Are water changes a must?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Inf3cted, May 21, 2009.

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  1. Inf3cted

    Inf3cted Plankton

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    Wow, this really turned into a crazy debate. I don't know enough about this to fully agree or disagree with anyone, however, Optimist is right that sometimes we're taught to do something in a certain way and then we swear by it. I guess it's whatever works for you and the fish.
     
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  3. sostoudt

    sostoudt Giant Squid

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    if it works for you i wish you good luck, its just my brain tells me it will eventually fail when something runs out, unless corals only need the stuff you dose, but i dont think thats the case even if they only need minute bits of the other stuff.

    still want pics tho :)
     
  4. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    10% weekly for me, habit it is, helps freshen the tank, it does

    something to do of an evening, it gives me

    swear by it, I do

    Yoda
     
  5. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    i've got less than a year experience, so I'm not really trying to argue against anyone on this. Just my short term experiences.

    But I do see lots of successful tanks that don't do water changes.


    And I see lots of successes that do religious water changes...


    I wonder why this is so often viewed as an all or nothing approach.


    For the life of me, I can't understand in doing these weekly (battling something withstanding). Every 7 days seems rather arbitrary to me. Why not every 5 days or every 9?


    In the end, I do WC roughly every 3 months. I supplement BulkReefSupply 2 part daily. I dose nothing else (well, I "dose" phyto). I do it every 3 months for the other minerals in the mix. I don't know how else to keep the other minerals present easily. But I don't think they get depleted in 7 days.

    My params have been stable at 0,0,0 and I have to keep up on my Ca,Mg,Alk params by dosing. A water change alone wouldn't be sufficient to keep those numbers stable or on target anyway - so IMO, the replacing of those 3 things is irrelevant with a water change. That comes from dosing.

    As far as for cleaning the water... bah. That's what snails are for. I don't have detectable nitrates nor phosphates... probably bc i have around 200 snails in my 55g. I keep a smallish fish load (see sig) and feed sparingly.


    If I had too many fish or fed too much, or too small a CuC (IMO, mistakes) then I would have to compensate that mistake with WC probably...


    So I guess I'm saying balance is the key. Just my views and my experience. My tank is softie/LPS dominated with no SPS (to clarify my view point). I get excellent growth out of my softies and my Blasto's. Zoa's, Colt, Shroom are growing fast and my Xenia is like a rocket.

    Are they "necessary"? Apparently not. But I wouldn't go so far as to say never doing them is acceptable either (without a ton of experience first to draw on).
     
  6. Optimist

    Optimist Peppermint Shrimp

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    I will keep them updated on my 72g thread. I appreciate the open mind.

    You are a trip Steve! I was like "wtf, dude sounds like yoda" and you signed yoda... lol
    but it is still "habit" and "gives you something to do in the evening"... lol
    freakin Steve! lol
     
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  7. divott

    divott Giant Squid

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    steve freshens with guiness. not the tank tho. lol. but interesting thread. to see different opinions on this subject is cool. but more than enough to boondoggle a newbs mind. lol
     
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  9. denMk

    denMk Flamingo Tongue

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    I know the newbie who started this thread is probably hiding under the bed now, but I will throw in my 2 cents. About 10 years ago I graduated to a 125 gal after keeping smaller tanks for a while. In that upgrade I did much studying and referenced the resources from Inland Aquatics in Terre Haute, Ind. I also went and visited their facilities. You can see their website at www.inlandaquatics.com.

    Anyway, through much study on building my live sand bed, proper amounts of live rock, proper load of animals - each with a job to do in my tank, and good water circulation, I was able to maintain that 125 gal without water changes for 2 years. I kept only soft corals and macro algaes. At the 2 year mark I moved and had to part with my tank. I have not yet tried to recreate that environment as I got out of the hobby for several years and within this past year put a 55 gal together just to get my toes wet again.

    So in my case, with my set-up, I was able to keep a happy and healthy tank with no water changes at that time. My gut tells me this is easier to do with a large tank than a small. Not sure why...but I didn't try this until I had my larger tank.

    Denise
     
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  10. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    The day someone shows me some new water I'll use it :) None has been added to earths eco system since day one and some has been removed , But far as I know what we drink today was used to flush something yrs ago. Its just filtered and I filter my tanks water as in the natural filtration process the miners are replaced or altered , I use a Ca, reactor for that and or I could buy a Jug O Elements from Kent's .

    I always found that doing water changed tweaked out my corals , I use carbon Ozone and a good skimmer .. Thats me some do some don't , I prefer to Don't :)
     
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  11. Screwtape

    Screwtape Tonozukai Fairy Wrasse

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    I think water changes are a little bit of a safety net, especially for a new aquarist. Obviously some people get by without doing them, a lot of these people not doing water changes are also relatively experienced and probably have a pretty good understanding how to maintain nutrient levels etc.

    That said, I feel more comfortable doing them than not doing them, personally. Like anything else there are different ways to skin a cat, I feel like water changes are the safer way for me.
     
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  12. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    I do completely agree with this. In the beginning, I did them frequently.