More Plants, Less Water Changes?

Z123Killer

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I have a 29 gallon cycled aquarium with no plants at all. I change about 25%-30% of the water weekly.

I was wondering if buying some plants would increase the water change interval (Maybe once every two weeks) because I have a $30 Petsmart gift card and figured the best thing would be to buy some plants with it to both make the aquarium look more natural and help with water changes.
 

david1978

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Yes and no. Water quality is more than just ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. There are minerals and things that both plants and fish need. Some will get used up others will build up. Water changes are how you keep that balanced. If you can test for things like dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen and dissolved co2 that will determine how far you can push water changes. My big tank is way understocked and according to everything I test for I can push my water changes to monthly before my dissolved solids rise and dissolved oxygen goes down.
 

Lorekeeper

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Your best bet is to do WC's on a regular schedule, regardless of plants. As david said, there's more to it than just your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.

If you want to get plants, go for it. They're a lot of fun.
 

Thunder_o_b

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Extending water changes can be done. I rarely do water changes because it is not needed. But it is a combination of several things. And is a fair amount of work.

I use RO/DI water from a 5 stage system that is 1PPM. I then remineralize the water. I gravel vac often, clean the aquariums multiple filters on a weekly-biweekly rotation. Filtration is a min of 10x the water column in GPH flow. All efforts are made to export excess food, waste and weak plant material.

All of our aquariums are heavily planted. That means proper lighting and daily, weekly and tri monthly supplements.

So in the end one has to decide what is more work, what I describe above or water changes.
 
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