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Thinking about an EcoSphere.

This is a discussion on Thinking about an EcoSphere. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by beaslbob I just use a normal aquarium first started with lotsa plants and with the fish added slowly. The tanks have ...

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Thinking about an EcoSphere.
Old 12-11-2012, 03:24 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
I just use a normal aquarium first started with lotsa plants and with the fish added slowly.

The tanks have ran for up to 9 years with no water changes, no mechanical filtration, no air stone, literally the tank, light, water, plants and fish. Just replacing the evaporative water with straight untreated tap. When using live bearers like platies the tank builds up a more or less stable population of 20-30 fish in a 10g tank that lasts for years.

So it's not a complete closed eco jar but rather a low maintenance aquarium setup that is basically balanced out and stabilized by the plants.

still just my .02

I would think 30 platies in a 10 gallon tank would be very over stocked. Platies get up to 6 inches. I wouldn't even keep one in a 10 gallon...
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:36 PM   #12
 
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I would think 30 platies in a 10 gallon tank would be very over stocked. Platies get up to 6 inches. I wouldn't even keep one in a 10 gallon...
they were dwarf platties--1.5-2" max and only 1/2 dozen were adults.

I was shocked also but they seemed happy enough.

same thing with the common fancy guppies. Well perhaps the guppies were 30 and platties only 20 or so. The guppies were from the cycle trio and the gals dropped a bunch the forst month or so. Too many to count and the tank was literally black with fry. To my surprise 50-60 were still alive and growing 3-4 months later.

I rountinely harvested some for other people's tanks which didn't seem to make much of a difference. 10-12 years later I found out some were still in an aquarium in a doctor's office.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:27 PM   #13
 
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EcoSphere? Those are saltwater, unless you are thinking of something different.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #14
 
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EcoSphere? Those are saltwater, unless you are thinking of something different.
correct

the eco jar concept i linked to is Fw though.

and of course the balancec leiden aquarium concept is for both.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:30 PM   #15
 
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Those SW EcoSpheres do not last terribly long from what I've heard. Apparently you can see the shrimp inside get smaller every time they moult. And once they die, nothing to do about the jar.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:08 PM   #16
 
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so it is a water change? just with more minerals? what do they do to fish? how do you measure mineral content? how many minerals are too many? and most importantly, what minerals? sulfur salt?

does this guy have super fish? 9 years of unnaturally high mineral content really did a lot
shouldn't this guys water be a solid by now?
so many questions for your vague contemptible reply
There is nothing contemptible about correcting an incorrect statement in this forum.
Topping off for evaporation is not like a partial water change - not even close.
The degree of concentration of minerals would of course be relative to the hardness of the water and amount of make-up water added over time. More importantly, to not do routine partial water changes results in a concentration of 'crud' (dissolved organic compounds, pheromones, urine, etc.) that builds in the water dramatically reducing water quality over time. The weekly water change removes polluted water and dilutes the remainder with fresh source water.
There are few, if any, members here that would argue against the benefits of weekly water changes. The solution to pollution is dilution.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #17
 
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There is nothing contemptible about correcting an incorrect statement in this forum.
Topping off for evaporation is not like a partial water change - not even close.
The degree of concentration of minerals would of course be relative to the hardness of the water and amount of make-up water added over time. More importantly, to not do routine partial water changes results in a concentration of 'crud' (dissolved organic compounds, pheromones, urine, etc.) that builds in the water dramatically reducing water quality over time. The weekly water change removes polluted water and dilutes the remainder with fresh source water.
There are few, if any, members here that would argue against the benefits of weekly water changes. The solution to pollution is dilution.
"Your statement couldn't be more" is what really set me off and was unnecessary.

so when people say for example 20% they really mean 20% and whatever evaporated?
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:44 PM   #18
 
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what do they do to fish?
Minerals are essential for the fish and plants, without them they would all die off. They help in all aspects of keeping the body functioning properly.
Minerals can start to have a negative impact on fish and plants if there is too much in the water however.
The easiest way to think of it is to just compare the fish to people. You need iron in your diet, you would die without iron in your body. However too much iron can cause iron poisoning and overload your system. Same concept with the fish and plants.

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how many minerals are too many?
This depends on where the fish is from. "Soft" water contains few minerals, "hard" water contains many minerals. Livebearers like hard water and would need more minerals than a soft water fish like a gourami.

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how do you measure mineral content?
The standard is a dH (degree of hardness) test, which will cover all the most plentiful minerals. Separate tests for individual minerals do exist however, generally not used in FW aquaria.

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Originally Posted by slojko View Post
and most importantly, what minerals? sulfur salt?
The majority of minerals in water will be calcium and magnesium, however trace amounts of many minerals are present in water. If you have any live plant fertilizers, take a look at the content in them, this is the sort of stuff that is found in water naturally.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #19
 
basically you always replace the evaporative water in any system.

then the question becomes what water changes you do over and above that.

One of the things I constantly here is the solution to polution is dilution.

While this would seem to make sense with our tanks, it is incorrect enviromentally.

Eventually the polution must be rendered non toxic or nothing on the earth would live. So there must be some balance where things just take care of things like animals take care of plants and so on.

for example in our tanks consider that things are changing but at a constant rate. That you have some replacement water with some concentration of things. those things are measured linearily. that water changes are done at some fraction of the tank at some constant interval. And that sufficient water changes have been done so that the conditions before any water change is constant.

The tank under those assumptions winds up at:

(conditions before water change)=conditions of replacment water+(change between water changes)/(fraction of the water change)


So assuming you have 1 ppm/day increase, replacement water has 30ppm, and 1/10 of the water is changed every 10 days:


(ppm before water change)=30ppm+(1ppm/day*10days)/(1/10)=30ppm+(10ppm)/(1/10)=130ppm

what happens is the build up removed by the waterchange equals the build up between water changes.

in the above case you have a 10ppm increase which must rise to 100ppm in order for the 1/10 water change to remove that 10ppm

with 0ppm in the replacment water.
before a water change you have 100ppm which is reduced to 90 after the water change and then rises to 100ppm before the next water change.

the 30ppm in the replacement water is added to both values.

With the eco jar/leiden/balanced/natural system you reduce the changes between water changes. So that there is no build up. Hence things like nitrates are just 0ppm rergardless of the water changes being conducted or the amount of nitrates in the replacement water. Ditto phosphates, co2, and so on.

In our filtered, chemical additive world where every solution is some new man made and operated piece of hardware or chemical this is extremely hard to appreciate. Fortunately my tanks aren't aware of that and just run for years and years with no mechanicals or water changes. To them the solution to polution is converting fish wastes to fish food.


my .02
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #20
 
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I would suggest that those who feel topping up evaporated water is sufficient, or those who think no regular partial water changes is healthy, have a read of my article on water changes:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...hanges-117205/

There are some very inaccurate and misleading (to other members who may not understand what we are talking about as well as some of us do) statements in this thread, but I see no reason for a page-long explanation when it is all covered in the article.

Byron.
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