How I Never Do Water Changes. - Page 3

lookijustneedhelp

Member
Rshore said:
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)
which videos are about them in particular?
 

Rshore

Member
There must be one titled natural aquarium or something similiar I don't think the "profit" ones are in his breeding for profit series but really you'll probably just have to spend some.time browsing his content it'll be worth it one way or another but I can tell you that those 3 tanks were setup rather recently so if your looking for content specifically to those tanks stay within the 6-7month range

As said earlier the Natural tank is briefly talked about in his recent shrimp unboxing video
 

OnTheFly

Member
Cory does daily WCs with most tanks on his automated system. He is the master of stocking 200 guppies in a 40G and getting by with it well enough lol. His videos are awesome though. He laughs at some of our forum fishkeeping rules.
 

Rshore

Member
OnTheFly said:
Cory does daily WCs with most tanks on his automated system. He is the master of stocking 200 guppies in a 40G and getting by with it well enough lol. His videos are awesome though. He laughs at some of our forum fishkeeping rules.
Very true with automated waterchanges stocking becomes a different story but there are those 3 tanks that are not part of that system, as well some of these "forum rules" specifically when it comes to stocking are rather ridiculous.
 

Discusluv

Member
OnTheFly said:
Cory does daily WCs with most tanks on his automated system. He is the master of stocking 200 guppies in a 40G and getting by with it well enough lol. His videos are awesome though. He laughs at some of our forum fishkeeping rules.
Just like anything in life, when you know the rules, you can break the rules and laugh at everyone else who needs to follow them until they are educated. Experience with all the different factors involved in keeping a closed system healthy are always at the back of the experienced aquarists mind. But, for beginners, people who are new to the hobby and don't have enough experience to integrate all these various factors (water chemistry, feeding levels, particular needs of the species they are keeping) rules allow them to slowly incorporate what will later become intuitive. Then, like "Cory" (with experience) they can start eliminating what is not necessary because of the particular species they keep, the heavy planted environment they have that reduces toxins, automated water changing systems or--- fill in the blanks.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
Rshore said:
Very true with automated waterchanges stocking becomes a different story but there are those 3 tanks that are not part of that system, as well some of these "forum rules" specifically when it comes to stocking are rather ridiculous.
well you either have rules to throw at people, no matter how vague they are, or end up with 20gals housing 8 goldfish, one common plec and one red tail cat or bettas in coffee mugs.
 

Discusluv

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
well you either have rules to throw at people, no matter how vague they are, or end up with 20gals housing 8 goldfish, one common plec and one red tail cat or bettas in coffee mugs.
Agreed. I think those that find the "rules" ridiculous are either so new they don't yet realize the complexity of fish-keeping or so experienced they forget what complexity is involved for the beginner.
 

Rshore

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
well you either have rules to throw at people, no matter how vague they are, or end up with 20gals housing 8 goldfish, one common plec and one red tail cat or bettas in coffee mugs.
True and ill concede that much but that's fairly drastic example, the thing I see a lot is people throwing fits about Neons in a 10gal or a betta in a 5 gal or mixing a betta into a community or finkyness over a degree in temperature etc. Small things that while it may not work for one person it works great for another, as the eluding factor can have to do with the individuals water parameters but I digress not trying to point fingers or cause undue arguments, but I will say that I used to be of the train of thought that there is some magical formula of fish that will work or won't work and now I'm of the train of thought that just about anything is possible, but you can't know unless you give it a try
 

OnTheFly

Member
Discusluv said:
Just like anything in life, when you know the rules, you can break the rules and laugh at everyone else who needs to follow them until they are educated. Experience with all the different factors involved in keeping a closed system healthy are always at the back of the experienced aquarists mind. But, for beginners, people who are new to the hobby and don't have enough experience to integrate all these various factors (water chemistry, feeding levels, particular needs of the species they are keeping) rules allow them to slowly incorporate what will later become intuitive. Then, like "Cory" (with experience) they can start eliminating what is not necessary because of the particular species they keep, the heavy planted environment they have that reduces toxins, automated water changing systems or--- fill in the blanks.
Yes he has it figured out. And actually he mostly follows your WC regimen. He is not a dirt tank disciple by any means. That's what allows him to stock at levels most would consider way beyond crazy, raise fish outside at temps considerable outside acceptable temp ranges etc. His knowledge of plants make a lot of things possible. You can indeed keep more than three or four fish in a 1oG.
 

Discusluv

Member
Rshore said:
True and ill concede that much but that's fairly drastic example, the thing I see a lot is people throwing fits about Neons in a 10gal or a betta in a 5 gal or mixing a betta into a community or finkyness over a degree in temperature etc. Small things that while it may not work for one person it works great for another, as the eluding factor can have to do with the individuals water parameters but I digress not trying to point fingers or cause undue arguments, but I will say that I used to be of the train of thought that there is some magical formula of fish that will work or won't work and now I'm of the train of thought that just about anything is possible, but you can't know unless you give it a try
The example that was given may have been hyperbolic, but so was your "1 degree" example. These aren't arguments, they are vigorous discussions- we are all adults here. The rules given to new aquarists only remain "magical" until they learn the ropes of the hobby, after that, they are educated enough to give and take what they can use and what does no longer serve their needs.
 

Rshore

Member
Discusluv said:
The example that was given may have been hyperbolic, but so was your "1 degree" example. These aren't arguments, they are vigorous discussions- we are all adults here. The rules given to new aquarists only remain "magical" until they learn the ropes of the hobby, after that, they are educated enough to give and take what they can use and what does no longer serve their needs.
Ahahah I like that "vigorous discussions" that like saying "aggressive negotiations" but you are right and id be inclined to agree with you on that last part and it was a fairly drastic example but I swear ive seen it maybe not in those exact terms but ive definitely seen " fish x is 72-78 and fish y and fish z is 74-82 running tank at 80" and people are jumping down someone throat because fish y is not temp compatible without taking into consideration that temps on sites are generally either estimations or temp taken at time of collection not solid fact but that a whole nother cup of tea with varible temps vs steady temp as the centrepiece
 

Discusluv

Member
Rshore said:
Ahahah I like that "vigorous discussions" that like saying "aggressive negotiations" but you are right and id be inclined to agree with you on that last part
"aggressive negotiations" implies that I am threatening someone, that there is an imbalance of power, not so. While "vigourous" discussion means that I do not feel that my argument is any more powerful than anyone elses. I like vigorous.
 

Rshore

Member
Discusluv said:
"aggressive negotiations" implies that I am threatening someone, that there is an imbalance of power, not so. While "vigourous" discussion means that I do not feel that my argument is any more powerful than anyone elses. I like vigorous.
It kinda just reminded me of StarWars Episode 1 (Not 4 a New Hope but 1 ) where qui-gon says to kenobI I expected the negotiations to be aggressive and short or something along those lines
 

OnTheFly

Member
Discusluv said:
"aggressive negotiations" implies that I am threatening someone, that there is an imbalance of power, not so. While "vigourous" discussion means that I do not feel that my argument is any more powerful than anyone elses. I like vigorous.
I think you are bullying him.

lol

Now if you'll excuse me I have to head to town and get some oscars for my 5G.
 

Discusluv

Member
Rshore said:
It kinda just reminded me of StarWars Episode 1 (Not 4 a New Hope but 1 ) where qui-gon says to kenobI I expected the negotiations to be aggressive and short or something along those lines
Thank you, I understand.
 

Rshore

Member
OnTheFly said:
I think you are bullying him.

lol

Now if you'll excuse me I have to head to town and get some oscars for my 5G.
Ahahaha make sure to get like 5, a gallon for each should do !
 

Discusluv

Member
OnTheFly said:
I think you are bullying him.

lol

Now if you'll excuse me I have to head to town and get some oscars for my 5G.
Well, you do fall into the expert category, Ill will trust you know what you are doing.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Rshore said:
Ahahaha make sure to get like 5, a gallon for each should do !
Yup, I actually just measured my 5G. 16" long. Takes an oscar years to get nearly that long. Still room for some goldfish, and a pleco
 

OnTheFly

Member
Discusluv said:
Well, you do fall into the expert category, Ill will trust you know what you are doing.
Not even in my own mind lol.
 

Rshore

Member
OnTheFly said:
Yup, I actually just measured my 5G. 16" long. Takes an oscar years to get nearly that long. Stil room fo some goldfish, and a pleco
A fancy golfish I hope a comet would just be ridiculous
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
Rshore said:
Ahahah I like that "vigorous discussions" that like saying "aggressive negotiations" but you are right and id be inclined to agree with you on that last part and it was a fairly drastic example but I swear ive seen it maybe not in those exact terms but ive definitely seen " fish x is 72-78 and fish y and fish z is 74-82 running tank at 80" and people are jumping down someone throat because fish y is not temp compatible without taking into consideration that temps on sites are generally either estimations or temp taken at time of collection not solid fact but that a whole nother cup of tea with varible temps vs steady temp as the centrepiece
I was hinting more at a setup that ive seen for real, being a roughly 1gal bowl, in it a fancy goldfish ( y I k e s ) and a powder blue gourami, scaped with a rock in the middle that took up at least .25gal. that thing was advertised on a ornamental fish breeders site. so while experience surely allows you to break rules, there's setups (goldfish in a 1gal, good lord) that are just physically painful for the fish and very stress inducing, always.
 

Anorea

Member
Leave the goldfish alone!
 

Discusluv

Member
Anorea said:
Leave the goldfish alone!
Its ok Anorea, they were joking.
 

OnTheFly

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
I was hinting more at a setup that ive seen for real, being a roughly 1gal bowl, in it a fancy goldfish ( y I k e s ) and a powder blue gourami, scaped with a rock in the middle that took up at least .25gal. that thing was advertised on a ornamental fish breeders site. so while experience surely allows you to break rules, there's setups (goldfish in a 1gal, good lord) that are just physically painful for the fish and very stress inducing, always.
No real aquarist is doing that. The problem is the extremes. Somebody sees bettas and goldies in a tiny bowl all their life. They come here and want to house one is a 5G and if we aren't careful with our words we beat them up first post and run them off. Not everyone of course. But it's a big forum and it only takes a few to make them feel stupid and leave when they want to start up a 10G and put some neons in it, or dare to only buy a couple cory cats.
 

Rshore

Member
OnTheFly said:
No real aquarist is doing that. The problem is the extremes. Somebody sees bettas and goldies in a tiny bowl all their life. They come here and want to house one is a 5G and if we aren't careful with our words we beat them up first post and run them off. Not everyone of course. But it's a big forum and it only takes a few to make them feel stupid and leave when they want to start up a 10G and put some neons in it, or dare to only buy a couple cory cats.
Very eloquently said !
 

Discusluv

Member
OnTheFly said:
No real aquarist is doing that. The problem is the extremes. Somebody sees bettas and goldies in a tiny bowl all their life. They come here and want to house one is a 5G and if we aren't careful with our words we beat them up first post and run them off. Not everyone of course. But it's a big forum and it only takes a few to make them feel stupid and leave when they want to start up a 10G and put some neons in it, or dare to only buy a couple cory cats.
I get what you are saying- we should be more careful with the impression we make with those who seek out our help. Thank you for reminding me of this.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Anorea said:
Leave the goldfish alone!
Discusluv said:
I get what you are saying- we should be more careful with the impression we make with those who seek out our help. Thank you for reminding me of this.
It was actually the subject of one of Cory's videos. He is sick of noobs being beaten up as it kills our hobby's future growth. Obviously he has a financial interest in the future. He expressed interest in launching a forum where alternative views were respectfully explored. He would need an army of adult moderators to set the tone. Sadly I think he is dreaming.
 

Lchi87

Member
OnTheFly said:
No real aquarist is doing that. The problem is the extremes. Somebody sees bettas and goldies in a tiny bowl all their life. They come here and want to house one is a 5G and if we aren't careful with our words we beat them up first post and run them off. Not everyone of course. But it's a big forum and it only takes a few to make them feel stupid and leave when they want to start up a 10G and put some neons in it, or dare to only buy a couple cory cats.
This goes both ways though. I'm not one to harp about a school of neons in a 10 gallon because you can do MUCH worse than that but I have no issues speaking my mind if the person seeking help doesn't like what I have to say. Like " You're wrong, my 4 angels are HAPPY in my 10 gallon " type of people. Don't ask for advice if you think you know better.

That being said, I also have no issues with the "rules" here about WCs ( or anything really) because as a newbie, I needed rules to build a foundation of understanding on. Once I had a benchmark and a way to measure success, I bended certain rules.
 

Discusluv

Member
OnTheFly said:
It was actually the subject of one of Cory's videos. He is sick of noobs being beaten up as it kills our hobby's future growth. Obviously he has a financial interest in the future. He expressed interest in launching a forum where alternative views were respectfully explored. He would need an army of adult moderators to set the tone. Sadly I think he is dreaming.
This type of welcoming, accepting atmosphere is definitely important, but I still believe that to begin with we cannot give an overload of options, this can be as detrimental as too rigid a set of rules to follow. It is a complex, like I seem to be harping today, learning curve for newbies into the hobby. An overload of options can become just as confusing. I think what is needed is a pliable set of guidelines that looks at each case on a "case by case basis." General guidelines are too rigid as the aquarists of today are keeping a wide variety of species, much more than when the hobby began. The only rules that I find should be kept more narrow until the neophyte to hobby understands the variables that can allow one to change or play with the rules are water chemistry.
 

lookijustneedhelp

Member
OnTheFly said:
No real aquarist is doing that. The problem is the extremes. Somebody sees bettas and goldies in a tiny bowl all their life. They come here and want to house one is a 5G and if we aren't careful with our words we beat them up first post and run them off. Not everyone of course. But it's a big forum and it only takes a few to make them feel stupid and leave when they want to start up a 10G and put some neons in it, or dare to only buy a couple cory cats.
I still feel like shouting "EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, YOU DONT NEED TO FOLLOW RULES" encourages those people to refuse educating themselves. same breeder marketed "engagement betta flower vases", and got perplexingly positive feedback. I didnt dare being the only one leaving a "that is poor husbandry" comment.

being too close minded and and getting worked up over minor disagreements will take away from our credibility greatly, I know. but there will always be situations in which "its all just different approaches, you keep doing that" isn't valid and you have to tell people that what they are doing is poop and that their fish are not happy.

anyway, maybe we should bring back the original topic?
 

OnTheFly

Member
Discusluv said:
This type of welcoming, accepting atmosphere is definitely important, but I still believe that to begin with we cannot give an overload of options, this can be as detrimental as too rigid a set of rules to follow. It is a complex, like I seem to be harping today, learning curve for newbies into the hobby. An overload of options can become just as confusing. I think what is needed is a pliable set of guidelines that looks at each case on a "case by case basis." General guidelines are too rigid as the aquarists of today are keeping a wide variety of species, much more than when the hobby began. The only rules that I find should be kept more narrow until the neophyte to hobby understands the variables that can allow one to change or play with the rules are water chemistry.
First of all this is the best fish forum I have found or I wouldn't invest so much time here. The "tone thing" is very important IMO but impossible to control on a large forum. I can only do my part to be a calming voice when a noob is getting "schooled" their first day. If they don't want to hear that a school of angels or oscars is not OK in a small tank they will get what they get. In any event I enjoy the debate, with members like you. You are experienced and mutually respectful so I know you won't run away and give up the hobby if we disagree for a couple days on one thread lol.

Regards, I've over posted this thread for sure.
 

OnTheFly

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
I still feel like shouting "EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, YOU DONT NEED TO FOLLOW RULES" encourages those people to refuse educating themselves. same breeder marketed "engagement betta flower vases", and got perplexingly positive feedback. I didnt dare being the only one leaving a "that is poor husbandry" comment.

being too close minded and and getting worked up over minor disagreements will take away from our credibility greatly, I know. but there will always be situations in which "its all just different approaches, you keep doing that" isn't valid and you have to tell people that what they are doing is poop and that their fish are not happy.

anyway, maybe we should bring back the original topic?
The original topic has run it's course. It's just serious hobbyists conversing now IMO. I don't really accept Kassan's theories fully but I admire his attempt to prove some of what we preach is over the top. None of us have to agree but I trust he is not killing his fish with his attempt to explore boundaries.
 

davis

Member
I'm very slow on the keyboard so I don't respond often would like to thank all of you for making this thread a enjoyable read that is why we need a open mind to be successful the less mistakes we make is better for the fish. What works best for each of us takes time to learn I like to over filter my tanks to cut down on WC but still do them.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
lookijustneedhelp said:
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.
The sole difference I see in Kasshan's set up is the soil. Everything else is straight out of the Balanced Aquarium dream of the old school aquarist. Light stocking. Planting heavily. Not changing water.

And after 7 years, I don't expect the soil is doing a whole lot.
This is where I question the 'science'. I honestly see none.

You can't say what the set ups were back then without an understanding of the history of past pursuits of the no water change tank. Nor can you say Kasshan's approach is more scientific.He's having fun with his successful tanks, but not keeping records to back your claim.

I find the species with which he is succeeding interesting. Pelvicachromis pulcher surprises me a little, but Ancistrus sp don't. They are very hardy. Both are rainforest fish. I'd love to know which Ancistrus, but that is hard to establish.

Years ago, I wanted to breed Dicrossus maculatus, an uncommon checkerboard Cichlid from low pH water. I failed. A friend succeeded, as he allowed his tanks to go without water changes for months, until they had what he described as a pale urine colour (no tannins). They bred when the pH hit about 4, and were thriving. I tried a detailed copy of his set up, and the fish died. I suspect that since we lived in different watersheds, the minerals in my water differed from the ones in his.

But 'crash tanks' can work for some species. To return to the first posting, water changes are still not "absurd". This is a limited application.

If you can show me how it is more scientific than the old Balanced Aquarium (also pursued by scientifically minded, well educated people at the time), I'll read it. I've worked with Walstad methods, and found them limited. Plant filters? Impractical. Experiments (and the fish I like) lead me back to water changing.

If it weren't for the threat of velvet in my poorly buffered water, I'd even try it again, as Kasshan has. Velvet, and the fact most of my fish like to dig, so dirted tanks are impractical.

As for the crowding, at an importer, it is nothing to see a thousand tetras in a 40, or 500 guppies in a 20. They aren't planning to have them there in 2 weeks, or their business is not doing well. The online youtube guy is pretty funny to me, because he tends to sell wholesaler techniques to hobbyists, but avoid timelines. Any tank under 2 years old is brand new to me. Any fish not sold after 3 weeks is a problem to a wholesaler.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
removing "pest" snails and fast growing plants, I equated that to a waterchange. I felt logically that is the cornerstone of avoiding waterchanges as far as my method is concerned. what is the goal of a waterchange? what chemicals are being removed? what chemicals are the bio-matter of a snail and plant made of? I figured it was the same thing for me. my tanks are "balanced" as a result

dirted tanks are relatively new for me. but even before that (over 7 years ago) when I had black sand only and lightly planted as well(duckweed was not part of the equation back then), waterchanges were rare for me cuz the params were always good because I applied that logic by just removing malay trumpet snails periodically, and that was when I had a wildcaught male krib, with a hobby raised female. not sure at your surprise tho, kribs were always super easy to breed for me, and I did a pH experiment with them to see the effect of gender ratios. 6.5 gave me girls. 7.5 gave more boys. but that is one data point without considering other variables and I'm just an amateur fish keeper.

fast fwd to now. my tank is fairly well stocked, not light by any means. and the Angels are trying to breed again. the disbelief people have is just a lack of faith. some people are naturally going to be negative nancys and stuck in their routines, objectivity and overcoming bias are difficulty pills to swallow. I should know, I myself am guilty of being human, forgive me for my faults. I prefer to push boundaries and explore. but I enjoy negativity because it forces me to re-evaluate my method and give things a closer look, because me being wrong is always a possibility. but in the end I'm ruled by logic, whether I am wrong or right, I will change methodology as needed. and of course, don't knock til you try it; given that re-visiting old methods can be tweeked and improved upon logically.
 

Rshore

Member
Kasshan said:
removing "pest" snails and fast growing plants, I equated that to a waterchange. I felt logically that is the cornerstone of avoiding waterchanges as far as my method is concerned. what is the goal of a waterchange? what chemicals are being removed? what chemicals are the bio-matter of a snail and plant made of? I figured it was the same thing for me. my tanks are "balanced" as a result

dirted tanks are relatively new for me. but even before that (over 7 years ago) when I had black sand only and lightly planted as well(duckweed was not part of the equation back then), waterchanges were rare for me cuz the params were always good because I applied that logic by just removing malay trumpet snails periodically, and that was when I had a wildcaught male krib, with a hobby raised female. not sure at your surprise tho, kribs were always super easy to breed for me, and I did a pH experiment with them to see the effect of gender ratios. 6.5 gave me girls. 7.5 gave more boys. but that is one data point without considering other variables and I'm just an amateur fish keeper.

fast fwd to now. my tank is fairly well stocked, not light by any means. and the Angels are trying to breed again. the disbelief people have is just a lack of faith. some people are naturally going to be negative nancys and stuck in their routines, objectivity and overcoming bias are difficulty pills to swallow. I should know, I myself am guilty of being human, forgive me for my faults. I prefer to push boundaries and explore. but I enjoy negativity because it forces me to re-evaluate my method and give things a closer look, because me being wrong is always a possibility. but in the end I'm ruled by logic, whether I am wrong or right, I will change methodology as needed. and of course, don't knock til you try it; given that re-visiting old methods can be tweeked and improved upon logically.
"Ruled by logic" explains the Spock picture " may your fish live long and prosper my friend"
 

Aquaphobia

Member
Kasshan said:
removing "pest" snails and fast growing plants, I equated that to a waterchange. I felt logically that is the cornerstone of avoiding waterchanges as far as my method is concerned. what is the goal of a waterchange? what chemicals are being removed? what chemicals are the bio-matter of a snail and plant made of? I figured it was the same thing for me. my tanks are "balanced" as a result
By removing pest snails you're actually removing some of the minerals because when those snails die their shells won't dissolve and put back the carbonates they're made of.

Kasshan said:
the disbelief people have is just a lack of faith. some people are naturally going to be negative nancys and stuck in their routines, objectivity and overcoming bias are difficulty pills to swallow.
Faith is definitely something to be avoided in a situation like this! Faith is belief without evidence and that's potentially dangerous to the living creatures in your care!

I live on an island that has been cobbled together from different types of rocks due to the complex interactions between volcanoes and plate movements. I've had to move 4 times in the last 3 years and though I've stayed within a fairly small area on the southern part of the island my water in each place has been wildly different just because of the differences in the geology.

I consider myself to be reasonably adept at reading my fish and I no longer test my water obsessively but it was absolutely essential to my understanding of the hobby as a beginner.

Even Picasso had to learn how to paint realistically before he could experiment and come up with the art he's more famous for.

It's all well and good that this works for YOU where you are but I personally think that advocating for newcomers to start running before they've learned to walk is dangerous advice.
 

CindiL

Member
Interesting thread. I got side tracked this morning reading it and have tons of unanswered threads lol. I don't think water changes are "absurd" and depending on one's tap water parameters may be absolutely necessary for the survival of their fish. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle as far as water changes go and definitely comes down to each individual eco system, fish stocking, plants, and source water.

Anyways, this is basically a variation of the Walstad technique though with good filtration (I have read through her book) and is not new by any means and as mentioned by was how it was done for many many years (the not changing water part I mean). She just made it work with her very heavily planted tanks and low stocking. She actually did change out water at least on a yearly or every 6 month basis. Can this be done? sure, you're doing it successfully, should it be done? not by most and it seems like that's what you're recommending when you say water changes are "absurd". When you say it that way it looks like right from the beginning you're seeking to have an argumentative and inflammatory thread. A more neutral approach would have been to say that you have found a way to avoid water changes and here is how it works and laid it out in detail for all of us to think and have discussion about.

On to the topic at hand. There are important parameters to make this even remotely successful such as having adequate minerals in your source water or adding them in. One needs to know the basics of water chemistry, their KH, PH, GH and/or TDS. Trying this with low TDS water is when people run into old tank syndrome, ph crash, massive fish loss and/or excessive nitrates in which again you run into fish loss, they do massive water changes and kill more fish due to such a huge change in their parameters. Not knowing what drastic chemistry changes the water changes were making in their "old tank", people used to blame the water changes which was incorrect.

I think one must have an idea of their water parameters to even try this technique and experimentation and so is definitely not for a new aquarist. The majority of people who come here initially are new to the hobby and needing help (at least in the forums I am mostly on which is the nitrogen cycle, water quality in general and sickness and bettas). Rules or guidelines are necessary and even desired by those new to the hobby. I think what is recommended like weekly water changes, learning the nitrogen cycle, testing their water frequently, stocking correctly is absolutely needed to prevent failure in the first months when a lot of people give up after massive fish loss and sell all that equipment they bought. The guidelines help prevent this and lead to a successful fish keeper. Once they're experienced they can go on to try and modify these rules and what works for them and their tanks.
 

Fanatic

Member
I agree with above, it's interesting. But I can't agree with everything, but most of the things are interesting. I just do water changes like normal, because that's how I was introduced and I just go with the flow.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Fanatic said:
I agree with above, it's interesting. But I can't agree with everything, but most of the things are interesting. I just do water changes like normal, because that's how I was introduced and I just go with the flow.
And that is fine if you monitor water quality and don't just assume somebody else's an arbitrary WC schedule is correct for your tank(s). Collectively we have tanks that would be fine with a 10% every two weeks. For other tanks a 50% weekly is not nearly enough. I have some of both examples. Cindy hit the main point as far as I am concerned. All beginners should learn to analyze their own water. Whether they do WCs or not you have to understand parameters and the effect they have on your fish. In the absence of that info it's not an experiment but merely neglect.

I intend to attempt a small tank similar to Kassan's as soon as I can free up a tank. But I will do a WC in a heartbeat if data indicates it's needed. I'm not willing to punish fish just to prove a point. I'd probably make a poor scientist.
 

BeanFish

Member
I think water changes are more than just parameters.
 

Andy S

Member
I must admit that I also wonder about the advantages or otherwise of regular water changes. I have a tank containing nothing but guppies and corydorus cats. I live on a small Greek island and the water coming from the tap is undrinkable. The general hardness and the carbonate hardness are off the scale, ph is 7.5. Fortunately I have an RO machine which gives me an unlimited supply for free. I use Seachem Equilibrium to remineralise it. I have a good filtration system and my tank water shows general hardness at 120, carbonate hardness at 120 and ph at 7.5. I have zero ammonia, zero nitrite and low level of nitrate. I am doing a partial water change of between 10 and 15% every three days.
My problem or question or dilemma is this. The water quality in my tank is exactly where I need it to be. When I remineralise the RO water it gives the exact same readings as the water that is already in the tank. That being the case I often wonder why I am actually doing a water change at all. It seems that I am removing perhaps 10 gallons of water and replacing it with 10 gallons which are chemically identical to the water I have taken out. Obviously part of doing the water change includes hoovering the mulm from the substrate but other than that there doesn't appear to be any logical reason for doing it.
I haven't been brave enough to stop doing the water changes but I do sometimes wonder why I am bothering.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Andy S said:
My problem or question or dilemma is this. The water quality in my tank is exactly where I need it to be.
As Beanfish implies above we don't actually know that other than experience. Mostly we rely on a hobbyist level test kit that analyzes forms of nitrogen to avoid toxic levels. (and PH/hardness of course). It is FAR from a comprehensive water report with professional equipment which may involve another 100 tests. At some point it does come down to personal experience with your water to figure out what keeps your fish healthy. Even the fact it is or is not pleasant to drink doesn't necessarily mean much to your fish. i.e. RO water with no additives is not unpleasant to drink.
 

Andy S

Member
That's very true but equally as a hobbyist I, along with the majority of fish keepers are only able to test certain parameters, Ph, general hardness, carbonate hardness, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, that's about it. As to what else may be in the water, we have no idea. That applies equally well to the water already in the tank as it does to the remineralised RO water I am replacing it with. That being the case perhaps doing a water change may be doing more harm than good, how is one to tell?
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
I guess I'm the negative Nancy. Kribs have been in the hobby since the 1920s, so they were breedable in the magic water years. If you take a look at the literature, Dr Innes's "Exotic Aquarium Fishes", originally from 60+ years ago can still be found, and it will show you the fish that did well in the pre-water change era.
I suspect Kasshan, that you have an interesting mineral composition in the local water. You've presented a good view of how you do things, and why. It works for you. I am afraid that if you move east, it may not. North and south too. It probably depends on your water.
You can see that as me clinging to a shot down "faith" in water changes, but I have experimented a fair bit too, and have very different conclusions. I figure faith is a vice when you are trying to understand how things work, so that appeal didn't work as an argument.
I have been enjoying the thread though, I was surprised at the poster with ammonia in his tap. That was an eye opener - all of the cities and industries of the Great Lakes empty into the river I get water from, on its way to the Atlantic. We have never had ammonia in our tap. That certainly will have me thinking twice when I try to answer water questions.

And I like newcomers (and everyone else) being able to see alternatives, as long as people are honest about them. Kasshan has been very direct in presenting his theories. I was a relative newb during the great water change versus old water debate, and I learned from both sides. I started saying pretty well what Kasshan does, and changed with experimentation. But I was still a teenager and perfectly capable of taking in both sides and charting my own course for learning.
When my children were little, I dropped to once a month water changes at times (I was looking at notes I kept after this thread got me thinking). I lost fish after water changes because my tank water became radically different from my tap after that long. Kasshan seems to have water that stays stable over long periods.
I moved to every second week for my killies (my current regime - every week for all other fish) because of that and saw an increase in longevity, breeding and colour. My kids are adults in their 20s, and I still have fish descended from the ones I had when they were babies.
I question the snail theory. That loses me completely. But it's a good thread.
We need to try to give honest answers to newcomers' questions, but we need to discuss among experienced keepers too. We aren't experts. We're learners too, just with a more developed base.

Andy S - I took a borrowed API kit yesterday, and tested 5 tanks that have been ten days with no changes. The water was ideal, with extra kits telling me I had a pH ranging from 6.6 to 7.2 (substrate differences - I did not test tanks I intentionally make more alkaline and harder for the species in them). In two of those tanks, if I do a water change today, the pairs in them will spawn within 48 hours. If I don't, it is highly unlikely. Experience says if I wait another 10 days, the fish will be flashing, and I may have ectoparasite problems. The API kits are toys compared to what we should have - the expensive type of equipment the reef crowd uses and beyond.
 

clk89

Member
I am finding myself nodding in agreement at your posts as I read them, so I wouldn't worry too much about sounding like a "negative nancy."

I honestly would need to see more scientific proof that this would work for everyone, in every situation, before I suddenly switch to not doing any water changes and recommend it to fellow beginners. As it is there isn't any data presented in a scientific method sort of way in this thread.
 

Andy S

Member
Navigator Black - yes, some of the most commonly used test kits are next door to useless, the API test strips for example only test ph in increments of .5 degrees, ie 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5. 8. It's so general that it's hardly worth bothering.
I think as has previously been stated there is far more to partial water changes than just the parameters we are aware of and perhaps experience is as good a guide as anything. I will stick with my 10-15% every three days, not because I know that is beneficial but merely because it works for me so why change the routine. Doing it less frequently might be better but there again it might not. It's working for me so I will stick with it.
 

OnTheFly

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
I have been enjoying the thread though, I was surprised at the poster with ammonia in his tap. That was an eye opener - all of the cities and industries of the Great Lakes empty into the river I get water from, on its way to the Atlantic. We have never had ammonia in our tap. That certainly will have me thinking twice when I try to answer water questions.
The middle portion of the US feeds much of the world as far as grain crops are concerned. The farmers dump ammonia on their fields before they plant. Then they dump more fertilizer through the season. It finds it's way into the water supply as 2.0ppm ammonia is deemed safe for humans, and I suppose it is. Thankfully my private well is only a small fraction of that. For many a large WC is not a good idea. Many local hobbyists have no idea they should be using Prime so they can effectively reduce their ammonia to "only" 1ppm. Comes down to knowing your water or you will fail.
 

Aquaphobia

Member
OnTheFly said:
And that is fine if you monitor water quality and don't just assume somebody else's an arbitrary WC schedule is correct for your tank(s). Collectively we have tanks that would be fine with a 10% every two weeks. For other tanks a 50% weekly is not nearly enough. I have some of both examples. Cindy hit the main point as far as I am concerned. All beginners should learn to analyze their own water. Whether they do WCs or not you have to understand parameters and the effect they have on your fish. In the absence of that info it's not an experiment but merely neglect.

I intend to attempt a small tank similar to Kassan's as soon as I can free up a tank. But I will do a WC in a heartbeat if data indicates it's needed. I'm not willing to punish fish just to prove a point. I'd probably make a poor scientist.
Actually, you'd make a very good scientist. Ethical considerations are very important in science. Sometimes creatures suffer but preferably they don't. Getting humans to volunteer for some studies is one way around that. All experiments on live subjects are subject to review by an ethics committee before it starts, to ensure that there's no unnecessary suffering.
 

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