How I Never Do Water Changes. - Page 2

  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
csu stanislaus turlock
 

Discusluv

Member
Kasshan said:
csu stanislaus turlock
We have something remarkably in common, I went there for two semesters myself, ions ago. Nice campus.
 

AngelTheGypsy

Member
Books&Fish said:
Yeah, but how long and how healthy are the fish living? My mom has had a tank running for 30 years. Didn't know about the nitrogen cycle (until I told her several months ago), no test kit and never did water changes. Every 6 months, they drained the tank, leaving fish in buckets, and hosed the whole thing down, replaced cartridges, scrubbed everything until it was shiny new.

She got away with it because she mostly kept koI fish and when they got too big, she'd toss them into her pond and scoop out babies for the tank. No one was ever in it longer than 2 years. She's blown away by weekly water changes. I don't know if something changed in her water, but now she keeps rosy barbs and platies and they are twitching from high nitrates after going a few days without a water change. She has 30 ppm nitrates in her tap.

My point is, you can skip water changes. That doesn't mean it is what's best for the fish. Surviving isn't thriving.
Healthy long lived fish? Probably not. As far as she is concerned she is successful. Also, she can't seem to keep her husband from coming home with new, "cool" fish(his latest was a pair of oscars, one died) so she probably doesn't really care too much.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
whats jstor?
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
Well, back in the day when water changes were frowned on, and old water was seen as almost magical, we sure got to buy a lot of fish. We went through 10 for $1.50 neons like popcorn (and they were not diseased from the farms the way they are now). I thought a tetra living 2 years was great (though I had a Corydoras aeneus endure for 7 years).

The 8 year old cardinals we can have now were not seen then.

It worked. I just don't think it worked optimally. To begin with the statement that you find water changes "absurd" is not a very logical starting point, Mr Spock. It's too black and white. (I used to walk by what had been William Shatner's teenaged home every time I went into work at the aquarium store, in my own teens - he had 2 good shops in his neighbourhood).

Oh, and the last time I tested water with an API kit was in 1992. Try arguing that heresy here!

I have had Daphnia do well in tanks, with killies in low population tanks. If I do my regular water changes with Daphnia, the dechlorinator kills them. I would do small changes in that tank, no more than 10%, and it ran with water fleas for a long time.
I have Daphnia hopping around in a 15 gallon lampeye tank right now, for fry which I am expecting to hatch. The adults have been removed.
 

James17

Member
A lot of us do things with our tanks that are different from the others, I just hope any beginners that are reading this knows that it isn't for beginners, you need to do the weekly water changes until you have a well established tank and you learn exactly what your tank needs.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
James17 said:
A lot of us do things with our tanks that are different from the others, I just hope any beginners that are reading this knows that it isn't for beginners, you need to do the weekly water changes until you have a well established tank and you learn exactly what your tank needs.
As an aquarist with 50 years experience, I would never do what the OP is suggesting. Or I would never do it again, to be precise. As I said, it was the norm until the late 1980s, early 90s.
But I don't think that debates between aquarists on ways to do things shouldn't happen. New aquarists are as intelligent as old ones, and they can read the discussion and make informed choices.
 

grantm91

Member
Its a mad post I'm still trying to take it all in, you are funny,I think its cool how you get away with not doing water changes and I like your fish, to me they look in good shape but I don't know why you find water changes absurd it takes me 30 minuets to drain and replace around 120 litres of water from my 450 litre tank every week manually with a 37 litre bucket and piece of pipe, which my fish thank me for and spawn regular and radiate with good health, not to brag but they are nice fish lol but obviously water is in too high demand on the starship enterprise to be used in high amounts weekly for ornamental aquatic beings, that said and joking aside its interesting to read this, once I left my tank about 8 weeks and my fish were ok never lost a fish or had any illness. This was the days before I ever tested water only since venturing into reef tanks have I tested and now sort of understand the "importance" of water changes. My simple view is to stay away from super sensitive stuff in my fresh tanks as I like to test little to none on them well none really except to establish the cycle or if I'm using seeded media to start a new set up, and to be honest I'm impressed your discuss are alive as from what I read they have high water quality demands but you do what you do and it works for you I have no personal experience there so I chose to not really to comment except that I'm impressed it is your thing you enjoy your little ecosystem and all the science behind it, and I fall somewhere between the strange ocd water testers of fishlore who have platys that could survive a fish in cycle with no water change anyway,, and the average joe who wants nice healthy fish to enjoy with minimal work, anyway I enjoy your posts and all the controversy lol.
 

Discusluv

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
As an aquarist with 50 years experience, I would never do what the OP is suggesting. Or I would never do it again, to be precise. As I said, it was the norm until the late 1980s, early 90s.
But I don't think that debates between aquarists on ways to do things shouldn't happen. New aquarists are as intelligent as old ones, and they can read the discussion and make informed choices.
NavigatorBlack said:
But I don't think that debates between aquarists on ways to do things shouldn't happen
A vigorous debate never hurt anyone, agreed.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
As an aquarist with 50 years experience, I would never do what the OP is suggesting. Or I would never do it again, to be precise. As I said, it was the norm until the late 1980s, early 90s.
But I don't think that debates between aquarists on ways to do things shouldn't happen. New aquarists are as intelligent as old ones, and they can read the discussion and make informed choices.
correct me if I'm mistaken but your approach from back then does sound to be on a more "lets throw things in and see what survives" side whereas the tanks up for debate here are all finely dialed in and incorporating scientific findings, so of course thered be different results.
 

grantm91

Member
I often like your posts Discusluv because the way you do things is fool proof and with accuracy and your discus show it, as I do try to with my reef, but a side of me likes too push boundaries sometimes and I do believe a lot of peoples methods are over the top on here, you and op are like polar opposites and its always a good thread to watch lol.
 

BuddyD

Member
WOW.... I stated my opinion on how things are done these days and they tried to roast me. And when someone agreed with me the Moderator shut down the thread......Way to keep an opened mind miss moderator. Anyway, I agree and don't do these things the way the majority here believe it should be done.
 

OnTheFly

Member
grantm91 said:
Its a mad post I'm still trying to take it all in, you are funny,I think its cool how you get away with not doing water changes and I like your fish, to me they look in good shape but I don't know why you find water changes absurd ....
I can't speak for Kassan but what I read on the internet forums regarding WCs is absurd at times. Indeed like a religion. "Always do a 50% WC weekly...." implying you are lazy if you don't and your fish will surely die early. You didn't say that but I've read it in so many words a thousand times. Why 50%, why not 25 or 75%? Why every seven days? Why not five days or every two weeks? There are countless factors that effect what you should really do, but it's just easier to parrot weekly WC %. I get it people work, but the guidance should be about the fish. Personally I have seven tanks so far, and it is absurd to change water for no valid reason. I have a water softener so I can't use my water heater which makes large WCs a chore But I do them whenever parameters indicate it's truly necessary.

Excellent thread in any case. Carry on.
 

James17

Member
BuddyD said:
WOW.... I stated my opinion on how things are done these days and they tried to roast me. And when someone agreed with me the Moderator shut down the thread......Way to keep an opened mind miss moderator. Anyway, I agree and don't do these things the way the majority here believe it should be done.
I don't understand what your complaint is, this thread is open
 

grantm91

Member
OnTheFly said:
I can't speak for Kassan but what I read on the internet forums regarding WCs is absurd at times. Indeed like a religion. "Always do a 50% WC weekly...." implying you are lazy if you don't and your fish will surely die early. You didn't say that but I've read it in so many words a thousand times. Why 50%, why not 25 or 75%? Why every seven days? Why not five days or every two weeks? There are countless factors that effect what you should really do, but it's just easier to parrot weekly WC %. I get it people work, but the guidance should be about the fish. Personally I have seven tanks so far, and it is absurd to change water for no valid reason. I have a water softener so I can't use my water heater which makes large WCs a P.I.T.A. But I do them whenever parameters indicate it's truly necessary.

Excellent thread in any case. Carry on.
I agree absurd some things you can read on the net its all pretty specific in my opinion fish and tank dependant I like to think I get it right but one persons right is another's wrong and to me in this hobby success is shown only over time and the state of your fish, pictures paint a thousand words, and advice should be given from experience not what your sisters friends cats mother has told you is good to do, that's why I look through this forum a lot but its not to often I advise because I only give it from my own experience which is minimal really.
 

clk89

Member
BuddyD said:
WOW.... I stated my opinion on how things are done these days and they tried to roast me. And when someone agreed with me the Moderator shut down the thread......Way to keep an opened mind miss moderator. Anyway, I agree and don't do these things the way the majority here believe it should be done.
No one roasted you, it was a debate just like this thread. It's just most people disagreed with you is all. If you have an issue with a moderator I would suggest you message her/hI'm about it. They are usually pretty good with replying back so I have seen.
 

Discusluv

Member
grantm91 said:
I often like your posts Discusluv because the way you do things is fool proof and with accuracy and your discus show it, as I do try to with my reef, but a side of me likes too push boundaries sometimes and I do believe a lot of peoples methods are over the top on here, you and op are like polar opposites and its always a good thread to watch lol.
Thank you Grantm91

Kasshan said:
direct me please. I'm ignorant. now that schools out itll be good to have some fascinating reading material. ive been restricted to jstor by professors so much that I guess I limited myself.
I got these guys for 40$ and I had visited them for 3 weeks in the store before I got them. online intrigued me, but I didnt who to buy from, so I wasn't going to risk it. and I am ignorant of the grades of discus and other adv hobby qualities that are considered desirable. but I'm fairly pleased with my price/discus/quality, likely because I haven't spent over a hundred bucks yet and don't know any better. someday.... when I have my own house and convert the 3rd garage into an insulated fish room. right now I'm maxed on # of tanks for my 1bed apt. lol
Understandable.
 

vikingkirken

Member
I do wonder how people arrived at such arbitrary water change percentages. If my nitrates are under 5, do I really need to change water anyway? Or, do I need to change 30-50% or is a 10-20% change adequate? I get that fish release more into the water than just ammonia, but aren't those numbers a good general indicator for how well the plants are doing purifying the water?

My questions aren't snarky and rhetorical, but quite genuine...
 

James17

Member
vikingkirken said:
I do wonder how people arrived at such arbitrary water change percentages. If my nitrates are under 5, do I really need to change water anyway? Or, do I need to change 30-50% or is a 10-20% change adequate? I get that fish release more into the water than just ammonia, but aren't those numbers a good general indicator for how well the plants are doing purifying the water?

My questions aren't snarky and rhetorical, but quite genuine...
Every point valid and I think you are correct, I choose to change 25% of my water every 7 to 10 days because it's the right thing for me to do. Now if I could only get rid of these pest snails I'd be doing a lot better. LOL
 

clk89

Member
vikingkirken said:
I do wonder how people arrived at such arbitrary water change percentages. If my nitrates are under 5, do I really need to change water anyway? Or, do I need to change 30-50% or is a 10-20% change adequate? I get that fish release more into the water than just ammonia, but aren't those numbers a good general indicator for how well the plants are doing purifying the water?

My questions aren't snarky and rhetorical, but quite genuine...
I figured it out based on my own parameters, and tank stocking. My ten gallon tank is just a nerite snail and shrimp tank so pretty low bioload. That means I take out only about 20%. Now with my 40 gallon breeder the bioload of the fish are larger, even my snails (mystery) have bigger bioload then the nerites. That's why I do a bigger water change. Plus my nitrates go up faster in my 40 gallon breeder.
 

OnTheFly

Member
clk89 said:
I figured it out based on my own parameters, and tank stocking. My ten gallon tank is just a nerite snail and shrimp tank so pretty low bioload. That means I take out only about 20%. Now with my 40 gallon breeder the bioload of the fish are larger, even my snails (mystery) have bigger bioload then the nerites. That's why I do a bigger water change. Plus my nitrates go up faster in my 40 gallon breeder.
That's what I wish we preached here because it might cause more people to think past their cycle period. I could probably go a month in my 60G but I don't know what I don't know about my water with a simple API kit so it gets a small WC even though the numbers look very good. My fish tell me it's about right. Some of my small G fry tanks are crowded and need a substantial WC every other day.
 

Discusluv

Member

NavigatorBlack

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
correct me if I'm mistaken but your approach from back then does sound to be on a more "lets throw things in and see what survives" side whereas the tanks up for debate here are all finely dialed in and incorporating scientific findings, so of course thered be different results.
Except the weakness is - no scientific findings to speak of in any of these postings. Talk about it, but no data. Impressions. The age of tanks is given, and we have pictures of linebred Discus. They are healthy. Death rates, growth rates, comparisons - all lacking.
It isn't an article we're discussing - just a posting written in frustration. No one is paid to write an article here, there are no peer reviews or editors, so none of the above should be expected.
Science is an old approach, and aquarists of the 70s and 80s were very up on what they were doing. "See what survives" was not the approach. There was a lot of work done determining how to breed species, how to maintain them, etc. They were very methodical.
We misunderstood water. That was a flaw.
But a dirted tank doing this? I doubt it can be reproduced widely. It's working for Kasshan, with a certain set of fish, and that says something about how they could be kept. There are so many variables that haven't been addressed for this to be viewed as a system though.
If he were to try this with hardwater species, he would have problems. He already saw that with livebearers in his conditions.
It's potentially "rule making", the great weakness of aquarists, when we offer rules off limited data.
It's worth exploring though, for a limited set of species. Part of what should be worked on and written on is which species.

It's what we want to be. Man, if I could cut out water changes?

Now, why the arbitrary water change percentage suggestions? The best tank I ever saw had an automatic system changing all the water daily. I can't do that. I have metered water, a lot of tanks, a job and a family. Plus I don't need water treatments if I stay around 30% Above that, I have to dechlorinate (I don't have chloramines to deal with). Convenience is the reason.
I'd do 90% if I could.
Less then 20% seems to do little to fish vitality and breeding. 30% gives the basic results I want to see. 40 is better, but metered water - it adds up.
So you try to suggest a baseline amount. And voila, you have a percentage.
In my water, which is soft from the tap, dropping below 20% leaves me with a much higher chance of seeing velvet, a parasite of dirty soft water. Local conditions, learned. Not a rule for everyone.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
James17 said:
Every point valid and I think you are correct, I choose to change 25% of my water every 7 to 10 days because it's the right thing for me to do. Now if I could only get rid of these pest snails I'd be doing a lot better. LOL
yeah this setup won't work if you loathe snails. lol. they are a key cornerstone to my plan.

I've got a journal. I figured it's about time to be recording all my data seriously again. I used to keep lots of data, but all of it was lost years ago when moving. ive been lazy about it recently and do things by "feel" mostly. I suppose that's not good for a scientist.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
Kasshan, you mentioned selling young fish out of the tanks. Locally, you can't really sell a young Discus til it's about 1.5 to 2 inches - how long does it take for you to get them to size, and how many will get there out of a brood of 100? Do you have several tanks set up to be able to raise the young coming out of the natural set up?
Fry growth rates and fry quality are things I've found to be very influenced by water changes, so I am curious.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
I've only sold BN plecos and kribs so far. I don't plan on breeding discus yet. right now my current breeding projects are EB Jacks and rams. the ram tank is dialed in and they are churning babies out periodically. the EB jacks won't have any results for at least a year or two. the tank described with discus is my display tanks. the only thing that reproduces and gives me fry in the discus community are the bns cuz the hide their babies.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
Except the weakness is - no scientific findings to speak of in any of these postings. Talk about it, but no data. Impressions. The age of tanks is given, and we have pictures of linebred Discus. They are healthy. Death rates, growth rates, comparisons - all lacking.
It isn't an article we're discussing - just a posting written in frustration. No one is paid to write an article here, there are no peer reviews or editors, so none of the above should be expected.
Science is an old approach, and aquarists of the 70s and 80s were very up on what they were doing. "See what survives" was not the approach. There was a lot of work done determining how to breed species, how to maintain them, etc. They were very methodical.
We misunderstood water. That was a flaw.
But a dirted tank doing this? I doubt it can be reproduced widely. It's working for Kasshan, with a certain set of fish, and that says something about how they could be kept. There are so many variables that haven't been addressed for this to be viewed as a system though.
If he were to try this with hardwater species, he would have problems. He already saw that with livebearers in his conditions.
It's potentially "rule making", the great weakness of aquarists, when we offer rules off limited data.
It's worth exploring though, for a limited set of species. Part of what should be worked on and written on is which species.

It's what we want to be. Man, if I could cut out water changes?

Now, why the arbitrary water change percentage suggestions? The best tank I ever saw had an automatic system changing all the water daily. I can't do that. I have metered water, a lot of tanks, a job and a family. Plus I don't need water treatments if I stay around 30% Above that, I have to dechlorinate (I don't have chloramines to deal with). Convenience is the reason.
I'd do 90% if I could.
Less then 20% seems to do little to fish vitality and breeding. 30% gives the basic results I want to see. 40 is better, but metered water - it adds up.
So you try to suggest a baseline amount. And voila, you have a percentage.
In my water, which is soft from the tap, dropping below 20% leaves me with a much higher chance of seeing velvet, a parasite of dirty soft water. Local conditions, learned. Not a rule for everyone.
as you said, you misunderstood water. Kasshan has the information you were lacking back then, so you can't say it is the same kind of setup. I didnt mean to imply that the post itself gives scientific information, however the information about the biochemics that his tanks are relying on is out there.

I'm aware that a person can't just add x amount of soil, x amount of plants and x amount of snails to their tank and stop doing water changes, I was just meaning to point out that people not doing water changes back then because of misconceptions and Kasshan having setups that don't require water changes are fundamentally different.
 

BuddyD

Member
James17 said:
I don't understand what your complaint is, this thread is open
I read that it would be closed.
 

Lindsay83

Member
Interesting thread.

I've heard of this "no water change" method of fish keeping before, but not in as much detail as has been provided here.

I've noticed some have replied that this method won't work for them because they have soft water. Well I'm not planning on cutting out water changes any time soon, but, while I don't have any Scientific papers to back up my anecdotal evidence, I'm not so sure ...

I have a dirted tank. Base layer of 1" organic compost, 2" of sand as a cap. Tank is a 28gal (US) long, fully cycled. I should point out, though, that is a newly cycled tank, and I've only had fish for 9 days. Inhabitants: 13 Trigonostigma Hengeli. Last water change was 10% on Sunday.

Tank water
, (taken this morning):
Ammonia and nitrite 0ppm.
NO3 - 2.5 (yes - really!)
pH - 7
KH - 4°
GH - 7°

This thread got me curious, so I tested some aged drinking water from a bottle, which had been standing for at least 24hrs, and some water fresh from the tap.

Tap water:
NO3 - 0ppm - (yes, I did the test correctly).
pH - 7
KH - 2°
GH - 5°

Aged water:
Didn't see the point in testing Nitrate in this.
pH - 7
KH - 1°
GH - 5°

I should mention, that just before I carried out the first water change, before getting the rasbora, KH was up to 7°. The tank is planted with Elodea Densa, Amazon Swords, cambomba, red cambomba, and some other plants, which I admit, I don't know the name of (bought from Ebay as 5 mixed bunches of 5). I also have 2 Indian Almond leaves in there, which obviously aren't making any difference to water chemistry. The tank does have a snail population, but it's not out of control.

Because of the soft water (and past experiences) I'm keeping a very close eye on pH and KH. However, pH has never been lower than 6.8, not even during the cycle. I've tried testing at different times of the day, sometimes, twice a day, lights on, lights off. No difference.

I don't think there is a "one size fits all" method to keeping fish. I certainly won't be carrying out 40-50% water changes every week. I may or may not carry out a water change this Sunday - probably not, if things remain the same. I won't be givin up W/C any time soon, though, as I said above. I'd be too worried about possible old tank syndrome at some point down the line.

I've also said that as we become more experienced in the hobby, it's normal to deviate from the beaten track. I tried to practice Fishkeeping by the Book, and it ended in abject failure. It was only after I relaxed into the hobby and stopped doing things "by the book" that things started settling down.
 

OnTheFly

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
Except the weakness is - no scientific findings to speak of in any of these postings. Talk about it, but no data. Impressions. The age of tanks is given, and we have pictures of linebred Discus. They are healthy. Death rates, growth rates, comparisons - all lacking.
It isn't an article we're discussing - just a posting written in frustration. No one is paid to write an article here, there are no peer reviews or editors, so none of the above should be expected.
Science is an old approach, and aquarists of the 70s and 80s were very up on what they were doing. "See what survives" was not the approach. There was a lot of work done determining how to breed species, how to maintain them, etc. They were very methodical.
We misunderstood water. That was a flaw.
But a dirted tank doing this? I doubt it can be reproduced widely. It's working for Kasshan, with a certain set of fish, and that says something about how they could be kept. There are so many variables that haven't been addressed for this to be viewed as a system though.
If he were to try this with hardwater species, he would have problems. He already saw that with livebearers in his conditions.
It's potentially "rule making", the great weakness of aquarists, when we offer rules off limited data.
It's worth exploring though, for a limited set of species. Part of what should be worked on and written on is which species.

It's what we want to be. Man, if I could cut out water changes?

Now, why the arbitrary water change percentage suggestions? The best tank I ever saw had an automatic system changing all the water daily. I can't do that. I have metered water, a lot of tanks, a job and a family. Plus I don't need water treatments if I stay around 30% Above that, I have to dechlorinate (I don't have chloramines to deal with). Convenience is the reason.
I'd do 90% if I could.
Less then 20% seems to do little to fish vitality and breeding. 30% gives the basic results I want to see. 40 is better, but metered water - it adds up.
So you try to suggest a baseline amount. And voila, you have a percentage.
In my water, which is soft from the tap, dropping below 20% leaves me with a much higher chance of seeing velvet, a parasite of dirty soft water. Local conditions, learned. Not a rule for everyone.
Your personal WC strategy does not sound arbitrary. It's based on facts and great deal of experience, and I guess finances to a degree due to water costs. My well water is pretty clean, but it does have a bit of ammonia. A small WC makes it insignificant as my media cycles it to zero in a few hours. A very large WC is more problematic. Prime really isn't even necessary for a small WC. Why would I dump considerable ammonia on my fish with a large WC every Sunday when the nitrates are fine for weeks? Less than one mile from my house they are on municipal water with 2ppm ammonia. A large WC with that water isn't good maintenance, it's reckless. That quality of water is not rare in the US, and I suspect around the world. As a forum we need to teach people to make an intelligent WC plan based on their water, not our own. That isn't happening now.
 

Anorea

Member
I wish my goldfish tanks didn't need wc's. xD
I have had ppl insist that I run my tanks their way (large wc's every other day or so), and I tried it out, and saw a lot of stress and even a bit of illness. I have been keeping fish for 14 years now, and my oldest fish is my 14yr old goldfish, Comet. He gets a wc once a month in his 75G, and he's pretty happy. I think people go crazy on wc's, to be perfectly honest. But it does all depend on each individual setup. My 40G, I do wc's every 5 days, however much I feel like.
 

bettafanatic

Member
I very seldom do wc on my 55 gallon (like maybe once every 3-4 months) and 10 gallon (both heavily planted) but I do a lot on my 75 gallon due to a turtle and a few cichlids that won't allow anything live to grow. I just do top offs once a week and that's it. My 10 gallon is a shrimp only and my 55 gallon houses a male Betta, 30 neons (which are sensitive fish), cories, otos (also very sensitive) and more shrimp. Haven't had any casualties and my plants are thriving. I also have duckweed and absolutely LOVE the stuff. I just thin it out when it starts blocking the light to my other plants and call it a day.
 

Auroraspet

Member
You mention people don't like the trumpet snails? Lol kids and I love all snails. they do not bother us at all. We get random snails from our ponds and streams when can.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
bettafanatic said:
I very seldom do wc on my 55 gallon (like maybe once every 3-4 months) and 10 gallon (both heavily planted) but I do a lot on my 75 gallon due to a turtle and a few cichlids that won't allow anything live to grow. I just do top offs once a week and that's it. My 10 gallon is a shrimp only and my 55 gallon houses a male Betta, 30 neons (which are sensitive fish), cories, otos (also very sensitive) and more shrimp. Haven't had any casualties and my plants are thriving. I also have duckweed and absolutely LOVE the stuff. I just thin it out when it starts blocking the light to my other plants and call it a day.
ye if I had a turtle in a tank w/c would be necessary and routine. hence; I don't want a turtle.
 

Lindsay83

Member
Lindsay83 said:
This thread got me curious, so I tested some aged drinking water from a bottle, which had been standing for at least 24hrs, and some water fresh from the tap.
Just realised this could be misinterpreted.

By "aged drinking water from a bottle", I meant it's still tap water, just added to a reusable plastic drinks bottle and, in this case, forgotten about.
 

Cori Elizabeth

Member
AngelTheGypsy said:
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.
I have a similar situation with someone I live with and their 350L aquarium
 

Blazie151

Member
You know, I had a 10 gallon with 7 tetras, a goldfish, and a common plecco (massively overstocked) running a regular HOB and a phosban reactor set up with de-nitrate (with the flow too fast) and I didn't change the water for a year. When I finally bought a test kit and set up my cichlid tank I tested the water in my 10 for giggles and my nitrates were over 400 but no fish were showing any signs of stress. My PH and KH still matched tap. I lost 2 fish during the water changes I wouldn't have lost if I didn't change out 50% at a time following advise here about how bad those levels were. When I set up my cichlid tank I slowed down the canister so the de-nitrate could work and I haven't changed the water in 4 months, my water parameters ALL match tap. 0 nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, my KH is off the test chart which maxed at 280, and my PH is 7.9. Point is, I've been "successful" both ways with no water changes. One way the bad way in a cycle that would have eventually led to disaster, and another watching water quality and finding no need to do anything other than a top off. If you do find a way to remove the nitrates (algae scrubber, planted sump/tank, de-nitrate canister, nylon pot scrubber canister, etc) and you periodically check for bad water and change accordingly, water changes are something you do when you need to.
 

Rshore

Member
I would just like to mention the Walstad method for all of you requesting scientific proof, this "no water change" method is oddly reminiscent of it.
For me I rarely do water changes on my 15gal, fluval substrate tank ( maybe once a year) and my 30 gallon I do when the nitrates hit 40ppm so maybe once a month
 

AngelTheGypsy

Member
I do have a planted 5 gallon with a betta that never shows nitrate, so technically I could test the theory, but I do water changes to be on the safe side. Other than removing nitrates, water changes add fresh water and minerals, things I can't really test for. It has a full lid so I don't get that much evaporation. I guess I'd just rather be safe than sorry.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Rshore said:
I would just like to mention the Walstad method for all of you requesting scientific proof, this "no water change" method is oddly reminiscent of it.
For me I rarely do water changes on my 15gal, fluval substrate tank ( maybe once a year) and my 30 gallon I do when the nitrates hit 40ppm so maybe once a month
I haven't read the Walstad book but from the articles I have read I believe she used hardy species. She did a few WCs as well but not many at all. Interesting nonetheless.
 

Rshore

Member
OnTheFly said:
I haven't read the Walstad book but from the articles I have read I believe she used hardy species. She did a few WCs as well but not many at all. Interesting nonetheless.
Admittedly I haven't read the book either just familiar with the method but could of sworn she is notorious for going on a decade without changing a drop of water
 

d3221ck

Member
I bred swordtails for years in a pond with only plants growing in it with no filter or 1 issue. they were populating like crazy even if I never fed them I guess the bugs were enough and the fast growing plants made them all seem very happy and healthy they never got this big in my tanks.... I had that going for literally 8+ years without an issue and that pond is still clean today, so fast growing plants can do more than most realize I think especially outdoors.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Rshore said:
Admittedly I haven't read the book either just familiar with the method but could of sworn she is notorious for going on a decade without changing a drop of water
There were WCs the first years, but not many, from the article I read that I'm almost sure was authored by Dr Wolstad. Probably while she developed her process. Which I find quite understandable. Much as Kassan has done. I don't think they awoke one morning with the perfect plan requiring no modification over the course of the experiment.
 

d3221ck

Member
most breeders I think we like to think we have our secrets. I built a sky light for my plecos and gave them a 240 gallon tank dedicated to them but also just did the normal sponge filter cleaning and never much more than spoil them. but in the end, after a decade the truth is I am sure if I had done what I been avoiding and remove 3 females and a male and put them in a small tank to monitor their every move i'd most likely have a larger sucess rate because most babies don't survive. I think the truth may be somewhere in the middle with breeding people like me anyway want to keep them in a big tank and not remove my other plecs who are most likely eating them cause we like and want our methods to work... I know it goes both ways with me and i've bred just about every fish I ever owned by attempting to just do specie large tanks or pond breeding mostly.
 

OnTheFly

Member
d3221ck said:
I bred swordtails for years in a pond with only plants growing in it with no filter or 1 issue. they were populating like crazy even if I never fed them I guess the bugs were enough and the fast growing plants made them all seem very happy and healthy they never got this big in my tanks.... I had that going for literally 8+ years without an issue and that pond is still clean today, so fast growing plants can do more than most realize I think especially outdoors.
Ponds are really outside the scope of the discussion. I am starting outside on a small scale right now. There is just no way to objectively assess if your fry survival rate is 75% or 5%. Or even your adult survival rate in "natural" water. In any event nature will help in a pond, or even a makeshift tub pond. Rain is the same as a WC. Bug hatches do not occur in the indoor closed aquarium. Many other differences no doubt. The incredible growth rate of plants and other organisms among them.

All that said I would like to take some of my KoI Swords outdoors in a tub pond. I will PM you for temp range advice.
 

d3221ck

Member
very true, I noticed they seemed to be stunted in my tank for so long until I let them breed outside I never seen them hit 4" + but i'd not recommend in most states i'm sure you get that... but they were breeding before that, the fry just had more hiding spaces and it got out of control. never heard of koI swords? sounds cool tho too hot to keep koI most the year where I am!
 

conniem2424

Member
AngelTheGypsy said:
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.
This friend of yours needs to buy a lottery ticket
 

esdwa

Member
Around 8 months ago I installed custom dripping system in my 65 gal community tank exchanging water with rate of about 10 gal per 24h period, which keeps my NO3 below 5 at all times.

No more hand water changes since then.

* Dripping head


* Modified skimmer used as overflow


* Filter, flow reducer and valve under the sink
 

AngelTheGypsy

Member
conniem2424 said:
This friend of yours needs to buy a lottery ticket
On the other hand, their camper trailer got infested with rats and about 50 apparently died while in there <absolute stench>, then while cleaning it out, apparently someone turned on the gas and filled it with propane, so they literally had a bomb sitting in the driveway, so lucky some places, not so much others...

I think it's more of a "disposable fish" theory.
 

Rshore

Member
You all should also check out Aquarium Co-ops Youtube channels hes 2 "profit tanks" that have been up for almost 5 months if not more with no water changes as well as what he calls a "natural" tank in his fish room in which he uses a deep sand bed in order to create anerobic conditions that process his nitrates + live plants and only run an air stone on that tank ( it's also a great channel all around I learn a lot from his live streams)
 

bgclarke

Member
^ I saw one of them last night when I watched his black rose shrimp unboxing video.
 

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