Water Change fact vs fiction - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Water Change fact vs fiction

Calling all Gurus, Wannabes, and PT Enthusiasts....

Everyone seems to have a different philosophy on water changes, some weekly, some monthly, and some people even every few months. I believe the Tom Barr approach was only every few months, merely with top offs in between. In my case, I do not test water parameters nor do i inject CO2; with low light and a dirt substrate. I have been doing water changes every month and a half about and haven't had any noticeable algea or other issues.

What are your takes on how often to do a water change? how much water to change out? and the logic behind your methods. Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:05 PM
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My planted nano 4g I change about 20% once a week to help keep it stable.
My 40g tank with just gravel and a large eel and red devil I change 30% once every 6-8 weeks and has been fine for 15 yrs this way..........> My reef tank gets one once a month 20% and been this way since 93...
I'm just crazy that way.......lol

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:16 PM
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I would like to know, sorry, if water changes really bring back co2 into the system whether its ro, di, or tap...
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:25 PM
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Tap will bring you some C02 for a day or less

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:32 PM
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The water needs to be aerated to bring CO2 in, so that would be fresh tap water, or other water that you've run a bubbler in. However, it only brings in a big dose when you first add it, and then most of it leaves in the first few hours. If you're counting on it as your only CO2 it won't work, and will cause BBA issues, since this algae thrives on fluctuating CO2 levels.

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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:53 PM
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Water Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
Calling all Gurus, Wannabes, and PT Enthusiasts....

Everyone seems to have a different philosophy on water changes, some weekly, some monthly, and some people even every few months. I believe the Tom Barr approach was only every few months, merely with top offs in between. In my case, I do not test water parameters nor do i inject CO2; with low light and a dirt substrate. I have been doing water changes every month and a half about and haven't had any noticeable algea or other issues.

What are your takes on how often to do a water change? how much water to change out? and the logic behind your methods. Thanks guys.
Hello fal...

If you think of an aquarium as an "unflushed toilet", and you lived in it, how much water would you want changed and how often?

I think that says it all.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:04 PM
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i run CO2 in my tanks, so ignore any and all CO2 contributions from WCs. i use WCs to remove excess nutrients and any toxins that may be building up.

in my MTS ADA 30c, i do not fertilize ever except once monthly K. so i only do a 40% WC every other week for the shrimps' sake (though i dont think they really need it, it cant hurt).
in my 20L (now torn down), i was using EI fertilization and did a 50% WC weekly.
in my 5.5 betta's tank, i do a 50% WC weekly because i am conditioning for a spawn and need him as healthy and vital as possible.

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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello fal...

If you think of an aquarium as an "unflushed toilet", and you lived in it, how much water would you want changed and how often?

I think that says it all.

B
But what about the idea that the fish waste feeds the plants and vice versa. How often should I change water in a low light tank?
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:07 PM
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in my 29g i change 80% once weekly
not one fish has complained. plants grow great
no water discoloring
no fishy smells

do u have to change this much? not likely
im following said fishbowl effect as mentioned above. i just do it because i thik my fish nad plants like it

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:11 PM
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Except toilets have no mechanical, chemical, or biological filtration.

I don't disagree that water changes are needed. They are, but how often and to what extent is very debatable in my mind. A properly set up tank being compared to a toilet just ins't reasonable. A Betta sitting in a cup at the store certainly could be compared to fish in a toilet, but not a properly filtered, balanced tank as most of us have.

There are people on here who's tank water will test better than their tap water, chlorine notwithstanding. Visit a water treatment plant...same things happening there as in our fish tanks...mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration (along with a healthy dose of UV in most cases).
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
But what about the idea that the fish waste feeds the plants and vice versa. How often should I change water in a low light tank?
i also have a low tech. instead of fish poop. i just add ferts and change 50% weekly

plants grow fine. i add a little nitrate and po4 once weekly and a little trace mix once weekly

very cost effective when using dry ferts

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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Also, won't frequent water changes cause the CO2 levels to fluctuate as stated above causing the dreaded BBA?
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:16 PM
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weekly to reset my ei dosing routine...50%

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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
Also, won't frequent water changes cause the CO2 levels to fluctuate as stated above causing the dreaded BBA?
only if u change while c02 is being injected really

change when lights are off and it wont matter
it also removes algae spores.... so it can go both ways

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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:32 PM
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I'm a big believer in water changes. It's always seemed to me that when I slack off on water changes, that's when I see problems in my tanks. I change a minimum of 30-50% weekly on my low tech tanks, 50-75% on my high tech tanks.

I suppose it could be argued that one reason tanks seem healthier with the weekly water changes isn't just due to the water changing, but to the attention paid to the tanks when I do the water changes.


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