A "no Water Change" Aquarium

oldsalt777
  • #1
Hello FL...

I've set up and have been running for the past couple of months, an aquarium that requires no water changes, ever. Anyone interested in the subject?

Old
 
Dch48
  • #2
I am interested
 
ValerieAdams
  • #3
Is it in your imagination? lol
 
sipec
  • #4
Sounds cool
 
imba
  • #5
if you don't put fish in, water change is optional
 
Rtessy
  • #6
I can definitely see how you deal with nitrates (with plants and all), but how do you replace the minerals the flora and fauna need? It's the main reason I do water changes monthly on my faux walstads
 
BReefer97
  • #7
Do you have pictures? What size tank? And if there’s no fish in the tank, of course you’re not going to need to do a water change. Nothing would be producing ammonia so I would assume your parameters are just 0,0,0? Hmm.
 
Small Tanks
  • #8
This is literally my goal for every single planted tank once it's fully stocked! That all I need to do is change the filter media and top up water.

I manged way way way back about 8 years ago to do one that got no w/c for over a year!

So glad to hear I'm not alone!
 
sullivanbay94
  • #9
Interested
 
Dch48
  • #10
I was gonna ask if it had Hamsters in it But then they would need the water in their bottle changed periodically so------
 
Lacey D
  • #11
This store in San Francisco has a display tank with fish which has not had a water change in 25 years #goals

I just don't trust myself that far. Nearly everything I start ends up overstocked at some point. I'm TRYING to have low-stock aquariums, but I think I would need more space than I have right now. Or more self control. So 50% water changes, 2x per week for me :/
 
Small Tanks
  • #12
For some very 'old school' fish keeping lessons, I totally recommend Diana Walstad's book. She is/was an ecologist and also an aquarist, and though I know the 'new school' method of looking at things doesn't jive with all of it, her ideas are grounded in science.

I kinda like a hibred approach I do add ferts and chem to my water, I do spot clean, I do use non plant filtration. But I also do embrace the essence of her approach - that we're creating ecosystems and those need to be balanced to be successful.

 
sipec
  • #13
I'm starting a walstad tank, I think they're cool
 
Mazeus
  • #14
I'm interested. I'm curious how GH, KH and TDS will be impacted in a no water change tank. Are you measuring these paramenters?
 
Dch48
  • #15
That's an amazing store but he asked the question I had as well. How in the world do they catch the fish you want to buy?
 
oldsalt777
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I am interested

Hello Dch...

Here's a list of what you need. The size of tank isn't really important and you may have some of these items already if you've kept tanks before.

Old

No Water Change Aquarium

20 Gallon fish tank

Dual sponge filter

Two outlet air pump

Tank heater

Air stone

Two bamboo sticks the width of the tank

Four plastic twist ties

Plastic basket with holes

Plastic aquarium tubing

5 or 6 medium sized rocks

Desk lamp

60 watt bulb

Pot of Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) house plant

Small bag of landscaping lava rock

Gallon of Distilled or Reverse Osmosis water

Some means of cutting a hole in the bottom of the plastic basket
 
Dch48
  • #17
Hello Dch...

Here's a list of what you need. The size of tank isn't really important and you may have some of these items already if you've kept tanks before.

Old

No Water Change Aquarium

20 Gallon fish tank

Dual sponge filter

Two outlet air pump

Tank heater

Air stone

Two bamboo sticks the width of the tank

Four plastic twist ties

Plastic basket with holes

Plastic aquarium tubing

5 or 6 medium sized rocks

Desk lamp

60 watt bulb

Pot of Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) house plant

Small bag of landscaping lava rock

Gallon of Distilled or Reverse Osmosis water

Some means of cutting a hole in the bottom of the plastic basket
Okay, I was with you until you got to the twist ties. Everything after that, I have no idea how to use.
 
Rtessy
  • #18
Pics please
 
Lacey D
  • #19
Okay, I was with you until you got to the twist ties. Everything after that, I have no idea how to use.
Basically it's how to setup an in-tank aquaponics rig--the buckets with holes in them are attached to the bamboo rods, and filled with some lavarock and the Chinese Evergreen. Me, I like using a cheap planter outside of the aquarium with nitrate fixing plants (pothos in my case), a powerhead to get the water in, and a bulkhead/pipe to return it after it has run through the planter.

I also am a fan of cutting the bottoms out of buckets/bottles and siliconing in some craft mesh (can be found in the embroidery section) to make a high-exchange area for plants suspended in the tank. Did that with some peace lilies, but fry kept getting in, so I recommend doing it in a setup where there are no tiny curious fry.
 
goldface
  • #20
I already have one, for well over a year. No one cared, so I stopped talking about it
 
Dch48
  • #21
Basically it's how to setup an in-tank aquaponics rig--the buckets with holes in them are attached to the bamboo rods, and filled with some lavarock and the Chinese Evergreen. Me, I like using a cheap planter outside of the aquarium with nitrate fixing plants (pothos in my case), a powerhead to get the water in, and a bulkhead/pipe to return it after its run through the planter.

I also am a fan of cutting the bottoms out of buckets/bottles and siliconing in some craft mesh (can be found in the embroidery section) to make a high-exchange area for plants suspended in the tank. Did that with some peace lilies, but fry kept getting in, so I recommend doing it in a setup where there are no tiny curious fry.
Interesting but see, to me,if it's not filled to the top with water and fish in it, it's not an aquarium.
 
Sarah73
  • #22
Interesting but see, to me,if it's not filled to the top with water and fish in it, it's not an aquarium.
My 60 isn't filled to the top because my common pleco needs to get air from the top of the tank.
 
Rtessy
  • #23
I dropped one of mine a few inches from the top so my mystery snails could lay eggs, does that count? Still got fish and all that jazz
 
Sarah73
  • #24
I dropped one of mine a few inches from the top so my mystery snails could lay eggs, does that count? Still got fish and all that jazz
Exactly choose your words wisely.
 
Dch48
  • #25
My 60 isn't filled to the top because my common pleco needs to get air from the top of the tank.
To the top means to the bottom of the rim. That leaves enough space for air. If you want to lower it a little for breeding purposes, that's okay.
 
Lacey D
  • #26
I already have one, for well over a year. No one cared, so I stopped talking about it
What's on the forum, stays around You never know what someone will stumble on next year through a Google Search and say "tell me all about it!!"
Glad to see you have yours up and running and successful!
 
oldsalt777
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
FL...

I have several of these "Terraphyte" tanks. They're fairly large and do have a lot of fish in them. The fish breed naturally, because the plant removes the nitrogen from the dissolving fish waste faster than the bacteria colony. The fish live in near pure water conditions all the time. Bacteria uses the ammonia from the fish waste and produces nitrite. Other bacteria use the nitrite and makes nitrate. As we know, there's no bacteria that uses nitrate. This form of nitrogen has to be removed through the weekly, large water change. But the plant root system uses the ammonia faster than the bacteria can. So, there's no nitrite and very little, if any nitrate.

Old


IMG_20180429_051450.jpg
IMG_20180609_060427.jpg FL...

Okay. Attached are photos of a couple of the tanks. One is a 45 tall filled to the top, so it's a for real aquarium. The other is a 55 G that's filled 2/3rds full. The plants outgrew the tank and the plant sort of tipped over and kept growing.

Old
 
Mazeus
  • #28
I like the look of the plants on the top. I have some growing out the side of the tank but not on the top. It looks really interesting.
 
Fanatic
  • #29
What’s the fun in never doing water changes when you have fish?
I like changing the water, making them happy, and keeping them healthy. Doing no water changes ever is like setting up a tank, and just leaving it there to be a piece of decoration in a house, where’s the fun there?

The Maintenance Free Aquarium, that’s a myth.
 
Mazeus
  • #30
What’s the fun in never doing water changes when you have fish?
I like changing the water, making them happy, and keeping them healthy. Doing no water changes ever is like setting up a tank, and just leaving it there to be a piece of decoration in a house, where’s the fun there?

The Maintenance Free Aquarium, that’s a myth.

I disagree, the challenge is in creating the perfectly balanced aquarium. That takes time and effort. My goal is for all my tanks to look like the ocean aquarium tanks. I love that complete jungle look.
 
Fanatic
  • #31
I disagree, the challenge is in creating the perfectly balanced aquarium. That takes time and effort. My goal is for all my tanks to look like the ocean aquarium tanks. I love that complete jungle look.

I understand, but the only reason I have aquariums is so I can properly care for fish.
 
Rtessy
  • #32
I get the idea. It's like living decorations, or a living piece of artwork if you set it up that way.
Tank maintenance isn't super hard for me, but after, I think it was three or four months, of 50% daily water changes on multiple tanks, a break sounds nice
 
Mazeus
  • #33
Fanatic Now you are creating a debate. I wouldn't say fish aren't properly cared for in a tank without water changes. If all the parameters (and I am including KH, GH and TDS) are fine then the fish are cared for.

I think it is pretty hard to really achieve a tank without any water changes, I certainly can't because I have hard water and I am too cheap to constantly buy RODI water.
 
Fanatic
  • #34
Fanatic Now you are creating a debate. I wouldn't say fish aren't properly cared for in a tank without water changes. If all the parameters (and I am including KH, GH and TDS) are fine then the fish are cared for.

I think it is pretty hard to really achieve a tank without any water changes, I certainly can't because I have hard water and I am too cheap to constantly buy RODI water.

Well, the debate ends here!
 
Smalltownfishfriend
  • #36
That is really neat!! Kinda the same idea of my fish pond I suppose.. I never do water changes in it.. it is packed full of all kinds of plants, including hornwort, water lettuce lily pads, and the only water change it gets is when it rains, however it rains quite often hear so it does get fresh water so not the same as your tank!! I really like the idea of a self sustaining tank!!!
 
Chris Osborne
  • #37
I have a 55 gallon chichlid tank fully enclosed. Sealed lids, sealed water exchange, ect. Planted, nice crushed coral sand bed to keep up ph. LED lighting gauged for the plants, a few plecos. Haven't changed the water for over a year now. I do open it to test levels every few weeks to a month, but other than that totally enclosed ecosystem.
 
Discus-Tang
  • #38
I have a 55 gallon chichlid tank fully enclosed. Sealed lids, sealed water exchange, ect. Planted, nice crushed coral sand bed to keep up ph. LED lighting gauged for the plants, a few plecos. Haven't changed the water for over a year now. I do open it to test levels every few weeks to a month, but other than that totally enclosed ecosystem.
What about oxygen?
 
Chris Osborne
  • #39
What about oxygen?
With the plant load and the surface agitation from the water return, they do great. No signs of lack of oxygen, and they are very happy. Six of them are pregnant atm so the parameters are doing great.
 
Discus-Tang
  • #40
With the plant load and the surface agitation from the water return, they do great. No signs of lack of oxygen, and they are very happy. Six of them are pregnant atm so the parameters are doing great.
Oh, I get it... plant load absorbs co2 from livestock, breathes out o2. Got it
 

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