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Old 06-11-2014, 10:35 AM   #11
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I believe that big differences in TDS is what is behind the "pH shock" myth. However, there are areas of the world where there is wildly fluctuating water levels caused by rain. While this happens once a year in the Amazon, where many of the waters are soft, this is not the case in places like Costa Rica where river levels can rise more than 30 feet in a day and may happen monthly. You would think that TDS would fluctuate widely in this scenario. The fish seem to have adapted to this, so, perhaps there may be more leeway than we think.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:00 AM   #12
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I believe that big differences in TDS is what is behind the "pH shock" myth. However, there are areas of the world where there is wildly fluctuating water levels caused by rain. While this happens once a year in the Amazon, where many of the waters are soft, this is not the case in places like Costa Rica where river levels can rise more than 30 feet in a day and may happen monthly. You would think that TDS would fluctuate widely in this scenario. The fish seem to have adapted to this, so, perhaps there may be more leeway than we think.

I suppose TDS does fluctuate somewhat in the wild. If rivers in costa rica were rising 30 ft due to heavy rain, you would expect the TDS to be diluted provided the rain was void of minerals. As the water level rises and engulfs the land more TDS would be collected would there be such a drastic swing?

Perhaps we should focus more on farm bred fish that are housed in a small tank where we control their environment.

If fish are capable of handling this large fluctuations why do we focus so much on acclimatising?

I'm not trying to be clever here I'm simply asking questions that have been on my mind.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:10 AM   #13
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I wonder if our fish are used to acclimatising? My tap water is quite clean I guess compared to other places which I'm just not used to. I wonder if store fish are just not used to changing conditions? On the flip side I guess plenty of released pet fish have survived in the wild.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:47 AM   #14
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Indeed, while what happens in the wild may not be what happens in our tanks, it does give me pause. I don't spend much time acclimatizing fish when I get them. Most of the time they come from basically the same water that comes from my tap, so I don't see a need. I don't keep anything truly exotic that would require specialized water treatment. I am far too lazy for that. As Dr. Paul Loiselle said when he spoke at our club, fish either like his water or he moves them on. I have no interest in playing water chemist. So far it has worked for me, on and off for about 50 years.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:36 PM   #15
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TDS discussion

If you are topping off with RO or distilled water to offset evaporation, this will not happen.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:21 AM   #16
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Another way to think about it is with a human analogy. While humans don't need to deal with an external environment to the same degree a fish would, we still need to regulate our internal environment. Let's say you eat a lunch consisting only of salt and vinegar potato chips, extra salt, no water. The result of that is an increase in your body's sodium load, which will draw water into your circulatory system and making your internal 'TDS' higher. You body senses this, and your kidneys kick into gear by excreting the sodium again via urine. Now, does your poor choice in lunch cause your body to expend additional energy to maintain homeostasis? You bet. But are you going to miss it? Not really. Similarly for fish, it is going to cost them some energy to maintain and adjust to new water chemistry, but they're not exactly hurting for energy considering that you could feed your fish every three days but many do it daily.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:42 AM   #17
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Do you not agree that even if the TDS is ever so slight it is still creeping all the same (Agree) . How many people just feed fish these days? With so many chemicals on the market i think just adding food is a thing of the past.


Even if you hang back on your water change for 3 days. That creep has just shifted again by 3 days worth of minute TDS rise. If the happens throughout the course of a year or two how much would this rise? If you still don't thing it's is enough then I will concede but all I'm saying is that we all do things differently and some TDS will creep faster than others. Especially in warmer countries where top offs are daily.
I live in Denver. It's pretty dry and low pressure, both of which increase evaporation (at least compared to Washington where I grew up). I easily top off 4 gallon a week in my 40B with tap water to keep levels stable. That's about a 10% increase in osmolarity just from me topping off. I don't consider it a problem.

However, when I was studying for boards I didn't change my water for waaaay to long, probably two months or so. It was a bad time. There weren't any fish in that tank, so I wasn't too worried about it. When I finally did change the water, it melted my entire dwarf baby tears carpet I had been growing. If plants blanched that bad, fish would probably have it worse. That being said, they were doing fine at much higher TDS levels until I decide to perturb the system because it was brought up slowly.

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How do you feel about water changes of over 50% in a tank that has been sat for a week with top off and ferts food etc. would you agree this sudden change to water chemistry is not healthy for the fish. Maybe not the once but collectively if practised weekly.
Standard procedure of EI plant dosing, wouldn't bat an eye. I've done it for years, as have many.

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What about people with plants that don't gravel vac. Will this increase TDS faster?
Probably not significantly. We're probably starting to get into insignificancies of insignificancies at this point though.

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I heard TDS enters the water naturally through the atmosphere too. Is this true?
No. If there is any truth to it, it completely happen in the first few hours out of the tap, not over the course of days/week. But as I said, I have no idea what this is talking about.


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Maybe it depends on the fish, the species and where they were sourced and how they were raised. I sometimes wonder whether although acclimatised as best we can, the fish goes through some changes to its physiological processes as it cells adapt to the new concentration of salt/water ratio between cells and the new reduced or elevated mineral content of the water that effectively stresses the fish. The fish becomes ill and we wished we'd have quarantined because this fish was always carrying a disease when in actual fact it wasn't.
If the surrounding environment is dramatically different enough to alter the fish's intracellular/extracellular environment, something has already gone horribly wrong and the fish's regulatory machinery is being overwhelmed.

There's actually a school of thought on acclimation that essentially says you can just dump a fish directly into an aquarium and call it good. The logic being that any physiologic adaptation that they're going to do is actually going to take place of the course of several hours/days/weeks rather than the minutes we usually spend on acclimating, so anything else is just wasting time. The idea has some merit, with the concept being similar to how humans acclimate to high altitude. I'm just not willing to test it on my fish, that's for sure.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:14 AM   #18
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Ok so TDS isn't really that big a deal to worry about. Unless the tank has received no water changes for a long time. The fact that your plants melted could have been down to other things though so not directly TDS related.

If I are potato chips everyday and drank less water everyday I would definitely become ill. Rather like drinking sea water.

I see a lot of fish dying on here post water changes and I thought this may have been one of the reasons.

I still believe that it is better to change less water more often and that keeping things stable is better. Maybe fish can adapt to change but I believe they would prefer it if things were kept as stable as possible where routine was appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:28 AM   #19
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If you say that it can or does take fish hour/days/weeks to adapt this must mean that they are always adapting. This means that fish can handle these fluctuations. But there's always one. Some

There must be some species that find it more difficult.

Neons, rams, ottos all difficult fish to keep alive I've noticed. Especially wild caught.

Perhaps some deaths are not directly linked to the concentration of TDS but the molecular make up of the water itself.

A whole new route. One which I will probably never know.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:45 AM   #20
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If you say that it can or does take fish hour/days/weeks to adapt this must mean that they are always adapting. This means that fish can handle these fluctuations. But there's always one. Some

There must be some species that find it more difficult.

Neons, rams, ottos all difficult fish to keep alive I've noticed. Especially wild caught.

Perhaps some deaths are not directly linked to the concentration of TDS but the molecular make up of the water itself.

A whole new route. One which I will probably never know.
Those fish mentioned are often wild caught and sometimes done with poison and no matter if not poisoned, the catching and travel and more travel, and more travel through brokers and middlemen cause fish to be stressed and a huge change in natural diet to flakes or pellets in contained environment not all fish are able to make the changes from a wild natural diet before the additional stresses are fixed. Some of the fish have parasites as well which would take advantage of a stressed fish to make their play for control and make the fish even more ill.

This is one benefit, trying to find locally raised fish from fellow hobbyists, fish are used to your water, and will have a bit less travel issues.

I can't even imagine how many wild caught fish die from the attempts to capture them to the time they make it to the hobbyist, and then so many more die because we don't care for them correctly or well. Some people do however and that is all the better for our shared experiences here on AA.

Asking questions is beneficial.
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