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For the Non-water changers in the crowd.

This is a discussion on For the Non-water changers in the crowd. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Olympia But, don't you think beaslebob would not have successfully kept generation upon generation of fish if he wasn't following what ...

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For the Non-water changers in the crowd.
Old 01-26-2013, 07:11 AM   #41
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
But, don't you think beaslebob would not have successfully kept generation upon generation of fish if he wasn't following what you take to be necessary? He is taking "bad care" of it, according to you, but his fish seem very long lived and none the worse for wear.
this is just the point tho isnt it the entire thread has turned into an aurgument over water changes being impotant yet JDM never said otherwise he has asked for how people have run tank without and yet again everyone has jumped on the band waggon

IMO none of us can sit and aurgue about water change being needed weekly

truth of it is we all know that we are better not using tap water but 90% of even us do

now tap water is recycled human waste recycled using chemicals and sat in copper pipes for half of it life we then add a water conditioner (more chemicals) this may remove cholrine used to bleech water and remove many metaly from it but is this kind of water still healthy for fish

because i bet in ways that we can not mesure it just simply isnt so should we all now go and distill water to recreate rain water hell no!!!!!

its as simple as some are willing to go much further than others but the thing is who is wrong

simple answer is all of us are the only wrong ones because we can't afford/haven't recreated tropical streams that run for miles and recreate every aspect of the nateral enviroment

we have plants in our house and always breath recycled air fish always breath recycled water/air even in the wild as the only time it is not recycled is after evaporation while it is falling
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:43 AM   #42
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
But, don't you think beaslebob would not have successfully kept generation upon generation of fish if he wasn't following what you take to be necessary? He is taking "bad care" of it, according to you, but his fish seem very long lived and none the worse for wear.


FWIW we always have all what I call the emotional appeals when discussing water changes. Fortunately watere change effectiveness can be analyzed with math.

What happens assuming that something is changing at a constant rate is the tank builds up to where the build up is removed by the water change. (plus whatever is in the replacement water.)


final amount=amount in replacement water +(buildup between changes)/(fraction of water change)

So if you replace 1/10 of the water the tank's final amount before a water change is 10 times, 1/5 5 times and so on.

now consider that the tank is increasing say (nitrates) at 1ppm/day. And the water changes are "tied" to the frequency. Say 1% water change per days of the change. For instance 10% every 10 days, 20% every 20 days and so on.

In case anyone wants to do the math and assuming 0ppm in the replacement water what is the amount in the tank before any of the schedules?

Ans: 100ppm.

So as I stated early in this thread water changes will limit but not correct build ups especially at change schedules convienent to hobbiest.

By contrast plants maintain nitrates at 0 regardlss of the water changes being used.

To me the key is balanceing out and stabilizing the tank so what the hobbiest does wtill results in a healty environment for the fish.

Still it's just my .02
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #43
WOW...tap water is recycled human waste?!?!? WRONG, but thanks for playing our game! Municipal tap water typically comes from lakes, reservoirs and/or deep wells, so indirectly, it comes from RAIN. Chlorine/Chloramine is used to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens and is quite necessary to prevent disease.

Something being missed here is that many tropical fish evolved in very pure water. The Amazon river is nearly pure rain water and flows into the ocean at such a rate that fresh water can be dipped 12 miles out at sea!

So our tap water in the northern hemisphere is already much harder with minerals which would only get concentrated by topping off with more tap water.

If you do a google on "aquarium water quality" every single hit will recommend some percentage of a weekly water change as one of three basic rules:
1. Don't overstock.
2. Don't overfeed.
3. Do weekly water changes.
Nowhere will you find anyone recommending not doing weekly partial water changes...not one.

Along with good filtration, plants are recommended for water quality, but do not eliminate the need for partial water changes.

So then the question becomes how much water should be changed. Experts differ on this from 10-25% weekly. Some recommend 10% weekly and 25% monthly. Some suggest that with large, messy fish, 50% weekly may be required.

So the clear answer here is that hands down, experts all agree that routine partial water changes are extremely important in providing good stable water quality.
For a truly balanced aquarium, we need to replace some water periodically to simulate rain in nature.

"and that's all I have to say about that." -Forrest Gump
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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 01-26-2013 at 01:28 PM..
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:28 PM   #44
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Mhmmm. I do 20-40ish% on my small tanks and 80% with the goldfish. Because goldfish are ridiculously filthy animals and they can easily do over 40ppm a week it seems.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:38 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
As far as we can tell his fish are fine though. As well as the other's who don't do much water changing. They look healthy, I saw pictures and they look just like any other fish. You say healthy fish live longer, but then when it comes up that his fish are living longer you say they are merely coping. Well, if they are living longer isn't that all that matters, according to you? I'm sure he will clear this up a little more when he returns.
Subsequent posts responded to this, but I must also. The point is that his fish are not fine. The internal issues that do develop from lack of water changes are there, unseen externally. There is sufficient scientific evidence to substantiate this.

"Living longer" is not the point either. It is living a full normal lifespan as opposed to existing for a time.

There are many factors that play into all this. It is thus difficult to pin down numbers, as some seem to want to do in order to "prove" this or that. But what is factual is that regular partial water changes do improve the health and lifespan of fish. Anyone may argue against doing water changes, but no one can argue against this fact.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:25 PM   #46
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I am in the partial water change camp; however, I believe that we all are trying to do our best for our wards. Until "science" gets to the point where the same data doesn't support opposing views, we need to agree to disagree.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:33 AM   #47
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It's been interesting, and eye-opening, to see everyone's POV here. But I don't think we're actually getting anywhere except that - we all have our own thoughts on the matter, and won't be swayed.

One last comment, and then I'm going to unsubscribe from this thread, as I don't think there's anything left for me to learn here. . .

Granted that all water is recycled from the beginning of time. Dinosaur pee, people poo - it's all inside, lol. But most of my fish are wild-caught, and come from areas where the water is far cleaner than anything I can ever hope to offer them in a tank - well planted though it may be. I brought these fish here, and I consider it my obligation to them do my very best to keep their environment as pristine as I possibly can.

Because it is so important to me to keep them in the cleanest water possible, I've done a lot of reading and research into water - as it seems we all have - and gone as far as to take a tours of our local water treatment facilities. While it isn't perfection, I left those buildings with a greater peace of mind than when I went in, and with many of the questions I had answered. Not answered with a route 'this is what we're supposed to tell you' answer, but in many cases, with replies that I had to come home and look into, as the science was a bit beyond my personal understanding. I was happy to come to the conclusion that these people knew what they're talking about, and our tap water is as pure as they are able to make it with the technology available to them.

My tap water comes from three different reservoirs/dams, and to my tap with no detectable traces of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, or phosphates, except that during certain times of the year when the rain is particularly heavy, or in the spring when every one is planting and spreading fertilizer all over their yards, there will be an occasional low nitrate level.

I've tested the rainwater several times in my area, along with the water in all of the nearby natural streams and waterways that were close enough for me to entertain the idea of hauling buckets from every week (I considered using 'fresh' water and not tap for a time for water changes. Gave up on that idea). Here, the rainwater brings traces of ammonia with it - and the 'natural' water is harder, and depending on how much rain we've gotten, can be . . . not so fresh (oddly enough) as the processed tap water . I guess that's what I get for living in a big city, but I'll take it! Point being that around HERE, anyway, the dinosaur piss in the rainwater is somewhat obvious - though not so much in the processed tap water!

That said, I'm not a very scientific-minded person. I try, but I'm an artist and a writer, and my brain goes all funny when I try to process some of the papers and research that I've read. So I have to rely on what I've seen and experienced in my own tanks to really gain the understanding that I seek. And what I can tell you, first hand, is that on the few occasions where I've been late for a water change, or missed a week entirely, the behavior of my fish is different. Nothing obvious like gasping at the surface, or huddling in the corner. . . and I've never let it go long enough for there to be any differences in my API tests, either - the levels read the same - even for nitrates and phosphates. But the rams start start to lose their color - just a tad, and those lower on the chain begin to show slight traces of their 'stress stripes', and the loaches tend to be less active. . . the tetra seem . . . restless, and not as vibrant as they generally are. It's all very slight, and really nothing that most people would ever pick up on. My husband thinks I'm crazy, because he can't see it - but it's noticeable to me, because I watch my tanks so much. It's slight, but they all just seem not *quite* as happy as what I'm used to seeing from them.

From reading this thread, I guess NOT doing water changes works for some people - at least to some extent, and for some time. And as long as your fish aren't obviously suffering. . . that's your way. Hats off to you. Maybe it all comes down to what the fish are used to - I don't know! But based on what I've seen with my own eyes, I'll stick to my 30-50% weekly water changes, as my lil' buddies seem happy with things the way they are - and when they're happy, I'm happy.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:42 AM   #48
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Mhmmm. I do 20-40ish% on my small tanks and 80% with the goldfish. Because goldfish are ridiculously filthy animals and they can easily do over 40ppm a week it seems.
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Using my equation above if the tank is increasing at 1ppm/day and you're doing a 10% weekly water change is 0ppm water it will increase to 70ppm before the water change.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:57 AM   #49
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That's why I do 80% for them.
And all my water test kits read under 10ppm for the other tanks constantly anyways so obviously no, not true. My fish would start dying before we even hit 40ppm since they are fragile species.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Timjwilson View Post
The things I do not understand with the frequent water changes is that most people live in a municipality which treats the water with harsh chemicals so other chemicals are used to supposedly remove these chemicals. How can one even remotely argue this is good for fish? On top of this most or many adjust the temperature of their water to be used with water from a hot water tank, where chemicals, toxins and minerals are even more concentrated.

I also find it amusing that the number one most important measurement one can make for fish is for dissolved oxygen, yet hardly anyone mentions this and likely most do not have a meter. How do you tell that your fish are in an oxygen sufficient environment? By their happy behavior, or are they just coping with the environment you are subjecting them to?

BTW, presently I am doing 8% avg daily water changes and checking all parameters [including O2], as I have a young tank with young discus but I am working towards very minimal water changes, once I acheive a measurable balance. My municipality uses no chemicals and I heat the water in a tub.
Can you have to much Oxygen in a tank? Could that do damage as well? I am running a HOB filter, Air Curtin and a huge plant. Too much maybe?
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