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Discussion: Fewer Water changes / No water changes

This is a discussion on Discussion: Fewer Water changes / No water changes within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by redchigh One note on putting the sponge filter on a timer- I actually read one book that reccomended turning the filter/airstone ...

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Discussion: Fewer Water changes / No water changes
Old 02-28-2010, 09:48 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
One note on putting the sponge filter on a timer-
I actually read one book that reccomended turning the filter/airstone off 2 hours before the lights come on, and on 2 hours before the lights go off.
The reasoning is that plants absorb 02 AND co2 during photosynthesis, but their O2 production is waegh more than their intake.
When the lights go off however, photosynthesis stops- no more CO2 intake and no more o2 production, but they still take small amts of O2.
Interesting assumption makes sense to me the way you explain it. Would be nice if I could figure out a way that when the timer clicks the lights on/off it'll do the opposite to the power for the air pump (for the sponge filter) will have to consult my McGiver here.

As for the planted shrimp tank that's pretty much the same set up then I have running now just w/out shrimp (for the moment anyway lol) so I'll keep you posted.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #12
 
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So 2 weeks without w/c then right? How long do you wanna go without doing one?
Yeppers - 2 weeks. I don't know how long. My parameters are excellent. Nitrates holding at 10ppm from 30ppm. That's great news for me. I'm hesitant to do a wc because my tap water will take that back to 30ppm in the tank. Or at least 20ppm once diluted in there. I don't want that. I'm looking at a RO unit for drinking water and can use that to mix with the tap water.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:03 PM   #13
 
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okay, i've tried to read through and i just had one new thought to add to the table.

i recently came across a post by tom barr suggesting the relationship between algae growth and water changes. water changes supply CO2 rich water. As we know from the many, many threads on this forum, algae usually comes from lack of CO2 or too much light (maybe this is just my opinion here but this is what I've gathered from posts by Byron and several of Tom B's posts elsewhere).

i hadn't thought of water changes supplying co2 before.

Well, i threw my back out last week and couldn't do my regular weekly wc on wednesday. this is after i had seemingly struck the perfect balance between frequency/quantity of water changes, frequency/quantity of ferts, and frequency/quantity of excel. well, three days after missing the water change, lo and behold there was a brand new type of algae in my ten gallon (which has too much light but algae has been in check nonetheless)...green fuzz algae!

i immediately drew the conclusion that because the plants were missing that fresh co2 rich water from the missed water change, that algae the opportunist came along and used the nutrients and light.

does that make sense? it does in my brain but i'm having a hard time typing because my hands are freezing cold.

: )
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:43 PM   #14
 
Okay Angel079 I have on my tanks a Coral Life Power Center which I have been using for a while with set timer to turn on lights at a given time and to turn off the air driven filter at that same time the lights go on. These timer's are set to turn certain things on while turning certain things off and also have other outlets to keep other items on constantly. I purchased mine on Drs.Foster&Smith.com I have the single digital it's in the area of $25.59 now or you can check your local fish stores to see if they have it's a great item to have and will save your McGiver ideas for something else. So with that said plus I change water in this tank every two or three weeks. I think that this experiment will go alright for you so no need to worry.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:57 PM   #15
 
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Okay Angel079 I have on my tanks a Coral Life Power Center which I have been using for a while with set timer to turn on lights at a given time and to turn off the air driven filter at that same time the lights go on.
For real I have been too old fashioned in the tank world to notice these things apperently came ont he market at some point, how cool, thanks for the info!!!

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So with that said plus I change water in this tank every two or three weeks. I think that this experiment will go alright for you so no need to worry.
So what size tank do you have; stock; plants???
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:34 PM   #16
 
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For real I have been too old fashioned in the tank world to notice these things apperently came ont he market at some point, how cool, thanks for the info!!!


So what size tank do you have; stock; plants???
Yes I do stock plants. I have a 10, 20l, and a 90 gallon tank and there all planted tanks. I was mesmorized 1 day at a local fishstore that had a planted tank so I decided to invest in some plants and got hooked.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #17
 
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Okay Angel079 I have on my tanks a Coral Life Power Center which I have been using for a while with set timer to turn on lights at a given time and to turn off the air driven filter at that same time the lights go on. These timer's are set to turn certain things on while turning certain things off and also have other outlets to keep other items on constantly. I purchased mine on Drs.Foster&Smith.com I have the single digital it's in the area of $25.59 now or you can check your local fish stores to see if they have it's a great item to have and will save your McGiver ideas for something else. So with that said plus I change water in this tank every two or three weeks. I think that this experiment will go alright for you so no need to worry.
I like your approach. One thing that seems to resonate and always has, planted or not, is the more you can keep your hands off the better. let nature do its thing.

I saw one of the Coralife power center things with dual timers at my lfs. They wanted $80. Drs Foster and Smith the exact same thing was $35 or so. I forget exactly. My lfs is criminal i tell ya.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:59 PM   #18
 
Yea, Mean Harri that's why it's important to go with the times and search via internet. As you can see some items are more costly to us if we go local. The advantage we have through the internet is we can also search for better prices and some stores even have free shipping which gives you more bang for your buck. I am into these sort of things for the knowledge and learn how. We can find out so much thanks to our computers that we were not even aware of without even stepping out of your place. Then we can explore this cruel world of ours and compare prices to what you learned at home through our amazing little personal computers.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:02 AM   #19
 
while I do not have a planted tank (yet) - I am interested at least to see what reducing water changes does to the pH. So I'll be following this thread at least.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:41 AM   #20
 
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I think there are several factors that aren't being considered here:

1) Micronutrients - Water changes not only remove nitrates but also replace micronutrients vital to the health of your fish. If you never change the water, these nutrients are going to be removed from the water by natural processes and can't be replaced. I think this reason alone is enough to be doing water changes on tanks that don't have accumulating nitrate.

2) Other "invisible" things in the water, such as hormones. It's well established that growing fish fry give off hormones that inhibit the growth of other fry, which means that if you've got a ton of fry in a small tank growth is slowed overall due to this hormone buildup. I would be surprised if this were the only example of this type of chemical communication in our fish tanks.

3) The unquantified "fish like it." Even if you've got an incredibly lightly stocked, heavily planted tank with no visible nitrates and you just did a water change two days previous, doing another small water change has an observable effect on fish behavior. Fish swim into the new current, perhaps looking for food. Fish spawning behavior is often seen right after water changes. It could be something complex like hormone depletion or the addition of new micronutrients as I described above or it could be something as subtle as a slight temperature or pH difference or even just that slight moment of different currents in their home, but fish seem to appreciate water changes. So, even if there's no quantifiable reason to be doing them (though I obviously think there are reasons) it seems like something that would be beneficial anyway.

Just my two cents.
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