replacing water changes?
I have to ask... is there some type of mineral content involved that this is ok to reduce the need for water changes? Anything meant to help filter the water can be wonderful, especially when it comes to nitrate levels, but there are things in the water, minerals... that your fish need. When water has been in a tank for any length of time animals and plants will use these minerals in the water to function... to survive. If water changes are decreased because a product or piece of equip is used to help remove wastes... then these minerals get used up and without a water change there is no way to replenish them... thus fish and plants all get sick and suffer while the customer thinks they're doing something good.
Thank you for bringing this up.
This is definitely a huge myth and unfortunately a frequent misunderstanding. It's too bad that so many people who go around masquerading as experts insist upon propagating it. It is true that plants, corals and other animals require trace elements to survive however the key word is TRACE. EXTREMELY small quantities are necessary. In FW planted systems all of the trace elements ever needed are typically provided in any good fertilizer supplement and even that isn't needed much if you have really good soil in place. For the fish themselves, any good food will provide any trace elements needed.
In saltwater systems there are many different kinds of supplements on the market which all do a great job of keeping trace elements plentiful for coral and live rock. I personally like the two part system such as B-ionic. Again, for the fish themselves, any good food will provide any trace elements needed. If you eat a healthy and balanced diet, do you need trace elements in your water??? The answer is no despite what the makers of Gatorade would have you believe.
The Aquaripure does not remove ANY trace elements from the tank. I definitely advocate doing a water change every few months for the express purpose of keeping trace elements in balance. If nitrates are not a problem this is more than enough in any tank to keep trace elements in balance. In a planted tank or reef tank you would want to use supplements just as any other person would.
One thing is certain ... a person can very safely be dramatically cut back on water changes when nitrates are removed ... and water quality will still be far superior to what it was before. Again, individual experiences will vary but this is fairly typical. Some customers may need to change water more often than others.
Please read http://www.aquaripure.com/nitrates.htm for a more thorough and advanced discussion of this topic.
I do not claim to be a an expert here, but common sense tells me that when a tank is "topped off", you would also be adding "trace elements" to some degree. In my case, I do add some buffering agents to maintain certain conditions. Ex., Blackwater Extract, Cichlid Vital, et al. I do not like adding carbonates or other such items to the chemistry of the tank. Please correct me if I am wrong.
I know that when relying on denitrifying bacteria to work naturally in saltwater certain water conditions/params must be met to support the bacteria growth... does your product require anything specific to keep the bacteria growing and at a plentiful enough rate to keep working?
One other point I'd like to make and then I'll shut up about it for a while <wink>. In that link you sent me to, I read the entire thing, and it states in there to do a water change to relieve phosphate levels... shouldn't you be pointing out that someone first needs to test their source water for phosphates before considering the idea that a water change will relieve these levels? I'm not sure where you're from, but around here the tap water used in most fresh water tanks is full of phosphates, among other things.
Please don't view me as attacking you, your product, or your concept... that is not what I'm trying to do. I am simply running you through the same routine I do with any company rep comes to me and asks me to promote or sell their product... I tell them all the same thing... "you have the same chance as anyone else, so convince me..." I ask a lot of questions because there are a lot of products out there claiming to do something, when in fact they can cause more harm than good. Tetra has a product out called Easy Balance, also said to relieve the need for water changes. Their product, however, simply binds waste levels... it doesn't remove it, break it down, etc. My arguements with the reps at that company were endless, finally ending with my statement, "when you can prove a product that means I no longer have to flush my toilet, then we'll talk again". Unfortunately, the owner stocked that product, and against our advice in the fish room, many used it and did as the bottle directed. Those same people came back weeks and months later with such huge issues caused by lack of water changes that even though the owner put it on our shelves, the entire staff discouraged people from using it. I am skeptical of anything that claims to do such wonders... so for you I guess I'm simply saying the same thing I tell the others... it sounds great, now convince me!
Ha ha ... No I don't have a "data sheet." Listen, I am a small company and can't afford to do detailed scientific analysis. What I do have is 6 years of real world experience and customer feedback.
I just got this e-mail today and thought I would share it.
"I purchased my denitrator about 6 months ago and you have made a believer out of me, it really works... I have recommended your system to a lot of people it really works thanks."
I started doing this 6 years ago by making a rudimentary denitrator very similar to the "coil" type denitrators sold and found elsewhere. Well, it sorta, kinda worked. Just enough to convince me that there was potential with it. I immediately began to tweak the design and come up with improvements. In a year I began selling the first designs which by my current standards were pretty bad, lol. I continually have tried to improve the product and constantly use customer feedback to do so. I also do a little Aquarium maintenance so I can use my product in many different types of set ups. The current product is quite robust, works well in a wide variety of conditions, and very safe when used as directed.
I do not claim this is some miracle product. You have to read and follow the directions and you still have to check water parameters and do some water changes. But I have scores of e-mails from customers thanking me for making my product and telling me how much it has helped them and how it saves them time and money. Many of them have used my product for years now. That's all the data I need.
This isn't some type of brand new idea but it is a different way of thinking than a lot of people are used to. There will always be skeptics and naysayers of any new technology. I've already written and posted about this though so please review my other posts as well.
response to herefishy's comment
Yes, whenever you top off you would be adding some trace elements to some extent ... it may vary depending upon local water chemistry.
I personally like using sodium bicarbonate (alongside calcium carbonate in SW tanks) as a buffering agent. I find it works great and it's dirt cheap. Of course there are a lot of other products out there as well.
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