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Old 08-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #1
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Why are waterchanges necassary?

My dad and sister (who works at a zoo) is convinced that waterchanges are not needed in saltwater. I was thinking that in a planted FW tank you have to waterchange (even if u has 0 nitrites) because they need the minerals in tap water.

So if you have 0 nitrates in saltwater, why do you need waterchanges?
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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In a reef you do water changes to replenish the calcium and other trace elements that corals use up.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanG View Post
In a reef you do water changes to replenish the calcium and other trace elements that corals use up.
What about a FOWLR?
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:12 AM   #4
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Export excess nutrients.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:33 AM   #5
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In FOWLR if you can maintain the parameter to be ideal such as 0 nitrate then you don't need water changes. However, it is unlikely that a tank can have 0 nitrate for a long period. At some point the inhabitants waste product would turn into nitrate unless you have all the expensive equipment that can process to remove it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:07 AM   #6
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As stated above, water changes are used to export nutrients and replenish minerals and calcium and alk and mg. But there are ways around this. They just cost money. Water changes are the most inexpensive (up front cost) way to maintain a saltwater tank. Also the best way to maintain natural sea water parameters without expensive toys. But if your asking, you should do water changes. There is a lot more to this question then are water changes needed.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:02 AM   #7
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I saw a great explanation on exactly this somewhere and it's really related to the small scale molecular processes. Even if you can keep ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at 0 the overall quality of the water degrades over time in which case a water change is necessary to refresh certain biological processes. I'm certainly not explaining this in the depth that I originally red it but that is the general understanding I took away from reading it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bige View Post
As stated above, water changes are used to export nutrients and replenish minerals and calcium and alk and mg. But there are ways around this. They just cost money. Water changes are the most inexpensive (up front cost) way to maintain a saltwater tank. Also the best way to maintain natural sea water parameters without expensive toys. But if your asking, you should do water changes. There is a lot more to this question then are water changes needed.
Well obviously theres more to this question. Like, say the sister and dad are sating water changes are not needed maybe?? Because thats what the OP said.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
I saw a great explanation on exactly this somewhere and it's really related to the small scale molecular processes. Even if you can keep ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at 0 the overall quality of the water degrades over time in which case a water change is necessary to refresh certain biological processes. I'm certainly not explaining this in the depth that I originally red it but that is the general understanding I took away from reading it.
You might be referring to mag, cal, strontom, iodine and etc. Yes corals need them but not fish.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:03 PM   #10
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You might be referring to mag, cal, strontom, iodine and etc. Yes corals need them but not fish.
Nope, not at all what I meant.

Here is an excerpt from what I read.

Water Changes in the Aquarium
"Water changes do two things simultaneously. Most importantly they remove all the bad things that build up in the aquarium over time. These things include nitrate, phosphate, growth inhibiting hormones that many if not most fish give off, dissolved organic compounds, and other things. Although nitrate is far from the only bad thing that builds up, or even the worse, in unplanted tanks it does correlate very well with all of the other things that build up. This is why so many people make such a big issue out of nitrate. The other things are at least as important, we just don't have test kits for them (except phosphate). The other major function of water changes is to bring in good things that are used up over time. The end result of all the biological activity in an aquarium is acidification. This uses up the KH in the water. As the KH isused up the pH wil decrease. Eventually the pH can crash. There are many other vital minerals and trace elements needed that are replenished with water changes.

Water changes also have a massive impact on stocking. It is an error to discuss stocking without addressing water changes and water quality. Discussing stocking based on tank size alone is not different then simply going by one of the very errored 'one inch per gallon' type guides. Experiments have shown that it is the water quality, not tank volume, that stunts fish. Discus were raised in two different setups. One was a twenty gallon tank that was heavily stocked and received very large daily water changes. The other setup was a fifty five gallon tank with a small fraction of the number of fish and did not receive any water changes. The discus in the twenty gallon grew at a normal rate while those grown in the fifty five were severely stunted. The experiences of many other aquarists support the results of this experiment, demonstrating that it is definitely water quality, not volume, that is the active factor in stunting fish. Obviously there is still a minimum tank size for fish based on size and activity leve. Please see the Stocking an Aquarium article for more information. The volume of the tank has a minimal impact on water quality."
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