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what is the reason for water changes?

This is a discussion on what is the reason for water changes? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> As stated,, Water changes of 20 to 25 percent each week are generally agreed on for healthy fish to remain healthy. Many variables come ...

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what is the reason for water changes?
Old 04-06-2009, 08:31 AM   #11
 
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As stated,, Water changes of 20 to 25 percent each week are generally agreed on for healthy fish to remain healthy. Many variables come into play in regards to how often a tanks water needs changed other than the two mentioned. Number of fish,species of fish,feeding schedule,tank size,filtration, maint routine or lack thereof,Temp of water (higher temps = higher metabolisim) Ph, (ammonia =more toxic at Ph 7.0 or above) . Types of foods offered (some foul the water quickly) You must take everything into consideration. A tank full of tetras could go longer between water changes than a tank containing Oscar or pleco.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:58 AM   #12
 
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Besides Discus, Threadfin Rainbows,Celestial Pearl danios,Sparkling Gourami, Otocinclus,and German blue and Gold rams are a few other fish who do best with nitrates kept at levels below 40 ppm. Always best in my view,, to aim for 20 ppm.
Very odd, Sparkling gouramis and ottos I've kept before. GBR and Threadfins I have right now. Sparklers I've spawned before in 40ppm of nitrate. I dose EI, so truthfuly my tests read 80ppm of nitrate, however as far as I am aware the nitrates I add via ferts are harmless.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:17 AM   #13
 
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I think 1077 has summed it up best in the last post; regular partial water changes keep healthy fish healthy, and that's what it's all about.

The reaction/behaviour of fish when the water is regularly changed clearly demonstrates that there is probably a lot more benefit than anyone can measure in nitrate levels or hardness or whatever. A closed system can alter in ways we may not recognize however often we test for this or that. To gammahermit, I would never suggest only changing water due to certain test results, that in my view is meaningless, because there are all these other factors in the equation.

An aquarium is a closed system (aside from the exchange of oxygen/carbon dioxide at the surface) that does not exist in nature. Water changes are important in maintaining a healthy aquarium as it is the closest we can come to creating a natural environment for the inhabitants.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:22 AM   #14
 
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Am pleased that your efforts have apparently been rewarded. My own observations of the afore mentioned fishes revealed nothing odd at all. The fishes did better with nitrAtes below 30 with 20ppm being ideal.Elevated NitrAte levels some believe,, Are not that detrimental to long term health,spawning success,and hatch rate. My own observations indicate otherwise. Always good to have measured opinions on nearly all topics.
In my view,, Elevated NitrAtes,elevated ammonia,and or nitrites all affect the ability of fishes blood to absorb and hold oxygen thereby increasing the respiration and stress levels which in turn,, affects the fishes health.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:34 AM   #15
 
I would agree that periodic water changes are necessary for the fish to flourish but what I was hoping to get out of this thread was 1st understand why they are necessary & 2nd to figure out how often it is necessary rather than to just say every week or every month.

I would have to disagree with Byron that nitrate & hardness measurements are meaningless. But instead say they are insufficient to determine when a water change is necessary. And that with enough information it can be determined what the maximum time between water changes is.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:11 AM   #16
 
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Indeed it is the combined information that dictates the frequency, or should ,, but there is no one formula.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by gammahermit View Post
I would agree that periodic water changes are necessary for the fish to flourish but what I was hoping to get out of this thread was 1st understand why they are necessary & 2nd to figure out how often it is necessary rather than to just say every week or every month.

I would have to disagree with Byron that nitrate & hardness measurements are meaningless. But instead say they are insufficient to determine when a water change is necessary. And that with enough information it can be determined what the maximum time between water changes is.
Sorry, my fault for not making it clearer (that's the trouble with emails, we can't see what we're each thinking when we write words!). Tests for nitrates and hardness and pH and... are obviously important. But the time at which you do a water change should not be determined by test results. That's like saying you will only do a water change when something is wrong (the nitrates are suddenly higher, whatever). That is not good aquarium management. As I think several of us have indicated, regular water changes have an obvious effect on the health of the fish, and that is the bottom line. And everything I've read indicates changing less water more often is much better than changing more water less often. There is a real biological issue here.

The aim is to maintain consistent water quality permanently. This is not as impossible as some may think. There are fluctuations that occur naturally, in nature and in our aquarium. Fish have evolved to adapt to these minor fluctuations. This involves temperature and pH (there are diurnal fluctuations both in nature and in an aquarium), hardness, and dissolved organics in the water. Fish are very closely tied to their environment. As an example, fish take in water through their cells by osmosis. The fish must adjust its internal pH to equal that of the water passing into its cells. In an excellent article on "Fish Growth vs. Tank Size" in the December 2006 issue of TFH, Laura Muha notes that "Both salinity and pH affects a fish's growth rate because they affect how hard a fish's body must work to maintain its physiological equilibrium--that is, the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. When pH and/or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium." We all know how stress affects humans, and it is now known that this occurs with fish as well. Having fluctuating water conditions means the fish is constantly having to adjust its metabolism, and this stresses the fish and can lead to poor health, disease, and even death if not corrected. The point of regular water changes regardless of what the water conditions may be is that it is establishing an equilibrium in the tank and therefore in the fish, resulting in healthier and happier fsh. Changing 25-40% of the water every week is maintaining such a balance. This answers your questions as to why and how often.
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