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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 madyotto i agree totally but most in fresh water game do not have a sump like me im just designing my ...

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For the Non-water changers in the crowd.
Old 01-30-2013, 09:45 AM   #81
 
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Originally Posted by madyotto View Post
i agree totally but most in fresh water game do not have a sump like me im just designing my new sump now
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #82
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OK.

Based on the discussion thus far, I would suggest that water changers are likely to stay water changers and non-water changers are going to stay non-water changers and there are some that are in the middle, infrequent changers I suppose, who may be swayed one way or the other.... or not, the swing vote, so to speak.

I see far too many posts regarding fish troubles that are corrected by water changes and feel that in almost all of those cases water changes should have been more regular or at least a first option to correct a problem that could have been aggravated by not changing it. A lot are non-planted tanks, changing is a given in that situation. Others are tanks that are too sparsely planted and changes should be a given. Then others again are just plain overstocked for the system and everything is riding on the edge of a variety of problems such that when one thing goes, everything falls apart quickly.

In my case I am reconsidering what heavily planted really means for my tank (every tank is different). Although I considered my tank to be heavily planted, I have concluded that it is not heavy enough to eliminate enough of the cycle with my fish load to eliminate some nitrite spiking, which seems to be the key. With enough plants in place there is very little free ammonia in the water long enough to have the nitrosomonas propagate quickly. This leads to very little nitrite being produced which leads to very little nitrate being produced and the plants can deal with the little bit that is.

Effectively it creates a more closed self sustaining system as far as the nitrogen cycle is concerned. TDS can be measured if a concern and other non-measurables... well, let the debate continue on that topic.

I think that I probably should have followed a rule that applies to other non-aquarium situations. Once I felt that I had enough plants.... double them.

Am I going to stop changing water?

The "old water" mentality of days of yore has some merit but feel it is flawed, perhaps I will consider a water freshness scale similar to that used for the measuring of the age of cheddar cheese. New, Medium, Old, Extra Old. I think I like the idea of being able to sustain a medium water tank which, to me, might be a 25% biweekly water change once the system gets firmly established.

That is a ways away yet though.

Jeff.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:36 AM   #83
 
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Originally Posted by JDM View Post
OK.

Based on the discussion thus far, I would suggest that water changers are likely to stay water changers and non-water changers are going to stay non-water changers and there are some that are in the middle, infrequent changers I suppose, who may be swayed one way or the other.... or not, the swing vote, so to speak.

I see far too many posts regarding fish troubles that are corrected by water changes and feel that in almost all of those cases water changes should have been more regular or at least a first option to correct a problem that could have been aggravated by not changing it. A lot are non-planted tanks, changing is a given in that situation. Others are tanks that are too sparsely planted and changes should be a given. Then others again are just plain overstocked for the system and everything is riding on the edge of a variety of problems such that when one thing goes, everything falls apart quickly.

In my case I am reconsidering what heavily planted really means for my tank (every tank is different). Although I considered my tank to be heavily planted, I have concluded that it is not heavy enough to eliminate enough of the cycle with my fish load to eliminate some nitrite spiking, which seems to be the key. With enough plants in place there is very little free ammonia in the water long enough to have the nitrosomonas propagate quickly. This leads to very little nitrite being produced which leads to very little nitrate being produced and the plants can deal with the little bit that is.

Effectively it creates a more closed self sustaining system as far as the nitrogen cycle is concerned. TDS can be measured if a concern and other non-measurables... well, let the debate continue on that topic.

I think that I probably should have followed a rule that applies to other non-aquarium situations. Once I felt that I had enough plants.... double them.

Am I going to stop changing water?

The "old water" mentality of days of yore has some merit but feel it is flawed, perhaps I will consider a water freshness scale similar to that used for the measuring of the age of cheddar cheese. New, Medium, Old, Extra Old. I think I like the idea of being able to sustain a medium water tank which, to me, might be a 25% biweekly water change once the system gets firmly established.

That is a ways away yet though.

Jeff.
just a heads up i have 8 plants in my 250L this is plenty for keeping the water just so

but there are other factors to take into account such as the nateral pete i use under my gravel

things like this will allow the plants to rid of more ammonia and nitrate

there are too many things that have to be done and understood before contemplating running a tank without c fully understand these things would be a bad move in a none changed tank

Last edited by madyotto; 01-30-2013 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:54 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by madyotto View Post
just a heads up i have 8 plants in my 250L this is plenty for keeping the water just so

but there are other factors to take into account such as the nateral pete i use under my gravel

things like this will allow the plants to rid of more ammonia and nitrate

there are too many things that have to be done and understood before contemplating running a tank without c fully understand these things would be a bad move in a none changed tank
Is that a fileting knife on the stand... how ominous for the fish to see that sitting there...

I agree, I think that anyone contemplating that sort of a move might need to consider starting the tank with that goal in mind... and lots of experience, or a very slow transition of an existing setup. Too often someone puts it out there that they don't change water as if that is helpful for someone with a tank that needs the changing.

Either way, I'm not about to try to jump on a non-changing setup, although I would like farther between changes.

One setup that I am fond of doing is a summer turtle pond. I fill a washtub in the spring from the river, add mud, plants, polywogs, insects critters and whatever we can catch. Add large sunning stone, turtle(s) and it keeps until the fall. The water change is looked after by the rain and evaporation. I never test this setup, wouldn't have thought to as I've done it many years and the turtles eat most of the other live things anyway, always have to catch more stuff as I would not feed wild turtles prepared food.

The kids love it...OK... so do I.

Jeff.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:26 AM   #85
 
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I can honestly say, this thread has been a VERY interesting read. OldFishLady(shes mostly on the betta forum) has had success in making minimal water changes in her heavily planted tanks. Then again, I believe she mostly has bettas and they don't produce waste like, say, a goldfish does. Nevertheless, I read some interesting points and I'm taking them into my own account, questioning and researching them.

Also, after reading the inputs on what tap water is, I can say I am glad I almost never drink straight from the tap.

Lastly, I hate to bounce back and forth, but rewind back to fish feeling pain. If you were to take a needle and poke a fish(in water). Would it not have a reaction of some sort? Wouldn't that reaction be from pain? The same as if you were to poke yourself with a needle?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #86
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Fresh water is only fresh in nature because it is constantly renewed by rain..."the solution to pollution is dilution."
You're still assuming that rainwater is "new" water. In order for there to be rain, there must be evaporation. When water evaporates, pure water exits causing the contaminants within that water to become more concentrated. All rain does is dilute it back to where it was before any water evaporated. We can duplicate the process you're referring to by simply topping off our tanks with RO/DI water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
Also, after reading the inputs on what tap water is, I can say I am glad I almost never drink straight from the tap.
My educational background is in environmental engineering and I've done research in various drinking water treatment processes (my current research is in bacterial filtration using GAC as a media). I can tell you that I drink straight from the tap without any concerns. Many people feel more comfortable using a Brita filter (or a similar filter using activated carbon), but all that's really doing is removing the residual chlorine to improve taste.

Last edited by funkman262; 01-30-2013 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:53 AM   #87
 
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Originally Posted by funkman262 View Post
You're still assuming that rainwater is "new" water. In order for there to be rain, there must be evaporation. When water evaporates, pure water exits causing the contaminants within that water to become more concentrated. All rain does is dilute it back to where it was before any water evaporated. We can duplicate the process you're referring to by simply topping off our tanks with RO/DI water.
I must question this. Taking the last sentence first, I know this is not accurate. "Topping up" evaporated water in a fish tank is not even remotely akin to what occurs in nature because of the very confioned closed system that is about an un-natural as you can be. Even a daily 90% water change is not duplicating what occurs in the fish's natural environment. Plus, the water entering the stream/lake is not "pure" water.

As for the evaporated water containing contaminants, I am not a chemist but from what I can remember this is not correct. This is true "pure" water. As the rain falls, it picks up various substances so when it hits the ground it will be different.

Byron.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:07 PM   #88
 
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As for the evaporated water containing contaminants, I am not a chemist but from what I can remember this is not correct. This is true "pure" water. As the rain falls, it picks up various substances so when it hits the ground it will be different.

Byron.
I'm not referring to the evaporated water containing contaminants. What I'm saying is, if we just consider our tank now to keep it simple, as water evaporates, the water left in the tank becomes more concentrated. That's the reason why it's very important for saltwater keepers to constantly top off their tanks or the salinity will rise too much. If you take an simplistic exaggerated instance of a freshwater tank, if 50% of the water evaporated, the ammonia concentration would double. So if you topped off with RO/DI, yes you're diluting the tank-water, but you're only bringing the ammonia concentration back to where it was before any water evaporated. The same thing essentially happens in nature. I'm not claiming that our aquariums exactly duplicate nature, but I don't see having a heavily planted, lightly stocked tank with no water changes being worse for fish than a non-planted, heavily stocked tank with 50%+ weekly water changes.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:26 PM   #89
 
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I'm not referring to the evaporated water containing contaminants. What I'm saying is, if we just consider our tank now to keep it simple, as water evaporates, the water left in the tank becomes more concentrated.
Yes, I agree completely.

Quote:
I don't see having a heavily planted, lightly stocked tank with no water changes being worse for fish than a non-planted, heavily stocked tank with 50%+ weekly water changes.
Your "qualifiers" are the crucial point. The more plants and fewer fish, the better, no argument there. Water changes will still benefit, even if they become less critical.

Byron.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #90
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Your "qualifiers" are the crucial point. The more plants and fewer fish, the better, no argument there. Water changes will still benefit, even if they become less critical.

Byron.
Yes, those qualifiers are very important here. I would never suggest this method to someone with a non-planted goldfish tank. I wouldn't even suggest it to someone with a heavily planted goldfish tank, simply because they are extremely messy fish. I keep small community fish in an extremely heavily planted tank. I've had the same fish for a year and a half, no water changes, they've grown large, extremely colorful, and a couple species (angelfish and kribensis) breed frequently and the fry even manage to grow large and healthy. Now let's be honest with ourselves, if we truly "loved" fish, we wouldn't keep them at all. Do they enjoy being shipped all over the world in little bags, and in the case of retail being left in tiny tanks until a customer decides to buy them? Are they excited about the high death-rates during shipping? Do you think they enjoy being confined to such a small space when they should be able to enjoy an entire pond, lake or river? Realistically, even if you kept a single neon tetra in a 200g+ tank, it's still in a much more confined space than it would be in nature. There's absolutely no way to completely duplicate the fish's natural environment, but I will continue to hold that the way I maintain my tank is still better for the fish than the way many others do, even if they conduct weekly water changes.
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