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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a ten gallon tank (in my sig) that never has nitrate in it (reads a tiny pink but barely any, maybe 0-5). I dose flourish iron and flourish every other day, and excel everyday. i run co2 at low levels. I have a 2213 and AC 30 on it. Do i ever really need to change the water on it? shrimp seem to be fine, otos fine, snails fine. I haven't changed the water for a couple weeks now and growth has really taken off. So do i really need to change the water? if i only have to change it once a month rather than once a week it would make the tank almost zero maintenance. :icon_bigg
 

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As far as nitrates go, if you are always bottoming out then that isn't reason to do changes. However, I believe adding new water to your tank adds in calcium and other factors. Personally I don't run carbon in any of my tanks so water changes ensure that I never have any water coloration or odor from the tanks.

I think you'll find your true answer by posting on my signature thread ;)
 

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Water changes are necessary when you dose non-limiting amounts of all of the nutrients. That causes them to slowly build up in the water, and a big water change removes the excess. It appears, from what I read here, that other than that, water changes are not necessary.
 

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Just something else to keep in mind...I believe there is some research which suggested that fish release a marker hormone into thier environment and if the saturation level of that hormone is high enough in thier environment it will stunt thier growth. Here is an forum thread I found in just a few moments, seems to be a researcher posting some ideas
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
so in a smaller tank it would be better to do less frequent water changes if you want to keep fish smaller? so you could keep more fish in a smaller tank? I might do that for my mini-m, hmmmmm. well i have shrimp in that tank so i don't think it will matter. they seem to be doing fine, i need to get an accurate nitrate testing kit though i just use the strips. but my plants are growing like crazy since i haven't done a change in a while. I think i might change 50% once a month or would that not work?
 

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How come no one mentions organic materials buildup, which needs to be kept to minimum to avoid algae problems and to keep fertilization scheme clean.
Changing water reduces organics in the water column - one major factor for the WC.
 

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Anecdotal "evidence" here -- my 10gal RCS tank has been neglected for probably a year -- I may drop an algae wafer in there once a week, and I never bother with water changes - only top off once the water level is nearing halfway down the tank. No filtration either, just a heater, airstone, and a ton of java moss getting spill over light from another tank.

About a month ago, I started doing weekly water changes. When I showed my RCS to a buddy last night, I just realized how "deep" and "solid" red my RCS are now. They were pale last month, when I compare from memory. I have also spotted quite a lot of tiny little shrimplets now, whereas I didn't find a single one last month.

I'd listen to the more experienced invert-keeping members here, but for my 10gal RCS tank, I'll continue doing my weekly 2.5gal water change. Including wiping any water spills, it takes what, 5 minutes?
 

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You're suggesting doing monthly water changes rather than weekly, right? If that's the case, and you're not fertilizing heavily, and the tank has plenty of plants and isn't packed with shrimp, there's no reason that that should cause problems. Lots of people do top offs with monthly water changes. I would try to make your monthly changes substantial (30% or more) if you have a significant amount of evaporation so that your TDS doesn't get out of hand.

Try it for a few months and see if it works for you, if not, go back to more frequent changes. It's not going to kill everything in the tank after all.
 

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I do a monthly water change out of sheer habit. I used to live in deep south Florida and there were water usage restrictions all the time. So I stopped doing my weekly water change. It actually made things level Out a lot better. There were less fluctuations over time and I never lost any fish of plants.


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so in a smaller tank it would be better to do less frequent water changes if you want to keep fish smaller? so you could keep more fish in a smaller tank? I might do that for my mini-m, hmmmmm. well i have shrimp in that tank so i don't think it will matter. they seem to be doing fine, i need to get an accurate nitrate testing kit though i just use the strips. but my plants are growing like crazy since i haven't done a change in a while. I think i might change 50% once a month or would that not work?
I can't help, but think there is something wrong with allowing fish to suppress the growth of others. If this is even possible, it seems akin to forcing large species to be homed in smaller aquariums because the smaller aquariums will stunt their growth. However, in the latter case, the fish's internals continue growing until internal problems lead to death.
 

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I am by no means an animal rights activist but the level of stress that fish and inverts go through to make it to your aquarium is bad enough. Fish suffer through being caught wild or farm raised, transported, and horrible LFS conditions. Aside from the accumulation of dissolved solids and the slow creep of macro/micro nutrients that you might be dosing the animals deserve clean water.

I bucket 60+ gallons of water every weekend simply because I greatly enjoy the beauty of my flora/fauna and the well being of those animals is my responsibility.

Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
 

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I am by no means an animal rights activist but the level of stress that fish and inverts go through to make it to your aquarium is bad enough. Fish suffer through being caught wild or farm raised, transported, and horrible LFS conditions. Aside from the accumulation of dissolved solids and the slow creep of macro/micro nutrients that you might be dosing the animals deserve clean water.

I bucket 60+ gallons of water every weekend simply because I greatly enjoy the beauty of my flora/fauna and the well being of those animals is my responsibility.

Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
Makin me feel bad about my monthly water change schedule... Maybe I will step it up to weekly or at least bi weekly...
 

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Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
Well said. :proud:
 

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I am by no means an animal rights activist but the level of stress that fish and inverts go through to make it to your aquarium is bad enough. Fish suffer through being caught wild or farm raised, transported, and horrible LFS conditions. Aside from the accumulation of dissolved solids and the slow creep of macro/micro nutrients that you might be dosing the animals deserve clean water.

I bucket 60+ gallons of water every weekend simply because I greatly enjoy the beauty of my flora/fauna and the well being of those animals is my responsibility.

Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
Except that wild fish live in bodies of water that routinely exceed a thousand gallons so frequent "water changes" will not affect the water chemistry too adversely. Although even in nature there is plenty of documentation of fish/invert die offs due to excessive rain water changing the balance of the water (this happens almost every rainfall in the Chesapeake Bay) or because the temperature shot down too fast. Water flowing constantly is emulated in our relatively microscopic tanks using filters.

I feel that unless you're dosing chemical or ferts you should avoid frequent water changes and even then you should limit them to only about 10-15%. The shock of having new water constantly introduced into the tank and changing the water chemistry is probably a bigger killer than the remote risk of TDS build up. Unless you have a bottomless wallet and can afford to constantly treat and re-balance your WC water.

Of course all of the above is hardly a set rule and different species have different requirements (my CRS would probably molt themselves to death if I performed constant changes whereas if you have a turtle tank with an anemic filter you may have no choice but to perform daily changes).

All in all, if you just make sure that your parameters stay stable and you make sure to top off evaporation with RO or reconstituted (depending on your tank's current chemistry needs) you'll be perfectly fine.
 

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Just something else to keep in mind...I believe there is some research which suggested that fish release a marker hormone into thier environment and if the saturation level of that hormone is high enough in thier environment it will stunt thier growth. Here is an forum thread I found in just a few moments, seems to be a researcher posting some ideas
This drives me nuts. It's a cool theory, but I have spent hours searching for evidence of this hormone in scientific papers but found none. I am NOT saying it does not exist, but that as far as I can tell it is a cool but unlikely,theory. I have read many scholarly articles on food fish growth in lakes and none identify any such hormone, but blame overall environmental issues (food supply/nitrates) for reduced fish size. I don't think such a hormone could exist and stay hidden from these experts. It's like a Sasquatch to me.These scientists study fish thoroughly in defence of world food supply and seem to me to have no trouble finding hormones or ever suggest that an unidentified one is behind undergrowth issues. Personally, I think it's common toxins that build up.
 

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Are water changes necessary

Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
I could not agree more, plus the bonus effect can be very rewarding especially if you have Corydoras Aeneus (recommended number is six) in there, a simple water change with water a few degrees cooler can be more often than not enough to get them into a breeding frenzy.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
 
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