My 75g no water change tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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My 75g no water change tank

I want to start by thanking everyone in this forum. Without your knowledge, I would never have a tank like this.

I can go in to more detail on what type of fish/plants I have and my fert regimen, but for now I'd like your thoughts on how much 75g low tech tanks looks. FYI, I've NEVER done a water change and my ammonia, nitrites, nitrites, and TDS are all within safe parameters.
Edit: Apparently I don't have "permission" to add pictures?
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Last edited by Tbonedawg08; 10-09-2016 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Can't post pics?
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post #2 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonedawg08 View Post
I want to start by thanking everyone in this forum. Without your knowledge, I would never have a tank like this.

I can go in to more detail on what type of fish/plants I have and my fert regimen, but for now I'd like your thoughts on how much 75g low tech tanks looks. FYI, I've NEVER done a water change and my ammonia, nitrites, nitrites, and TDS are all within safe parameters.
Edit: Apparently I don't have "permission" to add pictures?
The Tapatalk app makes posting pics very easy if you are using your phone. Hope that helps.

You don't want to do water changes at all? What are you using for a substrate? Water changes aren't always about removing nitrate but to reduce dissolved organics or adding minerals back into the water depending on your tanks needs.
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post #3 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip!


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post #4 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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As far as TDS, it's been consistently at 375-390 for a couple months. I started this tank maybe around 9 months ago?
I only top off with distilled water to keep that down, but I also add ferts 3x/month to replenish nutrients

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post #5 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and sorry, my substrate is Miracle Grow Organic capped with blasting compound

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post #6 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 06:26 PM
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Looks great man

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post #7 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'm surprised no one else is surprised by my lack of water changes. FYI, I remove around 2 cups every week to water my plants and top off with a gallon of distilled water. 3x/month I add a small amount of dry ferts and I use 6ml of metricide daily.
So far i can't find any reason not to continue what I'm doing, but I may do a 25% change soon just because

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post #8 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 05:44 PM
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Diana Walstad feels/felt that water changes removed nutrients the plants could otherwise use. She also felt flow was important but filtration should be kept to a minimum.
Now she wasn't using any chemical ferts, making it a true biotope. However, I think in order for this to work, a fine balance of bio-load to plant mass is required. That is to say there needs to be enough fish food, fish and plant waste to support the plants...but not so much bio-load as to overload what the plants could handle (as excess organic nutrients often encourages algae). I think Walstad had a fairly large plant mass and a fairly low bio-load.

I think there's perhaps another important factor in the equation. Lower quality fish foods with grains and fishmeal result in more fish waste...and subsequently more 'fertilizer' for plants. Higher quality foods (made with fresh whole fish) result in less waste and subsequently less fertilizer. This could mean more stock or more feeding may be required for balance.

I tend to think that modest water changes along with modest ferts will handle a much wider range of bio-load and create the purest possible water for fish. I see the modest water change much like occasional rain, replenishing some minerals and replacing stale water with fresh. And since the water change is very modest in volume and/or frequency, fewer chemical ferts (if any at all) are necessary.

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post #9 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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My bioload seems to be pretty high from what I can tell, but I would also consider my tank to be "heavily planted". I'm considering fertilizing only every two weeks instead, but I don't have any algae of any kind and haven't really since day one. Maybe I'm lucky, but I like to think the plants are the main reason. I also have probably 50 or more RCS and God knows how many snails. I even have an Amano Shrimp in there.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my tank and I hope people use it as an example how to have a no-water-change tank that actually works.

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post #10 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonedawg08 View Post
My bioload seems to be pretty high from what I can tell, but I would also consider my tank to be "heavily planted". I'm considering fertilizing only every two weeks instead, but I don't have any algae of any kind and haven't really since day one. Maybe I'm lucky, but I like to think the plants are the main reason. I also have probably 50 or more RCS and God knows how many snails. I even have an Amano Shrimp in there.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my tank and I hope people use it as an example how to have a no-water-change tank that actually works.
I also have a team of snails, including Malaysian Trumpet Snails that burrow in the sand.
It sounds like you must be in good balance. If I was you I might still fertilize every week, just half as much. After a few weeks, if plants are still doing well, I might try even less. The tricky part is ensuring that the plants (and fish) continue to have the necessary trace elements as these can be depleted.
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post #11 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:31 PM
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Your TDS will continue climb if you don't do a water change.
Your fish will enjoy a water change.


Last edited by mistergreen; 10-10-2016 at 07:28 PM. Reason: +
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post #12 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Is there any way to know if that is in balance or not? What are the symptoms if I'm running low?

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post #13 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonedawg08 View Post
I'm surprised no one else is surprised by my lack of water changes. FYI, I remove around 2 cups every week to water my plants and top off with a gallon of distilled water. 3x/month I add a small amount of dry ferts and I use 6ml of metricide daily.
So far i can't find any reason not to continue what I'm doing, but I may do a 25% change soon just because

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I think water changes are overrated. As long as there is a balance in the tank, you don't need to do water changes. I haven't changed mine in months, people havent changed it in years. I heard of people never changing it.
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post #14 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:47 PM
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There's not a lot of things you have to do. It's more a matter of what your goals are and how much limitation your willing to accept.
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post #15 of 328 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 07:52 PM
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Your TDS will continue climb if you don't do a water change.
Your fish will enjoy a water change.
He's topping off with distilled water, and plants do (slowly) decrease TDS as they consume some of those trace elements. If it's in balance, he should be fine.

As for fish enjoying water changes, it makes sense to my brain, but I've never had the fish tell me so
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