Water Changes

Is it better to change the water

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TheYesMan

Member
I'm going to make this very brief,
I have a friend who has an aquarium, about 35 gallons and he's done water changes maybe 4-5 times during the year he's had it and everything is fine. The water parameters are fine, sometimes it may go up a little (the ammonia is slightly higher than recommended) but everything seems to be doing okay.
No algae problems, no fish death, thriving plants.
This lead me to think, is the 25-10% water changes every week / day actually necessary?
Does it depend on fish & plants?
 

75g Discus Tank

Member
I try to strive for 50% WCs weekly so if I go on vacation for a week or 2, the water should be fine.
 

finnipper59

Member
The biological system takes care of ammonia and nitrites. Water changes and plants take care of keeping nitrates at bay. Water always evaporates, but things like heavy metals, salt, flouride, perhaps, some other materials do not evaporate. Because of evaporation, tanks get topped off with more tap water. Since you add more of the things that don't evaporate every time you top off the tank, you add more of the things that don't evaporate and consequently, their concentrations go up. When you do water changes, you get rid of more than just nitrates. So do water changes at least once a week for best water quality.
TheYesMan said:
I'm going to make this very brief,
I have a friend who has an aquarium, about 35 gallons and he's done water changes maybe 4-5 times during the year he's had it and everything is fine. The water parameters are fine, sometimes it may go up a little (the ammonia is slightly higher than recommended) but everything seems to be doing okay.
No algae problems, no fish death, thriving plants.
This lead me to think, is the 25-10% water changes every week / day actually necessary?
Does it depend on fish & plants?
 
  • Thread Starter

TheYesMan

Member
finnipper59 said:
The biological system takes care of ammonia and nitrites. Water changes and plants take care of keeping nitrates at bay. Water always evaporates, but things like heavy metals, salt, flouride, perhaps, some other materials do not evaporate. Because of evaporation, tanks get topped off with more tap water. Since you add more of the things that don't evaporate every time you top off the tank, you add more of the things that don't evaporate and consequently, their concentrations go up. When you do water changes, you get rid of more than just nitrates. So do water changes at least once a week for best water quality.
It's a really interesting point, I must however ask about the rate that concentration may rise. Considering the aquariums size, I don't reckon that the concentration of the water will increase rapidly and can be countered by doing a water change monthly without having too many problems arise, is this assessment correct?
 

finnipper59

Member
That's where the type of fish you keep come into play. Fish also excrete hormones... Especially pheromones from dominant fish. Many people have posted about certain bullies that used to be peaceful and for some unknown reason became aggressive. When water is being changed, it is also usually taken out by vacuuming uneaten food and poop out of the gravel/sand. Fish foods that are commercially made include a certain amount of fiber. This is not digested by the fish and it accumulates on the bottom. I have been an aquarium hobbyist for over 30 years and read a lot of posts on fish forums, so take these words aas truth; the most successful aquarium hobbyists do regular sscheduled water changes and even more changes if testing shows spikes in levels of ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, or pH.
TheYesMan said:
It's a really interesting point, I must however ask about the rate that concentration may rise. Considering the aquariums size, I don't reckon that the concentration of the water will increase rapidly and can be countered by doing a water change monthly without having too many problems arise, is this assessment correct?
finnipper59 said:
That's where the type of fish you keep come into play. Fish also excrete hormones... Especially pheromones from dominant fish. Many people have posted about certain bullies that used to be peaceful and for some unknown reason became aggressive. When water is being changed, it is also usually taken out by vacuuming uneaten food and poop out of the gravel/sand. Fish foods that are commercially made include a certain amount of fiber. This is not digested by the fish and it accumulates on the bottom. I have been an aquarium hobbyist for over 30 years and read a lot of posts on fish forums, so take these words aas truth; the most successful aquarium hobbyists do regular sscheduled water changes and even more changes if testing shows spikes in levels of ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, or pH.
True. Aquarium lids help with slowing for most all tanks. I'm not trying to recommend a specific time that all aquarium hobbyist must follow. Most people have made a regimen of once a week. If you keep an eye on your water perameters, then once a month may work just fine in some tanks. I have my own reasons for doing 25 percent change 3 to 4 times every week. In addition to my canister filter, I use an undergravel filter. The extra vacuuming keeps the undergravel filter from clogging with debris plus I get the fish poop out. Even my nitrate levels stay close to zero.
 
  • Thread Starter

TheYesMan

Member
finnipper59 said:
True. Aquarium lids help with slowing for most all tanks. I'm not trying to recommend a specific time that all aquarium hobbyist must follow. Most people have made a regimen of once a week. If you keep an eye on your water perameters, then once a month may work just fine in some tanks. I have my own reasons for doing 25 percent change 3 to 4 times every week. In addition to my canister filter, I use an undergravel filter. The extra vacuuming keeps the undergravel filter from clogging with debris plus I get the fish poop out. Even my nitrate levels stay close to zero.
Thank you for the expert advice finnipper59, I highly appreciate that you took the time to view and comment on this thread
Hope you'll have/had a good day!
 
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