A "no Water Change" Aquarium - Page 2

Pescado_Verde

Hello Pes...

That's right, No water changes, ever. I just top off the tanks every couple of days with distilled water. The tanks are open, no cover. This is to allow the house plant to grow above the tank. The roots of the plant remove all forms of nitrogen from the dissolving fish waste material and I feed the fish a diet that replaces the minerals in the water. That's it.

Old
Oh, I don't doubt it. I've known a lot of old hippies who were pretty ingenious when it came to creating systems that were fairly self sufficient. As you say though, the maintenance lies elsewhere, just not in water changes. As it was explained to me, we don't keep fish, we keep water.

Do you think it's possible to extend such a setup to a 3 gallon Betta tank? Curious because I own a tank that was ostensibly designed for such. Made by Top Fin.
 

oldsalt777

Oh, I don't doubt it. I've known a lot of old hippies who were pretty ingenious when it came to creating systems that were fairly self sufficient. As you say though, the maintenance lies elsewhere, just not in water changes. As it was explained to me, we don't keep fish, we keep water.

Do you think it's possible to extend such a setup to a 3 gallon Betta tank? Curious because I own a tank that was ostensibly designed for such. Made by Top Fin.

Pes...

Absolutely...

The system will work for any sized tank. But, you'll have to use a small Chinese evergreen house plant. The plants will get fairly large, so it works best for a larger tank. But, give it a try.

Old
 

mattgirl

This thread has really peaked my interest. I am sitting here looking at my huge Chinese Evergreen plants and my tank. I can see how great they would look if combined. One of me CE's does need to be repotted

Do you occasionally lift the plants and trim the roots?
 

SegiDream

Hmm I might get the 40b set up this week fingers crossed and for lighting I found a cheapo shop light that should work. I'll have to hang the light so maybe I could put my lemon bacopa and dwarf papyrus bog plants in there for the winter I'm a fan of being able to see into the tank so I couldn't cover the entire top with plants and live happily ever after... And I'd have to go with black baskets if I can find any. Thank you for the info in this thread.

The plastic mesh is called plastic canvas, walmart has a clear 6 pack for just a few bucks or hobby lobby sells a variety of colors for about .70 cents a sheet. Soldering irons are great for putting holes in plastic.. *whistle*
 

Pescado_Verde

Pes...

Absolutely...

The system will work for any sized tank. But, you'll have to use a small Chinese evergreen house plant. The plants will get fairly large, so it works best for a larger tank. But, give it a try.

Old
When I first got the little tank (I keep one of my Betta's in it) I called the plant lady at the locally owned garden center. She's been there since the early 80's and knows her plants but she was stumped on what sort of plant would work in such conditions. She just doesn't know aquatic plants, what will work submersed and emersed etc... I'll look into the Chinese evergreen. The tank has a plant container on the top of it that the water filters back thru and has some clay ball media. There's also a clip on grow light of sorts that would allow about an 18" tall plant to fit underneath it. Thanks for the thread topic, one old salt to another.
 

oldsalt777

This thread has really peaked my interest. I am sitting here looking at my huge Chinese Evergreen plants and my tank. I can see how great they would look if combined. One of me CE's does need to be repotted

Do you occasionally lift the plants and trim the roots?

Hello mgirl...

I only trim the leaves when needed. The plants in my tanks have been there for years, and the root system has grown through the holes in the plastic basket. The root system is too large to remove the plant. If you simply trim off the spent or yellowing leaves, this will keep the plant healthy and constantly replacing the old leaves.

Old
 

Gatesy

HI everyone

I have a 5 gallon tank that I recycled after my betta died, it now houses 4 endlers and some RCS I haven't needed to change water in 36 days due to heavy planting and a Chinese evergreen growing out of the top, I have been regulary topping it up with treated water

In regards of water top offs should I not be adding any GH crystals that I get from the LFS?
I believe it's mostly salts and magnesium, do these get left behind when the water evaporates?

I was going to do a partial change this weekend in case something I can't test for is being used up or accumulating but would rather leave the tank to its self if I can
 

goldface

Nice tanks. I want to do something similar with Peace Lily. That way I don’t have to worry about overhead lighting.

There are actually anaerobic bacteria that take care of nitrate.

I was slightly dissapointed that Chinese Evergreen isn’t actually a tree. That would’ve been cool.
 

-Mak-

HI everyone

I have a 5 gallon tank that I recycled after my betta died, it now houses 4 endlers and some RCS I haven't needed to change water in 36 days due to heavy planting and a Chinese evergreen growing out of the top, I have been regulary topping it up with treated water

In regards of water top offs should I not be adding any GH crystals that I get from the LFS?
I believe it's mostly salts and magnesium, do these get left behind when the water evaporates?

I was going to do a partial change this weekend in case something I can't test for is being used up or accumulating but would rather leave the tank to its self if I can
No, you don't have to add GH for top offs. Evaporation is water turning into gas. Salts and magnesium don't turn into gas at this temperature, so they stay behind.
 

oldsalt777

Hello Mak...

Water lost to evaporation in a "no water change" set up should be topped off with either reverse osmosis (RO) or distilled water. I prefer distilled. It's cheap and won't add minerals to the tank water. You want the water chemistry to remain steady and the distilled water will do this job.

Old
 

oldsalt777

Hello FL...

The 'No Water Change" tanks are running well. Go through 5 to 6 gallons of distilled water per week, but better that than the large, weekly water changes I used to do. Check the water chemistry every so often and it's always the same. No traces of ammonia or nitrite and nitrates under 20 ppm. The plants are growing nicely.

Old
 

Blaze

To each their own I suppose..
I just wouldn't feel comfortable not doing a water change at the very least every 3 weeks even with that setup.
But hey if everything is and has been working out for you thus far I give you props good job
 

oldsalt777

To each their own I suppose..
I just wouldn't feel comfortable not doing a water change at the very least every 3 weeks even with that setup.
But hey if everything is and has been working out for you thus far I give you props good job

Hello Blaze...

I understand you don't want to get away from water changes and risk the health of your fish. You simply need a way of removing the dissolved waste material before it builds up to toxic levels and negatively affects the fish. The fish need to live in constant pure water conditions. By setting up and maintaining a natural filter system that removes the nitrogen from the fish waste and using distilled water that doesn't add to the mineral content of the water, you can keep a balanced water chemistry indefinitely. No water changes are ever necessary.

Old
 

Momgoose56

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.
So where's the picture of this ecosystem?

Suum cuique
I agree. I kinda like watching my fish. If I wanted to watch my plant roots grow, they wouldn't all be in pots o' dirt lol!
 

DanteCrosetto

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

I'm curious to see how this looks...
 

oldsalt777

I'm curious to see how this looks...

Okay. I've attached a picture of such a tank.

Old
 

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angelcraze

Hello Pes...

That's right, No water changes, ever. I just top off the tanks every couple of days with distilled water. The tanks are open, no cover. This is to allow the house plant to grow above the tank. The roots of the plant remove all forms of nitrogen from the dissolving fish waste material and I feed the fish a diet that replaces the minerals in the water. That's it.

Old
You couldn't keep growing or breeding fish in there though right? The GIHs (growth inhibiting) and breeding hormones would be too high...

I have a blackwater forever QT tank that I don't do water changes in very often. I use distilled to top off. NitrAte is processed by plants, as it is lightly stocked with fish that were exposed to Lymphocystis (I suspect).

But growing or breeding fish (basically all my other fish) need water changes imo.

Here's a pic if anyone is interested

20180624_134351.jpg
I also have emersed plants growing out my tanks. I love how they suck up nitrates and clean my air too! And I can still watch my fish. They are in there I swear! Just a bit shy.
 

Momgoose56

You couldn't keep growing or breeding fish in there though right? The GIHs (growth inhibiting) and breeding hormones would be too high...

I have a blackwater forever QT tank that I don't do water changes in very often. I use distilled to top off. NitrAte is processed by plants, as it is lightly stocked with fish that were exposed to Lymphocystis (I suspect).

But growing or breeding fish (basically all my other fish) need water changes imo.

Here's a pic if anyone is interested

20180624_134351.jpg
I also have emersed plants growing out my tanks. I love how they suck up nitrates and clean my air too! And I can still watch my fish. They are in there I swear! Just a bit shy.
Is that a Saguaro Boot floating, upper right?! THAT'S an awesome looking addition!
 

oldsalt777

You couldn't keep growing or breeding fish in there though right? The GIHs (growth inhibiting) and breeding hormones would be too high...

I have a blackwater forever QT tank that I don't do water changes in very often. I use distilled to top off. NitrAte is processed by plants, as it is lightly stocked with fish that were exposed to Lymphocystis (I suspect).

But growing or breeding fish (basically all my other fish) need water changes imo.

Here's a pic if anyone is interested

20180624_134351.jpg
I also have emersed plants growing out my tanks. I love how they suck up nitrates and clean my air too! And I can still watch my fish. They are in there I swear! Just a bit shy.

Hello angel...

Actually, the fish reproduce normally. The tank currently has Corydoras, Zebra Danios, White Skirt Tetras, Guppies and Platys.

Old
 

Momgoose56

Hello angel...

Actually, the fish reproduce normally. The tank currently has Corydoras, Zebra Danios, White Skirt Tetras, Guppies and Platys.

Old
But you can't see the fish! (nice plants though)
 

angelcraze

Hello angel...

Actually, the fish reproduce normally. The tank currently has Corydoras, Zebra Danios, White Skirt Tetras, Guppies and Platys.

Old
I'm not saying they won't reproduce. But alfa fish will leach hormones to prevent others from maturing into Alfa. So baby fish will almost certainly grow slower and may even stay smaller longterm. Maybe not all fish types, but some like cichilds and plecos I'm sure. Also at times my cichlids get confused with eggs. Like they think they are still there because of the hormones I assume. A water change fixes that everytime. I just don't know how to deal with that with no water changes.....

Interesting concept though, and I agree with careful planning, it could work in a lightly stocked tank with certain fish.
 

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