Originally Posted by houseofcards
All so true. Water changes help every setup. It's not only ferts, but removing excess organics helps all setups assuming your feeding your plants.
Don't believe for a minute that for example a full ADA setup maintains itself. They are all built around the water change and even with that algae will form. It's all about lifestyle and what your willing to do. If your not willing to get involved on a regular basis then your focus should be low light, easy plants and low stock setups.
Well they also use lower light, they do a lot in the start, but later, say 3 months.........etc, they can certainly back off and do say 1/3 once a week, which is what they say...is their standard routine.
People poo poo EI often for the water change aspect, but give a blank check to ADA regarding water changes. Discus folks, fish breeders, many fish keepers always did weekly or 2x a week water changes IME. Never hurts to do one and only helps.
I'd say this article is far more important for the OP regarding balance:
If you chose the suggested conclusion that Ole and Troels(and myself and indirectly ADA), you pick low light with cO2, you get manageable growth rates, and easy to care with max wiggle room for error.
Adding CO2 is for the plants, to make them grow better, and faster, but also to prevent plant plant competition, so you can grow any of the 400 or so species together.
If you also use something like soil ADA aqua soil etc......then you also provide a nutrient backup source. This long term source will provide most things, but runs out of NO3 and NH4 after about a year or so.
Maybe less, I know it's all gone after 18 months. Good news is that all the other nutrients, are still there and should last another 10 years.
Here's an example of a client's 350 Gal I redid a couple of months ago:
60-70% weekly water changes: I have a hard plumbed drain, turn a vlave, and it drains down a 1" pipe pretty quick, and then a 1/2" hot/cold water blend with a carbon prefilter to remove chlorine etc.
This is a semi automated system.
Very easy and quick.
You can do a fully automated water change, I tend to use daily 10-20% water changes with those.
You need a hard plumbed set up also with a float switch,a sump and a small powerhead on a timer to a drain.
Redundancy is required for all these. Flooded floors piss client's off, and anyone you live with.
You can also use the Hook:
Add 3/4" flexogen or 1" and it should do the job in about 1 hour or so for the 300 Gal tank.
You'll be busy then also...cleaning filters, trimming and you will NEED to have the water level down to work and clean the inside of the tank.
If not, then plan to use a snorkel mask and playing with tweezers more than you will care to.