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No water Changes

Started by Fishtales, November 16, 2023, 02:40:26 PM

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Fishtales

I have stopped doing water changes in my tanks. The question will be why? It isn't something new as I have done it a lot through the years but lately my tanks seem to have went into limbo. To explain. I did a 4 gallon water change every three to four weeks and cleaned the filters, as most people do :) Over the past few months the plants stopped growing, the algae in one tank was brown diatom and the other was green but there was also black beard algae everywhere. To explain this is a 4 foot split tank so the lighting is the same for both sides only the fish are different, Barbs on the diatom side and Characin on the other side. Searching for reasons I came across videos on Youtube about no water changes and just top up the evaporated water only.

I started this a few weeks ago and already I am seeing a change in the tanks. The one with the brown diatom now has green algae and the plants have started to grow again. In the other tank the black hair algae seems to be clearing and the plants in it are also growing again. I still clean the filters but only when the flow starts to decrease. The fish also seem to be different, I can't explain what I mean as I am observing them a lot and can see the subtle difference to them :)

Controversial I know but it seems to work, it is also a lot less work :)
Don't worry, be happy.
Sandy
Carried it in full, then carry it out empty.
http://www.ftscotland.co.uk/

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Wildfisher

I've watched a few YT videos on this Sandy. In each case the tanks had a deep substrate and very healthy plant growth along with quite low stocking levels.

Fishtales

I have done it off and on over the past 60+ years of keeping fish and have always had a good substrata so that is probably why I get it to work :) I have always been able to grow plants and it was the same when I set up this/these tanks, until about a year ago, I think, and I removed a shed load of leaves and plants and replaced about 6 gallons in each tank from that point on they went downhill. I tried more regular water changes, filter cleaning, I even tried feeding but the plants just stopped growing. While looking for reasons I came across a video about no water changes and thought, why not, as I have done that before I started doing it and I think I do see a change in the tanks, time will tell.
Don't worry, be happy.
Sandy
Carried it in full, then carry it out empty.
http://www.ftscotland.co.uk/

Looking for a webhost? Try http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=2966019

burnie

The key thing I was told was to do with build of waste products in the water, so low stocking density helps, growing plants uses those waste products. When I had a marine invert tank I added a protein skimmer, not too sure if they would work with fresh water though. I used reverse flow under gravel as this tended to keep the filter bed cleaner and the solids were removed with the external bucket filter, when I tried keeping discus I also used rain water rather than tap water as the chemicals in tap water were less than helpful. Over feeding is apparently still the biggest water polluter with captive fishkeeping. Minerals in the water is less of of a concern in freshwater too, I had to do water changes with sea water due to depletion of said elements.

SoldierPmr

Personally I wouldn't touch the filters unless you really need to. I've got a sponge filter on one tank and I clean that maybe once every couple of months. But I do water changes roughly every week and a half to two weeks. The other tank has a sump filter. Which I clean between 6 months a year again same amount of water changes. Which is usually between 25 and 50%. The reason I don't touch the filters is because of the amount of bacteria in there doing their job.

Fishtales

Quote from: SoldierPmr on November 18, 2023, 12:48:42 AMPersonally I wouldn't touch the filters unless you really need to. I've got a sponge filter on one tank and I clean that maybe once every couple of months. But I do water changes roughly every week and a half to two weeks. The other tank has a sump filter. Which I clean between 6 months a year again same amount of water changes. Which is usually between 25 and 50%. The reason I don't touch the filters is because of the amount of bacteria in there doing their job.

I use internal power filters in the tanks and, as I said, they get cleaned when I see the turnover start to decrease and the water gets topped up when the level goes down about an inch or so.
Don't worry, be happy.
Sandy
Carried it in full, then carry it out empty.
http://www.ftscotland.co.uk/

Looking for a webhost? Try http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=2966019

Fishtales

It is now six weeks since I stopped doing water changes. It is a four foot tank split in two and lit by two 42" fluorescent tubes, one daylight and one tropical. The only difference between the two sides is the fish. One side Barbs the other Characins. Plants, gravel and filters are the same.

Observations.

The plants have started growing again in both sides. They have been stunted and slow growing for months.

The fish appear to be brighter coloured and more active especially the Corydoras which are swimming all over the plants and gravel instead of just moseying about on the bottom. It isn't that they are hungry as they are all being fed the same as they always have been. A few fish also seem to be putting on weight too :)

The water seems clearer, which may just be my imagination :)

So far I am quite happy with the results.
Don't worry, be happy.
Sandy
Carried it in full, then carry it out empty.
http://www.ftscotland.co.uk/

Looking for a webhost? Try http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=2966019

burnie

Using tap water is a real problem, not only in fish keeping, I collect rainwater for my garden and house plants, the greenhouse and house plants thrive so much better when not fed the chemical soup that comes out of the taps. ph of said water can also be an upset, certainly when I tried keeping acid lovers like the discus, I found using rainwater very beneficial, though that tank was a two foot cube with no substrate or plants. I had bogwood and low light, with just a light covering on the bottom of the tank of sand, mostly for the Corys. The discus were messy eaters, fed mostly on beef heart, the tank had to be cleaned out after each feeding with a length of 1/2 inch tubing and I syphoned out the waste and then topped up a little, probably a couple of pints each day. When the big external Eheim bucket filter was cleaned, maybe once every two months. I would refill that and top up the tank to get it all going again, I reckon around a gallon or so of water would be changed. I found doing regular water tests and responding accordingly worked really well and I changed water when necessary rather than as a routine.

Fishtales

I tested the water for a while (I ran out of test strips but I have more coming) and the water in both sides remained pretty stable, and still is after 4+ years. The PH was 6.5 to 6.7 even using tap water which is 7.0 to 7.2. Nitrite and Nitrate were low to zero, if I remember correctly, and the hardness was on the soft side.
Don't worry, be happy.
Sandy
Carried it in full, then carry it out empty.
http://www.ftscotland.co.uk/

Looking for a webhost? Try http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=2966019

burnie

I wish I had room for a decent tank, always had at least one for years, I think I had six at one point had an old out house set up as a fish room as well as three in the living room and one in the dining room. Keeping marine inverts was a lot of work, but we used to spend hours watch beasties crawling out of the living rock, I have some photo's somewhere, will have to see if I can scan them or take photos with the phone.

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