Winter Water Change Acceptable temp

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by RolyMo, 3 Nov 2012.

  1. RolyMo

    RolyMo Member

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    Hi All
    Was looking to get some advice on water temp whilst doing water changes.

    I did a water change today where I added water from the outdoor mains water tap via the garden hose.
    Admittedly the water temp seemed cold. Normal temp for the tank is approx 23 degrees celcius.

    After filling the tank back up (must have been a 75% water change) I switched back on the pump and heater and left it for approx 1hr (declor was added BTW).

    When I came back to check everything I saw one of my Red Phantom Tetra's being sucked against the filter intake, not a normal sight. I switched the filter off and fish just faded away and floated, barely alive. After observing a for a few minutes I decided to take the decision to put it out of its misery and used the ice bath method.

    At the time of filling up I also noticed the Cardinal Tetra's seemed very sluggish, one looking like it was going to die, but when the temp got back to normal they were all happy and fine swimming in their shoals.

    I did not take a temp reading of the tap water. I would think it is under 8 degrees C (colder than a bottle of white wine). If that temp is too cold for the fish what would be your suggestion of getting the water a bit more palatable for the fish for a 90 litre water change?

    Is this the time to think about RO and getting the big PVC containers filled with RO water and storing in the spare room in the house until needed?

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated as I do not want to loose any more fish as its sad to see and upsets the kids too (guess thats life). ;)

    Thanks in advance
    R
     
  2. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey, sounds like thermal shock, you water should be as close to the tank temp as possible. You could either get a hose adapter that fits to the hot and cold from your kitchen or good old buckets.
    Ps.. Ice bath method is a terrible way to see fish off as it's slow and painful. Use either clove oil or bang it on the head as if you were fishing, if you have to.
     
  3. RolyMo

    RolyMo Member

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    Great thank you.
    The hose option not really an option. So you are saying I could mix the hot and cold water from the kitchen sink to get the temp to the right level a la the tank temp?

    Will look for Clove oil. Thanks.
    Appreciate the tips.
    R
     
  4. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Hmm, think about it. 23degrees normal temp, then you take out 75%+ and change it with 8degrees or less. That really is a little crazy isnt it ? The fish death was completely avoidable. Its not just the sudden massive drop in temperature but also the long time it would have taken to come back up to 23 degrees that would have killed the fish. As far as your comment (guess thats life) goes, no it is not. At least it SHOULD not be. When the life of live fish is concerned you need to consider carefully what you do rather than adopting the suck it and see approach.
     
  5. RolyMo

    RolyMo Member

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    Appreciate that Antipofish. A careless foolish dimwitted mistake on my behalf, agreed. The comment in "that's life" was more angled at educating my child that pets die rather than meant as a chuck away comment on a fish dying and not caring. I am gutted.

    A tough lesson to learn.

    The temp thing only occurred afterward the event as all summer and autumn I have carried out the same routine without noticeable degradation of livestock. Clearly mains water at that point was warmer.

    :(
     
  6. Matt Warner

    Matt Warner Member

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    Generally you can use cooler water for water changes as long as the overall tank temperature doesn't drop by more than a couple of degrees centigrade. During the winter I fill my water change buckets with about 75% cold water then top it up with hot water from the hot tap to take the chill off the water. Some say you shouldn't use the hot water tap for water changes because of high levels of heavy metals such as copper, but I've never had a problem using this method. A decent water conditioner should detoxify metals anyway.
     
  7. Clifford

    Clifford Member

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    Of course, if you don't want to use the hot tap you can use a kettle to boil some water before mixing in a bucket.

    Don't go near your tank with a kettle of boiling water!

    The water temp is so much higher than your mains water you don't need much to increase the temperature of your tap water.

    Of course 90+ litres is still a lot of water and an awful lot of buckets.
     
  8. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Cliff is right, 90L is a lot of buckets, but its only 3x 25L plastic jerry cans if you reduce it to 75L. a 75% water change is not really necessary under normal circumstances so you would manage with 75L easily. I am about to do the same thing with the cans as Im getting an RO filter.
     
  9. RolyMo

    RolyMo Member

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    Ah good idea. (Gerry cans).
    Thanks. The reason for the massive water change was some issues with lights, lack if co2 and build up of algae. Normally would do 50% or less.
     
  10. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Cool, well good luck. Let me know if you find some at a good price :thumbup: Are both your red dwarf gourami male ? (im suspecting they are as the females are drab). If they are red dwarf neon gourami they will have a good chance of fighting to the death eventually. The red variety of honey gourami are much less aggressive (and generally healthier). Just something else to watch out for. Platy's can have a tendency to eat plants. And Cherry barbs should not be kept as a single fish. They are used to being in a shoal. ;)
     
  11. Clifford

    Clifford Member

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    And a quick search of this forum reveals all manner of cunning solutions involving pumps and hosepipes that mean you don't end up carrying those Jerry cans around the house.

    I've used those big brewing buckets in the past and dropping 25l of water on the floor when the handle breaks does not endear one to the domestic authorities.
     
  12. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    If your s big Jessie :silent: 200ltrs a week by bucket on mine. I quite enjoy it :crazy:
     
  13. oddn0ise

    oddn0ise Member

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    I'm sad to admit it, but I too enjoy lugging 12-15 buckets a week. Bought a large kids plastic bucket, which increases the capacity of my sink to 35litres, leave it for a few hours with Nutrafin Aqua Plus in and then syphon back into buckets and then into the tank. The old water is very good for the garden too...
     
  14. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    LOL yes but you are just weird :p MY back cant take lugging that around. :lol:
     
  15. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    That must be from moving all those lights and filters around you never use :)
     
  16. RolyMo

    RolyMo Member

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    Gents. Thanks for all the ideas.

    I will now go and research Jerry Cans, and other non wife and fish upsetting systems of getting warmer water into the tank in these cold months. Will also look at RO. Although without a pump I am wondering how I going to hold a 25 litre can high enough to siphon down into the tank. :)

    Antipofish. Yes the Gouramis were sold to me as Red Dwarf Gouramis. Male yes. So far they have very placid. In some cases hiding amongst the flora.

    24 hours on and no other signs of stress from the fish.

    Thank you for all your comments and pointers.
     
  17. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Haahaa. Wanna buy a Rena XP2 ?
     
  18. rebus

    rebus Member

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    Hi, I've found the local outdoor/ camping shops are usually the cheapest place to pick up 25LT water cans. I do a 75LT water change, and its really no trouble, just 3 trips to the tap. With a bit of trial and error and a thermometer i worked out how much hot water needed to be put into the can first, marked that height on the side of the can with a permanent marker and filled up the rest of the can with with cold. So subsequent water changes are as easy as hot water to the mark, the rest filled with cold.

    As for holding it above your head to siphon the water in :wideyed: i just pop the container on top of a step ladder and let the siphon hose do its work :thumbup:

    Stu.
     
  19. RolyMo

    RolyMo Member

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    Stu
    Awesome.
    Thanks for the practical insights there. I must admit I had marked the inside of my bucket with Litre marks so doing it on a 25ltr makes sense.
     
  20. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi gang
    Best method purchase a cheap pump from ebay that accepts a piece of long tubing and pump the water out the tank...to the garden/sink/loo.
    Purchase a tub that fits in the sink fill with said approx temperature add dechlorinator stick the pump in and the end of the tube in the aquarium switch on hardly any water spillage from using this method.
    hoggie
     

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