It was just a general thread because I see so many conflicting reasons on how much people change all the time or little and was just curious as to why, because as you said above, someone said it and then everyone jumps on and thinks their way is right. If its working for you, whatever you are doing, keep it up. One thing is there no absolutes in this hobby and two people can almost identical everything have very different results.
This sounds nice and all...but we and the newbie learns little from this however.
What are useful? What are the best management practices for particularly goals? For folks not planning on water changes, not trimming(this labor aspect goes right along with the no water changes part, folks that trim often or garden, typically do not mind more labor), basically they are smart enough to admit to being lazy, having kids and not enough time etc........non CO2 is an excellent choice.
Folks that want a little bit more gardening, but not much headache? Well, perhaps a once a month water change etc, Excel dosing etc dosign maybe 1-2x a week.
Next stage might be low light + CO2, in all cases, sediment rich nutrients sources are used, and a little bit of water column ferts. Maybe once a month water change.
Well chosen plants and fish stocking.
Maybe you want a little bit more growth........more light etc:
With less growth RATES, we have less nutrient demand and thus less water changes without any monitoring labor added.
So we get the best of both worlds with non CO2 method and no water changes, but less desirable gardening rates unless one is patient.
Now we have a decent model to work with when applying how much labor we'd like to put into a water changes versus our gardening goals. This is far more explanatory than "just do what works......" the person must define their goal first before we can offer them the best solution holistically, you cannot just piece meal off water changes in isolation.
Same for Test kits, they have their place, same for dosing ferts, or adding more/less light, adding CO2 etc. It's a tough argument to make if you try and separate these things from the whole.
Water changes are just a simple easy management tool.
Now you can take the Engineering approach instead of the Biologist view also: make the water changes easy or automated. Then there's no labor associated with this. Timers, float switch and a pump to the drain is all this takes. Hard plumb a refill and a drain to larger tanks(I do this for most all the tank's I set up), or make a simple DIY hang on hose set up that simply drains to the yard/landscaping pants and then refills off the shower or faucet.
I have to clean the filter, and do other things to the aquarium, so while that water is drained/refilled, I'm doing that labor, this is hardly any work at all.
So you figure out ways to be lazier for sure, or as I like to say: smarter and