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dedim 08-07-2009 06:52 AM

A Newby Here after an Earthquake Please Help
 
Hi,
My Name is Dedi and I have 2 tanks the first at home 70 Liter. The second is in the office 35 liters.
i was introduced to this hobby by a friend from and fell in love with the theory and the science behind this hobby and got sucked in.
i have been learning a lot from a known and active forum in my country.
Today I felt like the guy that found out the world is actually is round and this is why I am here - I need an objective opinion:
I was under the impression that I need to change the water every week about 15-25% which I did.
The tank at home had weird death several times and I tried several things to find out what happened.
Today I went to a store near my home. The owner has been in this business for the last 40 years I chatted with him about the death in my tank and in the end I said I change my water every week- surprisingly he said this is why your fishes die. Don't change water.
I felt like the sky was falling as I was under the impression I was following the text book liter lay in the issue.
He was nice and took me in the store showing me tanks that hasn't had a water change more than 12- 14 -16 years etc.
He said he isn't popular in the forum I use but mange a forum in a known site here.
So I decided to do what you usually do when you hear different opinions from people you consider experts - get an objective opinion...
So after this long introduction I would like to understand are there two ways to look at it can you really not change water for so long - he obviously didn't.
Thank you in advance
Dedi :-?

aunt kymmie 08-07-2009 10:09 AM

Hi Dedi, welcome to the forum. One thing (in addition to many others) that I love about this forum is that you meet people from all over the world! I'm going to venture to say that most people from all over the world who are very successful at fishkeeping do water changes, weekly. I myself, do 40% changes weekly.

He's been in the business 40 years and has tanks that he hasn't done water changes on in 12, 14 or 16 years? I wish I was over there and could see those tanks. I think there's a reason he isn't popular on the forum...his advice is not sound, IMHO.

I think your mysterious deaths are due to something other than your water changes. Can you share more info on your tank set ups, ie: how long have they been set up, specific water parameters, fish you are keeping, which fish died, etc.?

I do not recommend following his advice and look to another reason for why you've lost some of your fish.

Again, welcome to the forum! :-)

dedim 08-07-2009 11:06 AM

Hi,

Add to that he had fish pools there he took a sip from one with a water fall (12 years old) one that he claims not to change the water in ever.
Ok the details are as follows:
Jebo 70 liter (18.492G) upper filter biological medias and perlon thermostat on 26 C (78.8F) and a the temperature is 28 (82.4F) (it's hot in the summer)
Currently I have 6 Danio (Zebra Danio) 2 Pearl Gourami and one cardinal (Cardinal Tetra)
I recently changed the perlon and yesterday I washed it.
I was led to believe that rocks from the beach caused the problems so I bought new ones and later on changed the perlon.
But in general can it be that you can leave a tank that long without water change he does know his way around fish because as the saying goes the proof is in the pudding...
Like I said this is very confusing for me.
if i used a translated term that isn't clear please do let me know i work with english for a living but the profesional terms here might be a problem..
Thank You
Dedi

borneosucker 08-07-2009 11:44 AM

Sorry Aunt Kymmie, I don't mean to offend you or anyone here in the forum, but this is my honest opinion/experience...

Back in my olden days when I first started keeping discus, I even go crazy than you guys here who do water change weekly, I do at least 40-50% daily....lol! Everyday, after school, in the evening, I will cary pail by pail for all the tanks I do water change. Even my grow out tanks I do water change daily...it was crazy back then when I recalled bout my discus experience after reading this post by Dedi....

But today, I'm one of those who rarely do water changes, unless necessary. Aunt Kymmie, if you remember my moss wall tank, I recalled I did once or twice water change, when my whole tank smell alcohol due to the DIY CO2....lol, my CO2 was not properly setup that time which cause all my fish to become drunk....but there's no more water change since that day (about 2-3 months ago), till now.....all I do is just top up the evaporated water. It's not that I'm against water change, maybe it's more of what I want to acheive with the tank, I want the plants to do the job in the tank, something like a whole ecology by itself.

But whenever I do water change, my garden plants will be happy....that's where I will discharge my tank water.

Anyway here's my advise to Dedi and all newbies, fish keeping knowledge is never ending, not every knowledge suits everyone, and different knowledge applies to different fishes, what works for me, might not actually works for you, it can be due to many factors. However there's always a general knowledge/rules that can be followed. probably that lfs guy might discover his own technique considering his 40 years experience in the biz...

Again, my thousand apologies, I'm sorry if what I stated here offended anybody anyhow.....I just want to share thats all.

Cheers :)
Borneosucker

P.S. Is applying Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) into my hobby :)

Byron 08-07-2009 01:00 PM

Partial water changes (pwc) is a topic on which there will always be different opinions, and for good reason. Different things can sometimes work under different circumstances, so permit me to comment a bit.

Several things affect when, or if, a pwc is needed. Fish size and number, type of fish, plants, water parameters, and size of tank. I have known aquarists personally who say they never do a pwc. But they have larger tanks (I'm thinking 55g and more), few fish in them (maybe 20-25 smallish fish [tetras, rasbora, corys...] in a 50g) and thick with plants. As borneosucker correctly pointed out, plants are the best filters in an aquarium, no question. Dr. Ted Colletti made this point in a recent article on filtration in TFH. However, there are some serious considerations with this approach, and it is not for everyone, especially first time aquarists who are likely to overstock with fish, have the wrong type of fish (fish that are not compatible and constantly stressed out as a result) and poor luck (probably) with keeping plants growing. If the plants fail to grow in such a setup, it spells disaster for the fish.

In nature fish do not live in a closed system such as an aquarium. Water in rivers, streams and creeks is constantly moving past the fish. In a lake, there are thermal currents that keep water in motion and no where near the ratio of fish to water volume that we have in even the largest home aquarium. And most lakes have water flowing through them. The point in all this is that fish are never forced to live in the same water. The only exception are the roadside ditches and pools in South America and the swamps of SE Asia; but the fish population has adapted: there are catfish that can breathe air and even "walk" to another source of water, the anabantoids can breathe air, or in some cases the fish largely die off but enough manage to survive until the rains come and they spawn.

Fish excrete urine and solid waste into the water. Biological processes in nature and in the aquarium convert the solid to liquid, but they cannot remove the liquid as fast as fish produce waste. Only changing the water can do this. Fish in a closed system that receives no pwc are literally swimming around in a mix of urine and liquid excrement. A very small stocking of fish in a thickly planted aquarium can manage for quite some time because the plants are capable of slowly converting the waste, and bacteria handles the ammonia and nitrite. But for the average home aquarist, such a setup would result in continually dying fish.

While such a setup may appear to be "healthy", just how healthy is it in reality? Unless you are a fish and can try it out, I suspect this is a question we cannot answer with certainty. A black lab dog can "exist" in a small cage in the back yard for many years; but is it healthy? Or happy? Managing to exist under poor conditions is a very different thing from living.

There is no substitute for a weekly partial water change. There are products on the market, both filters and chemicals additives to the water, that claim to reduce the need for regular pwc. Forget it. The prime concern is the health of the fish we keep, and the risk of experimenting with such things is not responsible. If an aquarist has "no time" to do a pwc every week [I hear this often from other customers as I stand browsing the tanks in local fish stores and they are asking the staff what to do to stop their fish from dying or getting disease] then he/she obviously has no time to be keeping fish.

The best advice for new aquarists is a weekly pwc. There are numerous posts on this forum from beginning aquarists with sick and dying fish; I responded to 3 or 4 of these this morning. Many of these failures could and should be avoidable simply by doing a pwc every week. Next to feeding the fish, the pwc is the most important thing an aquarist can do to maintain a tank of healthy--and happy--fish.

dedim 08-07-2009 01:37 PM

Hi,
I came here to get a second opinion - thank you
I was tutored to do weekly water change and do it with both my tanks.
I completely agree with what you are saying Byron although talking to the guy today made me confuse that it's logical because he does have his expertise.
So if I sum it up it sounds like there are two schools here on this subject and it felt weird to learn it I guess.
I too was under the belief that without water change - "Biological processes in nature and in the aquarium convert the solid to liquid, but they cannot remove the liquid as fast as fish produce waste." and I understand this concept better now.
But just for the sake of argument if the tank isn't over populated the filter and the plants should do the work like in nature? Does that make sense?
I am sorry if I caused a dispute here as I was rather doing it on a natural ground to hear other people opinions.
Thank you
Dedi

Byron 08-07-2009 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dedim (Post 224114)
Hi,
I came here to get a second opinion - thank you
I was tutored to do weekly water change and do it with both my tanks.
I completely agree with what you are saying Byron although talking to the guy today made me confuse that it's logical because he does have his expertise.
So if I sum it up it sounds like there are two schools here on this subject and it felt weird to learn it I guess.
I too was under the belief that without water change - "Biological processes in nature and in the aquarium convert the solid to liquid, but they cannot remove the liquid as fast as fish produce waste." and I understand this concept better now.
But just for the sake of argument if the tank isn't over populated the filter and the plants should do the work like in nature? Does that make sense?
I am sorry if I caused a dispute here as I was rather doing it on a natural ground to hear other people opinions.
Thank you
Dedi

No need for an apology, we have different opinions and we are here to share those opinions and each of us can learn from others. None of us knows all the answers, not by any stretch of the imagination.

The "success" of those with tanks having few fish, plants, no filters (forgot to mention that before, but this is also often a component) and no or few pwc is certainly there, but as I pointed out, just what is this "success"? Are the fish really healthy? I don't think we know for sure, so to ensure we provide the best care we can, we do what 95% of aquarists recommend, a weekly pwc. I prefer being safe to risking the health of my fish.

dedim 08-07-2009 03:43 PM

I couldn't agree more

SubAtomicScope 08-08-2009 12:24 AM

I was just reading your posts on the water change topic and was wondering...this expert that has never changed water in 12- 14 -16 years, has he Never had and type of disease or parasite infection in his tanks that required a water change after treatment? If not he is a VERY lucky man, I wish I had that luck...as i said, just my 2 cents worth...:-P

borneosucker 08-08-2009 10:43 PM

I suspect the guy that don't do water change for 12- 14 -16 years, probably is using some kind of Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS or ARS). I've personally seen an ornamental trader in Singapore using RAS in their facility, all the water if fully recycled, and they are one of the major exporter of ornamental fish worldwide :)

In RAS system, you can almost control disease infection and the spreading of disease (if any) from 1 tank to another. Do a search on RAS, you could understand more about it.....cheers :D


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