But I Don't Wanna Change My Water!!!!

oldsalt777

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jjohnwm said:
One of my pet peeves...and, yes, I do have a lot of them; what's it to ya? ...is the constantly recurring theme of "no-water-change aquariums"...or, as I think of them, aquariums that haven't failed yet.

We read over and over about the wonderful, magical properties of anaerobic bacteria that chew up nitrates like candy. The currently more popular word to use is "anoxic" which for our purposes means the same thing, but it just sounds so cool and scientifical-like. Anaerobic is old hat; ya gotta go anoxic or you're just not in the loop.

The fellow with the most popular videos likes to re-purpose words in that fashion. Another favourite is "biocenosis" as in Biocenosis Clarification Basket, or BCB. You know when you get an acronym that your idea is going places. I'm sure we all understand the definition of "clarification". Try looking up "biocenosis" and you may be surprised to discover that it simply refers to an interconnected biological system of a number of different species. In other words...it's just a general term that he has linked up with a couple of other general terms to come up with a supposedly-impressive-sounding new technology.

Back when the undergravel filter was new and ground-breaking, the tech was sold to us in much the same way. It was a filter that "never needed cleaning"...but in actuality it was a filter that would function as intended long enough for the makers to sell a boatload of them before people figured out that there was nothing magical or even new about the idea. The best thing about undergravel filters was the fact that they introduced the average aquarist to the notion that bacteria could be good; most had never heard of the idea of biological filtration, so the UG filter craze thrust this concept into the general awareness of the aquarium world. And look what happened! Today the "nitrogen cycle" is something that everyone in the hobby has heard of. Some of them even have an idea of how it works.

But it's not really a "cycle", is it? I mean, the food goes in, the poop comes out, the bacteria chow down on it and convert it through the stages...and then those pesky nitrates keep on accumulating and accumulating at the end, with nothing "cyclical" about. So folks like the used car salesman noted above decide it's time to expand our horizons and introduce a way to continue the cycle a bit further, and completely release that nitrogen from our lives and tanks. So they sell us on BCB's and kitty litter and Matrix and all the other goodies that are designed to foster this new and wonderful type of bacteria. It's all still pretty mysterious; when asked for specifics like "what flow rate should be present in the anoxic filter bed", the answer is something nebulous like "slow". Wow...that's helpful. Too fast, and we will end up growing those old-style aerobic bacteria in there...you know, the ones that we pursued for decades and still need today. Too slow, and we might get the terrifying "anaerobic" conditions that will result in pockets of noxious gas, loss of vision, financial instability and whatever else they do when they aren't doing what we want them to do.

Now, a technology-minded person might be attracted to this idea simply because it is something new and different, and getting it to work is in itself a satisfying goal. Nothing wrong with that, although I always have nagging ethical doubts about experiments which can kill living critters if they go wrong. Some...a few...of the techies get the plan to work; these wunderkind are held up as examples of the validity of the concept. Nothing much is said about the many others who give up partway through, hopefully before too many fish lose their lives. And nothing at all is said about the other reasons for changing water, i.e. trace elements and the host of other possible changes that it undergoes when fish live, breathe, eat and poop in it for days, weeks, months...

The biggest problem is the beginners who scan a few paragraphs and lock on to the phrase "no water changes". They don't care about how it is supposed to work; they just don't want to carry buckets. Their wood floors are too shiny; they can't connect the hose to their faucets; they don't have the time; they need to de-mineralize, then re-mineralize, then reverse-osmose, then alter the pH, the hardness, the TDS and whatever else they can think of, and it is just too much dang work. They want the no-effort aquarium, and they want it now.

Let's get the techies to work on the real solution; the Selective Element Transporter device. Fill the tank with clean water, throw in a few fish, set the controls on the machine for the exact chemical composition you want to keep it at, and press the button. The machine will instantly monitor the make-up of the water and then remove whatever isn't wanted (nitrates, phosphates, excess CO2, etc.) by teleportation. Maybe the unwanted waste material can be made to re-appear in a collection bucket of some kind, so that it can be re-used as garden fertilizer or landfill or perhaps in Vegan cooking.

But until that happens...until we have complete mastery over and control of all the natural processes that are at play in aquarium water (or, in other words, never...)...perhaps we should just accept that the best, simplest, most foolproof method for maintaining healthy fish and healthy water is to do water changes. If you don't want to do that, maybe you should re-consider the aquarium hobby.
Hello jj...

The "no water change" tank has been available for many years. I've had some running for years without the dreaded water change. They're not going to fail, trust me. As long as you understand the water chemistry and what the fish require for good health, even you can have one in your house.

Have fun!

Old
 

Kasshan

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I haven't done a water change on any of my tanks since 2013(one exception, much to my chagrin, I had to do 1 WC a couple years back when a baby dumped a bunch of food in). my Discus and Angels lay eggs, my neons and cardinals lived for +6 years(they finally started to die off earlier this year), my rasboras are still alive. my cories breed. my EB rams breed. my EB Jack Dempseys breed. CAVEAT! Not changing your tanks' water isn't for novices or even the vast majority of "experienced" fishkeepers, you have got to be a scientist on another level and beat down certain neurotic OCD tendencies, not everyone has that kind of patience. You just have to know what you are doing, not just pray to the fish gods.
 

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Next week I will be taking the water change to a whole new level on my original aquarium Ordinary basic water changes are simply not working the way they should

Its going to be an Extreme Makeover Fish Style

I love my Cory family, they are AWESOME! however, I am not so happy with the amount of exposed sand (and the sand storms that happen when they start digging & faceplanting) or the hordes of snails still breeding on the live plants despite 4 x 3 day anti-snail treatments

So next week, half the water will go, the live plants will be gone, the existing sand & gravel will be cleaned and then covered with new gravel and a new aquascape with artificial plants will be done

Then once all is in place the water will be replaced.......the fishies will not be impressed with me as they shall be staying in the aquarium during renovations but needs must and all that....Cory + sand = absolute cleaning nightmare (and the filter ain't too happy either) .....sulking fish and probably some Cory rumpy pumpy once done, but it'll all be worth it
 
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jjohnwm

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There is a vast difference between a true no-water-change tank...and a tank that never gets a water change.

The former is exceptionally rare, but I'm sure it exists. I'll never have one and won't try to.

The latter is everywhere and is often mistaken for the former, usually by its owner.
 

nikm128

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I have a question for the three of you that've said you manage a no water change tank, so JohnClinch oldsalt777 and Kasshan
How do you solve the problem of TDS going up and up with all the nutrients and minerals in the having to eventually be replenished? Or rather, what is your tap TDS and what is it in the tank? Where do things like hormones and pheromones go since they can't be tested for and thus we can never know the exact amount in our tanks?
 

Lypress

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jjohnwm said:
One of my pet peeves...and, yes, I do have a lot of them; what's it to ya? ...is the constantly recurring theme of "no-water-change aquariums"...or, as I think of them, aquariums that haven't failed yet.

We read over and over about the wonderful, magical properties of anaerobic bacteria that chew up nitrates like candy. The currently more popular word to use is "anoxic" which for our purposes means the same thing, but it just sounds so cool and scientifical-like. Anaerobic is old hat; ya gotta go anoxic or you're just not in the loop.

The fellow with the most popular videos likes to re-purpose words in that fashion. Another favourite is "biocenosis" as in Biocenosis Clarification Basket, or BCB. You know when you get an acronym that your idea is going places. I'm sure we all understand the definition of "clarification". Try looking up "biocenosis" and you may be surprised to discover that it simply refers to an interconnected biological system of a number of different species. In other words...it's just a general term that he has linked up with a couple of other general terms to come up with a supposedly-impressive-sounding new technology.

Back when the undergravel filter was new and ground-breaking, the tech was sold to us in much the same way. It was a filter that "never needed cleaning"...but in actuality it was a filter that would function as intended long enough for the makers to sell a boatload of them before people figured out that there was nothing magical or even new about the idea. The best thing about undergravel filters was the fact that they introduced the average aquarist to the notion that bacteria could be good; most had never heard of the idea of biological filtration, so the UG filter craze thrust this concept into the general awareness of the aquarium world. And look what happened! Today the "nitrogen cycle" is something that everyone in the hobby has heard of. Some of them even have an idea of how it works.

But it's not really a "cycle", is it? I mean, the food goes in, the poop comes out, the bacteria chow down on it and convert it through the stages...and then those pesky nitrates keep on accumulating and accumulating at the end, with nothing "cyclical" about. So folks like the used car salesman noted above decide it's time to expand our horizons and introduce a way to continue the cycle a bit further, and completely release that nitrogen from our lives and tanks. So they sell us on BCB's and kitty litter and Matrix and all the other goodies that are designed to foster this new and wonderful type of bacteria. It's all still pretty mysterious; when asked for specifics like "what flow rate should be present in the anoxic filter bed", the answer is something nebulous like "slow". Wow...that's helpful. Too fast, and we will end up growing those old-style aerobic bacteria in there...you know, the ones that we pursued for decades and still need today. Too slow, and we might get the terrifying "anaerobic" conditions that will result in pockets of noxious gas, loss of vision, financial instability and whatever else they do when they aren't doing what we want them to do.

Now, a technology-minded person might be attracted to this idea simply because it is something new and different, and getting it to work is in itself a satisfying goal. Nothing wrong with that, although I always have nagging ethical doubts about experiments which can kill living critters if they go wrong. Some...a few...of the techies get the plan to work; these wunderkind are held up as examples of the validity of the concept. Nothing much is said about the many others who give up partway through, hopefully before too many fish lose their lives. And nothing at all is said about the other reasons for changing water, i.e. trace elements and the host of other possible changes that it undergoes when fish live, breathe, eat and poop in it for days, weeks, months...

The biggest problem is the beginners who scan a few paragraphs and lock on to the phrase "no water changes". They don't care about how it is supposed to work; they just don't want to carry buckets. Their wood floors are too shiny; they can't connect the hose to their faucets; they don't have the time; they need to de-mineralize, then re-mineralize, then reverse-osmose, then alter the pH, the hardness, the TDS and whatever else they can think of, and it is just too much dang work. They want the no-effort aquarium, and they want it now.

Let's get the techies to work on the real solution; the Selective Element Transporter device. Fill the tank with clean water, throw in a few fish, set the controls on the machine for the exact chemical composition you want to keep it at, and press the button. The machine will instantly monitor the make-up of the water and then remove whatever isn't wanted (nitrates, phosphates, excess CO2, etc.) by teleportation. Maybe the unwanted waste material can be made to re-appear in a collection bucket of some kind, so that it can be re-used as garden fertilizer or landfill or perhaps in Vegan cooking.

But until that happens...until we have complete mastery over and control of all the natural processes that are at play in aquarium water (or, in other words, never...)...perhaps we should just accept that the best, simplest, most foolproof method for maintaining healthy fish and healthy water is to do water changes. If you don't want to do that, maybe you should re-consider the aquarium hobby.
This is so true, when I started my 90 gallon I was spending a lot of time testing, vacuuming, water changes, and treating the occasional sick fish in my 10 gallon that I also kept pristine and my mother in law told me it was silly and I didn’t need to do all that. It kind of made me mad. She had fish tanks in the past and I had to wonder what shape her poor fish must have been in. In my opinion, you should never have a pet if you’re not willing to put the time and money into it. It’s like getting a puppy and not getting it’s shots or walking it or giving it attention. I have seen a few videos of people rescuing dogs being tied to trees by a short rope for years with no attention, no shelter, no exercise, no care at all except the occasional food and water. People feel so badly and react to these videos but give no thought to fish being kept the same way. Many people also overcrowd or put large fish in small inappropriate tanks with minimal or no filtration or no heater. Niece put a betta in a tank not much bigger than the cup he came in. No filter or heater and no cycling. She didn’t even have dechlor or prime etc. I tried to teach her but she didn’t listen and the fish lived about 10 days. Very sad. Thank you for this post.
 

Momgoose56

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I tend to follow the 'original' model (lakes, ponds, rivers, streams) of maintaining my tiny aquatic ecosystems where fish fluorish best... with water changes! No natural aquatic system on earth (at least none we've found) support fish for long without fresh replacement, dilution and augmentation of their water whether it be with rainfall, runoff, feeder streams and rivers etc. Pretty arrogant of us to think we can 'fix' a problem that isn't a problem...
 

Maryann_D

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goldengirls said:
Lovely tank.

There’s a fish store in San Francisco (Ocean Aquarium) that never does water changes. They rely on a thick level of substrate and tons of plants. That’s not to say there’s no maintenance. I want to talk to the owner next time I’m in the city and hear about his experience and knowledge about the subject.
Great YouTube video out there by aquarium co-op that gives a tour of the store. It is pretty amazing.
 

Momgoose56

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Dch48 said:
Even in lakes and ponds with no outlet, there is always fresh clean water coming in. These bodies of water are ground water fed and there is a constant exchange going on. This no water change thing is for those who need to feel a sense of accomplishment at making it work. Most are not successful and a lot have success for a while and then it all breaks down.
Right, but any body of water with "no outlet" will ultimately become so toxic it won't support life. UNLESS DI/RO water and replacement minerals are added. Even then, without a fresh water exchange once in awhile, keeping a balance would be difficult if not impossible over time. Sure, like many of the "no water change" people do, if you cram your tank full of plants and only have a handful of low bioload fish in the tank, you can probably go a long time without a massive nitrate accumulation. And if your tanks are sealed so nearly no evaporation occurs, even better! But I guess my deal is that I like to see and interact with my fish. So I have tanks with a few plants and lots of pretty fish and I have roses and irisis. I water- my roses and irisis with the nitrogen rich water my fish provide and give the fish fresh water back, so I can continue to have lots of pretty fish I can see and interact with...
 

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I don’t think something has to be intentionally ableist to be ableist, and we can certainly discriminate without being aware of it. It doesn’t mean that we’re evil, but that we weren’t thinking about it.

For the most part, as someone who has good mobility (except for a thumb that sometimes lets go when i’m holding a bucket) I take for granted that the people i’m talking to are like me, but there are probably more people in this group that are different from me than are alike me.

One of the reasons someone might not want to speak up in a situation is because people get defensive. Someone saying “hey this thread is ableist” is not saying “Hey, you’re all jerks.”

It’s saying, “Hey this is a huge community and we’re all different, so let’s make it so everyone who likes fish and wants to talk about fish feels comfortable doing so.

Because that’s what we’re here to do.

jjohnwm said:
My sincere apologies if my post came across as an accusation of laziness as the only reason for not changing water...and in reading over it I can see how it could be taken that way. I do understand that some folk simply cannot do the back-breaking labour of slugging heavy containers of water to and from their tanks; but it saddens me to see them being taken in by the claims of a few who seem to see the opportunity to market an idea (and, of course, all the peripherals and supplies that go with that idea...). I really think that the effort, time and money spent on unproven and usually unsuccessful new technologies like small-scale "anoxic filtration" for home aquariums would be better expended on simple mechanisms to do the work for you. There are many reasons why a person would want to avoid the labour inherent in transporting large quantities of water on a regular basis, but it is my belief that doing these changes is essential for long-term success with the vast majority of aquariums.



I think this is going a little too far. I certainly don't know personally of any "advanced" fish keepers who don't practice a regimen of water changes. They must exist, this thread is proof of that, but they are a tiny minority. Novices can, very understandably, gravitate towards the Holy Grail of never changing water, especially when it is presented so enticingly and convincingly by hucksters out to make a buck. If this was an "attack", it was aimed at the snake-oil salesmen, rather than their unsuspecting customers.



And I definitely think this is going too far. Accusing me of discrimination for pointing out that water changes are needed is more than a bit ridiculous. If you feel that I am wrong in my belief, then by all means feel free to find those few examples of long-term successful aquariums that are maintained without changing water. But don't raise the spectre of "ableism".

A combination of age and the aftereffects of a serious automobile accident in my past have left me unable to do many of the things that I once could. I've given up a lot of activities, but I still do frequent and large-scale water changes on several hundred gallons of aquariums, and I no longer ever need to lift a bucket. Until recently I had one small tank in my library which, due to its location, still required the water to be changed via buckets...not even a Python, which is untenable when using a well for water and a pressure tank to distribute it, but siphons and buckets. I am pleased to be able to state that a bit of DIY carpentry and plumbing now allow this tank to be done in the same fashion as all the others; i.e. with hoses, valves and pumps. I like the DIY way of solving problems, but if that's not your cup of tea, a small-scale contractor or handy-man can make the necessary changes for you.

Winston Churchill said it perfectly: "It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required."
 

Momgoose56

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Girlygreen said:
I don’t think something has to be intentionally ableist to be ableist, and we can certainly discriminate without being aware of it. It doesn’t mean that we’re evil, but that we weren’t thinking about it.

For the most part, as someone who has good mobility (except for a thumb that sometimes lets go when i’m holding a bucket) I take for granted that the people i’m talking to are like me, but there are probably more people in this group that are different from me than are alike me.

One of the reasons someone might not want to speak up in a situation is because people get defensive. Someone saying “hey this thread is ableist” is not saying “Hey, you’re all jerks.”

It’s saying, “Hey this is a huge community and we’re all different, so let’s make it so everyone who likes fish and wants to talk about fish feels comfortable doing so.

Because that’s what we’re here to do.
The thing is Girlygreen, in a forum like this, anyone who can't or doesn't take care of their fish or who purports to have a revolutionary new ways to never have to change water or clean tanks or feed fish that everyone can do, or that complains about actually doing the work, or the cost of doing it right ARE going to be challenged. The thing is, owning fish can be labor intensive. It can be expensive and it is not a hobby for everyone. Just like owning a dog is not for everyone. If you live in an apartment and don't have the ability or the resources or the willingness to find or use resources to take a dog out for exercise and to relieve itself, you shouldn't have a dog. That's just humane common sense. Same with fish and aquariums. It has absolutely nothing to do with being ableist, disabled or able. It has to do with reasonable care and treatment of animals we choose to own.
 

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so, are you saying that since it is challenging for us, we shouldn't do it?

anyway, this is why i didn't say anything. didn't mean to rile you up by thanking someone on this forum for acknowledging that some humans have more challenges than other human beings.
 

david1978

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AllThumbs said:
so, are you saying that since it is challenging for us, we shouldn't do it?

anyway, this is why i didn't say anything. didn't mean to rile you up by thanking someone on this forum for acknowledging that some humans have more challenges than other human beings.


.
I too have many health issues. I went from a whole bunch of tanks to none in a short period of time. None didn't last long. I know I can't do the work all the time so I stock very lightly that way if I don't feel up to a water change it doesn't really matter. Well within reason anyway.
 

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I also have many health issues that make water changes a challenge, but I know that I can ask for help on the days that I can't lift things or grasp things without dropping them.

I think it's important to set up ways to accomplish a task in the most comfortable and safe way, when I'm on my own. But if I can't do something I know it and ask for someone else to help.

Sometimes that means my fish get a very very very slow water change as I need to sit down often if I am shaking too much, or if I need to rest my hands from using them while wearing my wrist braces. Other times it means I ask someone else to get the hose out and hook it up because I can't screw it on the faucet that day. But it gets done, and the fish stay healthy and happy. So I'm happy.

I don't think everyone can personally care for fish in the same way as others (or any pet) but I do think that almost anyone can do it with the proper tools or help. It just may be in a different way. However the basic needs of a pet stay the same no matter what our own abilities are.
 
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jjohnwm

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Suzanne2 said:
...the basic needs of a pet stay the same no matter what our own abilities are.
That's the gist of it, right there. The world is "ableist" to the Nth degree; we all have things we have difficult doing, or simply cannot do. When I read about a motorcycling trip (can't do it anymore, and miss it intensely), or watch a water skier (that's not happening for me anymore either...) the fact that I no longer ride or waterski makes me wistfully think of those early days, but I guess I'm just too old-fashioned to bristle at the author of the written piece for being "ableist"...I mean, how dare he rub my nose in it? Perhaps he is doing it entirely innocently, but apparently that is immaterial; it is still ableism being displayed.

Thank goodness I now know that the world is discriminating against me for being less than perfect. You learn something new every day...and lately I've been getting pretty sick and tired of it...
 

Momgoose56

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jjohnwm said:
That's the gist of it, right there. The world is "ableist" to the Nth degree; we all have things we have difficult doing, or simply cannot do. When I read about a motorcycling trip (can't do it anymore, and miss it intensely), or watch a water skier (that's not happening for me anymore either...) the fact that I no longer ride or waterski makes me wistfully think of those early days, but I guess I'm just too old-fashioned to bristle at the author of the written piece for being "ableist"...I mean, how dare he rub my nose in it? Perhaps he is doing it entirely innocently, but apparently that is immaterial; it is still ableism being displayed.

Thank goodness I now know that the world is discriminating against me for being less than perfect. You learn something new every day...and lately I've been getting pretty sick and tired of it...
What I'm saying is, if you are going to take on the job of being responsible for another living animal or humans welfare, you need to figure out a way to provide adequate minimal care. Whether you do it yourself or have help. You can't get a seeing eye dog as a blind person if you can't provide for the care of that dog. You shouldn't have any living thing if you can't provide for its care. I'm physically disabled too. EXCUSES don't take care of my animals.
 
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jjohnwm

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Momgoose56 said:
What I'm saying is, if you are going to take on the job of being responsible for another living animal or humans welfare, you need to figure out a way to provide adequate minimal care. Whether you do it yourself or have help. You can't get a seeing eye dog as a blind person if you can't provide for the care of that dog. You shouldn't have any living thing if you can't provide for its care. I'm physically disabled too. EXCUSES don't take care of my animals.
I hope you aren't explaining that to me, because I am already in 100% agreement with you. If an action is needed, then a person's unwillingness or inablility to do it makes no difference to the necessity. Life is hard.
 

Momgoose56

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jjohnwm said:
I hope you aren't explaining that to me, because I am already in 100% agreement with you. If an action is needed, then a person's unwillingness or inablility to do it makes no difference to the necessity. Life is hard.
Sorry, not aimed at you, i'm just used to replying to the 'previous post'.
 
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Lucy

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Let's get back on topic.
Here is the original post:

jjohnwm said:
One of my pet peeves...and, yes, I do have a lot of them; what's it to ya? ...is the constantly recurring theme of "no-water-change aquariums"...or, as I think of them, aquariums that haven't failed yet.

We read over and over about the wonderful, magical properties of anaerobic bacteria that chew up nitrates like candy. The currently more popular word to use is "anoxic" which for our purposes means the same thing, but it just sounds so cool and scientifical-like. Anaerobic is old hat; ya gotta go anoxic or you're just not in the loop.

The fellow with the most popular videos likes to re-purpose words in that fashion. Another favourite is "biocenosis" as in Biocenosis Clarification Basket, or BCB. You know when you get an acronym that your idea is going places. I'm sure we all understand the definition of "clarification". Try looking up "biocenosis" and you may be surprised to discover that it simply refers to an interconnected biological system of a number of different species. In other words...it's just a general term that he has linked up with a couple of other general terms to come up with a supposedly-impressive-sounding new technology.

Back when the undergravel filter was new and ground-breaking, the tech was sold to us in much the same way. It was a filter that "never needed cleaning"...but in actuality it was a filter that would function as intended long enough for the makers to sell a boatload of them before people figured out that there was nothing magical or even new about the idea. The best thing about undergravel filters was the fact that they introduced the average aquarist to the notion that bacteria could be good; most had never heard of the idea of biological filtration, so the UG filter craze thrust this concept into the general awareness of the aquarium world. And look what happened! Today the "nitrogen cycle" is something that everyone in the hobby has heard of. Some of them even have an idea of how it works.

But it's not really a "cycle", is it? I mean, the food goes in, the poop comes out, the bacteria chow down on it and convert it through the stages...and then those pesky nitrates keep on accumulating and accumulating at the end, with nothing "cyclical" about. So folks like the used car salesman noted above decide it's time to expand our horizons and introduce a way to continue the cycle a bit further, and completely release that nitrogen from our lives and tanks. So they sell us on BCB's and kitty litter and Matrix and all the other goodies that are designed to foster this new and wonderful type of bacteria. It's all still pretty mysterious; when asked for specifics like "what flow rate should be present in the anoxic filter bed", the answer is something nebulous like "slow". Wow...that's helpful. Too fast, and we will end up growing those old-style aerobic bacteria in there...you know, the ones that we pursued for decades and still need today. Too slow, and we might get the terrifying "anaerobic" conditions that will result in pockets of noxious gas, loss of vision, financial instability and whatever else they do when they aren't doing what we want them to do.

Now, a technology-minded person might be attracted to this idea simply because it is something new and different, and getting it to work is in itself a satisfying goal. Nothing wrong with that, although I always have nagging ethical doubts about experiments which can kill living critters if they go wrong. Some...a few...of the techies get the plan to work; these wunderkind are held up as examples of the validity of the concept. Nothing much is said about the many others who give up partway through, hopefully before too many fish lose their lives. And nothing at all is said about the other reasons for changing water, i.e. trace elements and the host of other possible changes that it undergoes when fish live, breathe, eat and poop in it for days, weeks, months...

The biggest problem is the beginners who scan a few paragraphs and lock on to the phrase "no water changes". They don't care about how it is supposed to work; they just don't want to carry buckets. Their wood floors are too shiny; they can't connect the hose to their faucets; they don't have the time; they need to de-mineralize, then re-mineralize, then reverse-osmose, then alter the pH, the hardness, the TDS and whatever else they can think of, and it is just too much dang work. They want the no-effort aquarium, and they want it now.

Let's get the techies to work on the real solution; the Selective Element Transporter device. Fill the tank with clean water, throw in a few fish, set the controls on the machine for the exact chemical composition you want to keep it at, and press the button. The machine will instantly monitor the make-up of the water and then remove whatever isn't wanted (nitrates, phosphates, excess CO2, etc.) by teleportation. Maybe the unwanted waste material can be made to re-appear in a collection bucket of some kind, so that it can be re-used as garden fertilizer or landfill or perhaps in Vegan cooking.

But until that happens...until we have complete mastery over and control of all the natural processes that are at play in aquarium water (or, in other words, never...)...perhaps we should just accept that the best, simplest, most foolproof method for maintaining healthy fish and healthy water is to do water changes. If you don't want to do that, maybe you should re-consider the aquarium hobby.
 

Lypress

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I don’t mean to be rude or upset anyone but if you’re too disabled and don’t have someone to help you with the necessary maintenance then maybe a smaller tank? I know it’s a lot of work. It is for me too. My back is bad so when it hurts too much to do it or I start it and can’t finish it my daughter helps me. If I didn’t have her I would only have the 10 gallon. I just know my limitations and sometimes you have to adjust things. I know it’s frustrating and even sad when you can’t do what you used to. Nobody here was wanting to “rub your nose in it” or say you’re “evil” or anything of the sort. I’m pretty sure they just care about your pets and want them happy, healthy, and comfortable in their environment. There are those people who are simply lazy but I would never say that about most. Most are like all of you who are caring and compassionate people who want to enjoy a beautiful and relaxing aquarium, especially the disabled who may not be able to go out often. I realize it gives you something to really enjoy. I don’t even begin to try and understand what it’s like for those of you with a lot of physical challenges so please don’t take what I said as anything against you. I’m simply saying that sometimes it’s much harder to walk a large dog pulling you down the street than a small dog in a matter of speaking. Ok, I’m quitting now. I’ve probably made things worse but I honestly meant to help. I’m so sorry if I upset anyone.
 
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