On my nano tanks I do two 25% water changes a week. That's with super good filters, live plants and loads of bacteria. With yours at max I'd do one 50% once a week. Otherwise all the bad stuff just accumulates in the tank and will eventually make levels unstable and kill most of your stock. Trust me on this. I made that mistake once on a $200 pair of Arowana. Not such a good thing pulling dead plant matter and fish from that tank. So I wish you good luck as we have probably given you sound advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
On my nano tanks I do two 25% water changes a week. That's with super good filters, live plants and loads of bacteria. With yours at max I'd do one 50% once a week. Otherwise all the bad stuff just accumulates in the tank and will eventually make levels unstable and kill most of your stock. Trust me on this. I made that mistake once on a $200 pair of Arowana. Not such a good thing pulling dead plant matter and fish from that tank. So I wish you good luck as we have probably given you sound advice.
2 25% WCs make more sense to me than one 50%, for reasons I posted before. However, right now, the bioload isn't high enough to justify changing that much water, as confirmed by testing. I don't know if I already put this in the thread, but my water is at 8-9dKH, like 10GH with a PH of ~7.5, so I don't worry about a PH crash too much (I do test PH every other week, though). Hormones are really the only thing I worry about, other than mineral deficiencies. With an incoming TDS of literally 1200+, I don't think I need to worry about minerals too awful much.

Also, I don't feel that changing that much water, outside of an emergency or actual overstocking (ex. African cichlids), or for heavy hitters like goldfish or oscars (sometimes), is good for the stability of the tank, particularly once it's mature. From my research, your tank water is almost certainly different in chemistry than your tap water in an established tank, and changing that much water will alter it, causing stress. Better to do more frequent smaller water changes than less frequent large ones. If you think about it, that's how nature does it too (well, more of like an auto water change, but same idea).

Also IMO, an arowana is not a good fish for any tank you didn't have to have custom built. They get too big, eat too much and are too good of jumpers. My bioload will almost certainly never reach that of 2 arowana in this tank. One day, though, I'd like to have one in a nice indoor pond.

I'm not saying that I think water changes aren't necessary, I know they're important and I do them. I just think they can be over done, and that over doing it can be just as detrimental. I try to figure out what the tank needs, and just do that. Of course, if you change so much water that it doesn't have time to go through the process of being "used", if you will, then you probably don't have to worry about shifting PH and other levels by changing a lot of water and you are probably right that changing that much water in your tank is necessary to prevent the PH from dropping, as well as buildup of nutrients and such. I just don't have that issue with my water.

Not to be a jerk, but throwing an arbitrary number out and saying "you NEED to do this every week or YOUR FISH WILL DIE!" doesn't help anyone figure out their tank, and depending on their tank and situation, could actually hurt it. Again, not trying to be a jerk, the tone I'm trying to convey is one of experience in this situation. Experience that taught me a lot about my specific water, and cost me quite a few fish. I do appreciate everyone's opinion and advice, and I hope nobody is taking me as being rude. I'm simply putting my thoughts out for discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
And I just noticed something curious about this particular diamond tetra. I always thought he looked a little odd compared to the rest of them, and I finally figured out why. Can you spot it?
Plant Flowerpot Organism Terrestrial plant Aquatic plant


A picture of another one for reference:
Plant Botany Pet supply Terrestrial plant Organism
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
My plants are starting to come back around, and my fish all seem happy and healthy. The plants I put behind the wood are starting to poke out a little. I am still having a lot of melt with my dwarf sag, though. I do see a few new leaves, so I'm hopeful. I think I've dialed in their food, they're getting a variety of frozen shrimps, along with flake and sinking pellet food and algae wafers twice a week, with an occasional treat of blood worms. I've started adding the liquid ferts again, once a week in stead of twice. The snail population is slowly declining. Things are looking pretty good overall, in my opinion.

Water Plant Pet supply Organism Rectangle
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Can anyone confirm that this is indeed and emerald green Cory please? It looks a lot different than the rest of them, and doesn't seem to be growing as fast either.

Plant Grass Terrestrial plant Groundcover Annual plant
Plant Terrestrial plant Insect Grass Soil


Excuse the cloudiness of the water, I tried a new food today. I don't think I'll be using it.
 
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