How I Never Do Water Changes.

  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
water changes for me at least are absurd, i refuse. despite keeping very sensitive, advanced level fish.
ive stated the no water change method before, but ill repeat myself.
Substrate: miracle grow organic topsoil, fine mesh sand, some gravel, slate.
Filtration: rinse that out when it gets clogged. the 60g has a eheim canister and two AC50's with only sponges in them.
Biological Filtration: Malaysian trumpet snails, ramshorn snails, pond snails. i collect them with ease and discard them routinely. a bowl with algae tabs with the light off. there are also live tubifex worms that escaped being eaten too.
Live Plants: babys tears, java moss, duck weed, java fern, anubias. when the duck weed gets too thick i discard it.
Led light: it is almost always on.
top off the water as it evaporates and feed the fish. this is all i do. i sell all the fry i get to my LFS. and this is scientifically repeatable, since i moonlight and set up other people's tanks this way.

this wont work for every biome type, or every fish type either. it is based on a narrow set of stocking parameters.

its no secret, the theory is by removing the duckweed and snails. im cleaning the tank. i mean plants and animals are made of heavy elements, minerals, protein etc. protein is made from nitrogen. snail shells are minerals. i just did the "math" and its worked for years, and my fish make lots of babies. i didnt figure out over night, i just make it look easy now. the last time i did an officially/standard water change was approximately 7 years ago, but i honestly cant remember.
 

BeanFish

Well Known Member
Messages
2,909
Reaction score
1,683
Points
158
Are water top offs enough to keep mineral contents at a decent level? I mean, you cant expect people to just believe something that is completely different from what everyone has told them with no hard facts and even if you show your breeding fish many will just say "he is changing their water and just trolling". It would be interesting to see more arguments for your point and to delve a little deepr in the logic behind your system.
I dont think its necessary to do weekly water changes, I have a planted tank where I need to dose nitrogen because the fish poop cant keep it up with the plants, but I still do weekly water changes (probably I could go weeks without them) because it makes me feel like a good parent lol, plus it adds stuff like calcium and other minerals back to my water.
 
  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
im not trolling, iknow it sounds like im nuts, but i swear by it.
theres trace minerals in tap and in in the food.
ive only stated hard facts, so im insulted by you saying so. there no opinion in what ive stated. i wish someone would try to prove me wrong, i live for it, cuz i like to learn new things and not be stubborn and set in my ways.
 

BeanFish

Well Known Member
Messages
2,909
Reaction score
1,683
Points
158
By hard facts I meant some scientific paper, something you cant just disprove with "he does water changes but doesnt tell us".
If tap and water has trace minerals why do we need to supplement them in planted aquariums? Do you use fertilizers too? A lot of people say daily water changes are necesssary with Discus to keep bacteria levels low. Do you agree with the fact that keeping bacteria levels low is important? How do you do it without water changes?
 
  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
no, the fish hobby is a racket to sell you accessories. im a diy cheapskate. i know some one will try it. someone will ask me to PM my ph# and we can have nice chat. how can i give as "proof" peer review article when no one is clamoring for it, it doesnt exist. i mean how do companies expect to make money doing it the way i do it. btw there is no such thing as "proof" in the definition of science.
the vast majority of the hobby is anecdotal, i heard this from this guy and so forth..... now im trying to try a cheap easier method and people think im a liar or an idiot or both.
 

AngelTheGypsy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,107
Reaction score
5,991
Points
603
Experience
Just started
I actually have a friend with a 75 gallon tank and she never does water changes either. Just top offs. Fake decor. Stocking all over the place with various cichlids, DG, Oscar, glo tetras. All fish from Walmart. Changes all of her filter media at the same time, regularly, because it makes the water clearer. Has never tested her water, doesn't own a test kit. Somehow, she is successful, and has had this tank running for over a decade.
Everyone does it different.
 
  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
yeah but what is blowing peoples minds is that i keep discus, angels, BN plecos, and elephant nose. notorious sensitive fish. and they are top form and breed. i cant give a peer reviewed article cuz one doesnt exist for this topic. i mean in school it is hard enough to find specific articles on JStor, why would anyone expect someone to find one so specifically niche'd in a hobby? that is unfair.
that why i posted it here. someone will try it and see it works. free advice. im not even trying to make a dime by promoting this shift in hobby paradigm. im patient, i can wait.
 

BeanFish

Well Known Member
Messages
2,909
Reaction score
1,683
Points
158
You can setup a bunch of tanks and measure everything out, then share your results, there are a lot of practical problems as I dont think you will setup a bunch of tanks and spend money on them just so people believe you tho. And what is your no directed to?. Is it a no for the bacteria question or a no for the trace elements question? And what do you mean by "there is no proof in the definition of science". How could I possibly say that there is no proof ammonia kills fish?
 

AngelTheGypsy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,107
Reaction score
5,991
Points
603
Experience
Just started
The thing is that this method may not work for many people. I honestly wouldn't try, but that's because I've had very tough experiences in the past, and now what I'm doing (weekly water changes, testing, etc) works for me and I am being successful. For this reason, I also don't try to change the way my friend does it. It works for her. (Honestly she does lose fish from time to time. Her husband tossed about 30 glo danios in with cichlids, and they all were eaten in 48 hours, and soon after a bumblebee cichlid died from overeating. She's not terribly attached to her fish and just gets new ones.)

Do you test your water? Just out of curiosity.
 

sassymomma

Well Known Member
Messages
2,932
Reaction score
1,405
Points
198
Experience
4 years
I have heard of "no water change methods" before. One person used no filters either- only plants covering the top of the tanks
The concept fascinates me, because I have to WC weekly and feel like I'm missing something in my routine.
I run two filters on my 38 gallon, and a combo sponge,aquaclear30 on my 29. Both are understocked. Both get brown stuff that looks like a light dirt on the sand if I let them sit too long.

I recently swapped one tank to organic pond soil, because no matter where I looked, I could NOT find an organic potting soil. I'm hoping to see improvement in my plants with the swap.

Personally, I'm not calling ****, but I would love to chat with you about your fishkeeping habits. Perhaps you can suggest some cheapscate tricks, to help me keep my water healthy

I keep Betta in my tanks
 

MissRuthless

Well Known Member
Messages
753
Reaction score
386
Points
78
Experience
5 years
I totally believe you. The soil at the bottom provides the excess minerals and what not that you're not adding back in with water changes, and of course you get some from the tap too. I don't have a crazy water change schedule like most people here - when nitrates are high I change water. Top off otherwise. In my planted tank I went many months just topping off with no issues, though I believe eventually the minerals were too depleted due to gravel substrate and plants started to decline. I moved the whole tank over into a new one recently with just sand, but I really want to try soil. When I get around to shopping for stuff to repot my cacti I'll be picking up some MGOPS to re-do my shrimp bowl with and am hoping for a successful Walstad setup that won't require water changes once it's established.

So where do your nitrates usually sit? I know most plants prefer to feed on ammonia but have read that some do a great job of removing nitrates - perhaps one of the species you have? May have read that pothos in the filter is good for that too. Or perhaps it's that with the plants sucking up so much ammonia, the bacteria don't work as much therefore less nitrate buildup? I'm curious to hear your readings and thoughts on this. I'm all for lazy, cheapskate, DIY fishkeeping, that's how I do
 

BeanFish

Well Known Member
Messages
2,909
Reaction score
1,683
Points
158
I dont like the "different things work different for everyone", I find it inconclusive. If something works for someone that defies general concensus there must be a logic and a reason, saying "it just works for me" teases me!
I can see how Kasshan keeps nitrates low, it is not that complicated, just get plants, he has duckweed and removes it which promotes new growth which equals nutrient uptake, so I have no problem believing he has good water quality, but what sounds weird to me is the snails thing and the water top offs. They sound too random to me. What if my water does not evaporate much? How often do you top off and how many liters do you put back up per week? I also use soil in my tanks but it eventually runs out of nutrients, and without adding Iron to my tanks I will probably start having problems.
 
  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
there is no such thing as proof in science, only laws, theories, etc.
there are mathematical proofs, just none in science.
i know it sounds like im playing semantics, but i think it is important to make the distinction.
ammonia doesnt kill fish, the concentration of ammonia kills fish. "proof" is a bad word in science often misused. a rubber ball can bounce a billion times, but on one billion and one it doesnt bounce. thats how scientific laws work and such. one must always be able to accept an anomaly in science into the data.

snail meat is made of protein, a nitrogen based molecule. snail shells are made of minerals, phosphorus and other chemicals people are concerned about are in the body matter of the snail. physically removing snails is no different from a gravel vac.
 

BeanFish

Well Known Member
Messages
2,909
Reaction score
1,683
Points
158
Ok, if you want to play into the Paracelso and semantics world I am fine with it. Still, there are a lot of questions unanswered for me...
 
  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
it only sounds like semantics but it really isnt when you talk nitty gritty science. this isnt a conversation for the lay-person
but i do enjoy your candor and open mind, please ask away, i dont know everything. and i try to answer questions if can account for them. but thats why ive posted in forum. i cant think of every variable and if one is mentioned that i was ignorant of; of course i will take it into consideration. i enjoy being wrong, because that means i was ignorant before and someone has taught me the error of my ways. ive been wrong many times, but so far in this, no one has swayed as to why im wrong in this instance. i was wrong when i said glo-fish couldnt breed, i now know they do. i often genuinely apologize, but rarely say sorry because i did it on purpose.

i would not recommend this set up for african cichlid tanks or "insert another biome archetype", it would never work in every instance. that is why i keep fish it does happen to work for. so the statement "what works for some wont work others" shouldnt be disregarded.
as for some other folks, im sure theyve blocked me sadly. change is always a hard pill to swallow.
 

scarface

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
7,390
Points
598
Experience
Just started
I believe it. It actually makes a lot of sense to me. I have a shrimp tank that sits on the windowsill with no filtration. Although I don't have soil in it, and the only plants are a huge wad of java moss, the shrimp were thriving, both RCS and one Amano. (until I took it apart). I mostly just do water topoffs when the water level gets low, like you, but sometimes I did do a water change, but only to break up the biofilm that forms on the surface. Now the tank is redone with organic miracle potting soil capped with sand and heavily planted. Again, no filtration. Haven't stocked it with anything yet, but will probably repeat what worked before: water top offs with occasional water change to break up biofilm, since there's no water movement.
 
  • Thread starter

Kasshan

Well Known Member
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
554
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
some people, who ignore data and don't like their traditional beliefs rattled, still think im a crackpot for this
 

BeanFish

Well Known Member
Messages
2,909
Reaction score
1,683
Points
158
Kasshan said:
it only sounds like semantics but it really isnt when you talk nitty gritty science. this isnt a conversation for the lay-person
but i do enjoy your candor and open mind, please ask away, i dont know everything. and i try to answer questions if can account for them. but thats why ive posted in forum. i cant think of every variable and if one is mentioned that i was ignorant of; of course i will take it into consideration. i enjoy being wrong, because that means i was ignorant before and someone has taught me the error of my ways. ive been wrong many times, but so far in this, no one has swayed as to why im wrong in this instance. i was wrong when i said glo-fish couldnt breed, i now know they do. i often genuinely apologize, but rarely say sorry because i did it on purpose.

i would not recommend this set up for african cichlid tanks or "insert another biome archetype", it would never work in every instance. that is why i keep fish it does happen to work for. so the statement "what works for some wont work others" shouldnt be disregarded.
as for some other folks, im sure theyve blocked me sadly. change is always a hard pill to swallow.
Yeah, clearly this wont work for some dudes. I cant rely on the trace minerals from my tap to keep my planted tanks going and I personally dont mind doing water changes on saturdays. I dont do huge water changes neither, probably 20% and thats it. I dont need more, and if I dont feel like I just dont do them, my fish suffer no illeffects from it, but I want to keep my routine going.
And I dont disagree with "what works for some wont work for others", cause it is true, all aquariums are different, but I preffer to know why exactly than to just recieve a "it works for me".
Probably what puts off a lot of people is the snail theory lol. I have no trouble believing you can keep water clean in terms of NH3-NO2-NO3 with just plants because I have seen it first hand in the form of nitrogen deficiencies in plants but I dont really know how much the removing snails things helps.
 

clk89

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,438
Reaction score
1,156
Points
158
Experience
1 year
It's simply not something I would do nor recommend others do, especially beginners.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Valued Member
Messages
306
Reaction score
105
Points
38
do you ever have illness outbreaks? and if so, are there any types that seem to occur regularly or not at all? and how do you treat your tanks/fish?
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom