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Planted tanks failing!!!!

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Planted tanks failing!!!!
Old 12-17-2009, 01:43 PM   #21
 
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I recently posted data on stats showing that a major pwc once a week is more effective at eliminating pollution that smaller changes twice a week. There is a good set of articles on this in the November and December 2009 issues of TFH if you're interested in the data numbers. But my recommendation is to do a major (50%+) pwc once a week regularly. I have been doing this for 15 years, although I was not aware of the benefits until I read the afore-mentioned articles. And it is usually easier for most of us to stick to a once a week schedule--and it is important to stick to it, whatever you decide.

By "cleaning" all this is necessary is the pwc with a vacuuming of the gravel where you can get to it (without uprooting plants, etc). Filter rinsing is needed when it becomes necessary; the water has to be able to pass through the media an dpads easily without circumventing them. Scraping algae off the glass may be necessary; I use one of those sponge scrapers every week even if I can't see algae, because if I don't usually before the following week I find a couple of spots where it is starting.

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Old 12-17-2009, 04:00 PM   #22
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I recently posted data on stats showing that a major pwc once a week is more effective at eliminating pollution that smaller changes twice a week. There is a good set of articles on this in the November and December 2009 issues of TFH if you're interested in the data numbers. But my recommendation is to do a major (50%+) pwc once a week regularly. I have been doing this for 15 years, although I was not aware of the benefits until I read the afore-mentioned articles. And it is usually easier for most of us to stick to a once a week schedule--and it is important to stick to it, whatever you decide.

By "cleaning" all this is necessary is the pwc with a vacuuming of the gravel where you can get to it (without uprooting plants, etc). Filter rinsing is needed when it becomes necessary; the water has to be able to pass through the media an dpads easily without circumventing them. Scraping algae off the glass may be necessary; I use one of those sponge scrapers every week even if I can't see algae, because if I don't usually before the following week I find a couple of spots where it is starting.

Byron.
wow 50%? wow thats alot! i will see how that works :) thanks again for all the help.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #23
 
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I pers never done 50% unless either my Nitrite went up on newly set up tanks, or the tank has been neglected for long and had a lot of debris. You will develop a "feel" for this over time too. If you vacum and you have a TON come up or nothing at all you'll know what to do. Also the amount of w/c is kinda driven by the fish in the tank, some leave more waste behind then other
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:21 PM   #24
 
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Angel's last sentence is quite true, as explained below. I found my last post on this, so here it is copied over, with a few additional points.

The first thing to remember is that in nature fish are continually in "fresh" water. The water is being turned over (as in ponds and lakes) or constantly flowing past (as in streams and rivers) and the percentage of fish mass to water is considerably less than in any aquarium. No fish is forced to live in the same water, so right from the start our aquarium is at a disadvantage for the fish.

The only reason to do a pwc in a planted aquarium is to rid the tank of toxins that build up and cannot be effectively removed any other way. These toxins are urine and solid waste from the fish, and they are significant; a small tetra can produce its body weight in urine within 3-4 days. No filter will remove this, period. Plants can, but it is a slow process and only effective if the fish load is very minimal and there are many plants. One author used the example of 6 or 7 neon tetras in a 55g tank that was heavily planted as being the upper limit. Most of us have far more fish in our tanks that this, so we need to do the pwc to remove the pollution. If a well-planted aquarium has a small fish load, fewer pwc's will be needed; Diana Walstad writes of doing one every few months, and that works if the fish load is not beyond the capacity of the plants and biological system. Again, most of us have more fish than the system can support without our assistance via the weekly pwc. In non-planted tanks, the pwc also dilutes/removes nitrates, but this is irrelevant in a healthy planted tank because the plants consume the ammonium, and nitrates are therefore minimal.

It is frequently said that the pwc should be more frequent with less water in order to sustain stability in the water quality. In a planted aquarium the plants are doing the major filtration and the water is, as I've indicated above, going to be stable if everything is working the way it should. So that leaves us with the pollution (toxins). The more water changed, the more pollution is removed, plain and simple.

In the November issue (2009) of TFH there is a good article on this. The author ran tests and explains why changing more water is preferable to changing less water. Pollution accumulates daily (the waste from the fish is steady) and every day an equal amount of waste is added. In other words, the toxins are increasing far more as each day goes by, so each day there is a high percentage of pollution in the aquarium. Changing 50% once a week is cutting the pollution in half, with the result that day by day the pollution will gradually increase toward the end of the week; in other words, the fish are only going to be subjected to very high levels of pollution at the end of the week just before the 50% water change, so during the previous days they are exposed to slightly less pollution that they are with a twice-weekly 25% water change. Of course, changing 50% or more each day would be ideal. But most hobbyists can find it easier to maintain a regular weekly schedule rather than a daily one.

Coming back to the water stability issue: there is no logic in maintaining more stable pollution in a tank. No one could logically dispute that reducing pollution is a benefit and the more the better. At the same time, a significant weekly water change will actually work to maintain more stability long term in the water parameters.

To sum up, a weekly pwc is the minimum in an aquarium, and changing 50% will be healthier for the fish.

Byron.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:34 PM   #25
 
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wow thanks a bunch again. im gonna start this new stuff now! just gotta get some more excel. im about to aquascape the tank now. im taking out some of the water wister inthe middle of the tank cause it kinda doest look good there and get some plastic driftwood and putting my jave moss on it. water wister onthe sides and some mmoneywort. hopefully i can get some pics
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:38 PM   #26
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Plants can, but it is a slow process and only effective if the fish load is very minimal and there are many plants..... If a well-planted aquarium has a small fish load, fewer pwc's will be needed
Good pointer there!
I'd like to add an experience along these lines... After the first 2 community tanks I started setting up individual tank's 20g in size. This was mainly started for a group of 8 Killi because of their needs, I later on continued this however with several different species of fish to MAX have 2 in one 20g tank, e.g. 8 Killi 6 Cory per 20g or 8 African Dwarf Frogs on 20g etc and also always tried to aim for fully planted tanks that only left a little "feeding corner" free.
Thou the tank's capacity was much smaller then the community tanks and over time about 99% of the tanks only had sponge filters with small air pumps - These tank set up's ALWAYS seemed to work for much better not only on the fish behavior but also as far as stability within the tank and the waste in comparison tot he plant/ tank size was so minimal that a pwc every 2nd was def enough.

Sometimes less is more that's why you'll always hear me recommend less fish & more plants lol
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:54 PM   #27
 
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i guess well see trial and error :)
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