|02-23-2013 08:54 PM|
That is really it. There is no universality in a tank that doesn't get regular water changes since it's reliant on a 'limited' setup. So you will always see people coming on here and saying I have a setup that doesn't get regular water changes and it does great. When I say limited it is either reliant on plant mass, plant grow, low light, etc. In crazydaz case it's more a fact that the tank 'balanced' after a certain amount of mass was created. But not all tanks achieve that amount of mass and/or growth. Take a high light iwagumi type setup. You will probably never have the mass to achieve 'clean water' without doing regular water changes. Some of these tanks that don't do water changes are lower light and relying on fish waste and food for ferts, again if one isn't putting NPK back in then they could suffer as well. Honestly it has a lot do with one's style as well. I don't set up a tank and say "I need more plants and/or growth with this setup otherwise I'll get algae" I set it up the way I want it to look and if it take's regular water changes, carbon, UV whatever I do that to maintain the look I want. IMO anyway the water change does have a universality to it since I haven't seen too many setups that don't benefit from it, but I have seen a lot of setups that suffer from a lack of it.
Think of a new setup, most folks go thru various phases of algae, why? In most cases it's simply the uptake isn't there so the tank get's algae from excess organics breaking down. That's why so many use carbon, massive water changes to bridge that gap until the plant mass/bio-filter is large enough. The water change allows a lot more wiggle room for most setups in terms of plant mass, growth, light, etc.
|02-23-2013 02:28 PM|
Growth rates largely determine this, without proper growth rates and oxygenation (which can be related to growth) not everyting will be broken down.. so at this point water changes are good
for most hobbyists, water changes are good. it takes a lot to be where you are
im still a water change fanatic, but im at the point where growth is the cleansing factor of my tank, and water changes are more for water clarity than anything. i like that clear water look a lot, but i negate myself, i like teawater too for my shrimps???
good experiment for you:
drain 3/4 of tank water once weekly and plot growth rates for a month, save that water and pump it back in
ow drain 3/4 of the tank water weekly and exchange with new
plot growth rates for a month and see if there is a variance, Tom has a theory that plants when exposed to fresh air act like a sponge and absorb as much co2 as they can hold. the theory has merrit especially when you notice how different plants grow on water change day, the next question is, does fresh water play a roll in that as well?
|02-23-2013 06:59 AM|
|02-23-2013 06:33 AM|
Not really, but I can see your point....I still keep an eye on how specific plants are growing and make adjustments as necessary. Algae phases can be helpful and useful in determining courses of action as well. Water changes in greater amounts are necessary for the first few weeks, but if you know what to look for and have the experience, you don't have to do the big water changes. It's not for the beginning hobbyist, BUT I wouldn't call it completely reactionary. And all tanks go through reactionary phases....the "it was fine yesterday, what happened?" phase, and so forth. Knowing your parameters can help with prediction, but they aren't fail-safes either, so I'm not entirely sure that I would call massive water changes "preventative" either. I have no issues after my tanks mature.....there's not much in the way of reactionary measures if there are no issues to begin with, right? the ultimate "prevention," in my opinion, is to have a healthy system that is not reliant upon large water changes. If you do a massive trim, then you could rationalize that you should run your dosing on the lean side or you could get algae. No need to reset the water column or break out the testing kits; just use some common sense. You can do those things, if you like....I have done well without them. But you are right, House: you do need something to gauge where the set up is at. I can use plant growing habits and such to determine where I'm at ; you prefer a different set of means. So, we are in the same boat.
Again, two ways arriving at the same result. In fact, there are countless ways in this hobby to arrive at the same end result.
|02-23-2013 05:48 AM|
|02-23-2013 04:28 AM|
|newbieplanter||Very informative thanks guys.|
|02-23-2013 04:19 AM|
i dont measure, or test, but i do change lots of water weekly. plants grow faster with them as well
dont doubt the power water changes
|02-23-2013 03:36 AM|
Thank you House for repeating what I just said. . The point is that in a heavily planted low stocked tank, huge water changes and the use of carbon is not necessary. If the water is fine prior to a water change, then why waste time and energy and water? Making fine water more "fine"? Uhh....
What may blow your mind is that I don't even measure my parameters either! Haven't for years! gasp!!! No need to when you know what you're doing and what to look for. You don't have to "go by the book" if you can think and use your common sense.
But, what do I know, right?
Bottom line is that there is more than one way to arrive at the same end point.
|02-23-2013 03:21 AM|
|houseofcards||Uh there is nothing like fresh water especially for fish. I haven't really seen to many systems, especially hi-tech that don't rely on the water change it's for me an no-brainer. The difference between doing a water change and not doing one is this. If you do a regular large water changes and dose back in you are in a preventive mode, stopping anything before it starts. Sure some tanks with high plant mass, low stock can get by with few water changes, but why guess where that balance is. As long as you dose back in your removing waste. When a tank is new, there is no bio-filter so carbon for example acts as a bridge removing waste before the bio-filter (plants/media) gets established. Large water changes also allow alot more wiggle room with light, stock and plant load. Not every tank is filled with plants. In scaping there is alot of negative space, especially in an iwagumi type setup.|
|02-23-2013 03:08 AM|
|02-23-2013 02:57 AM|
I haven't used carbon for years. And I do (maybe) two water changes per week of about 5% or so...usually it's just once per week. I do NOT ever recommend doing such massive water changes unless you have a very large stock of fish and little plant mass. If you need to rely on massive weekly water changes, you are keeping your tank in a state of flux and will probably experience algae issues that will take a really long time to go away. At the very least, you are doing a ton more work than you need to do, and if you need such enormous water changes to keep the tank healthy, then there is a serious underlying issue.
I'm certainly not advocating that you go my route. But, I wouldn't necessarily be aiming to do huge water changes either, at least, down the road. Especially if you plan on having a heavily planted tank.
|02-22-2013 10:41 PM|
|newbieplanter||Thanks to all who responded. I do water changes every week about 50-80% of the water more along the lines of 65-70% tho in all my tanks plus I still keep the carbon in the filters. I was setting up a new one (filter) and just had the thought that's all plus like someone else posted my plants don't act like their not gettin nutrients my plants are goin and growing crazy its only been a month and for some but my Anubis which is supposed to be a slow growing plant but I can see day to day growth also in my broad leaf Anubis. The only plant that's slow growing is my java fern but I got that about a week ago anyway so we'll see. I wanna get some swords. Anyway THANKS!|
|02-22-2013 09:40 PM|
|abc||this was very helpful! thanks|
|02-22-2013 07:13 PM|
|houseofcards||Carbon is really helpful at startup probably thru the first few months since it's another way to remove dissolved organics like HD Blazingwolf stated. It's effect on ferts and plants is way over-stated especially if your relying on the inorganic salts that most of us put in. Once the tank is especially with a good bio filter you might not need it, but it won't hurt.|
|02-22-2013 04:25 PM|
Chemical (Carbon) Filtration
You can safely remove the carbon, provided you'll commit to larger water changes and to doing them a bit more often. I change out half the water in my tank every week and don't use carbon.
The water changes do a much better job of removing floating particles and toxins in the tank water than chemical medium.
Just a suggestion, though. You're the "Head Waterkeeper".
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