Why is WC important for FW tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
danmhippo's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Posts: 332
Why is WC important for FW tanks?

What is the purpose of making WC?

Relating back to the reefing days, we do WC to lower NO3, PO4 and to bring ionic balance back closer to normal.

Even for FW fish only tanks, we do WC to keep NO3 and other dissolved nutrients down to prevent algae bloom. Since typical fish only tanks there are either no plants, or little plants to make significant impact on nutrient level, so it's natural that these systems require regular WC.

But, planted tanks on the other hand do not have enough nutrients to start with. We typically has low fish to gallon ratio, and we have to keep adding NO3 and PO4 back into the water to keep these nutrients level up high. In that case, shouldn't we do less WC? I can understand the importance of WC for immature tanks such as during new tank setup. But for established tanks, is large and weekly or bi-weekly WC still necessary?

It just seems we are working backward by dumping ferts into the tank every day, and dump a big chunk of them out into drain every week or so.

For those that do WC, why do you do it?
danmhippo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 04:14 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Aphyosemion's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,073
Send a message via Yahoo to Aphyosemion
Not only do I do water changes, but I do a lot of them (25% to 75% once per week, per tank). You're right, the only real reason you cycle a normal FW tank is to get the nitrates down and in a planted tank you WANT nitrates. So, I guess the only two reasons I can think of are to keep phosphates from building up and to keep organics down.
When I first started with planted tanks, I was wondering the same thing. It almost seems like you should never have to cycle a planted tank. Later on I just gave up figuring it out and continued my normal cycling routine.
-Aphyosemion

Two 1 GA desktops, a 5 gallon, a 2.5 gallon, a 10 gallon, a 20 gallon, a 25 gallon, and two 75 gallon tanks, all planted.
I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
Aphyosemion is offline  
post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 04:19 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
shalu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,675
The main reason for us to do water change is to prevent build up of fertilizer. Many of us use Tom Barr's estimative index method, where not much testing is needed to dose fertilizer. Water changes prevent fertilizer buildup without the need for accurate test kits. There are people who try to do more testing to reduce water changes, see PPS method

I just find water changes easier/cheaper than testing, and I have very high bioload.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Flourite, wet/dry, AHSupply 302w PC, PinPoint controller

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
15w T6+15w T8

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
40w T6 ODNO4x, no CO2. Discus grow out.
10gallon Tonina tank, 2x15w T6 ODNO 4x
---------------------
I will do aquascapes after I collect all the plant species and grow them to perfection.
shalu is offline  
 
post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 04:56 AM
BSS
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,600
I was under the impression that water changes are very important for adding those other nutrients that are in most water supplies that are not part of the macro/micro dosing regimens. I guess I think of it as the micro micros.

Certainly using the EI method, WC's become an essential element. But even before doing the EI heavy dosing routine, my tank always did better when I did the water changes.
BSS is offline  
post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 05:18 AM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 59
Doing a WC is kind of like going outside for a fresh breath of air. It's like why leave your house when you can breath just fine inside your house all the time. We just feel like we have to go outside to breath crispy air. Breathing in fresh air is so much better than breathing in old "stale" air. Plus every time I change the water, the fresh water seems to make my fish happy.
That's how I see water changes anyway...
Jumbotummy is offline  
post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 03:12 PM
Algae Grower
 
albinooscar's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Haughton, LA USA
Posts: 120
Jumbotummy,

I like that analogy!

Ron
albinooscar is offline  
post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 03:45 PM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 130
I like the analogy, too. I never cared for tanks where people boasted about not having to do any water changes, they never looked like anything I wanted to keep. I think the EI is a very good start, but that each of us will, in time, fine-tune it to both meet our own needs as well as the needs of our plants, perhaps performing a water change less often. All organics aren't necessariily bad. There are some chemicals plants exude which may be beneficial in discouraging algae growth; colloids and such.
Gill Man is offline  
post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 03:47 PM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 670
Besides the reasons stated above, a very important one is that there is a build-up of organics in the water that are not used by the plants or the fish.
Laith is offline  
post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 04:13 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Canoe2Can's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Indiana, PA
Posts: 766
One reason I do water changes is to restore the NO3 in my tank. My tap water has about 20ppm of NO3, so it's kind of like fertilizing just to do a water change.

Another reason that no one has mentioned is alleopathy (I think that's the right word). Some plants excrete chemicals into the water that inhibit the growth of other plants, and I've heard that some people who rarely do water changes end up with the problem that they can only grow a few kinds of plants after a while. I've been told to do changes to keep the levels of these chemicals down to allow all species to thrive.

That being said, it does seem odd to put fertilizers in only to remove them. I always fertilize just after a water change and find that my fert levels all get pretty low by the next change. Hopefully that means I'm not wasting too much money on ferts.
Canoe2Can is offline  
post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 04:29 PM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 130
I was going to use the word allelochemicals, but thought it might be too high-falootin'. Guess not.
Gill Man is offline  
post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 04:54 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
FISA's Avatar
 
PTrader: (92/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: TwinCities Minnesota
Posts: 453
I agree with all that has been said so far....

even in nature...the water changes are done...with evaporation and rain....

Ehiem Pimp # 88
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
___________________________________

29 Gallon PC 4WPG,Ehiem 2224 Pro, Pressurized CO2, Power Reactor, Eco Complete
75 Gallon PC 3.5WPG,Ehiem 2226 Pro, Pressurized CO2, Ext Reactor 1000, Eco Complete
FISA is offline  
post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 05:01 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Hypancistrus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 1,032
My understanding is that there are a LOT of different types of organic wastes and proteins that build up in a tank over time. You do the water changes to control them. It's also a good idea to supplement your tank with some type of bacterial organic waste-degrading product. There are quite a few of them on the market, I like Microbe-Lift.

Remember... an aquarium with fish is a fish toilet.
Hypancistrus is offline  
post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 06:01 PM
Planted Member
 
pk-sd's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 164
I think performing 25-75% weekly water change is just ridiculous if not just bad idea. I think 30% monthly water change should be enough as long as you are not adding too many fertilizers. In nature, a guy does not go around adding fertilizers. Fish are the main source of nutrients needed to grow plants.
pk-sd is offline  
post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 06:04 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Aphyosemion's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,073
Send a message via Yahoo to Aphyosemion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gill Man
I was going to use the word allelochemicals, but thought it might be too high-falootin'. Guess not.
I was gonna say, "Me changum water. Water change good.", but I thought that might confuse anyone who hasn't evolved to caveman status yet, like amoebas. I hope I didn't offend any amoebas in the forum.
-Aphyosemion

Two 1 GA desktops, a 5 gallon, a 2.5 gallon, a 10 gallon, a 20 gallon, a 25 gallon, and two 75 gallon tanks, all planted.
I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
Aphyosemion is offline  
post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 06:07 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
BlueRam's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,666
So excesive waterchanges --> river mimic. No Water changes --> stinkly swamp mimic.

Moved to Tucson.
BlueRam is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome