Does water need to be changed if there are no nitrates?

TacomaToker

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The tank has been up and running for a month now, it was seeded from an old tank that was shut down. Its a 16 gallon with 5 ottos, 25 cherry shrimp. So far, I haven't seen a trace of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. There are plants in there, I'm assuming they are consuming whatever nitrates are being produced. Everyone in the tank is doing great, is there any reason I need to change the water? It's crystal clear. Thanks :)
 

Pfrozen

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TacomaToker said:
The tank has been up and running for a month now, it was seeded from an old tank that was shut down. Its a 16 gallon with 5 ottos, 25 cherry shrimp. So far, I haven't seen a trace of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. There are plants in there, I'm assuming they are consuming whatever nitrates are being produced. Everyone in the tank is doing great, is there any reason I need to change the water? It's crystal clear. Thanks :)
Only for the sake of microorganisms that might be growing in there and mineral replenishment. Your shrimp are probably eating everything anyways. But you do need to replenish calcium and stuff for the shrimpers eventually. I would just top up when water evaporates and feed the shrimp some mulberry leaves every now and then :)
 

Nataku

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You will want to do water changes eventually to help with TDS, which will build up regardless of these being zero for tests on ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. In a low bioload tank though that isn't reading any of those three, I'd do water changes every three weeks to a month. I've got a couple tanks I run like this, heavily planted and the water changes are just to lower TDS and replenish trace minerals. Although, if you're dosing with ferts, you're likely replacing some of these anyhow.
 
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TacomaToker

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Nataku said:
You will want to do water changes eventually to help with TDS, which will build up regardless of these being zero for tests on ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. In a low bioload tank though that isn't reading any of those three, I'd do water changes every three weeks to a month. I've got a couple tanks I run like this, heavily planted and the water changes are just to lower TDS and replenish trace minerals. Although, if you're dosing with ferts, you're likely replacing some of these anyhow.
I use Seachem equilibrium to maintain GH, and dose with ferts as well. I've been testing GH often and its consistently holding steady at 10 dGH. If minerals like calcium, magnesium, etc. are being used up by shrimp, would that be reflected in a drop in GH?
 

altwitch

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Recommend shrimp salts of some sort which add in minerals will help a great deal. I used when running shrimp tank and had zero issues. It helps with molting and other shrimp related biological functions.
 
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TacomaToker

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altwitch said:
Recommend shrimp salts of some sort which add in minerals will help a great deal. I used when running shrimp tank and had zero issues. It helps with molting and other shrimp related biological functions.
Thanks :)
 

DoubleDutch

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Sorry to say but I tend to disagree with the most. waterchanges do a lot more than only nitrates-removal and pollution in a tank doesn't only exciet out of ammonia / nitrites / nitrates (which we tend to test).
There are more "cycles" going on in there.
This pollution will cause bacterial growth and will endanger the fish health after some time as well. So therefor imo waterchanges ate almost always needed to keep the enclosed environment of a tank healthy.
 

MacZ

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I agree with DoubleDutch.

Not changing water and only adding some salts is like not showering/bathing and just using deodorant. Just because it doesn't reek it doesn't mean it's clean.
There will still be detritus, bacteria of all kinds including pathogens and so many other products of decay that just build up. The animals will basically swim in their own waste.
 

Flyfisha

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I have tried going a month between water changes in shrimp tanks. For me with my water in my tanks and my strain of cherry shrimp getting feed my food I get a much larger population developing in tanks when I do weekly water changes.
 
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TacomaToker

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DoubleDutch said:
Sorry to say but I tend to disagree with the most. waterchanges do a lot more than only nitrates-removal and pollution in a tank doesn't only exciet out of ammonia / nitrites / nitrates (which we tend to test).
There are more "cycles" going on in there.
This pollution will cause bacterial growth and will endanger the fish health after some time as well. So therefor imo waterchanges ate almost always needed to keep the enclosed environment of a tank healthy.
This is what I suspected. I've seen a couple detritus worms floating around recently. What would you recommend for a water change schedule in a tank where no nitrates are present? Once a month?

DoubleDutch said:
Sorry to say but I tend to disagree with the most. waterchanges do a lot more than only nitrates-removal and pollution in a tank doesn't only exciet out of ammonia / nitrites / nitrates (which we tend to test).
There are more "cycles" going on in there.
This pollution will cause bacterial growth and will endanger the fish health after some time as well. So therefor imo waterchanges ate almost always needed to keep the enclosed environment of a tank healthy.
This is what I suspected. I've seen a couple detritus worms floating around recently. What would you recommend for a water change schedule in a tank where no nitrates are present? Once a month?
Flyfisha said:
I have tried going a month between water changes in shrimp tanks. For me with my water in my tanks and my strain of cherry shrimp getting feed my food I get a much larger population developing in tanks when I do weekly water changes.
What is the best way to clean a shrimp tank? I use a gravel vac on all my other tanks, but that seems a bit dangerous to shrimp. Thanks :)
 

Flyfisha

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I use a gravel vacuum. But long ago I ripped the one way valve out of the vacuum. So there is a open unobstructed path for fry and shrimp to a white bucket. Moving fry around with a hose is standard practice. Netting the fry and shrimp out of a bucket is easy enough. Just be careful tossing them back in the tank as you will find out the fish think you are feeding them .
 

Argos

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In order to get this back on track...

I partially agree with DoubleDutch . Water changes are important for removing built up, unused elements/compounds, adding trace elements/compounds along with some others. It also has some influence on bacterial colonies that I won't go into.

However, if you just had invertebrates; I don't believe water changes necessary at all in a heavily planted tank. I think that water-top offs are sufficient. (You have Ottos, in there so I would recommend water changes; I just wanted to share)
 

altwitch

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MacZ said:
Not changing water and only adding some salts is like not showering/bathing and just using deodorant. Just because it doesn't reek it doesn't mean it's clean.
At what point did I say just salts and no water changes. Water changes are of course necessary for a variety of reasons but that point has been covered here at length so I saw no reason to revisit it.....
 

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