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Old 07-26-2013, 08:12 AM   #21
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I dont know. Many cichlids can't be kept with plants- it's not part of their natural habitat and they will endeavour to remove them.
I think most fish come from places where there 'is' a fairly regular influx of new water, whether it be tidal, flooding, or rain etc.
fish in the wild cope with all sorts of dangers and surprises, such as falling branches, predators, other animals etc. if your fish is scared of your hand, its probably actually a natural behaviour- some fish have simply evolved a much keen flight response.
When you look at the global ecosystem- the way a water molecule will make its way around this planet- it puts into perspective the tiny drop of water we keep our fishes in, and the need to keep that replenished.
I think the best ways to meet the needs of aquarium fish are either through very specific biotopes, or species only tanks.
For most of us, this is impractical, expensive, and, possibly more relevantly- undesirable.
I'm sure with an extensive education in chemistry, biology, ichthyology and the time, space and money to put them to good use your theory could be implemented, but, this forum is evidence that for us average fish lovers, that is never going to happen.
I do pwc twice a week because it keeps the water fresh, lets me siphon out the poop, interact with my fish, change up their environment a bit, and just generally have a good look at things.
I have a few fish that hide or dart away when I'm performing this routine (loaches, African cats, plecos for example) but once its done, they all, without exception, enjoy foraging around in the freshly churned up gravel and inspecting all the new nooks and crannies that result from shifting things around. Some fish (guppies, cories, goldfish) love the whole process- getting in the way of the siphon trying to catch debris that gets turned up, and swimming into the stream of freshwater as the tanks are refilling.
As for chemicals, most of the chemicals we use are to remove the chemicals that an industrial society puts in the water, or to replace the correct chemicals that have been removed from RO water (for example)
I actually enjoy the water change process (now that I have fine tuned it) and if that ever changed, I would rather scale down the number of fish or tanks I have than reduce the number of pwc I do.
A lot of people I know think that's nuts- that its too much work, but I think other hobbies are more work than they are worth.
Every tank is different, so there's no one right way of doing things, but if everyone is healthy and behaving naturally AND the water routinely tests well, then the aquarist has got it right for 'their' tank.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #22
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I dont know. Many cichlids can't be kept with plants- it's not part of their natural habitat and they will endeavour to remove them.
I think most fish come from places where there 'is' a fairly regular influx of new water, whether it be tidal, flooding, or rain etc.
fish in the wild cope with all sorts of dangers and surprises, such as falling branches, predators, other animals etc. if your fish is scared of your hand, its probably actually a natural behaviour- some fish have simply evolved a much keen flight response.
When you look at the global ecosystem- the way a water molecule will make its way around this planet- it puts into perspective the tiny drop of water we keep our fishes in, and the need to keep that replenished.
I think the best ways to meet the needs of aquarium fish are either through very specific biotopes, or species only tanks.
For most of us, this is impractical, expensive, and, possibly more relevantly- undesirable.
I'm sure with an extensive education in chemistry, biology, ichthyology and the time, space and money to put them to good use your theory could be implemented, but, this forum is evidence that for us average fish lovers, that is never going to happen.
I do pwc twice a week because it keeps the water fresh, lets me siphon out the poop, interact with my fish, change up their environment a bit, and just generally have a good look at things.
I have a few fish that hide or dart away when I'm performing this routine (loaches, African cats, plecos for example) but once its done, they all, without exception, enjoy foraging around in the freshly churned up gravel and inspecting all the new nooks and crannies that result from shifting things around. Some fish (guppies, cories, goldfish) love the whole process- getting in the way of the siphon trying to catch debris that gets turned up, and swimming into the stream of freshwater as the tanks are refilling.
As for chemicals, most of the chemicals we use are to remove the chemicals that an industrial society puts in the water, or to replace the correct chemicals that have been removed from RO water (for example)
I actually enjoy the water change process (now that I have fine tuned it) and if that ever changed, I would rather scale down the number of fish or tanks I have than reduce the number of pwc I do.
A lot of people I know think that's nuts- that its too much work, but I think other hobbies are more work than they are worth.
Every tank is different, so there's no one right way of doing things, but if everyone is healthy and behaving naturally AND the water routinely tests well, then the aquarist has got it right for 'their' tank.
I agree on the cichlids that it is not always practical.
Some fish do seem to take the process harder than others. Some just hide but in my experience some get quiet stressed.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:59 PM   #23
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The problem I see with this is that in order to have enough plants growing in a tank to pull out all of the nitrates then you need a fairly high light tank with fertilisers added to promote growth. This becomes a problem when the fertilizers increase in concentration. This is why the heavily planted high light tanks need a 50% weekly water change. It's not for nitrates but minerals that have to the added to the water.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:10 PM   #24
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The problem I see with this is that in order to have enough plants growing in a tank to pull out all of the nitrates then you need a fairly high light tank with fertilisers added to promote growth. This becomes a problem when the fertilizers increase in concentration. This is why the heavily planted high light tanks need a 50% weekly water change. It's not for nitrates but minerals that have to the added to the water.
In a super heavy stocked setup this may be but there are several low light plants that do great at eating nitrates up. Wisteria being one of the most effective ever I believe lol
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:33 PM   #25
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There are many, many reasons for the importance of regular water changes whether smaller or larger at a time. NO system in nature is a closed system. Only our man made aquariums. Most of us instigate our water changes based on the nitrogen cycle using nitrate levels as our trigger point. But this is by far not the only reason to replentish with fresh water. PLEASE research online some of the countless articles and research papers published(not just fish forums) on the total hydrological cycles nature uses to maintain lake and river ecology.
Not only is the nitrogen cycle involved, but enzyme dilution, remineralization, trace element exchange and Redox balance. At the molecular level you have proper ionic and covalent bonding actions that we are still learning about that are important.
In layman's terms remember the old saying, "You can't fool mother nature."
Do your water changes, that's what mother nature does. Good luck & God bless. OS.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:33 PM   #26
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There are many, many reasons for the importance of regular water changes whether smaller or larger at a time. NO system in nature is a closed system. Only our man made aquariums. Most of us instigate our water changes based on the nitrogen cycle using nitrate levels as our trigger point. But this is by far not the only reason to replentish with fresh water. PLEASE research online some of the countless articles and research papers published(not just fish forums) on the total hydrological cycles nature uses to maintain lake and river ecology.
Not only is the nitrogen cycle involved, but enzyme dilution, remineralization, trace element exchange and Redox balance. At the molecular level you have proper ionic and covalent bonding actions that we are still learning about that are important.
In layman's terms remember the old saying, "You can't fool mother nature."
Do your water changes, that's what mother nature does. Good luck & God bless. OS.
If I may. I have really learned through this thread. I csn definetly see the importance of PWCs now more than before. However, while I may concede that they are necessary I still hold firm in my belief that they do not need to happen nearly as often as they do. Like once a month or every other month should be fine on most setups. Obviously I am excluding cichlids, discus, and other sensitive species.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:22 AM   #27
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In a super heavy stocked setup this may be but there are several low light plants that do great at eating nitrates up. Wisteria being one of the most effective ever I believe lol
Yeah, but plants only absorb as much nitrate as their growth allows. When there is a shortage of a specific nutrient whether its co2, light, magnesium, iron, potassium, or whatever the plant growth will slow to a crawl. With even a lightly stocked tank if you want nitrates to be kept as close to 0 as you can then you will need a fair amount of growth in your plants.

It's an interesting thing to note though, that what you propose as a healthier way to keep fish is exactly the way a properly done reef tank is managed. A 10% weekly water change to refresh nutrients and the water doesn't get pulled or added to the main tank, it's all done in a refugium.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:49 AM   #28
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I do 10-25% weekly PWCs. If my TDS gets too high my Shrimp die. My Scarlet Badis may pale just slightly , but as I add water I get breeding behavior from Many of my fish. Most Cory breeders use water changes to STIMULATE breeding.

My Harlequin Rasboras were crazy sexy after every water change.

To keep my plants and my fish, shrimp and inverts happy, I find PWCs work best for my 4 tanks.

I was sick and barely fed or dealt with my tanks. I had a BBA outbreak, lost some fish and some rare plants. I have Heavily planted tanks. Filtered, unheated, 5.5-10g.

Now that I've done PWCs and back to normal my tanks are bouncing back.

Nature is not a closed system.
My mentors include Tom Barr , a club member of mine. He has made many studies of plants, water. ecology and wild and well as man made set ups. I know of some no water change advocates. But they have very specific goals and know what they are doing. I prefer to stick to what works for me. Most beginners will crash a tank without PWCs. I've seen it again and again.

JMHO
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