Whater changes ...Whats everyone's preferred method? - Page 6 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #51 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 12:10 AM
lol Byron is the least arrogant one on this thread.
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post #52 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post

I do not, and highly doubt if anyone else, check the ammonia, nitrite or nitrate levels in my tank before I perform a routine water change (with 800 gals of tanks in our house water changes occur several times a day every day of the week) The only time I do check these water parameters is when, like I stated above, it is a fresh tank set up that is not fully cycled yet, or I have some other concern going on in the tank.
^ Opinion: I keep a very detailed log book of EACH water change on every aquarium I own. This helps me understand (in the event something goes wrong) what went wrong and when. I check my water parameters prior to each PWC weekly regardless of any signs of distress or issues with the system. While many fish owners here (including myself) do not keep multiple large aquariums like yourself, this does not mean we are ignorant to the cause. Some would call this method excessive and that's perfectly fine. But at least I have the comfort of knowing that my water parameters haven't deterred over a period of time without my knowledge and one day I suddenly realize there is an internal mishap that has went unacknowledged for an extended period of time.

Regardless of how much upkeep you have on your aquarium, you will eventually run into a problem.

Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
The reason I do not feel the need to test my water parameters prior to a routine water change is because I fully trust the Prime product, when used as directed, will cover whatever is going on with the water quality in our tanks. I am grateful to have such a product at my disposal and hope others will use it as directed by the manufacturer, to assist in keeping their aquatic friends healthy.
Again, completely your method of doing things and is completely fine by standards and I have no intent of disputing that. People have different methods of maintaining their aquariums and none should be rightfully disputed unless fact shows it is an improper method and should not be done. If the method works and causes no harm to the habitat, then god speed.

Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
I would like to add here that Prime will bind ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for 24-48 hours so if a tank is not fully cycled or has other issues that need to be addressed, that is the time frame you have to take care of problem areas, or perform another water change "with Prime" to keep your fish safe until the problem can be determined and addressed.
I would also like to add (my opinion, which is what you have as well) that I have used Byrons advise directly given to me and indirectly (by reading his posts) and have had marvelous outcomes. Obviously if my method of maintaining my aquariums works for me then I have no obvious need to take his advice (nor would you in this case), his advise is still intelligent and shouldn't be disregarded as ignorant.

You obviously have a long standing term when it comes to aquariums and obviously you have your own methods and others may follow your methods, but, be warned before-hand that everyone is [not] going to agree with your methods and will choose different methods that work for them and thus would choose not to follow your advice and choose the advice of another. This does not mean your method is wrong, it simply means the chosen individual would rather use a different method that would work all as well as yours as their chosen method.

You can sit here and having a wizzing contest all day with Byron, but it will not change the fact that your method nor his method works better than the other in terms how certain individuals choose to maintain their aquariums.

Good luck :)

75G FW Community planted
65G FW Mbuna tank
50G FW Mixed Cichlid
33G Reef Tank

Last edited by AndrewM21; 12-07-2012 at 12:48 AM. Reason: Typos
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post #53 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 07:13 AM
One factor that is being missed here is gaining knowledge bestows authority of subject to the individual to the extent of the knowledge. Being fish keepers we all have some authority of knowledge of the subject through experience, discourse and contemplation of specific events. We all are enamored with ziet-gist (spirit) of aquaria and believe our particular paradigm is the only view that is sound and resist the inclusion of other concepts. The reason I come to this forum is I wish to partake dialog with others knowledge of subject and have increased my own knowledge. In a dialog one is limited to considering ideas and concepts and not to challenge authority of subject by degrading the dialog to personal incriminations and false reasoning.

I am very disappointed in this thread we have lowered our high standards and reduced a viable topic of water changes to quibbling over a piece of candy.
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post #54 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mikejp67 View Post
I totally agree. Whats good today most likely wont be good tomorrow. Just because it was written by the good Dr in 1987, doesnt mean its the right way. And anyone of us who have aquariums remember the old ways things were done which are completely out the window today. Nearly everyone on this site is open to new methods and suggestions, but some are not. And state it with a arrogant tone.
I find this very ironic. If you give some intelligent thought to what I post, you will readily find that in the vast majority of cases I am actually advocating methods or ideas that are so new most here have never heard of them or thought about them. Scientific discoveries carry us forward, and I have never been regressive as you are suggesting. It is you who needs to change your thinking.

And frankly, this discussion is not relevant to this or any other thread.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 12-07-2012 at 10:14 AM.
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post #55 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 10:42 AM
Hmmm... This has been an 'interesting', if not slightly disappointing thread compelling me to make a few observations...

First, it goes without saying that there is a plethora of really bad advice advice out there by well meaning hobbyists. Unfortunately a good lie told often enough, no matter how absurd, seems to be true... until it's examined more closely.

On the issue of the amount of conditioner required for partial water changes. Lets first consider that not all aquariums are equal. A well planted, established tank with only a moderate amount of stock is very different from a non planted, newer tank that's more heavily stocked. Not to mention potential negative maintenance factors and differing water change volumes and frequencies.
We might say that 'x' amount of conditioner is required for 'y' amount of water. Now we have two camps. One says that we only need an amount required for the new source water, regardless of how it's introduced, while the other feels the conditioner required is the amount of the total volume.
The justification stated for the latter is that the effects of conditioner for dechlorination will be reduced by the amount of ammonia, nitrite and nitrates in the water. Okay, first, except for very special cases, we can rule out ammonia and nitrites as they just don't exist in any amounts to be a factor. Next, are we to conclude that the same active ingredient that dechlorinates also detoxifies nitrates?
The process of dechlorination creates ammonia, so binding ammonia and/or converting to ammonium is a good thing.
We can not dispute that so many successfully only add the amount of conditioner required for the volume of new source water. However, we might infer that this is only safely possible when other water quality factors promote success. In some cases, where water quality is lower, it may be safer to use a larger amount of conditioner to better ensure stock safety.

Lets talk about total dissolved solids just a little. I have spent years (30+) in organic gardening. I have made manure, compost and vermicompost teas. A diluted liquid manure of sorts used to fertilize plants. Although far less concentrated, this is exactly what happens in every filter and every substrate to decayed organic material. A brown polluted water containing containing copious amounts of crud. Pure water has very little of this. Our objective in fishkeeping should be to keep TDS as low as possible to achieve the purest water practical.

Now lets talk about NITRATES...a subject I DO know a little something about. As I have stated (or is it whined) in many threads, I have very high nitrates in my well water. I blame this on the 95 acre farmers field across the road that gets a fair amount of organic and chemical fertilizers.

Lakemalawifish, I appreciate your enthusiasm regarding Seachem Matrix. As much as I see the comparison to live rock, the micro and macro pores in Matirx 'should' promote the culture of anaerobic bacteria to convert nitrates into nitrogen gas.
Unfortunately, I have been working with Seachem Techs on their support site for over a year using Matrix and De*Nitrate with Stability with no evidence of nitrate reduction! Seachem repeatedly told me my setup should work fine but my test results cannot confirm it.

With respect to the synthetic polymers: Seachem Purigen does a good job of adsorbing dissolved organics and as such should indirectly reduce tank generated nitrates. Purigen is regenerated several times with a 50/50 solution of chlorine bleach and water.
API Nitra-Zorb as well as Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover both adsorb nitrates, removing them from the water column. Both are regenerated several times in concentrated salt water. Use life is significantly reduced if/when dissolved organics plug pores. (I have successfully used these products primarily to pre-filter my well water to remove nitrates).

I will reserve comment on the point / counter point 'debate', except to say that I have come to value Byron's opinions, resulting from study and observations based on years of experience.

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post #56 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 10:43 AM
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I didn't want to get so... detailed, but I think that opinions gain credibility with research, facts, and data and loose credibility with agression and negitive emotions. It's kind of like when people get in an argument and in place of proof, they use a lot of pathos and try to discredit the other parties with slander. Political canadates use this tactic all the time.
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post #57 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 11:35 AM
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This thread, that started out as an innocent request for information on how to perform water changes has gone crazy. I chimed in because I have been corresponding with the author of this posting who is in the process of starting up a Lake Malawi Cichlid tank. I did not want "bad" advice regarding how to perform water changes to affect this person's new tank and beautiful fish.

When it comes to our fish, I am very picky about choosing companies to do business with, whether it be the food we feed them or tank maintenance products. There are some good, some not so good, and some bad ones. Just like some of the advice in this forum, you pick and choose for yourself.

We may have only been keeping fish for 3 years, but we have had to learn fast and furious. Thankfully, we have a wonderful friend who we get our Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika Wild Caught and F1 Cichlids from who has over 20 years experience raising and breeding these fish. He is a wonderful mentor and it is a great privilege for us to be able to spend time at his fish farm, talk with him and purchase his outstanding fish. He is a very kind person, does not push his authority, and he does not have to. What he has accomplished in 20+ years speaks for itself, and he is not finished yet. He is in the process of building a huge green house to equip heated ponds for raising large predatory cichlids year-round. I admire him, and I think you would too.

His website is: African Cichlids in Nashville, Tennessee riftfish.com

For some reason, the Video link on his main page is not working (probably because his emphasis is on his fish, not his website, so I will let him know)... but if you click on "stock list" then "video"... the video on the top is one I took while at his fish farm. It is not the greatest as I am no pro, but he liked it.

This is where I come in with this whole deal. I was very frustrated with Byron for what I consider to be bad advice as to Seachem's instructions on dosing prime. Then he throws in lots of other variables that do not pertain to the question at hand that not only confused the heck out of me, but I am sure would confuse someone new to the hobby who is asking a simple question. I was wrong for showing how upset I was, and I apologized for it. But, the simple fact still remains... most people here, including myself, are here for answers, not to be bombarded with scientific data that is hard to understand or have other issues that really do not pertain to the question thrown in to further complicate matters.

Then you have the posts where moderators and friends of moderators are taking up for each other... I can't even tell who is picking on who anymore, and I am sure I am being picked on and called arrogant and don't even realize it anymore. This is pathetic to say the least. I feel as if I have joined a forum full of tyrants who are ganging up on me now and it is totally taking the fun out of having nice conversations with anybody here. Even the newbies who have questions about their 10 gallon tanks, who I am trying to help the best I can. I am so frustrated with this forum that I cannot even think straight anymore to help these people. We started out with a 10 gallon tank and Platies and now have 800 gallons of fish, because we love this hobby. I do not love all of this bickering. Sure... I did step out of line and I am sorry I did that. But, I have yet to hear anyone apologize to me for the rude, sarcastic and arrogant comments they have thrown back at me.

I have given this individual my personal email address so I can try to help them set up their Lake Malawi tank. I am now removing myself from this forum as soon as I post this message. I am a member of other forums and have never seen anything as ridiculous as this.
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post #58 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 12:43 PM
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Wow, what a novel this thread has turned into. Lol

I have always thought that the reason for adding the conditioner for the full volume of the tank when adding directly to the tank was because the conditioner would be too diluted if the amount added was only enough for the volume of water removed compared to if you are pre-conditioning water in a bucket before adding it to the tank. I don't use Prime, I use AquaSafe but since I use a Python on most of my tanks (not the 10 or 20 gallon) I do add enough for the full volume of the tank. When I use the bucket method for my smaller 10 and 20 gallon I only treat the replacement water. Maybe my reasoning is wrong but it's what has worked for me and my fish are healthy. I also do clean my filter pads at each water changes (swished in dechlor water) and this removes a ton of crud. I don't touch the biomedia (ceramic beads) except every few months they do get a swishing in dechlor water. I have never touched the biowheels on the Penguin 350s I have.

Everyone has a method that they are comfortable with so when asking "what's everyone's preferred method" you are bound to get many different responses. And it is an interesting learning experience to hear everyone's methods and opinions.
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post #59 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 12:52 PM
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Lakemalawifish, I am so sorry you have had such a bad experience on this forum. I have been a member here for many years and this is one of the best forums (yes, I am a member of a few other forums). But I do see your point about feeling ganged up on as I do see on this on occasion in other threads as well. But there really are a lot of wonderful and very knowledgeable people on this forum so it's a shame when a few make a new member feel unwelcomed.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #60 of 75 Old 12-07-2012, 01:04 PM
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Mal, I'm sorry you misunderstood my comment. I wasn't taking up for anyone. I was just saying that I know you are a passionate fishkeeper who loves her pets and wants to help, but when you try to discredit others with angry comments, it discredits you and what you stand for. If you believe they are wrong, prove it with proof, hard facts, and data. Your opinion will be better heard and your wonderful wealth of knowlege will be credited and weighed aproppriatly. Anything else just makes you look... petty. Like disagreeing for disagreements sake. I can see that you are a passionate fishkeeper. Please don't let your knowledge be lost in the muck
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dechlorinator , waterchanges

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