Doing some reading in regards to planted tanks...now i got a question (another one)
I have read that with planted tanks you do not have to do water changes, more just top the water off...is this true?
Here is the article:
How to Setup a Low-tech Planted Tank: A Guide for Planted Aquariums
In my opinion, (and others will surely argue even my exceptions), a planted aquarium can thrive without many water changes if it has a massive colony of anaerobic bacteria (such as with a well established and stable deep sand bed or a soil (ie, topsoil or dirt) sublayer...
Anaerobic bacteria brings its own risks though, and the "break-in" period for such a substrate can be risky, and isn't for the feint of heart.
I use soil, and my tanks rarely get a water change... But I've also had two different tanks fail during the break-in, which killed most of the livestock.
What's the benefit? Higher CO2 and no need for fertilisers...
Is it worth the risk?
Its up to the aquarist to decide...
Haha, I think he said you have to decide for yourself ;)
Yes, it is possible, but as he says it carries big risks too.
The take away I believe is, it isn't for the beginner and not something to try for your first time.
I still do at least 30% water changes on my fairly heavily planted 75 gallon weekly. I just don't siphon the gravel around plant roots.
It really depends on how stocked your tank is.
But clean water is always the best way to go IMO so will not stop changing the volume that I do.
Got another question, if it is a dual light fixture, am i able to just use I bulb and leave the other light portion empty
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A lot of the "don't do water changes" philosophy is from a time period in fishkeeping before fertilisers were available. If you like or can afford fertilisers/regular maintenance, then it's the best course for you.
I'm unemployed and quite lazy. I like being cautious and using soil because I think its more "natural". I also keep minnows, livebearers, cories and gourami. When I set up my discus and stingray tank, it will be fertilised, overfiltered, and have piping installed for automatic daily waterchanges...
Its all a risk vs. benefit argument.
As for the lights, its better for the fixture and the tank to run both lights and use floating plants.
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I edited the above post while you were posting.
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