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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was wondering, sense most people say change your water ever week or so in a 29 gallon tank. Could I run a hose from my spring water, which is 6ph not hard water, no chemicals, and let it drip in say a gallon a day. Then have another hose draining it a gallon a day. Would this be healthy for the fish, considering most live in a high water exchange rate place naturally. I understand i would need a nice heater, to keep the water at 75 80, sense my water comes out at like 40 degrees f. Would this be a good idea though, instead of changing my water every 7 days. There has gotta be a way to make a tank a self contained bio sphere with no out side help, once it set up . Btw my tank is 29 gallons, i plan on putting mollys, and bettas in it when its done cycling. Thank you very much for reading and any help you could offer. Also its not really the work or tie involved in changing the water im trying to avoid, its my concern about spreading fish tb around, considering i have kids. And ive read a case where i child got it from coming in contact with the water. So the least amount of contact with the water is what im looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, the betta and mollies arent set in stone. I know bettas dont like moving water, so i might just get rid of them, 90 percent sure i will. So i would be getting some fish that liked fast moving water. Sense my tank is already bad for them, because i have a power head, and 2 blubbers, which i want to keep.
 

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I don't see a problem with that, as long as you keep in mind that your heater might kick in more often with the daily changes..
 

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Sure, it's been done....often using drip irrigation emitters and an overflow:

Here's a simple overflow design:

Drip...drip...drip like a leaky faucet. The heater will work more and you may need additional wattage - I use two heaters in my tank, each capable of maintaining tank temp (and I do manual water changes).
 

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+1

basically you're doing an open system which means you tank will be more dependant on the input water quality as opposed to whatever is happening in the tank.

I do closed systems where the tank processes are controlling.
 

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What about siphoning the gravel/sand, though? You'd have a lot of fish poo/uneaten food build up in there, that could cause a problem even with the constant water change IMO.
 

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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D

A continual flow of water in and out of the tank, 24/7, would be fine, provided the incoming water remains stable with respect to its parameters. You would want to exchange more than a gallon a day, and I personally would not go down this road. There is also the substrate issue mentioned in the last post.

Turning to another issue though, I would not have the common molly in soft water; these fish must have medium hard or harder water. And a basic, not acidic, pH (above 7). Your water sounds ideal for Betta splendens (though this is not a community fish). A 29g with soft water could house many softy water fish.

We have fish profiles, second heading from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Water parameters are included for each species, so you might want to browse the profiles for some ideas. You can click the shaded names of fish to see that profile.

Byron.
 

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Actually Byron, I dunno - there would seem to be merit in the continuous flow method as assuming good quality source water, it would constantly and ever so slowly refresh the water, rather than say the weekly 50% water change.
Although it may not be practical for small aquariums (e.g. proper supply line, overflow and drain) it does more closely represent freshwater in nature that is most often infused constantly rather than once weekly. I can see the greatest value in very large aquariums and it plays to the desire to automate a routine task.

I think there is less substrate concern if sand is used instead of gravel, even if a layer of mulm exists to decompose and feed the plants. Besides, there's nothing that says this can't also be siphoned off at some point.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually Byron, I dunno - there would seem to be merit in the continuous flow method as assuming good quality source water, it would constantly and ever so slowly refresh the water, rather than say the weekly 50% water change.
Although it may not be practical for small aquariums (e.g. proper supply line, overflow and drain) it does more closely represent freshwater in nature that is most often infused constantly rather than once weekly. I can see the greatest value in very large aquariums and it plays to the desire to automate a routine task.

I think there is less substrate concern if sand is used instead of gravel, even if a layer of mulm exists to decompose and feed the plants. Besides, there's nothing that says this can't also be siphoned off at some point.
Thank you so much for everything, that helped a lot. I think im going to do it. I changed from the mollies like and bettas which was suggested. I want to get river fish. But first thing is to cycle the tank, which i am just on the 5th day, with ammonia at 2ppm. Hopefully when i hook the over flow system up it doesnt slow it down, but im not in a hurry so. Thanks again for everything
 

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For 29 gal, I might consider Swordtail's,White cloud mountain minnow's, Small danio's,Hillstream loaches.
These fish would appreciate moderate to strong flow,but as Byron has noted,,don't really appreciate soft water.(with exception of loaches)
You could add buffer to increase the hardness, but it may not be needed if you have access to other water besides the spring.?
 

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FWIW

If you change out 1% ofthe water each day, Water paremeters will be constant assuming the input water never changes and the tank never changes as well.

And that constant value will equal the value before any water change that is 1%/day. Like 10% every 10 days, 20% every 20 days and so on. What will change is tha values after the water changes.


In my tanks is just get the tank changes so low any water change is not necessary.

But that just my .02
 

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FWIW

If you change out 1% ofthe water each day, Water paremeters will be constant assuming the input water never changes and the tank never changes as well.

And that constant value will equal the value before any water change that is 1%/day. Like 10% every 10 days, 20% every 20 days and so on. What will change is tha values after the water changes.


In my tanks is just get the tank changes so low any water change is not necessary.

But that just my .02

Your math does not work in tank's where fish food's and fish waste are collecting,increasingly each day.
 

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Your math does not work in tank's where fish food's and fish waste are collecting,increasingly each day.
Say the fish waste resulted in an increase of 1ppm per day of nitrates (the most pervasive measurable toxin, but it could be anything and it certainly isn't the only thing) and you were flowing 1 gallon per day continuously that would be about equivalent to a 3.4% daily water change.

The nitrate buildup would reach an equilibrium level of 29ppm in 14 weeks. So either you want to up the changing or have a lower production of nitrate. Lots of live plants will do that as they allow most of the ammonia to bypass the whole nitrification process.

Increasing it to 10% reduces the maximum level to 10ppm and 4 weeks to equilibrium.

I considered doing something similar but the tank ended up being located where I couldn't easily feed and drain the water.

Two heaters would be best in this setup, although two in colder environments should be used anyway. I had a recent experience with one heater not providing enough heat for the ambient temperature in the room and a drop in water temp that resulted... other factors were involved but two heaters would have worked better. You are feeding cold water regularly.

Jeff.
 

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Your math does not work in tank's where fish food's and fish waste are collecting,increasingly each day.
You analysis is lacking. :lol:

What you are not considering is the water change removes those increases.

what happens the tank will increase until the build up is great enough the water change removes the build up between water changes. At that point a "steady state" or balance is achieved.

and that is what you are not considering.


I think.



my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For 29 gal, I might consider Swordtail's,White cloud mountain minnow's, Small danio's,Hillstream loaches.
These fish would appreciate moderate to strong flow,but as Byron has noted,,don't really appreciate soft water.(with exception of loaches)
You could add buffer to increase the hardness, but it may not be needed if you have access to other water besides the spring.?
I have lots of rivers,streams, and ponds around me if that is what you mean. I live in the woods in upstate ny.
 

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I have lots of rivers,streams, and ponds around me if that is what you mean. I live in the woods in upstate ny.
I meant if your source water is soft acidic,then soft water species would fair better than those who thrive in hard alkaline water such as the livebearer's. (molly's,guppies,swordtail's,platy's)
Alway's easier to keep fishes that thrive in the water you can most easily re-produce (tapwater).
So if you have soft water,,, fishes that like hard water or vice versa are often NFL (not for long).
 

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Say the fish waste resulted in an increase of 1ppm per day of nitrates (the most pervasive measurable toxin, but it could be anything and it certainly isn't the only thing) and you were flowing 1 gallon per day continuously that would be about equivalent to a 3.4% daily water change.

The nitrate buildup would reach an equilibrium level of 29ppm in 14 weeks. So either you want to up the changing or have a lower production of nitrate. Lots of live plants will do that as they allow most of the ammonia to bypass the whole nitrification process.

Increasing it to 10% reduces the maximum level to 10ppm and 4 weeks to equilibrium.

I considered doing something similar but the tank ended up being located where I couldn't easily feed and drain the water.

Two heaters would be best in this setup, although two in colder environments should be used anyway. I had a recent experience with one heater not providing enough heat for the ambient temperature in the room and a drop in water temp that resulted... other factors were involved but two heaters would have worked better. You are feeding cold water regularly.

Jeff.
I think I see where you are coming from.
Might google... Richard Taylor White paper "Water changing and Nitrate"
Was discussed on another forum ,don't know if paper is still available.
It did discuss continuous flow system's and amount' of exchange needed to achieve desired PPM reading's for nitrates.20ppm = approx 3.5 gal per day or thereabout's.
For me,,, it's easy to hook up pump with hose attached and draw 50% of water from the tank.
Takes about 20 min max,much shorter time than it would take for me to do the math required to achieve the same result's.:oops:
My tank's fluctuate with varying fish loads, and food's, so is easier to just change 50% once a week.
Has worked well for a few decade's.(am old and set in way's)
Continuous flow is appealing to me and plan's to once again raise some Juvenile Discus, where frequent feeding's and subsequent water changes are needed to maintain water quality while I am away at work,but I will prolly wait till spring when weather is nicer for shipping fish.
 

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On the issue of fish and water. We should first get the number for the GH of the well water. The pH was previously given as 6 which would tend to suggest soft to very soft, but not always.

One must remember that fish have evolved to suit very specific water, and as 1077 wisely said, selecting fish suited to your water is always going to be safer and easier. It means no fuss with additives to adjust this or that [which carry problems of their own, aside from cost] and any sort of continual flow will have to take this into account.

Second consideration is water flow, as from the filter. Not all fish can manage in this or that, so they need to be compatible on this aspect. And temperature; fish requiring cool temperatures have been mentioned with fish requiring warmer temperatures, and that can't work.

Tank space is another consideration; a 29g is more suited to sedate fish rather than active swimmers, and as these two categories don't get along anyway, this is an important aspect.

Byron.
 
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