Do I Really need to do water changes???

SanDiegoRedneck

Ok so here is my question.

If I have a cycled planted tank where the ammonia is 0 nitrite 0

AND OVER 2 weeks no water change nitrate still less than 5ppm.

Ok so because I have plants that are feeding off the nitrates (also mild food dose for plants) they stay low.

Do I need to change water for copper and other dissolved solids?

I do not have hardness test kit yet. I will get soon.

I JUST WANT some of y'alls opinions on if my tank ecosystem is in good shape do I just top off???
 

Pebbles730

Ok so here is my question.

If I have a cycled planted tank where the ammonia is 0 nitrite 0

AND OVER 2 weeks no water change nitrate still less than 5ppm.

Ok so because I have plants that are feeding off the nitrates (also mild food dose for plants) they stay low.

Do I need to change water for copper and other dissolved solids?

I do not have hardness test kit yet. I will get soon.

I JUST WANT some of y'alls opinions on if my tank ecosystem is in good shape do I just top off???
I would do water changes! Many since you don't have any fish you could do them like every other week.. But I would still do some weekly water changes.
 
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AmnScott

It's not just about the Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate. Water changes are necessary for other reasons such as replenishing the aquarium water with minerals needed for fish health. You could probably get away with doing water changes less often if your nitrate levels remain low, but I would still do them every 1-2 weeks.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

I would do water changes! Many since you don't have any fish you could do them like every other week.. But I would still do some weekly water changes.
I was asking more in a scientific reason. I wanted to know if anyone had theories about it.

I know everyone says yes yes weekly water changes. But WHY if my ecosystem is fine.

I do have fish in all 7 tanks. They are just in balance and nitrates always stay super low.

Pic of sone of my tanks in my kitchen

I live in dry hot
It's not just about the Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate. Water changes are necessary for other reasons such as replenishing the aquarium water with minerals needed for fish health. You could probably get away with doing water changes less often if your nitrate levels remain low, but I would still do them every 1-2 weeks.
I live in a dry hot area. East San Diego County CA. My tanks evaporate alot. So I ad gallons a week which would be adding those lost minerals. Right?
 

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Mhamilton0911

Over time the plants and fish will use the trace minerals find in the source water. Your pH will also lower over time. Frequently changing water will also help keep your aquarium pH level closer to your source water. If/when you need to change the water if it's been too long, your risking a rapid pH change that could shock your fish.

If you evaporate and add water often, you might be able to replace those used up minerals and keep your pH closer to source, but without more advanced testing of the water for hardness, tds, and possibly something else I'm forgetting, it's risky imo.

Are you replacing The same # of gallons from evaporation that you would from a water change?
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Over time the plants and fish will use the trace minerals find in the source water. Your pH will also lower over time. Frequently changing water will also help keep your aquarium pH level closer to your source water. If/when you need to change the water if it's been too long, your risking a rapid pH change that could shock your fish.

If you evaporate and add water often, you might be able to replace those used up minerals and keep your pH closer to source, but without more advanced testing of the water for hardness, tds, and possibly something else I'm forgetting, it's risky imo.

Are you replacing The same # of gallons from evaporation that you would from a water change?
I will get more advanced water test kits this week. So we can watch the other parameters.
 
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Mhamilton0911

How many gallons would you say that you replace at a time? Comparable to what you'd replace with a water change?
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Through out the week the tanks evaporate about 10%+ that I top off.

I have
2.5gal
3x 10gal
20 gal
29gal
55 gal.
 
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Tallen78

Ok so here is my question.

If I have a cycled planted tank where the ammonia is 0 nitrite 0

AND OVER 2 weeks no water change nitrate still less than 5ppm.

Ok so because I have plants that are feeding off the nitrates (also mild food dose for plants) they stay low.

Do I need to change water for copper and other dissolved solids?

I do not have hardness test kit yet. I will get soon.

I JUST WANT some of y'alls opinions on if my tank ecosystem is in good shape do I just top off???
I asked the same question about 2 months into my new hobby and was as you are just looking for some concrete reasoning on why I should do water changes if my numbers are good I do understand the fact it replenishes minerals in the water and will help with Ph other than that I’m not sure I have two filters on all my tanks so I’m moving about 10x my capacity an hour but I still do water changes weekly about 25% just because that’s what you do I guess I don’t mind it I rather enjoy the maintenance Part of the hobby
 
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mattgirl

If you just add water due to evaporation the minerals in our water will gradually build up in your tanks. Some minerals get used up and need to be replaced. Others are not used and continue to build up. You can probably get by with just topping off the tanks for quite a while but one day you will do a water change and the water left in the tank will be so different than the water you are replacing you are going to shock your fish.

Get a TDS meter. It will measure the total dissolved solids in your tanks water. You will be able to tell over time just how high they are getting from just topping off instead of changing some of the water.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

If you just add water due to evaporation the minerals in our water will gradually build up in your tanks. Some minerals get used up and need to be replaced. Others are not used and continue to build up. You can probably get by with just topping off the tanks for quite a while but one day you will do a water change and the water left in the tank will be so different than the water you are replacing you are going to shock your fish.

Get a TDS meter. It will measure the total dissolved solids in your tanks water. You will be able to tell over time just how high they are getting from just topping off instead of changing some of the water.
I ordered a tds meeter. It will be here tomorrow. I love Amazon. Lol
 
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FishBoy101

Even if your tank is heavily planted, you still need to do water changes. I know, it may be boring and take time and blah blah blah. But you care about your fish, don't you? If you don't do water changes, it could cause a random ammonia spike or something else even worse.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Even if your tank is heavily planted, you still need to do water changes. I know, it may be boring and take time and blah blah blah. But you care about your fish, don't you? If you don't do water changes, it could cause a random ammonia spike or something else even worse.
Nope I hate all 100+ of the fish I keep. Lol. I'll really annoy you all later when I tell you I don't run heaters and my tanks swing from 72 to 82 through out day.
 
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mattgirl

I ordered a tds meeter. It will be here tomorrow. I love Amazon. Lol
I am a firm believer in water changes. I change out no less than 50% of the water in all my tanks each weeks and then some weeks I change out even more. I have to think being diligent with the water changes has something to do with the fact that I've never experienced any kind of diseases in any of my tanks.

The only tank I don't change as much water each time is my 2.5 gallon shrimp bowl. I just change out 20% twice a week in there.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

I am a firm believer in water changes. I change out no less than 50% of the water in all my tanks each weeks and then some weeks I change out even more. I have to think being diligent with the water changes has something to do with the fact that I've never experienced any kind of diseases in any of my tanks.

The only tank I don't change as much water each time is my 2.5 gallon shrimp bowl. I just change out 20% twice a week in there.
This has nothing to due with me not wanting to do water changes. I LOVE working on my tanks. I have 7 for crying out loud

The good argument for waterchanges is that if you ever do need to do mass water change in future you are closer to tap parameter , also do bad solids build up that top off can't change???

The argument not to is. in all reality water changes ARE BAD for fish. We are slightly changing the water EVERY week ading some minimal stress. So if water changes are not done. Water with benificial bacteria becomes more "lake / river" like and less treated tap water like.
 
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Tallen78

This has nothing to due with me not wanting to do water changes. I LOVE working on my tanks. I have 7 for crying out loud

The good argument for waterchanges is that if you ever do need to do mass water change in future you are closer to tap parameter , also do bad solids build up that top off can't change???

The argument not to is. in all reality water changes ARE BAD for fish. We are slightly changing the water EVERY week ading some minimal stress. So if water changes are not done. Water with benificial bacteria becomes more "lake / river" like and less treated tap water like.
I agree with you 100% but as stated in my original post on this matter I’m new and jumped in head first I have over 100 fish in one tank close to 1000 dollars and really don’t want to flush or trash any of it so being green to the hobby I asked the question and I’m only going by what I’ve been told but again I agree with you and those were my original thoughts on the subject if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right
 
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barbiespoodle

I'm in the you need to do water changes camp.

How often you have to do them depends on the tank. I'll use my tanks as examples.

My 55 gallon is modernly planted because it's hard to find plants the silver dollars don't eat. It not only has 2 hob filters, but also 2 double sponge filters. The water prams always test wonderful. But because it has been going continually for over 30 years, it has a hodge podge of old (some are going on about 15 yrs old now) and new fish, plus a very successful breeding population of guppies and mollies, thus the tank is currently over populated, which adds to the bio load. Between the heavy filtration and live plants, the water stays good. But that one gets changed every week even though the water prams always test great. Fresh water makes the fish more active, spread out more and show better color they just seem happier after a water change. Compare it to when you have a nice day and open your windows. The air in your house is fine, but that fresh air makes it better.

On the other hand, my 20 gallon shrimp tank is heavily planted, has emersed houseplant roots, and 2 double sponge filters. And while I have had a BIG time shrimp population explosion, shrimp add so little to the bio load. This tank only gets a small water change every few week, around 25%. Other than that, it only gets whatever fresh water it takes to fill from evaporation. This might change as my shrimp population continues to grow.

The 10 gallon dirted planted tank I'm now currently setting up to be a shrimp tank in the end remains to be seen. I still consider it in the cycling stage. Almost 4 weeks in it does have 6 guppies and so far, so good, I should be able to order my shrimp soon (guppies come out at that point). But for now, it's a 50% water change once a week, 6 guppies in a 10 gallon with only one double sponge filter is a big bio load.

To make a long story short, You have to monitor your tanks. Don't go by water prams alone, watch your fish, they will let you know if they would appreciate a little fresh water. Just remember, the smaller the tank, the harder it is to maintain. I say this because I recently dismantled the 3 gallon to make room for the 10 gallon, that tank was constant care no matter what I did to it.

P.S. LOVE your tanks, wish I had the room for so many.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

I agree with you 100% but as stated in my original post on this matter I’m new and jumped in head first I have over 100 fish in one tank close to 1000 dollars and really don’t want to flush or trash any of it so being green to the hobby I asked the question and I’m only going by what I’ve been told but again I agree with you and those were my original thoughts on the subject if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right
I have been researching water outside of the fish keeping world. As well I grew pot hydroponically for 15 years so I understand water better than most.

I guess I want to get to the next level of understanding water.
 
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Nikao

Nitrates build up in the water over time. Plants only process some of those. Less than 50%.
So, you would need to change the water to rid it of those and make the tank less toxic for your fish.
 
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mattgirl

This has nothing to due with me not wanting to do water changes. I LOVE working on my tanks. I have 7 for crying out loud

The good argument for waterchanges is that if you ever do need to do mass water change in future you are closer to tap parameter , also do bad solids build up that top off can't change???

The argument not to is. in all reality water changes ARE BAD for fish. We are slightly changing the water EVERY week ading some minimal stress. So if water changes are not done. Water with benificial bacteria becomes more "lake / river" like and less treated tap water like.
I think I agree with most of what you are saying if I am understand what you are saying correctly.

I can never agree that water changes ARE BAD for fish though. The bacteria isn't free floating in the water so water changes aren't removing any of it. The only time I recommend doing very small water changes is when regular ones haven't been done over a long period of time.

The fish have slowly acclimated to the water in the tank. A huge water change could cause serious problems. In a situation like that I recommend small water changes and gradually increasing the amount changed with each water change. 10%, 15%, 20% and up until it has reached 50% or above. This way the fish are slowly getting acclimated to cleaner water.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Nitrates build up in the water over time. Plants only process some of those. Less than 50%.
So, you would need to change the water to rid it of those and make the tank less toxic for your fish.
My water is testing less than 5ppm nitrates. So do I wait until 20ppm no matter how long? Or change even if low?
 
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FinalFins

The argument not to is. in all reality water changes ARE BAD for fish. We are slightly changing the water EVERY week ading some minimal stress. So if water changes are not done. Water with benificial bacteria becomes more "lake / river" like and less treated tap water like.
Not quite.

Of course changing water adds stress. But it's a preventative for excessive stress when and if problems show up due to lack of clean water.

Water does not contain beneficial bacteria in it. I don't know what lake or river water is like but the thing is lakes and rivers are very large bodies of water, and becasue of that its not very relevant to compare a no water change tank to lake water, whereas a tank is very small. Also lakes and rivers regularly if not constantly have water replenishments. Its an open system where an aquarium is a closed system.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Not quite.

Of course changing water adds stress. But it's a preventative for excessive stress when and if problems show up due to lack of clean water.

Water does not contain beneficial bacteria in it. I don't know what lake or river water is like but the thing is lakes and rivers are very large bodies of water, and becasue of that its not very relevant to compare a no water change tank to lake water, whereas a tank is very small. Also lakes and rivers regularly if not constantly have water replenishments. Its an open system where an aquarium is a closed system.
So what I'm wondering is can I achieve a balance in a closed ecosystem.
 
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FinalFins

So what I'm wondering is can I achieve a balance in a closed ecosystem.
Yes, but alot of things will need to be exacted or the whole thing can be a flop.

What is your stocking like?
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Yes, but alot of things will need to be exacted or the whole thing can be a flop.

What is your stocking like?
2.5gal betta
10 gal blue dream shrimp
10 gal betta and 5 baby guppies (yes I house all my betta w other fish no issues when happy. I just posted pics of this tank).
10 gal 15 baby guppies
20 gal 10 cherry barb
29 gal ,10 redeye tetra, 10 glass bloodfin tetra and blue eyed longfin lemon bristlenose pleco
55gal
21 neon tetra
20 silvertip tetra
1 rubberlipped pleco
Fish below adopted from half full 10gal tank but medicated and in 55.
4 glow Fish
1 Rafael striped catfish
1 gold ram
 
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FinalFins

Yeah the only tank I see this closed ecosystem thing happening is in the shrimp tank and possibly the cherry barb tank.
 
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AngryRainbow

I think setting up a drip system that changes out the water gradually but constantly throughout the day would closer align to the concept of an "open system" vs not doing any water changes.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

I think setting up a drip system that changes out the water gradually but constantly throughout the day would closer align to the concept of an "open system" vs not doing any water changes.
I love the idea. I also want to incorporate some hydroponic plants in a tray above tank rack and just extra filter through here.
 
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CHJ

Ok so here is my question.

If I have a cycled planted tank where the ammonia is 0 nitrite 0

AND OVER 2 weeks no water change nitrate still less than 5ppm.

Ok so because I have plants that are feeding off the nitrates (also mild food dose for plants) they stay low.

Do I need to change water for copper and other dissolved solids?
Where are you getting copper from?
Do you have fish in the planted tank? No fish/critters allows you to run a very different tank.

I have most of my tanks set up to work with just top offs/rare changes. I have 3 tanks that require large weekly water changes.
Over the last many months I decided to try water changes on several of my tanks that were top off only.
What happened is that in the test water change tanks (that used to be top off only) all breeding has stopped while in the tasks that stayed top off only the breeding is going great (in the case of the Emperor Tetras, way to great..).

When I was running discus I began to wonder about water changes. I didn't do them and my discus bred like crazy. Most discus keepers seem competitive to see how much more water they can change than other discus keepers "Oh yeah? Well I do 3 75% changes per day!" (I have actually heard this)
Needless to say I got some interesting looks when discus keepers asked me how I bred so much and so easily and I told them to stop doing water changes. Stable fish are happy fish (if your params are good).

So I recommend people do water changes until they know how their tanks work.
Some tanks can never get to a no change point, like Nibbles tank and the pleco grow out. A ton of wisteria and 2 FX6s are not going to erase the nitrates from an Mbu or other large messy fish. I could do no change for Nibbles but it would require a heavily planted swimming pool.
With a big heavily planted tank that just has a small shoal of fish, I worry more about getting nutrients and minerals into the water than out of it.

For people who are new to aquariums of unsure about their tanks ALWAYS DO WATER CHANGES. It takes time to get to know a new tank even if you have kept fish forever.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Where are you getting copper from?
Do you have fish in the planted tank? No fish/critters allows you to run a very different tank.

I have most of my tanks set up to work with just top offs/rare changes. I have 3 tanks that require large weekly water changes.
Over the last many months I decided to try water changes on several of my tanks that were top off only.
What happened is that in the test water change tanks (that used to be top off only) all breeding has stopped while in the tasks that stayed top off only the breeding is going great (in the case of the Emperor Tetras, way to great..).

When I was running discus I began to wonder about water changes. I didn't do them and my discus bred like crazy. Most discus keepers seem competitive to see how much more water they can change than other discus keepers "Oh yeah? Well I do 3 75% changes per day!" (I have actually heard this)
Needless to say I got some interesting looks when discus keepers asked me how I bred so much and so easily and I told them to stop doing water changes. Stable fish are happy fish (if your params are good).

So I recommend people do water changes until they know how their tanks work.
Some tanks can never get to a no change point, like Nibbles tank and the pleco grow out. A ton of wisteria and 2 FX6s are not going to erase the nitrates from an Mbu or other large messy fish. I could do no change for Nibbles but it would require a heavily planted swimming pool.
With a big heavily planted tank that just has a small shoal of fish, I worry more about getting nutrients and minerals into the water than out of it.

For people who are new to aquariums of unsure about their tanks ALWAYS DO WATER CHANGES. It takes time to get to know a new tank even if you have kept fish forever.
I LOVE your reasoning. I know my cherry barbs didn't start breeding hard til I stopped changing water.I just want to test for copper and anything else i can. I ordered new tds meter and want to understand water the best I can. So I can help others.

I AGREE water change if your not totally on top of it...

During this test... I am checking water parameter 5+ times a week. I am not doing this to try to be lazy but to create a perfect balance of life. Or as close as possible

Where are you getting copper from?
Do you have fish in the planted tank? No fish/critters allows you to run a very different tank.

I have most of my tanks set up to work with just top offs/rare changes. I have 3 tanks that require large weekly water changes.
Over the last many months I decided to try water changes on several of my tanks that were top off only.
What happened is that in the test water change tanks (that used to be top off only) all breeding has stopped while in the tasks that stayed top off only the breeding is going great (in the case of the Emperor Tetras, way to great..).

When I was running discus I began to wonder about water changes. I didn't do them and my discus bred like crazy. Most discus keepers seem competitive to see how much more water they can change than other discus keepers "Oh yeah? Well I do 3 75% changes per day!" (I have actually heard this)
Needless to say I got some interesting looks when discus keepers asked me how I bred so much and so easily and I told them to stop doing water changes. Stable fish are happy fish (if your params are good).

So I recommend people do water changes until they know how their tanks work.
Some tanks can never get to a no change point, like Nibbles tank and the pleco grow out. A ton of wisteria and 2 FX6s are not going to erase the nitrates from an Mbu or other large messy fish. I could do no change for Nibbles but it would require a heavily planted swimming pool.
With a big heavily planted tank that just has a small shoal of fish, I worry more about getting nutrients and minerals into the water than out of it.

For people who are new to aquariums of unsure about their tanks ALWAYS DO WATER CHANGES. It takes time to get to know a new tank even if you have kept fish forever.
Yes all 7 tanks planted. And all have some livestock.

Ok i ordered a fairly comprehensive water test kit. I will test tap water. Declorinated tap water.
Then weekly in my tanks.
We can see which tank makes it longest healthy.
 

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FinalFins

I LOVE your reasoning. I know my cherry barbs didn't start breeding hard til I stopped changing water.I just want to test for copper and anything else i can. I ordered new tds meter and want to understand water the best I can. So I can help others.

I AGREE water change if your not totally on top of it...

During this test... I am checking water parameter 5+ times a week. I am not doing this to try to be lazy but to create a perfect balance of life. Or as close as possible
Yes but the problem is some of your tanks are fairly stocked and it is easy to see how a couple missed water changes may lead to a crash.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Yes but the problem is some of your tanks are fairly stocked and it is easy to see how a couple missed water changes may lead to a crash.
I agree totally possible. I ordered 17 in 1 water test kit. I will test mult times a week so fish are safe. But want to look at it scientifically also.
 
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Flyfisha

Growth hormones? Has nobody mentioned the hormones fish put in the water that we have no way of measuring.

Try raising fry in two identical tanks . Do a 40% water change in one and three 40% water changes in the other. You will see in two months the difference is unbelievable. Try it for yourself is my suggestion. I was sceptical until I saw the difference fresh water can make.
 
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Floundering_Around

Honestly, I'd say water changes are a must. Not changing water is fine for a while then "suddenly" everything crashes or you develop "old tank syndrome" (OTS). There are things in the water that standard test kits cannot detect. Go to EWG's Tap Water Database: What's in Your Drinking Water? and type in your zip code (this is for the US only pretty sure) and you'll see the types of contaminants in your local water.

Even if it's a small amount now, if it's not used up by plants and fish for metabolism, it will stay in the tank since it won't evaporate. These contaminants will just build and build until it hits a critical point and the whole thing comes crashing down.

Probably the only way to avoid that would be to use RODI water that you remineralize so you know what's going in, but even then contaminants come in via food. Using remineralized RODI more frequently will help keep the fish from getting stressed due to constantly changing water parameters too cause the tank will sit at that level more often

You mentioned wanting a hydroponic plant tray. If you choose your plants wisely and constantly remove the adult plants and add new plants, you might be able to minimize the number of water changes necessary by removing the contaminants/nutrients as they get stored in the plant.
 
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Nikao

Diana Walstad wrote Ecology of a Planted Aquarium about this same topic. She advocated for very few water changes and studied how the whole biological system with plants and fish works. You must have a planted tank, but she says the plants need to be planted in something like potting soil.
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Diana Walstad wrote Ecology of a Planted Aquarium about this same topic. She advocated for very few water changes and studied how the whole biological system with plants and fish works. You must have a planted tank, but she says the plants need to be planted in something like potting soil.
Thank you!!! I'll find this and read it.
 
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Wrench

You in San Diego California or San Diego Texas?
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

You in San Diego California or San Diego Texas?
San Diego California. But east county. La mesa CA. About 15 miles east of downtown.

I appreciate everyone giving calm thought out responses.

What a beautiful world we live in where people from around the world can share such situatianally specific information / theories and hypotheses
 
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Wrench

San Diego California. But east county. La mesa CA. About 15 miles east of downtown.

I appreciate everyone giving calm thought out responses.

What a beautiful world we live in where people from around the world can share such situatianally specific information / theories and hypotheses
Lol, I'm in Mira Mesa.
Used to live in el cajon off Anza for awhile.
Welcome to the group.
Bunch of smart people here...and you are close enough so we can help on another in reality as well haha... your name made me think either texas....or santee,lakeside,el cajon,alpine,julian or la mesa hahahah
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

Lol, I'm in Mira Mesa.
Used to live in el cajon off Anza for awhile.
Welcome to the group.
Bunch of smart people here...and you are close enough so we can help on another in reality as well haha... your name made me think either texas....or santee,lakeside,el cajon,alpine,julian or la mesa hahahah
I say san diego and everyone thinks surfer, people who don't know region don't realize how quick it changes 15 to 20 miles inland.
 
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flyinGourami

I see nothing wrong with water changes. If your source water is similar to your tank water, and you do the water change "correctly" I really do believe that water changes are beneficial, and not just for diluting nitrates. The only adverse thing that my fish experience, as far as I can tell, is that they're scared of my hand. However, this mostly applies to the neons and I find they recover quickly. My corydoras seem to love water changes.


I would not say they are 100% mandatory. I've seen people get away with low to no water change tanks. But to me, I mean they're so easy and simple, so I will always stick with them. I'm diluting things, replenishing things, and I'm sucking up the fishies poop haha. Personally I find water changes relaxing.
 
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Wrench

I say san diego and everyone thinks surfer, people who don't know region don't realize how quick it changes 15 to 20 miles inland.
Yeah were all beach bums apparently hahaha
 
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KSo

I think the coolest thing about these forums is that folks report back when they have success trying different methods! I thought I would get slaughtered for opting for a fish in cycle for instance, I found most folks just wanted to help and share their experience and knowledge. This is how cool new things are found! Hope you keep us posted on what you find with your tanks!
 
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SanDiegoRedneck

I think the coolest thing about these forums is that folks report back when they have success trying different methods! I thought I would get slaughtered for opting for a fish in cycle for instance, I found most folks just wanted to help and share their experience and knowledge. This is how cool new things are found! Hope you keep us posted on what you find with your tanks!
I just ordered 17 in 1 test strips. Plus tds & ph meter. Plus my API master test kit. Should be interesting, I'm sure I will do a water change , but atleast I will hopefully know why . not just because.
 

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Mike1995

You should do water changes. Sure minerals can be added through top offs. But over time your tank can develop "old tank syndrome ". Nitrates will build up over time and eventually become a problem. If you do small water changes or just top off, you'll build up a lot of excess nutrients and nitrates and kill your livestock if you have any.
 
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faydout

San Diego California. But east county. La mesa CA. About 15 miles east of downtown.

I appreciate everyone giving calm thought out responses.

What a beautiful world we live in where people from around the world can share such situatianally specific information / theories and hypotheses

I moved to Denver from SD. Lived in Ramona for awhile, then Chula Vista, then got divorced and did the single 20 something year old in OB. I've got stories and tatoos from that period of my life.

It maybe stresses out my tetras. My cichlids are little puppies that follow me around the tank while I'm vacuuming, trimming plants, etc. the same way my mini schnauzer does around the house.
 
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AmnScott

I was asking more in a scientific reason. I wanted to know if anyone had theories about it.

I know everyone says yes yes weekly water changes. But WHY if my ecosystem is fine.

I do have fish in all 7 tanks. They are just in balance and nitrates always stay super low.

Pic of sone of my tanks in my kitchen

I live in dry hot

I live in a dry hot area. East San Diego County CA. My tanks evaporate alot. So I ad gallons a week which would be adding those lost minerals. Right?
In theory, yes. But it would have to add up to the amount of water that would be added from a weekly water change. Just depends how much water you are adding.

Another important aspect of water changes is vacuuming the gravel (which most hobbyists do during weekly water changes). Vacuuming up all the fish waste and uneaten food in the substrate.
 
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