How I Never Do Water Changes. - Page 4

Book em Danio

Member
After a long absence I returned to the aquarium hobby about 3 years ago. Prior to that I always had an aquarium but I never did any of the things I read about now. Back in the day (I'm talking about when tanks still had steel frames!) I never heard of water changes or cycling a tank. I, like my parents before me, would set the aquarium up, fill it with water, add whatever it was that removed the chlorine from the tap water and that was it. I had a dynaflow filter hanging on the back of the tank and every few weeks I would rinse the charcoal, change the filter floss and we were back in business. My fish always lived long happy lives and we enjoyed watching them.

My new aquarium is a 72 gallon bowfront with a large canister filter. As per the dealer's instructions I did cycle this tank. Also bought a test kit for the water. I will do an occasional water change but I don't do it every week. I vacuum the gravel when I do and I do rinse my filter elements in water drained from the tank. Test the water once in a while and that's it. My fish are happy and healthy and I enjoy watching them.

I can't say whether or not I totally agree with Kasshan but I will say I lean more towards his way of thinking as opposed to the strict, weekly water change method. I look at it like people who are gardeners. Some people just have that green thumb and everything grows for them and some don't. keeping fish seems to have that same way of working or not.
 

CraiginWales

Member
I've actually done this but using another biological method, which may/may not have already been mentioned. Nitra-Guard. It needs a good flow of air bubbles & water flow. You need to mess around with it a bit at first to get it going but by using an air stone & low range wave maker managed to keep my nitrates at virtually 0 for 4 months, until the nitrate eating bacteria had used up their medium. Works better on larger tanks. It's an expensive way to do things, costing £60/$85 a box!
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
So I dug a pit in the mud. And boom discus eggs right where I made the pit. I was just doing some aqua-scaping. What a pleasant fluke. Everybody (Loaches, cories, elephant nose, angels and discus) went nuts going after little critters; worms and bugs. The discus apparently won due to them being the largest in size.
Django the snakeskin is apparently the female and Mango is the male.
 

BettaPonic

Member
I have always had to do water changes. I keep a heavily planted Guppy and a heavily planted Least Killifish tank. I don't do the walstad method or anything fancy. I always love reading other members techniques. For me fifty percent water changes are great.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
well ye if I did a 50% water change I'd probably kill a lot of fish and get a white cloudy bacteria bloom. I like my pH at 5.5. a wee bit tea colored water
 

BeanFish

Member
5.5 pH? Do you have pH readings from your tap and from when you first setup the tanks? Looks like your Discus are living in the pH paradise lol.
 

BettaPonic

Member
Kasshan said:
well ye if I did a 50% water change I'd probably kill a lot of fish and get a white cloudy bacteria bloom. I like my pH at 5.5. a wee bit tea colored water
I am glad your way works well god you. I have been meaning to try something like it, but I enjoy water changes.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
BettaPonic said:
I am glad your way works well god you. I have been meaning to try something like it, but I enjoy water changes.
enjoy is a strong word. lol. routine maybe. it is a chore after all,
 

BettaPonic

Member
Kasshan said:
enjoy is a strong word. lol. routine maybe. it is a chore after all,
I just feel guilty if I don't do enough work with my fish. Water changes are a way to feel like I am working with the fish.
 

OnTheFly

Member
BettaPonic said:
I just feel guilty if I don't do enough work with my fish. Water changes are a way to feel like I am working with the fish.
You need more tanks and that problem will be completely solved lol.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
BettaPonic said:
I just feel guilty if I don't do enough work with my fish. Water changes are a way to feel like I am working with the fish.
to me that would be spinning my wheels, a Sisyphean task. if the water is optimal why mess with it. add some prime, toss in some fast growing plants, monitor your params and buffers, and that's it for me.

anyhow BeanFish
Tap: pH 7.6 , Hardness 150.
10g Hospital/Iso: pH 7.0, Hardness 50
55g Discus Tank: pH 5.5 , Hardness 0 (but there are limey sources for buffering in the tank) KH is unknown but would guess it is at a reasonable level.
10g Ram Tank: pH 5.5 , Hardness 0
55g Jack Dempsey Tank: pH 7.8, Hardness 150. I recently set this up, this how the tank for the Discus looked like in the beginning, eventually this tank will look more and like the Discus tank in a year. Obviously I waited to get Discus until the params were set.
23g Cherry Shrimp Tank: pH 6.5, Hardness 100

All the Nitrogen compounds are low and safe. the highest measurement I got for any tank was Ammonia: 1.0 ppm, Nitrite: 2.0 ppm, Nitrate 40 ppm and that was the hospital/iso tank, cuz I bought 5 new mollies. everything else is well below
 

BettaPonic

Member
OnTheFly said:
You need more tanks and that problem will be completely solved lol.
I am in the process of getting two tanks.
 

esdwa

Member
It's been over 11 months without water change in my 65gal community tank and the water is near perfect. The only maitnance I do is adding 20 grams of Alkaine Buffer every 2 wks to keep KH at 5 or more as it drops due to my tap water having very low GH(5) and KH(2).

As I mentioned before on couple occasions, my tank is equipped with water dripping system which constantly recycles it with tap water (large carbon filter installed on input line for dechlorination) in rate of about 10gal per 24hrs. Large oversized volume of bio filtration keeps ammonia and nitrites at zero (tap NH3=1 and NO2=0.5ppm) and continuous tap water supply lets biofilter bacteria strive and keep purifying cycle at peak efficiency.

The photo below shows test samples from this morning. And it's been like this as long as I use the system. No manual water changes at all.

If anyone is interested in adding such system to your tank let me know, I will be happy to help and share details. Have a good weekend.

 

-Mak-

Member
esdwa said:
It's been over 11 months without water change in my 65gal community tank and the water is near perfect. The only maitnance I do is adding 20 grams of Alkaine Buffer every 2 wks to keep KH at 5 or more as it drops due to my tap water having very low GH(5) and KH(2).

As I mentioned before on couple occasions, my tank is equipped with water dripping system which constantly recycles it with tap water (large carbon filter installed on input line for dechlorination) in rate of about 10gal per 24hrs. Large oversized volume of bio filtration keeps ammonia and nitrites at zero (tap NH3=1 and NO2=0.5ppm) and continuous tap water supply lets biofilter bacteria strive and keep purifying cycle at peak efficiency.

The photo below shows test samples from this morning. And it's been like this as long as I use the system. No manual water changes at all.

If anyone is interested in adding such system to your tank let me know, I will be happy to help and share details. Have a good weekend.

If I had a large tank I'd love to do this, it sounds so much more convenient. Just out of curiosity, how often do you replace the carbon, as its ability to absorb (?) chlorine decreases?
 

Discusluv

Member
what is stock in tank? stock density?
any illnesses in the 11 months?
any breeding behaviors?
 

esdwa

Member
-Mak- said:
If I had a large tank I'd love to do this, it sounds so much more convenient. Just out of curiosity, how often do you replace the carbon, as its ability to absorb (?) chlorine decreases?
My tap water has 4-5ppm of chlorine on incoming line, undersink 2 stage carbon filter lowers it to 0.01 - 0.00ppm and this is what goes into tank. I use dedicated chlorine meter by Extech, pic below. I use it only occasionally to verify undersink carbon filter efficiency after changes and later once a month. This way I prevent accidental fish poisoning if new filter is bad or ineffective.


I change both carbon inserts every 3 to 4 months, they are cheap about $10-15 per set.
 

esdwa

Member
Discusluv said:
what is stock in tank? stock density?
any illnesses in the 11 months?
any breeding behaviors?
65gal tall tank
two 4in angels
six 3in clown loaches
one 3in severum
seven small neon tetra
one 1in black tetra

past 11 months only 1 accident related to chlorine poisoning when after gravel vacuum I had to add few buckets of water, forgot prime one of them which resulted in tank chlorine presence and smallest loach did not make it. since then I have set a procedure to ensure this won't happen again.

my pair of angels spawns regularly, attaching eggs to system overflow bucket. largest two loaches often change color to darken and go into dancing frenzy which lasts hours.

NH3 and NO2 zero, NO3 < 5, Ph fluctuates between 7.0-7.2 due to periodical addition of alkaine buffer to keep KH at 4-5 at least. Chlorine is always 0.00.
 

Discusluv

Member
esdwa said:
one 1in black tetra
So, with the exception of the one clown loach, you have not lost any fish?
Why do you just have one black neon? Typically people buy a school of tetras, not one fish...
How do you eliminate dissolved organic solids?
It looks like you don't ( with the exception of plants) and that is why, after 11 months, the only thing keeping your tank from crashing due to acidification from nitrogenous wastes is the alkaline buffer. A rather tenuous situation, indeed.
How are growth inhibitors (excreted by all fish), parasites, bacteria eliminated from this system?
How will you treat these fish if they do get an illness, whether parasitic or bacterial?
 

vikingkirken

Member
Discusluv said:
So, with the exception of the one clown loach, you have not lost any fish?
Why do you just have one black neon? Typically people buy a school of tetras, not one fish...
How do you eliminate dissolved organic solids?
It looks like you don't ( with the exception of plants) and that is why, after 11 months, the only thing keeping your tank from crashing due to acidification from nitrogenous wastes is the alkaline buffer. A rather tenuous situation, indeed.
How are growth inhibitors (excreted by all fish), parasites, bacteria eliminated from this system?
How will you treat these fish if they do get an illness, whether parasitic or bacterial?
The continuous drip system equates to a 100% water change every week. I'm not sure this tank even belongs in this thread as an example. I'm not sure what a tetra school number has to do with water changes or lack thereof...
 

Discusluv

Member
I see a continuous drip system where water comes in, but water does not go out. The drip replenishes water that would be lost through evaporation. Just because you have water coming in doesn't eliminate the need for water to be taken out to prevent the issues I listed above. The question of why 1 tetra is because, to me, it indicates the possibility of more fish loss due to this "no fail system" than the poster is admitting to. Maybe not, maybe he/she just wanted and bought one tetra. But, my skepticism tells me that this is not the case. So, yeah, it has a direct relation to this post.
 

esdwa

Member
except that loach, none;

black striped tetra and that one black neon is a survivor from a pair purchased 18 months ago for smaller tank which went through "new tank syndrome" during which one neon died, one plus tetra survived; six months later moved to the subject tank, live here happy since, tetra tripled its size;

I deep vac gravel once in a while; the gravel is pretty small so not much solids remains, feeding avoiding leftovers here is a key; sure it requires 2-3 5gal buckets of water ot be added manually afterwards but this happens once in 2-3 months instead of regular 4-6 buckets wc every 1-2 wks before.

my KH in tap is pretty low (3 to 4) so adding buffer is a routine, does not hurt fish, spawning is a good indicator of this; I know it's rare but iny my case works well; I suspect pH crash is very unlikely here as long as the dripping system is running because fresh tap water keeps KH at 3 or more at all time; I buffer it to raise to 4-5 so it's just a bit; I remember before I installed dripping system, my KH was going down to 2 and 1 and I really had watch it with the tap water I have here in my community;

I have not experienced any problem with any diseases so far (maybe because I added fish only couple of times throughout this 11m period (everytime preceded with 4 wks min quarantine) , the accident with clown loach I described above was initially treated as disease but turned ot be chlorine poisoning after checking tank water with the meter; as preventive action I turn on my UV sterilizer (JUP-01 model) once every 4-6 wks for 3 to 5 days, cannot measure however how much it helps to keep my tank healthy, however I learned form the smaller tank #1 in the past, this sterilizer helped to clear the water couple of times but never was involved in dedicated illness treatment just because I never had any;

you are asking me how will I act if illness happens; well this is great question for separate subject; thanks for all questions.

p.s. I had a chance to go for 3 wks vacation first time while ever since I had fish tank leaving subject 65gal without any supervision (except internet connected remote camera just for curiosity and couple of automatic feeders and of course fully automated light and heating and subject drip system); after coming back all water parameters were as it before I left like it never happened. I remember before having dripping system, 2 wks without wc was a stretch with NO3 raising to 30-40, which still was not a big deal but my loaches feel it every time; I can tell this from their behavior. With super low NO3 they are so happy and vigorous as much as other fish in my tank, and I want them to be happy.
I am not trying to say my system is a remedy, it works well in my conditions with my tap water, its specific KH and GH where I live, with type of fish I have; note how much filtration I have for my tank (306 + 110). But for sure, it changed the way I maintain the tank. I would definitely repeat it on larger tank, maybe with addition of separate intermediate biotank which would also allow to dose buffer automatically with active feedback probe for KH, this would be ultimate, but as engineer I know things breaks so manual chackups are best way to avoid risk of loosing your fish.. it is all about making them and my family happy after all.
 

david1978

Member
I don't feel the title fits. You have a constant flow of clean water in and dirty water out. Would be like doing 10 tiny water changes a day.
 

esdwa

Member
vikingkirken said:
The continuous drip system equates to a 100% water change every week. I'm not sure this tank even belongs in this thread as an example. I'm not sure what a tetra school number has to do with water changes or lack thereof...
I am sorry but it is not 100%, as water drips into the subject tank slowly and mixes with 65gal which is already there, so the overall effective rate is much lower, probably around 40 to 60%. I will look for calculator for it and update if you are interested. The point to have dripper is to keep NO3 low, whether it is tetra or any other fish and some people do find it helpful.
 

david1978

Member
With the balance I have right now of size to stocking I do monthly 25% water changes. I probably could go longer especially in the winter due to top offs.
 

vikingkirken

Member
esdwa said:
I am sorry but it is not 100%, as water drips into the subject tank slowly and mixes with 65gal which is already there, so the overall effective rate is much lower, probably around 40 to 60%. I will look for calculator for it and update if you are interested. The point to have dripper is to keep NO3 low, whether it is tetra or any other fish and some people do find it helpful.
Ok. I was going on the 10g/day number you posted above.
 

esdwa

Member
Discusluv said:
I see a continuous drip system where water comes in, but water does not go out. The drip replenishes water that would be lost through evaporation. Just because you have water coming in doesn't eliminate the need for water to be taken out to prevent the issues I listed above. The question of why 1 tetra is because, to me, it indicates the possibility of more fish loss due to this "no fail system" than the poster is admitting to. Maybe not, maybe he/she just wanted and bought one tetra. But, my skepticism tells me that this is not the case. So, yeah, it has a direct relation to this post.
Of course water "goes out", there is overflow box installed on the back wall of the tank. If I remove this box, I get tank overflowing in matter of hours. Some skeptics seem to undermine the point of this system by keep talking about one tetra which they have no knowledge of neither know the history. My advise is to ignore what I say and move on. Others sure find my experience sharing interesting and some may find it helpful.
 

esdwa

Member
vikingkirken said:
Ok. I was going on the 10g/day number you posted above.
If dripper was dripping water to separate 65 gal tank and then once in a week this tank would be dumping entire fresh 65gal into the fish tank, then yes, it would be 100% wc. But it is not when it drips to the same tank while another drop goes out to the drain. Yes, the exchange rate is 100% but it is not equal to dumping 65gal of wc at one time.
 

Discusluv

Member
esdwa said:
Of course water "goes out", there is overflow box installed on the back wall of the tank. If I remove this box, I get tank overflowing in matter of hours. Some skeptics seem to undermine the point of this system by keep talking about one tetra which they have no knowledge of neither know the history. My advise is to ignore what I say and move on. Others sure find my experience sharing interesting and some may find it helpful.
What happened to your Tetra, "old tank syndrome"- how ironic.
 

esdwa

Member
conniedavid1978 said:
I don't feel the title fits. You have a constant flow of clean water in and dirty water out. Would be like doing 10 tiny water changes a day.
It is still water change, right? But I do not do it , right? I do not have to get a bucket of water every day or so and do it, right? The setup does ot for me, right? Make sense? Title fits for sure imho.
 

esdwa

Member
Discusluv said:
What happened to your Tetra, "old tank syndrome"- how ironic.
It's in subject tank, grew 3 times since moved to it. Old tank has been decommissioned due to lack of space for two. Not sure what the problem is. For some of you, my advise is, just do not do it and move on.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
A continuous drip is a continuous water change system. So you constantly do water changes, 24/7, except that you are on unmetered water using simple technology.

Those who only read titles and don't read details are going to get what they deserve on this thread... of course your system works, as does every continuous water change system I have ever seen or worked with.
 

esdwa

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
except that you are on unmetered water
what do you mean by unmetered?
 

david1978

Member
So if I set up a timer system with pumps and a hose I could say I don't do water changes?
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
Since I am charged by the litre for water by my municipality, I don't run any constant water change systems on my large fishroom. My friends who do have wells on very healthy aquifers.

I don't use buckets either, but I would never call that never doing water changes. I just use minimal technology for my water changes.

One of my friends does water changes through a central system, emptying and refilling via valves. What would you call that? Is the action of twisting a wrist to turn a valve "doing" a water change?
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
I don't physically remove any water, not even with a drip system. I only replenish what evaporates. esdwa has an ingenious system but in truth doesn't follow the title.

as for me, I still haven't done any water changes, at all. the rams, the discus, and angels still manage to spawn like clockwork, but I'm only focusing on the rams and raising them for sale just to breakeven on fishfood. also my elephant nose is still alive. my EBJD has gone from 1/2inch in January 2017 to over 6inches as of today in September 2017. also nothing has died.

ive rearranged stock as well. current setups:
10g - 1 fancy oranda. in june 2017 it was less than 1inch, currently it is 4 in long and 2in in diameter around her belly.
10g - 1 gold ram male, 1 EB ram female. spawn every month
23g - 6 ram fry. one of them has reached sale size
55g - 20 black skirt tetras, 3 large female mollies, 1 large silver sailfin male molly, 8 pepper cories(I'm gna get rid of these guys and replace them with 5 yoyo loaches), 1 male EB jackdempsey (6in) 1 female regular jackdempsey (6in).
55g - a mixture of neons, green neons, and cardinals totaling 50 individuals. about two dozen rasbora het., dozen corydoras aeneus, 8 chain loaches, 4 young BN plecos, I can't rememember but there's like 5 kuhlI loaches a mix of the chocolate and banded. 3 angels and 5 discus. and 1 elephant nose.
 

esdwa

Member
Sorry folks if I mismatched the title. The way I read it means to me that "I" - myself do not have to use my both hands to change water periodically whether using buckets or else. So the result is that I never do water changes anymore, which is what title says. If some of you think I spam this thread, I stop right here. For those of you who might find my experience helpful, send me PM if you have any further comments or questions. Thanks for reading.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
oh not at all my friend. I valued your insight into your method. I think your way is ingenious. I appreciate any thing anyone has to add to the discussion, I enjoy positive criticism, negative criticism, and when we go off on tangents too. you are close enough to the title topic I suppose, lets not get caught up in technicalities or semantics.
 

david1978

Member
I gravel vac my tank every month or two which takes out about 25% of the water. Other than that iys just top offs with a hose.
 
  • Moderator

Lucy

Moderator
Member
esdwa said:
Sorry folks if I mismatched the title. The way I read it means to me that "I" - myself do not have to use my both hands to change water periodically whether using buckets or else. So the result is that I never do water changes anymore, which is what title says. If some of you think I spam this thread, I stop right here. For those of you who might find my experience helpful, send me PM if you have any further comments or questions. Thanks for reading.
I saw something similar on you tube. The title was about the same. Who could resist clicking on it.
My thoughts were the same as some have expressed. It seems misleading until you think about it.
What is being said is...How I never have to carry buckets or haul that hose across the house.

Guess what I am saying is I get why the thread has the title but I also understand how some may find it misleading.
Either way it's a very interesting topic.

I'd encourage you to continue to answer legit questions in the thread.
For those challenging the title or method to move on to another thread.

Kasshan
Semantics....the word I was looking for. Thanks!
 

Corine

Member
Interesting topic. When I was running the 29 that is my profile picture I seemed to have more issues with water changes than without. Nitrates from the tap were around 40 and those in my tank were under 30.
Every time I did a large water change I ended up with algae blooms and die off that I attributed to the awful quality of my tap water. I ended up changing only small amounts less often and had much better results.
What works for some doesn't work for all, and seeing how others do things is always interesting.
 

ChiefBrody

Member
I was keeping fish before "water changes" was a thing. Back then we let the plants do it. Now it's all these anal-retentive left brain ppl talk about. I get why it works and I use it to water my vegetable garden. However I still say it's easier to create an actual habitat and let mother nature do what she does. My tanks are teaming with life and everyone does their part. Easy peasy. I have a test kit but really I just tell by the smell. If it stinks, somethings wrong. There's something to be said for my self-taught vernacular psychedelic fishkeeping style. I don't appreciate the aesthetic of bare bottom, it's so sterile/institutional. When you see the difference in behavior you get keeping them in a pond under the sun compared to an overly-artificial tank it's staggering. Just my $.2
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
I too was keeping fish before water changes were suggested.
But what fish?
As long as you stick with the standard pet store offerings, you have fish chosen to be able to take abuse. That is part of why your local Petcorp sells one tetra and not another - skirt tetras in the 80s were seen as nasty and one of the worst tetras to sell, but because they are hard to kill, many prettier, gentler tetras were pushed out of the market for them.

Once you have a little experience and curiosity kicks in, you look beyond the rugged survivors and for them, water changing has to be regular. I often repeat my "I never use water test kits" and people answer "you are experienced and can see when there are problems". It isn't the truth. I don't see problems, because I preempt them. I change a percentage every week, rain or shine. I have clean tap, which would be a luxury for American friends living in polluted, degraded water zones, and I simply prevent the build up of toxins on a very regular basis. I would have no reason to do this, and it would be a dumb experiment, but I predict I could run a tank for months without looking at it. Food and water changes and I would never have to look for problems in a properly set up tank.

The "I never change my water" statement is a regular one on the Internet. It's a variation on "I don't change my underwear because it boosts my immunity" or "I eat McDonalds every day and look at me, I'm still alive". It can be done and no one is denying it. It isn't ideal, and there are better, easier options.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
I too was keeping fish before water changes were suggested.
But what fish?
discus and rams produce eggs and I get fry. while I do have skirt tetras in at least one tank, Ive got what folks would consider sensitive advanced level fish. the 4 things I do for maintenance is; topping off the water due to evaporation, physically removing duckweed, picking out large Malaysian trumpet snail from time to time, and rinsing the gunk out from my filter's sponges. For me, this is the equivalent of a water change, so far it works.

as for where I get all my fish. I prefer locally bred, wildcaught, and Czech raised, I don't touch the Asian raised stocked. Ted from Tropical Haven in Modesto is the man when it comes to quality and selection. I'm planning on adding a dozen neon green rasboras next week since I hope they'll do well in 5.5 pH.

Admittedly I was eyeballing it before, but since I created this thread I collated and processed all criticism; as a result, I now have a master test kit and keep a monthly log.

NavigatorBlack said:
I too was keeping fish before water changes were suggested.
The "I never change my water" statement is a regular one on the Internet. It's a variation on "I don't change my underwear because it boosts my immunity" or "I eat McDonalds every day and look at me, I'm still alive". It can be done and no one is denying it. It isn't ideal, and there are better, easier options.
I consider this a throw away statement since it is a logical fallacy; false equivalence to be precise. while the statement might be a regular one on the Internet, I happen to do it very well and personally it is more than being merely ideal, my livestock thrive. in my seemingly unique case, doing a traditional waterchange with the setup I have would be several steps backwards and inefficient.
 

ChiefBrody

Member
Right, I also don't wear underwear, or match my socks, or use deodorant, or cook on non-stick surfaces, or store food in plastic containers, or leave butter unwrapped in the fridge - or do pretty much anything because someone told me to. I've found a system that works for me. The proof is in the fry
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
I had a friend with buffered water who neglected a pair of Dicrossus maculatus for 3 months until the water really acidified, and he was one of the few people I have known who succeeded in breeding them.
I tried the same technique with the same species in 2 different tanks, and they died.
The lesson I take? Our water must have been different, and our attempts to modify it by allowing a build up of acids played out differently.
If I leave my killies unchanged for more than 2 weeks, egg production (countable since I remove them) drops to a quarter for week 3, and then stops with 90% of the species I keep. Fry growth from young that hatch in with their parents slows in comparison to fish grown out with regular water changes.
For 5 days after a water change, I get very few eggs. The main production is in the 5-12 day range. So some ageing of the water does help, objectively.
My sample size is from 25 years of killie keeping, in 2 radically different tap water systems.
I get shorter lives and high Cichlid mortality if I miss water changes. I can see the fish becoming more lethargic.
After ten days or so, I have to be extra alert to velvet, which I have never seen in a regularly water changed tank.

So how would you non water changes respond to these observations. I stand by my daily MacDonalds analogy, as I know living people who do this. I have a feeling I may not know them in 20 years, but it can be done. I ran unchanged tanks for 20 years. I did what you do. I see far better results with water changes (I breed fish too).

Have you tried water changing as a routine over a year to give yourself a comparison? Have you experimented at all?
 

OnTheFly

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
...I tried the same technique with the same species in 2 different tanks, and they died.
The lesson I take? Our water must have been different, and our attempts to modify it by allowing a build up of acids played out differently.
I cherry picked your post but this is the thing that most aggravates me about forum advice. Telling somebody else they need to change a precise XX% of water every week when you don't know their water or stocking, is useless advice. I don't advocate Rick's strategy for others because it could be disastrous, but I do maintain porch ponds that get very little WC, and nothing is dying. Every bit as healthy as "indoor" fish that get babied. Anyway, where did 50% this per week come from? I read it a hundred times a week on forums. It's just folks parrotting what they read, and now it is internet law somehow, and failure to do so is abuse of your fish. Unless I missed the controlled study that exists somewhere, but I don't think I did. I'm not anti-WC as I probably stated months ago on this thread. I change far more than 50% in some tanks, because water testing and stocking make it the right thing to do. for that tank
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
OnTheFly - I seem to recall you as one of the aquarists who had ammonia in your tap water, right? If so, that is also a game changer. I change 25 to 30% weekly (every second week for my Aphyosemion killies) but I have clean water.

I don't doubt for an instant these guys are doing what they say with the results they report. I can say in all honesty and with no shares in any water treatment company that in my old house, with pH 7.4 well buffered 140ppm water, and in the current one at pH 6.6, 80 ppm water, I would lose fish rapidly if I followed their model.
With my Geophagus, when I kept several species, I held at 20 to 25 gallons per adult fish, and if I didn't manage 40-50% weekly changes like clockwork, neuromast pitting began on the 7-8th day. I have enough "home anecdote/experience data" that I feel safe and responsible suggesting a water change routine to hobby newcomers.
If they get through the learning phase and want to try to mimic the no water change experiment, more power to them. They are no longer seeking advice, and trying something on their own. I wish them the best of water.
 

tommywantfishy

Member
Kasshan said:
it only sounds like semantics but it really isn't when you talk nitty gritty science. this isn't a conversation for the lay-person
but I do enjoy your candor and open mind, please ask away, I don't know everything. and I try to answer questions if can account for them. but that's why ive posted in forum. I can't 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 I'm 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 won't work others" shouldnt be disregarded.
as for some other folks, I'm sure theyve blocked me sadly. change is always a hard pill to swallow.
I know I am late to the party here....or the debate....
I have only done top offs on my 29 gallon since I added my Seachem tidal 75. It has been a few months at least. I use caribsea eco complete substrate, and it is known to take excess detritus/food and turn it into plant food. My levels are great. I did a fish in cycle 2 yrs ago with Black neon tetras and they are all still here now. I lost a 1.5 yr old angel to dropsy....and I have lost 2 dwarf gouramis to dg iridovirus...other than that...I have at least 20 albino corys...started with 6. Lots of plants, hardy fish, and light feeding=a very low maintenance tank in my experience. I never vacuum the sub. I did my 1st pwc in a while recently and it seemed to make my fish angry lol. I think that once you reach balance, you have a lot more flexibility. The fish behaviour is my guage, as well as intermittent water tests. All checks out fine.
 

OnTheFly

Member
NavigatorBlack said:
OnTheFly - I seem to recall you as one of the aquarists who had ammonia in your tap water, right? If so, that is also a game changer. I change 25 to 30% weekly (every second week for my Aphyosemion killies) but I have clean water.

I don't doubt for an instant these guys are doing what they say with the results they report. I can say in all honesty and with no shares in any water treatment company that in my old house, with pH 7.4 well buffered 140ppm water, and in the current one at pH 6.6, 80 ppm water, I would lose fish rapidly if I followed their model.
With my Geophagus, when I kept several species, I held at 20 to 25 gallons per adult fish, and if I didn't manage 40-50% weekly changes like clockwork, neuromast pitting began on the 7-8th day. I have enough "home anecdote/experience data" that I feel safe and responsible suggesting a water change routine to hobby newcomers.
If they get through the learning phase and want to try to mimic the no water change experiment, more power to them. They are no longer seeking advice, and trying something on their own. I wish them the best of water.
Yeah I have chatted with Rick on the CELL at length. He is a very intelligent and thoughtful person. Wish I was closer so I could see his experiment up close, but like you I do believe him. And yes I do think I have some ammonia in my well, but apparently only in spring during runoff and when the farmers spray ammonia on their fields. Wish I had some real water testing equipment. I trust the API kit, but within .25%? No I really don't. I do crazy huge water changes on some tanks and I don't use Prime unless I have a good reason, which is seldom. Nothing is dying or showing any signs of distress.

In any event I think we probably share one belief. Educate yourself and act accordingly. It will serve you well in the end. Until you have experience, a 50% WC is rarely a bad thing. I acknowledge that as good advice.
 
  • Thread Starter

Kasshan

Member
I appreciate the input. Acidification of the tank was the goal nav black. I don't think my "no water changes" method would work for fish that like hard water. But for acid loving fish, the water chemistry parameters are ideal.
 

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