Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-28-2018, 02:40 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,092
Water changes

Hi All,

Its been a while. Iím just curious why so few (particularly on this forum) are reluctant to try the no water change method when keeping plants and animals in your glass boxes.

I realise that many of you will add fertilisers but this is still possible using the no water change method. You just donít need as much. The best part about the no water change method (and for me) no dosing method, is that I get to use fish to control the rate of plant growth.

Plant type is important to keeping my fish and shrimp healthy. I stopped using tap water as I realised quickly that my tap water is more harmful than the water that is in the tank. I just top off minor evaporation with RO or rain water. I have no algae except a the tiniest bit of BBA on a few pieces of eco complete that has been there from the beginning.

Plant growth is slow. But it grows. What some people donít realise when they talk about Liebigs law of the minimum is that it states Ďgrowthí is dictated by the most limiting mineral. It mentions little about deficiency and in my tank this is exactly true.

The other thing is that I run moderate lighting for 12 hours a day and nothing terrible happens like its supposed to.

I run a small internal filter and I leave the sponge to clog. This creates anaerobic zones within the pores that facilitates denitrification. I have 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates on the API tests. My tap water is soft and TDS sits at 120ppm.

I have snails, shrimp and a few fish. All doing well. Sometimes I squeeze the sponge filter in to the aquarium and with a few hours the mulm disappears. The tank is super efficient at scavenging minerals so algae has no chance to survive or grow. Leaves breakdown faster than I have ever seen and the substrate is so clean. The water is becoming clearer as my small pick up becomes more clogged. The mulm is so light it floats in the water column but will soon be gone.

I do not disturb the microbes, I do not alter the water and I do not mess with the plants. I spend hours now looking in to the tank instead of Ďcleaningí it.

Iím truly at piece with the hobby now and could cycle a new tank within hours using my sponge.

Really wanting to share this experience with others. The steps are repeatable. Look after the microbes and they will take care of the rest.

Patience is the key. Nature has all the time in the world.....

__________________
Caliban07 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2018, 04:42 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,092
Do not be afraid of mulm......

Mulm is a good sign. A very very good sign. If you have mulm you are doing something special. It shows that you have a very very efficient biofilter.

Tanks with this biofilter are extremely robust. You can run all types of tanks with this biofilter and they can bounce back rather quickly.

The biofilter isnít just the nitrification aspect. It is a cycle. One of many within the tank and a fraction of a true biofilter.

If you watch your tank closely every day you can see the stages of your tank maturing. Originally and even though my tank had been up for well over a year I didnít have this biofilter. They say it takes close to 18 months. I donít know whether or not a was resetting my biofilter. But my tank had been up for years and I still wasnít there. Something was not right. Water changes used to turn my water cloudy regularly. Especially after uprooting.

I would watch the fish poop fall and settle on a patch of horrible Cyanobacteria and just sit there, plants stagnating. Iíd had enough and so I decided to purge the tank and just leave it be. Thats when i started to see something special. Poop that had settled would start to be Ďeatení like a cigarette that had been lit at both ends where the Ďashí was now the newly formed mulm and I started to see the mulm appear and settle on the plants. I was nearly there.....

As time went by the substrate cleared up. Just wow... no dirt or algae or Cyanobacteria. I scraped the glass of the GSA and it has never returned since.

The bogwood that I placed in there and would so obviously fall victim to BBA in the past formed non at all. Spotless and completely clean wood. Decaying leaves never develop algae. They fall off and their waxy green bodies become brown skeletons in no time. Everything is up for grabs in an aquarium like this and it seems to turn the plants in to some kind of scavenging overdrive like their Ďsensesí have been heightened.

You can feed heavily. You can add more fish all at once. More than you would have thought possible and all that happens is the plants grow faster. No ammonia spike or algae. Just more plants. More oxygen. Turn up the light for more growth. More light and more life and more co2. Snails graze more and shrimp live off the biofilm. Everything is stable. True balance. Not light co2 and ferts. A truly balanced ecosystem where plants are only a part of the jigsaw. True beauty. Amazingly natural.
__________________
Caliban07 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2018, 06:49 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Brookster123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 19,816
Ohh caliban... you've got something.. ove moved away from the heavily planted tanks and now youd scream at the 4 bare bottom setups that get multiple 90% wcs a week:p. My one old planted tank gets one 50% wc a month, low light and it grows.. grows and grows. It's a balance between flora and fauna..
__________________
I'm not really here... fell in the tank and my phone is just that smart
Brookster123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 03:59 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,092
Water changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookster123 View Post
Ohh caliban... you've got something.. ove moved away from the heavily planted tanks and now youd scream at the 4 bare bottom setups that get multiple 90% wcs a week. My one old planted tank gets one 50% wc a month, low light and it grows.. grows and grows. It's a balance between flora and fauna..

Do you have the faith to go longer?

It is exactly that. Balance between flora and fauna. How are your nitrates?

How are the fish?
__________________
Caliban07 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 06:13 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
shellyx's Avatar


 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: scotland
Posts: 4,484
I do 50% on both my planted tanks( dont use fertilisers) just actually stopped gravel vacuuming the sand and seen a difference in my plant's growing. I dont know if I'd be brave enough to stop pwc I don't mind doing it.
But got to admit it would be handy not having to lug all those buckets about!
__________________
70 gallon elephant nose tank, Gonzo the elephant nose and friends!
30gallon borara merah and brigittae green, red longfin bristlenose, shrimp, ninja, taiwan,bamboo, and snails.
shellyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 06:42 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,092
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellyx View Post
I do 50% on both my planted tanks( dont use fertilisers) just actually stopped gravel vacuuming the sand and seen a difference in my plant's growing. I dont know if I'd be brave enough to stop pwc I don't mind doing it.
But got to admit it would be handy not having to lug all those buckets about!

Thatís another reason why itís so good. If you have two tanks maybe you could run a comparison?

I do think it is more difficult to just stop mid way through as opposed to starting a tank this way. What filtration are you using?
__________________
Caliban07 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 07:53 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
shellyx's Avatar


 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: scotland
Posts: 4,484
In the big tank the filter is a bio flow 6.0 L its fitted in, 1000 circulation pump love this filter cant fault it.
My 30 has 2 filters running both aqua flow 200 internal i have 2 for my filter feeders gives a good flow for them.
__________________
70 gallon elephant nose tank, Gonzo the elephant nose and friends!
30gallon borara merah and brigittae green, red longfin bristlenose, shrimp, ninja, taiwan,bamboo, and snails.
shellyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 11:11 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
V227's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 2,351
Caliban
The fish I keep consider all aquatic plants "salad" and would quickly consume any that were introduced. So there can't be a balance between flora & Fauna. I have adopted your philosophy regarding substate management, or lack of. Lol.
I've thickened up my fine gravel substrate to 4" and no longer gravel vac. during WC's. As a result, "clearer" water and no noticable accumulation of gunk. I used to thoroughly gravel vac the substrate 2x a week. Apparently a substatial benificial bacteria bed has been established in the substrate. Thanks for the tip.
__________________
V227 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 12:01 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5,011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
Hi All,

Its been a while. Iím just curious why so few (particularly on this forum) are reluctant to try the no water change method when keeping plants and animals in your glass boxes.

I realise that many of you will add fertilisers but this is still possible using the no water change method. You just donít need as much. The best part about the no water change method (and for me) no dosing method, is that I get to use fish to control the rate of plant growth.

Plant type is important to keeping my fish and shrimp healthy. I stopped using tap water as I realised quickly that my tap water is more harmful than the water that is in the tank. I just top off minor evaporation with RO or rain water. I have no algae except a the tiniest bit of BBA on a few pieces of eco complete that has been there from the beginning.

Plant growth is slow. But it grows. What some people donít realise when they talk about Liebigs law of the minimum is that it states Ďgrowthí is dictated by the most limiting mineral. It mentions little about deficiency and in my tank this is exactly true.

The other thing is that I run moderate lighting for 12 hours a day and nothing terrible happens like its supposed to.

I run a small internal filter and I leave the sponge to clog. This creates anaerobic zones within the pores that facilitates denitrification. I have 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates on the API tests. My tap water is soft and TDS sits at 120ppm.

I have snails, shrimp and a few fish. All doing well. Sometimes I squeeze the sponge filter in to the aquarium and with a few hours the mulm disappears. The tank is super efficient at scavenging minerals so algae has no chance to survive or grow. Leaves breakdown faster than I have ever seen and the substrate is so clean. The water is becoming clearer as my small pick up becomes more clogged. The mulm is so light it floats in the water column but will soon be gone.

I do not disturb the microbes, I do not alter the water and I do not mess with the plants. I spend hours now looking in to the tank instead of Ďcleaningí it.

Iím truly at piece with the hobby now and could cycle a new tank within hours using my sponge.

Really wanting to share this experience with others. The steps are repeatable. Look after the microbes and they will take care of the rest.

Patience is the key. Nature has all the time in the world.....
Hello Cal...

Plants are by far the best means of water filtration. Nothing to buy to maintain these filters. Just periodic trimming of the old leaves and flowers. Attached is a pic of a plant filtered tank. No water changes necessary with this setup. Just top off the tank with distilled water and tend the plants every few days. I have several tanks like this one.

B

https://imgur.com/0LCfccG
__________________
"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 03:32 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,092
Quote:
Originally Posted by V227 View Post
Caliban

The fish I keep consider all aquatic plants "salad" and would quickly consume any that were introduced. So there can't be a balance between flora & Fauna. I have adopted your philosophy regarding substate management, or lack of. Lol.

I've thickened up my fine gravel substrate to 4" and no longer gravel vac. during WC's. As a result, "clearer" water and no noticable accumulation of gunk. I used to thoroughly gravel vac the substrate 2x a week. Apparently a substatial benificial bacteria bed has been established in the substrate. Thanks for the tip.

Youíre welcome V227. Your tank will only get better and more robust/stable if you leave the substrate alone.

Maybe you could try some floating plants to help purify the water? It sounds like you have some big fish. Maybe some type of lilies or BBradbury style house plants can help polish away those nitrates.
__________________
Caliban07 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 03:37 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,092
Water changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello Cal...

Plants are by far the best means of water filtration. Nothing to buy to maintain these filters. Just periodic trimming of the old leaves and flowers. Attached is a pic of a plant filtered tank. No water changes necessary with this setup. Just top off the tank with distilled water and tend the plants every few days. I have several tanks like this one.

B

https://imgur.com/0LCfccG

Hi BB. I would like to add to that and say a plant/microbe system is the best setup for maintaining excellent water conditions.

In my opinion, far too many of us focus too heavily on plants at the expense of the biofilter. You can never have a truly stable and safe home for your fish without the biofilter.

Nice example. I bet the fish are really happy.
__________________
Caliban07 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ate, change, water, water change, water changes

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Using distilled water instead of tap water for water changes. Camogirl28 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 01-04-2014 08:33 AM
changes changes changes Benjithecookiemonster Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 06-17-2008 02:26 PM
How do you prepare water for water changes? BryanN Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 06-10-2003 07:32 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.