Too much water changes? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Too much water changes?

I just setup my first low tech and low light planted tank. The tank is hooked up to my automatic water changes that does 20% wc at 4x per week. My question is that too much wc for the planted tank? My fish love the wc as they grow really fast and disease free.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 01:28 AM
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For a low light planted tank, yes, 20% four days a week is excessive for the water changes. Most 'low light gurus' recommend minimal water changes for the low light/ low tech side. I change water in my low light tank maybe once a month and then it's still only 30%.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
For a low light planted tank, yes, 20% four days a week is excessive for the water changes. Most 'low light gurus' recommend minimal water changes for the low light/ low tech side. I change water in my low light tank maybe once a month and then it's still only 30%.

Even if I plan on adding about 100 cherry shrimp to the tank...

btw, it is a 30 gal long tank.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:05 AM
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I'm not familiar enough with the bio load of shrimp to really comment if that would be overstocking a 30 gallon or not...

If you really did need to change that much water to keep your livestock healthy, then I'd suggest that you have too much livestock in there.

Low light tanks are living in a balance, it's important to keep it, when you do keep that balance the tank basically takes care of itself.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:16 AM
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shrimps do fine with little water change... I change 30% once a month or whenever I remember to.

When You do too much water changes, you take out macro nutrients the plants will need. You can do that much if you add in the lost nutrients with NO3, K, PO4


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 04:07 AM
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I have ~150 RCS in a 10 gallon tank, starting with 30. I haven't done a water change in 2 months. There are around 10 happy CRS in there with them.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 04:39 AM
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For a low-tech tank, you do not need to do too many water changes for a number of reasons.

Plants adjust to CO2 levels in the water. When tank water is low in CO2, such as in low-tech settings, plants produce a CO2-fixing enzyme called rubisco. However, when you do WCs w/ fresh tapwater, which is high in CO2, you are tricking the plants into thinking they are in a high co2 environment. They stop producing rubisco, but then co2 decreases shortly after. Same thing with algae, except they respond much faster to co2 changes, so essentially you will be inducing algae growth.

Frequent water changes simply resets the nutrient level to whatever is present in tapwater. If you have more nutrients in tank than tapwater, it will be removed, vice versa. It's an easy way to control nutrient levels.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Ah... very interesting... always learn something new... thanks guys...

I guess I gotta remove my automatic water changes hook up...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
For a low-tech tank, you do not need to do too many water changes for a number of reasons.

Plants adjust to CO2 levels in the water. When tank water is low in CO2, such as in low-tech settings, plants produce a CO2-fixing enzyme called rubisco. However, when you do WCs w/ fresh tapwater, which is high in CO2, you are tricking the plants into thinking they are in a high co2 environment. They stop producing rubisco, but then co2 decreases shortly after. Same thing with algae, except they respond much faster to co2 changes, so essentially you will be inducing algae growth.

Frequent water changes simply resets the nutrient level to whatever is present in tapwater. If you have more nutrients in tank than tapwater, it will be removed, vice versa. It's an easy way to control nutrient levels.
someone on another thread said the opposite, that plants switch from low c02/high c02 mode better then algae? :-/

My 29 gallon planted:
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:31 PM
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On my low-tech tank I do a 30% water change every week! I do not think you will have any problems just put some fast growing stem plants in your tank. Your tank water should always be nice and clear and your fish will love it. My fish are very healthy and happy soon they will be in my new tank.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
Frequent water changes simply resets the nutrient level to whatever is present in tapwater. If you have more nutrients in tank than tapwater, it will be removed, vice versa. It's an easy way to control nutrient levels.

I keep seeing people saying "reset nutrients with water changes". This is misleading, because you are not "reseting", you are diluting.

Changing 30% of the water, in essense removes 30% of the current levels, then is replaced (or diluted) by the proportional tap water nutrient levels. There is no resetting here.

To reset, you would need to change 100% of the water, or vice versa, calculate the proportional uptake of nutrients of the plants, verses what is dosed, verse what is diluted in WC.

My point, Reset is not really the correct word, and I think that new comers to the hobby can get led astray on this theory that a WC just makes everything go back to where you started and thats far from the case.

Just my


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATURE AQUARIUM View Post
On my low-tech tank I do a 30% water change every week! I do not think you will have any problems just put some fast growing stem plants in your tank. Your tank water should always be nice and clear and your fish will love it. My fish are very healthy and happy soon they will be in my new tank.

AGREED I do the same in my low light tanks. Plant growth does not seem effected and plants still grow like weeds. I do add potassium, equilibrium, and nitrates with each water change though. I find my fish behave more lethargic when I put off water changes for more than a week. If you do minimal 30% weekly water changes, do not overstock, keep your tank clean of decaying plant matter, keep temperature contstant, feed quality food to your fish and don't overfeed, your fish will likely be healthier over the long run and will likely live longer. Lol, it is one of the reasons, I still have some fish that are still alive after 9 years. I think it applies whether you have a high light or low light tank. I know some will disagree but I have never seen weekly water changes "hurt" my tanks(fish and plants). The opposite has been true. Where I have changed water after waiting a month, the outcome has been disasterous in each and every case. Other peoples' experiences may be different. This is just my experience. Just be careful before you hop on the no weekly water change bandwagon. It could come back to bite you in the butt big time!

Lol, even those that say weekly water changes are not necessary don't state that it can do harm. Why do you think when fish are ill or major algae blooms happen, increasing water changes to two times a week sometimes results in miraculous outcomes.

Last edited by Homer_Simpson; 02-02-2008 at 08:38 PM.
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