Longest you've gone without water changes/maintenance - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Longest you've gone without water changes/maintenance

What's the longest you've gone without WC's in a tank with fish in it? Whats the longest you can go without adverse effects? What's your W. C. regime?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:50 PM
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Here we go again LOL
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:50 PM
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Define water changes..
I've gone months w/ changing out a few gal here than there...

I consider that effectively none..
You always need to do something, at least w/ plants, or you just choke out the tank..


roughly 5 months later..and, frankly prob pulled some prior..
I've had it denser.

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-20-2018 at 06:02 PM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:52 PM
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I do a 50% WC every few days. I have an open top tank and pretty well change my water anytime the level gets too low for my filters. So 4-6 days I guess. Have I been lazy and just topped up the tank and no WC? Yes. How long have I gone. One time about 4 months but I was trying out the "no water change method" and was testing my water parameters frequently.

So how long can you go? A very long time if you know what you're doing I suppose.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank158 View Post
I do a 50% WC every few days. I have an open top tank and pretty well change my water anytime the level gets too low for my filters. So 4-6 days I guess. Have I been lazy and just topped up the tank and no WC? Yes. How long have I gone. One time about 4 months but I was trying out the "no water change method" and was testing my water parameters frequently.

So how long can you go? A very long time if you know what you're doing I suppose.

Cheers

Yea, nitrates are the biggest problem..

top offs w/ glass topped tanks is pretty minimal.

I've learned since the above..BUT I'm still working on "low maintenance" levels..


I'm pretty sure you can't keep fish for multiple years w/out effective water changes..
Gradual weakening and some opportunistic bact. will cull them..


It's a problem looking for an effective solution..for me.
Many minerals ect will be removed w/ plant trimming..not part . nitrates though.

Newest is some pothos hanging off the side of the 55..
Seems to be doing what it should..

you can go a long time, question is should you?

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 06:38 PM
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It depends on what kind of tank you have. I have a heavily planted tank with no co2 that hasn't ever had a water change in 5 years (only top offs) and is full of healthy plants and has no filtration. Not overcrowded with fish. It all depends on what setup you have and the processes going on inside.

Bump: Water changes can actually be unproductive too, IMO, if they are too infrequent. When you change a lot of the water out, you are replacing the new water's parameters with the old and they may, after a while, but quite different. I do change the water (1 quart a day) on one of my tanks, but i do it daily to avoid any chance of shock.

Bump: Nutrients are added to the water from food.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:24 PM
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Me, personally, I LOVE swimming around in my own piss and s***. So much so, in fact, that I've filled my jacuzzi tub at home with my waste and some tap water and I've started bathing in it daily. Don't worry, I added a bunch of aquarium plants, so it's clean! Those plants are filtering EVERYTHING out!! For some reason, my wife still left me, took the kids on account of me not being "mentally fit to parent"...pshh. Got fired from my job too, something about my co-workers complaining about smell...what do they know, anyway?

Edit: Oh cool, this post was my 1,000th! I think I'll go celebrate by bathing in my own filth.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:36 PM
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You might want to keep in mind the urine and feces don't last very long in the tank as they are broken down quite quickly if you have the right microbiome in the tank. As for your analysis, fish are destined to swim in their own urine and feces even if you do 100% water changes daily. Better off with the right microbiome in the planted tank imo.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Here we go again LOL
Well, we did have a week away from the topic.

But since we're on the topic, plants also generate waste. They're not the perfect biofilter a lot of people assume and take in all of the "bad" stuff and give back only O2 and glitter. A lot of us have a very dense plant mass in a relatively tiny volume of water, not the thousands/millions of gallons you find in natural bodies of water with a constant influx and outflux of water, the enormous amount of bacteria. Of course there is a thread going now that questions the need for any beneficial bacteria in your filter which is a real step forward ( insert sarcam ). So maybe if we take steps to remove all bacteria from the tank it might help facilitate no water changes and then we can finally have the "naturally balanced" no water change ever tank of our dreams.

Last edited by Jeff5614; 07-20-2018 at 07:49 PM. Reason: ...
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:38 PM
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Trickle down.............................stream.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:44 PM
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 07:57 PM
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You might want to keep in mind the urine and feces don't last very long in the tank as they are broken down quite quickly if you have the right microbiome in the tank. As for your analysis, fish are destined to swim in their own urine and feces even if you do 100% water changes daily. Better off with the right microbiome in the planted tank imo.
So...I need to make sure my tub is cycled before I bathe in it?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 08:33 PM
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So...I need to make sure my tub is cycled before I bathe in it?
Nope, bacteria don't matter as long as you have plants .
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 08:47 PM
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Of course there is a thread going now that questions the need for any beneficial bacteria in your filter which is a real step forward ( insert sarcam ). So maybe if we take steps to remove all bacteria from the tank it might help facilitate no water changes and then we can finally have the "naturally balanced" no water change ever tank of our dreams.
Bacteria are necessary, filters are not. Filters merely supply more surface area for bacterial colonies to reside. The question is whether that "additional" surface area is necessary, not whether bacteria are necessary. None of my tanks have had filters and all of my tanks have crystal clear water and healthy plants, without added co2 or fertilizer or other chemicals.

There is nothing wrong with questioning what is needed and how things work. Filters were not adopted for planted tanks with soil substrate. It turns out that you shouldn't vacuum your soil substrate either. There are lots of things being learned about the microbiome in an aqaurium as well as in our guts and it is going to change a lot in the hobby, imo.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 09:13 PM
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Anyone can have a no water change tank. It's merely a matter of limitation and aesthetic
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