Doing some reading in regards to planted tanks...now i got a question (another one) - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
I edited the above post while you were posting.
Ha appreciate it! Now I just need to get ahold of some more floating plants.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 07:09 PM
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Regarding the water changes, it depends on your fertilization load also. You don't want a build-up of fertilizers over time (but that's not likely in a low-tech tank). I change the water weekly, but I also have high-tech plant-only tanks that get a bunch of ferts each week.

On the light fixture, it won't run typically properly unless it's set up specifically wired to run a single bulb - like the Zoomed T5HO fixtures that have one ballast but two bulbs. It's wired with two separate switches (one for each bulb).

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Gotchya, I am using the 2 bulbs. I will have to work something out so the fixture is not open and doesn't light up the entire room. As for the bulbs, they are 6,500k and they are GE, so I am sticking with those.
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-17-2012, 11:54 AM
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This issue of water changes is actually more crucial than some might realize. Some of what I will say has already been said by others in this thread, but I like a complete "picture" so bear with me. [And DKRST has answered the light question, most fixtures won't work with one bulb out.]

I had a long discussion with Tom Barr on this very issue of water changes. For those who may not have come across his writings yet, Tom is a trained botanist working on his PhD [may have it by now, not sure] in aquatic botany, and has written quite extensively on planted tanks. I respect his knowledge, but we differ substantially on water changes.

Tom's position is much like what is stated in the article you (CinBos) linked. Water changes may cause CO2 fluctuations in "natural" systems without diffused CO2 [those with CO2 do massive water changes weekly] and this is not the best for plants. I won't argue that, but my concern is the fish, not the plants.

Diana Walstad also advocates no water changes, or one every six months. But she qualifies that by making it clear that this means very heavily planted with a moderate fish stocking. And from the numbers given, this implies far fewer fish in a given tank than most of us will keep. And this is where we come to the science.

In most cases, there is absolutely no way to remove pollutants from a fish tank except with water changes. Plants can handle some of these, provided the plants are many and the fish are few, and the water space is sufficient for the balance. I once read an estimate of 6 neon tetra in a 50g planted aquarium as being the most fish such a system could support with no intervention (other than food) from the aquarist. Anything greater in terms of fish numbers, and you are getting into the need for water changes.

The pollutants include pheromones and allomones, and as set out in my recent article on water changes, these must be removed or the fish will suffer. There is no argument against this any longer, the science is there. Read more here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...hanges-117205/

Any aquarist who cares for the fish will perform weekly partial water changes. As for the possible detrimental effect to the plants, I haven't seen it after 15+ years of changing half the water in my tanks every week.

Byron.

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; 11-17-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-19-2012, 09:38 AM
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FWIW I have ran tanks for up to 8-9 years, heavily planted with very high bioloads with descedants of the original cycle fish with no water changes.

I did find that by using 1" of peat moss in the substrate helped keep water hardness (KH and GH) in line and neon tetras did much better.

So yes it is entirely possible with planted tanks to do no water changes.


My tanks also had no circulation, no filtration (other then the plants),and used straight untreated tap water.

Additionally, I did this at 4-5 different cities as I traveled around while in the air force and 3-4 cities after I retired from the air force. So the quality of the local tap water and presence of chloramines, chlorine and so on were not factors which had noticable effects on the plants or fish.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-19-2012, 09:43 AM
SO, would you be so kind as to show these good folks those tanks Bob? And using untreated Tap Water is not something I would advise anyone to use, FW or SW, to many different cities using to many different chems.
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-19-2012, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Reefing Madness View Post
SO, would you be so kind as to show these good folks those tanks Bob? And using untreated Tap Water is not something I would advise anyone to use, FW or SW, to many different cities using to many different chems.

I agree,,using untreated tapwater in tank's holding live fish is recipe for disaster.
Lead,copper, other metal's,chloramines (wich is combo of ammonia and chlorine), chlorine, will have negative effect on fishes.
No two peoples water in the aquarium will be the same,often times tank's from same source water will have different values.
What may work for some ,maybe won't work so well for other's.
I tried Tom Barr's NON CO2 method for my tank's and it work's well, but I could not go without water changes he suggest's aren't needed .It just ain't in me to do so.(sorry Tom).
Like Byron,,I have seen no negative effect on plant's from weekly,or bi-weekly water changes and more importantly to me,,,fishes are healthy.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-19-2012, 12:13 PM
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The last phrase in 1077's post is key here. As many of us know, some fish can tolerate abominable conditions and "seem" OK. But are they? Unless you are a fish, this is difficult to answer. Sometimes dissection after death will show the state of poor health, but most of us don't do this and without training we wouldn't know what we were looking at anyway. The Betta hanging in a plastic cup of water on the fish store shelf "looks" fine; most of us would condemn this as unhealthy, and it is. Appearance is not everything.

It is only when a given species lives it normal--or longer--lifespan, spawns regularly, and exhibits all that the particular species should, that we can be fairly certain that the environment it is being maintained in is adequate. Fish are unique, unlike any other "pet" we keep, because they are in an aquatic environment which is vastly different from that for all terrestrial critters. Water chemistry is very complex; nothing occurs in air to match this complexity. And the chemistry is up to the aquarist to regulate.

I have frequently used the cardinal tetra as an example, but it is a good one. Most aquarists find this fish does not live more than a few years, perhaps 3-5 at most. During this time it appears healthy, is brightly coloured, feeds well. But this fish can easily live beyond 10 years in the right environment. This is rarely achieved in aquaria, simply because the fish is not being provided with suitable water or environment. Calcium blockage of the kidneys usually causes the early demise, caused by too hard water. Yet externally no one would know this.

Back when I began in this hobby, water changes were rarely if ever done. We now know better. More detail here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...hanges-117205/

Byron.

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; 11-19-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 02:47 PM
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Seems that I read in one of Axelrod's really old books "Tropical Aquarium Fishes" (about 1975), that a friends wife conducted an experiment. If I'm remembering the story correctly, the wife changed 10% of the water in a single fry tank (one of many guppy fry tanks) tank each day without the husband's knowledge. The report goes that fry reared in the tank with the water changes grew faster and were larger at at full growth than those in the tanks with no water change.

While that's not a "true" scientific study, I am a biologist and my professional opinion is a closed system will be less than optimal for plants or fish - for all the reasons Byron mentioned. I'm not saying you can't have a successful tank w/o water changes, but no scientific evidence is there to suggest that a closed (no water replacement) system is better than one that gets metabolic products removed via water changes. Metabolic waste products build up and it's counter-intuitive to think a closed system functions perfectly. Even the Earth isn't truly a closed system. We get solar "inputs" and losses all the time!
Regardless -> if it works for you, and you are happy, do what you like & keep with what's working!

I defer to Tom Barr though, since I'm an ecologist, not an aquatic biologist!

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.

Last edited by DKRST; 11-24-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
I agree,,using untreated tapwater in tank's holding live fish is recipe for disaster.
Lead,copper, other metal's,chloramines (wich is combo of ammonia and chlorine), chlorine, will have negative effect on fishes.

...


.
I absolutely agree 100%

Which is why I treat my tanks with thriving plants.



still just my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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