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Old 03-20-2005, 08:36 PM   #1
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Anyone out there that doesn't do water changes?

Just wondering if there's anyone that doesn't do water changes or does them infrequently (like once a year)?

I remember someone posted that they've only done one water change in over a year and the tank was doing great.
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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I just read (on another forum) someone admitted to not doing a water change in 8 years! And he said his tank was perfect. Believe it or not... I'm not going to chance it myself!
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:59 PM   #3
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My outdoor pond I never do water changes in either. I do maybe 2-3 a year.
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Old 03-20-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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I wonder if the reason for doing water changes has been lost over time. What I mean by this is, it seems that the main reason is to help lower nitrates. I know it also helps replenish trace elements but I wonder how much/many "trace elements" you really gain out of doing this.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:31 AM   #5
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Nitrifying bacteria reacts with the alkalinity of the water and produces carbonic acid when decomposing ammonia and nitrite. So in essence, as time passes, the tank's ability to neutralize acids decreases. This can lead to not only a drop in alkalinity but also a drop in pH.

Water changes also dilute nitrates and phosphates and replace important trace elements.

I would never consider not doing frequent water changes.
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:55 AM   #6
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Yes, but how much does doing the water change help? I know that it can really help dilute nitrates but a correctly setup tank and filter system should already be breaking down the nitrates. So assuming that your filter system is working correctly, does one really need to do water changes? Maybe we only need to do one 20% once a year, or a lot less frequently then we currently think.

It sounds like at least one or two people does not do water changes and their tanks are just fine. So, they are either doing something no one else is or the water changes aren't as helpful as everyone thinks. This makes me wonder if technology and our understanding of keeping SW tanks has made it so that it's not necessary to do water changes in properly setup tanks.

Anyone else not do water changes or have any comments on this?
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:59 AM   #7
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just because people are doing it, does not make it right, nor does it mean that its healthy because its working...i admit when i am really busy with work, ill slide into a month before i do a water change and nothing seems to move much out of place, but i would not come into the hobby with that way of thinking.


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Old 03-21-2005, 10:02 AM   #8
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Water changes do depend on the total water volume of the system, the type of filtration, LR, and feeding/livestock. I would never consider skipping on a water change. Too much money tied up in this hobby to start slacking and risk something going wrong.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:15 AM   #9
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Okay. So forget that I said they 'never' need to be done. But how about pushing out longer then what we're thinking currently. Maybe a 10% change every 6 months..? Maybe if we were to buy those bottles that claim to 'replace trace elements' would push it out even another 6 months..! I dunno... I'm just saying that doing a water change might not give us as many trace elements as we think and/or the tank might not use them all in the amount of time we give it. So, really all we're doing is making extra work for ourselves..?

Also, I agree that it does have to do with total water volume of the system. I guess I was thinking of a larger system (120gal+) but for a properly stocked tank (not over stocked) then the amount of time or perccentage of water changed shouldn't change based on total water volume. Problem is, I would dare to say, that most of the smaller tanks are overstocked because everyone wants to have more fish (or live-stock) in the tank then the filter system can support.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:23 AM   #10
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I had my tank for almost 1 yr with no changes. However, I took a swing (and a miss) at introducing a BTA. When it croaked, it polluted the tank beyond belief causing me to have to implement water changes. I also upped the stock and I have witnessed far healthier corals with the introduction of 10G changes every 2 weeks. The point is, if its working for someone thats great however, a couple water changes and I think the difference in appearence will be so dramatic that you'll want to keep doing them.

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