Bio-Filters Work VERY Well For Less $$

JR1955
Member
OK, this is my 2nd post. I'm a firm believer in No Water Changes Needed if you discover the balance. 75% water changes twice weekly???? Really? To me, that is absolutely insane! In my 40 years, I have never done "frequent" water changes. Once every 2 months for years. Fish were big, beautiful, and healthy. Water always had only a slight fresh earthy smell. So why the chemicals? Could it be commercialization has invaded this hobby? Aquarists use to swear by under-gravel filters. But the basic outside bio-filter has proven to be more effective. I don't think this is rocket science folks. If the water needs changed, then change it. But if all your testing says, "Hey, your water is perfect!" Why would you try to fix it? It just baffles me to see well known Youtube aquarists tell you why you need another additive or expensive filtration systems. In my experience, the more basic you keep your tank, the better it is for you and your fish. I'm not talking about marine tanks here. I have 0 experience with them. So if anyone wants to prove me wrong with down-to-earth evidence, I'm all in.
 
Betta'sAnonymous
Member
Well, the only chemical my tanks get is the water dechlorinator. I am all for plenty of water changes if needed, but i keep a pretty "keep it simple, stupid" approach to fishkeeping. My fish seem to like it.
 
LowConductivity
Member
Ill gladly take an old school box, or a sponge every day of the week. Who has money for external boxes powered by electricity?

I’ll change 50% every day for many species of fry. 5x bbs feedings. Baby fish that require a very low bacterial load to survive. Fish that deplete the trace so quickly they don’t develop if you don’t. For me, no water changes equals either no fry, or cull heavy batches of ill developed fish.
 
AggressiveAquatics
Member
I would also think 75% water changes twice weekly is crazy. I like around 50% once a week, usually once every two weeks if I can’t be bothered
 
  • Thread Starter
JR1955
Member
I think many aquarists think "yucky dirty water" if it goes unchanged. My water is still crystal clear with no bad smells after going 4 months (so far) after no water changes. Have you ever went swimming in a lake, river, or pond then open your eyes? How can fish even survive in that stuff?? Yet they flourish in their own natural habitat. What IS unnatural is squeaky clean water. I KNOW this is hard for many aquarists to accept and that's ok. It's just the way a few of us have experienced GREAT success from our aquaria. So before knocking the ways of others, just keep in mind there are "other" ways that "might" be even be better?
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Ok, so why are we resurrecting the topic of your other thread?

We get it.
You do you, but honestly, it appears you just want members to challenge you so you can prove you are 'right'
 
  • Thread Starter
JR1955
Member
Lucy said:
Ok, so why are we resurrecting the topic of your other thread?

We get it.
You do you, but honestly, it appears you just want members to challenge you so you can prove you are 'right'
OK, I'll stop preaching. It's just something that I see of such great importance. I can pretend that water changes are the way to go, but I won't. No more non-water change input from me. I can see that it's like voodoo in this forum.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
No one has asked you to pretend anything. Your method is working for you.
As strongly as you feel about no water changes, others feel just as strongly who are pro water changes.
The same could be said about many aspects of this hobby.
 
mimo91088
Member
Lucy , to play devil's advocate here, I think the hobby as a whole is also too prone to just parrot the "right way" when we hear it. I think there's plenty of merit to having the argument as long as things stay civil. I'm also of the school of thought that many people change their water far more often than is needed just because "you're supposed to, right?".
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
mimo91088 said:
Lucy , to play devil's advocate here, I think the hobby as a whole is also too prone to just parrot the "right way" when we hear it. I think there's plenty of merit to having the argument as long as things stay civil. I'm also of the school of thought that many people change their water far more often than is needed just because "you're supposed to, right?".
Yup, good point.
 
Pfrozen
Member
Imo your method depends a lot on whats in your source water... My source water had high levels of phosphates and some undetectable poison from the runoff coming from the farms in my area... point is there is more than just ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, so for the majority of people a no water change tank would not be possible. Some people like yourself are blessed with just the right conditions to make it happen. I'm not skeptical about it working for a year or two years or even longer but most 0 water change tanks I've seen run for several years and then something goes wrong. I have seen a couple work out indefinitely from Reddit and stuff though. One person in particular had a BEAUTIFUL 120g planted dutch-style tank that was about 6 years old and never had the water changed

Like I said before I definitely have settled into my "own" way of doing things. There are a lot of pervasive myths in this hobby but generally speaking I'd say that this isn't one of them. for most people I think water changes are necessary but its cool that you're able to run your tank without them.

Some day I would like to try discus in a blackwater environment like my main tank but with weekly water changes instead of daily/every 2 days. Science says it can work so I'm super curious if it can work in practice. Too expensive for me right now but some day :D
 
  • Thread Starter
JR1955
Member
In my guestimation, I would have no problem throwing a pair of Discus right now and have them survive a loooong healthy life just the way the water is now. It's almost perfect for them in every way. I would worry about the Africans picking on them, but other than that bring em on. I don't have "black water" I have very well filtered water with 2 HUGE bio-filters and a 700gph submersible wrapped in the same 100 micro mesh that's in my filters. My firm belief is that when you find the biological balance STOP changing your water until your test kits tell you it's time. If MY test kits tell me it's time, then OF COURSE I will change the water but never more than 50% My aquariums have always been self-cleaning with ammonia and nitrates and I literally DUMP mu fish food in with large quantities. So far after 4 months my water is still perfect. I personally don't believe that there are some waters that "can't" be brought to this balance I'm speaking of. You can always start off by filling your tank with good quality water what ever that maybe. Usually everyone has access to it somewhere. Then once your aquarium becomes 100% established, just leave it be until your test kit tells you differently.

Also, after you have your aquarium 100% established STOP doing water changes, BUT your aquarium may still need some extra tweeking before you are able to stop indefinitely. Usually, it's just a matter of more filtration and/or underwater water flow. All lakes, rivers, and ponds have underwater currants. Some aquarists worry too much about surface disturbance and not enough about substrate disturbance. If the surface of the substrate is getting pounded 247 with currant, it's bound to give up some of those nasties that can collect deep into the substrate and cause nitrate and ammonia problems. Most fish actually LOVE the added currant. I stopped seeing my biggest trouble maker fish that always bullied in the front of the aquarium. After adding the submersible pump behind all the caves (in the back half of the aquarium) he practically disappeared. He now spends most of his time swimming against the currant back there!
 
Patman0519
Member
I've gone 3 months without a water exchange as well, in all honesty with how consistantly you do not do water changes I'm surprised your fish havent had nitrate poisoning as of yet, store bought fish have been adapted and acclimated to far more brutal variants in the water column out of attrition for survival, your filtration system you keep saying is amazing and all mechanical????? With some floss?
Your water is perfect nearly?
Yet you have posted no pictures or evidence of water condition through test kit results.
I've been waiting to see your tank and system as I am also a filtration nut because I also hate water changes...
I'm 135 gallon turns over a true 400 gallons an hour, I have countless hours in getting it to this point, my tank is outdoors with no algae on it over how I filter.
Show me yours
I'll show you mine
 
  • Thread Starter
JR1955
Member
JR1955 said:
OK, this is my 2nd post. I'm a firm believer in No Water Changes Needed if you discover the balance. 75% water changes twice weekly???? Really? To me, that is absolutely insane! In my 40 years, I have never done "frequent" water changes. Once every 2 months for years. Fish were big, beautiful, and healthy. Water always had only a slight fresh earthy smell. So why the chemicals? Could it be commercialization has invaded this hobby? Aquarists use to swear by under-gravel filters. But the basic outside bio-filter has proven to be more effective. I don't think this is rocket science folks. If the water needs changed, then change it. But if all your testing says, "Hey, your water is perfect!" Why would you try to fix it? It just baffles me to see well known Youtube aquarists tell you why you need another additive or expensive filtration systems. In my experience, the more basic you keep your tank, the better it is for you and your fish. I'm not talking about marine tanks here. I have 0 experience with them. So if anyone wants to prove me wrong with down-to-earth evidence, I'm all in.
Patman0519 said:
I've gone 3 months without a water exchange as well, in all honesty with how consistantly you do not do water changes I'm surprised your fish havent had nitrate poisoning as of yet, store bought fish have been adapted and acclimated to far more brutal variants in the water column out of attrition for survival, your filtration system you keep saying is amazing and all mechanical????? With some floss?
Your water is perfect nearly?
Yet you have posted no pictures or evidence of water condition through test kit results.
I've been waiting to see your tank and system as I am also a filtration nut because I also hate water changes...
I'm 135 gallon turns over a true 400 gallons an hour, I have countless hours in getting it to this point, my tank is outdoors with no algae on it over how I filter.
Show me yours
I'll show you mine
I have posted test results and pictures both in my last post. The moderator locked it up for either other members being upset that I'm not going along the rest of the sheep who do frequent water changes or the moderator is a part of the same herd of sheep. My water quality is 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites. The only time it has even had a smidgen of any of the above bad qualities was after a huge feeding. All my feedings are huge. You really can't over-feed with the basic system I use (within reason of course). I'm not here to lie about anything. I'm being 100% truthful and honest. It is the nay-sayers and the frequent water-changing zealots who are causing the problems, not me. I came here to share my findings with the rest of the world. I was ridiculed by many members for doing so. What I have posted in this thread, I was flogged by the moderator, BUT it is 100% truthful and honest. I didn't come here to go along to get along. I came here to share what I know that works. People can either try it for themselves or mock me for not towing the line of the masses. You have read enough from this post to know how I do it. It's simple and inexpensive. Just think of the substrate as the garbage can of the aquarium. The submersible pump agitates the substrate causing it to release it's garbage into the water for the double filtration to collect. That's it. Plain and simple. No more water changes.
JR1955 said:
I have posted test results and pictures both in my last post. The moderator locked it up for either other members being upset that I'm not going along the rest of the sheep who do frequent water changes or the moderator is a part of the same herd of sheep. My water quality is 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites. The only time it has even had a smidgen of any of the above bad qualities was after a huge feeding. All my feedings are huge. You really can't over-feed with the basic system I use (within reason of course). I'm not here to lie about anything. I'm being 100% truthful and honest. It is the nay-sayers and the frequent water-changing zealots who are causing the problems, not me. I came here to share my findings with the rest of the world. I was ridiculed by many members for doing so. What I have posted in this thread, I was flogged by the moderator, BUT it is 100% truthful and honest. I didn't come here to go along to get along. I came here to share what I know that works. People can either try it for themselves or mock me for not towing the line of the masses. You have read enough from this post to know how I do it. It's simple and inexpensive. Just think of the substrate as the garbage can of the aquarium. The submersible pump agitates the substrate causing it to release it's garbage into the water for the double filtration to collect. That's it. Plain and simple. No more water changes.
I also use carbon infused filter medium. I have a 75 gal aquarium. I use 2 of the largest Marineland outside bio-wheel filters with one cheap 700gph submersible pump wrapped with 100 micron mesh which is the same as what I use in my filters for water clarity. That's it.
 
pagoda
Member
You're obviously becoming frustrated that people need convincing of your methodology. It obviously works for you and that should be applauded. But please don't get defensive when people actively question your methods as they are only trying to understand what you are doing...as someone who does the weekly water change myself, I do not feel that I am a sheep or zealot, I find that the method suits my way of maintaining my aquariums, thats not to say that your method is pie in the sky cos it isn't, but we are all different in our approaches and methods and to me, at least, that is no bad thing.
 
  • Thread Starter
JR1955
Member
JR1955 said:
I have posted test results and pictures both in my last post. The moderator locked it up for either other members being upset that I'm not going along the rest of the sheep who do frequent water changes or the moderator is a part of the same herd of sheep. My water quality is 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites. The only time it has even had a smidgen of any of the above bad qualities was after a huge feeding. All my feedings are huge. You really can't over-feed with the basic system I use (within reason of course). I'm not here to lie about anything. I'm being 100% truthful and honest. It is the nay-sayers and the frequent water-changing zealots who are causing the problems, not me. I came here to share my findings with the rest of the world. I was ridiculed by many members for doing so. What I have posted in this thread, I was flogged by the moderator, BUT it is 100% truthful and honest. I didn't come here to go along to get along. I came here to share what I know that works. People can either try it for themselves or mock me for not towing the line of the masses. You have read enough from this post to know how I do it. It's simple and inexpensive. Just think of the substrate as the garbage can of the aquarium. The submersible pump agitates the substrate causing it to release it's garbage into the water for the double filtration to collect. That's it. Plain and simple. No more water changes.

I also use carbon infused filter medium. I have a 75 gal aquarium. I use 2 of the largest Marineland outside bio-wheel filters with one cheap 700gph submersible pump wrapped with 100 micron mesh which is the same as what I use in my filters for water clarity. That's it.
The rest is common sense really. I rinse out all the filters with tap water near the same temp as the aquarium water as not to kill the good bacteria. I keep these same filters. No new filters ever.
pagoda said:
You're obviously becoming frustrated that people need convincing of your methodology. It obviously works for you and that should be applauded. But please don't get defensive when people actively question your methods as they are only trying to understand what you are doing...as someone who does the weekly water change myself, I do not feel that I am a sheep or zealot, I find that the method suits my way of maintaining my aquariums, thats not to say that your method is pie in the sky cos it isn't, but we are all different in our approaches and methods and to me, at least, that is no bad thing.
I only got frustrated when long-time members began insinuating that I'm lying to them. What do I have to gain by it? If someone came up with something different than the masses, I would either try it myself or let it go for someone else to try. Ridiculing and being called a liar in so many words is not acceptable in my own book of ethics. But it has been here so far.
 
pagoda
Member
I don't honestly think anyone has accused you of lying or ridiculed you.

There are alot of people on this, and other forums, who are only recently getting into fishkeeping and simply do not know or understand the old school ways. They have often been given very poor advice by the LFS and have come here to find out what went wrong when they have done what was told of them but everything still went badly for them and their fish.

When people do not understand, they can sometimes come across as a little aggressively perhaps, but please do not take that as something personal against you, its just very hard to grasp the old school compared to what is the "norm" nowadays...which is weekly water changes and the plethora of chemicals, filters and other stuff that probably did not exist when you (and I) first started keeping these awesome animals.

People who are not accustomed to the old school ways just need it to be explained with more details, photos....and yes there will always be detractors and those unable to grasp it, but if you want to teach how it can be done, then you need to do it in a more simplified and explanatory way and not assume that everyone knows exactly what you are on about cos I can guarantee that probably 30% do if not less.

I am sorry if you feel as if you are being targetted in some way but tbh, those who are questioning you are only doing so cos they just don't get how you reach your results and want you to explain it without getting defensive.
 
Patman0519
Member
JR1955 said:
The rest is common sense really. I rinse out all the filters with tap water near the same temp as the aquarium water as not to kill the good bacteria. I keep these same filters. No new filters ever.

I only got frustrated when long-time members began insinuating that I'm lying to them. What do I have to gain by it? If someone came up with something different than the masses, I would either try it myself or let it go for someone else to try. Ridiculing and being called a liar in so many words is not acceptable in my own book of ethics. But it has been here so far.
No one says liar or your wrong, your being informative and I understand why you are doing it, I just dont know as to what degree you have gone with it because I have never seen your videos or pictures.
My filter for my tank is seven ft long or just shy of, your system works for you apparently but the only problem I see you having is the gas exchange, a true gas exchange turned all the way over..that's why I did my filter this way,you in your instance would have to change the water more often than i would because of that fact alone,you dont use plants to filter anything in the tank??? All mechanical is a false nitrogen cycle and that is one thing I've learned here is plants and fish work well together, your tanks been running for four months and I venture at month 8 you will start progressively losing stock of poor oxygen quality in the water....one of your chiclids may possibly be playing around in the substrate,disturb it and cause nitrogen pockets to arise out of it and the only way to stop tank death over that is the oxygen content in the water.
 
  • Thread Starter
JR1955
Member
pagoda said:
I don't honestly think anyone has accused you of lying or ridiculed you.

There are alot of people on this, and other forums, who are only recently getting into fishkeeping and simply do not know or understand the old school ways. They have often been given very poor advice by the LFS and have come here to find out what went wrong when they have done what was told of them but everything still went badly for them and their fish.

When people do not understand, they can sometimes come across as a little aggressively perhaps, but please do not take that as something personal against you, its just very hard to grasp the old school compared to what is the "norm" nowadays...which is weekly water changes and the plethora of chemicals, filters and other stuff that probably did not exist when you (and I) first started keeping these awesome animals.

People who are not accustomed to the old school ways just need it to be explained with more details, photos....and yes there will always be detractors and those unable to grasp it, but if you want to teach how it can be done, then you need to do it in a more simplified and explanatory way and not assume that everyone knows exactly what you are on about cos I can guarantee that probably 30% do if not less.

I am sorry if you feel as if you are being targetted in some way but tbh, those who are questioning you are only doing so cos they just don't get how you reach your results and want you to explain it without getting defensive.
I was very motivated to explain it in simple terms until I started getting bombarded. I just couldn't imagine myself acting the same way so I just took for granted others would be welcoming instead insulting. Yes, there was definitely ridiculing with lots of support showing in others' little laughing and thumbs up pics at the bottom of their responses. I reported one of their posts to the moderator that was obvious ridiculing. Maybe just too much disrespect in the younger generations. I was never brought up that way. But anyway, it's over. I'm not going to dwell on it. What's important to me is that I got the word out. It's not actually "old school" it has new components with the main being agitating the substrate instead of concentrating on surface agitation. It's not black water in any form. The only difference is basic filtration is substrate agitation. So I'll just leave it at that and go on.
Patman0519 said:
No one says liar or your wrong, your being informative and I understand why you are doing it, I just dont know as to what degree you have gone with it because I have never seen your videos or pictures.
My filter for my tank is seven ft long or just shy of, your system works for you apparently but the only problem I see you having is the gas exchange, a true gas exchange turned all the way over..that's why I did my filter this way,you in your instance would have to change the water more often than i would because of that fact alone,you dont use plants to filter anything in the tank??? All mechanical is a false nitrogen cycle and that is one thing I've learned here is plants and fish work well together, your tanks been running for four months and I venture at month 8 you will start progressively losing stock of poor oxygen quality in the water....one of your chiclids may possibly be playing around in the substrate,disturb it and cause nitrogen pockets to arise out of it and the only way to stop tank death over that is the oxygen content in the water.
You sound so sure about your opinions. Are you saying substrate cannot be agitated to the point of releasing any of its impurities into the water? Imagine 24/7 current flowing over the top of it. These gasses you speak of can't be released inside the bio-filter itself when collected? Fish can agitate the substrate with a quick fan of its fin but a 24/7 water flow cannot? Doesn't sound to logical to me.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
We believe you. You're awesome. Your tank is great, your fish are happy. You are the only one who knows how to do it the right way.
You got the word out. Perhaps someone will give it a try and have great success.
Happy now?

Like I said earlier. You do you. Since it's working for you, great! Everyone's goal is the same. Happy healthy fish.
We don't need two threads that go around in circle. Just accept that not everyone will agree on how to keep fish whether it's water changes (or lack of), stocking, salt, additives, everything is debatable.

Btw one water change every 2 months isn't the same as no water changes as your other title implies.

Being flogged by a moderator? Beaten by a whip, really? lol
Anyway, again we have reached an impasse.
Thread closed
 
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