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Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:46 pm
by hypopleco
I have a 20L Planted tank with Golden Pencilfish and a pair of Ancistrus temminckii. I was wondering if it was necessary to physically take water out of the aquarium and add more in when my Nitrogen and Phosphorous levels are being regulated well by the plants. In other words, are there other chemicals or organics that we don't test for that can build up in high concentration if we don't do a water change in a planted tank? Or can I just top the water off as it evaporates?
Thanks,
Dave.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:06 pm
by lou zello
water changes are THE KEY to healthy fish no matter what your tests tell you. WITH OUT AT LEAST weekly water changes it's like living in a toilet that never get's flushed!!!!!!!!! allso your plants can use the minerals and such from freash water.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:54 pm
by hypopleco
lou zello wrote:water changes are THE KEY to healthy fish no matter what your tests tell you. WITH OUT AT LEAST weekly water changes it's like living in a toilet that never get's flushed!!!!!!!!! allso your plants can use the minerals and such from freash water.


True. I typically do waterchances weekly on all of my tanks, even my planted tank, even though the nitrates are 0, but I was just wondering if there is anything else I need to worry about other than Nitrogen. It seems like like several of the LFSs around my house say that you tank is healthy as long as your nitrogen is low, and your water chemistry is correct for whatever it is you are trying to keep, I always thought that sounded odd. I noticed my tanks look nicer the more frequent I do water changes.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:07 pm
by lou zello
i don't know if i would take what the LFS is saying to be true without the tests confirming it.i mean if your nitrogen is ok it still dosen't tell you what your pH is and if your keeping say guppies you would want to know that your pH is 7 or above and not under 7,just using guppies as an example.and yes the more water changes the better your tank looks and is!!!!

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:24 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
Well, Yeah! You have to think about what it is like in nature! Ex: a River or stream... It is consistently getting new water every second. So, Typically life is abundant and healthy. Plus, Think. . . Our systems our merely a few gallons(Some larger, Hundreds of gallons) but a river, lake or stream is THOUSANDS-MILLIONS of gallons. You wouldn't want to live in the same oxygen for over a week would you? It's pretty much the same thing. Only difference is planted tanks do get filtered(In a manner of speaking) from the plants.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:44 pm
by ScottFish
There are micro and macro nutrients found in tap water that are essential for your planted tank.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:14 pm
by meh
yea,i do water changes for all planted tanks too

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:33 pm
by Crazygar
I do 30% weekly from a deeply planted tank. Each Sunday I dedicate 2hrs to the Tank. It's amazing what it can do. Especially for those of us that dose macronutrients, then there is no way around the water change. Plants will take up the minerals in tap water, water change = yes.

Gary

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:36 am
by C. Andrew Nelson
I have to echo what others have said. Water changes are vastly important no matter how well planted a tank is or how great a filter system you have. I used to have the mindset of relying on filtration and looking at water changes as a supplement to the filtration. I had to turn that thinking around 180 degrees. Now I look at filtration and plants as a supplement to the water changes.

Like Gary, I do a 30% water change once a week. I also decided that I was going to stop dreading it as a task or drudgery. I set aside a certain chunk of time on Sunday nights after my kids are in bed. I take my time. I keep the room quiet and sometimes even play some jazz or blues music. I took something I used to dread doing and converted it into my "unwinding time". The best part is that since I started doing this regularly my plants are so much healthier and my fish are so much happier.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:13 am
by Crazygar
Sunday is my tank change day. Church of Fish. Music goes on and I tinker with the tank.

Gary

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:14 am
by C. Andrew Nelson
Crazygar wrote:Sunday is my tank change day. Church of Fish. Music goes on and I tinker with the tank.


Same here. Sunday water changes. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:12 am
by Crazygar
ROFL yeah, we'll go with that. I made sure to set aside one day, and a couple of hours of the tank, doing this ensures that each week when this day comes up, the tank gets cleaned. :D Planted or not, you still have to change out the water.

Gary

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:39 pm
by lou zello
i tried the sunday night water change thing but it's the ONLY night of the week that is really free in my house to just sit and do NOTHING after 8PM and the KID's are in bed,so now i have to catch a hour here and there during the rest of the week to do water changes on the 3 tanks but i keep a note book on each tank and write down when i do them so that i don't go more than a week without doing them.

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:16 am
by Crazygar
A tank log is a cheap and effective way of keeping track of things; water changes, dosing, new fish introductions, fish deaths, maladies... they are wonderful. I keep one for all tanks that I run.

Gary

Re: Planted Tank Water Changes?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:01 pm
by Diana
Ditto all the other responses. The nitrate test is not the thing to go by for water changes. Even when the plants are keeping the NO3 so low that you have to dose NO3 so they are not deficient, do water changes.

Plants are a wonderful filter, removing many things from the water. But they do not remove everything.

If for no other reason:
Do a water change, running the water into a bucket.
Clean the filter media in that bucket of used aquarium water.
Put the filter media back into the filter.

This way you are conserving resources by not having to buy filter media very often, and conserving nitrifying bacteria by not throwing them away with used filter media. The beneficial bacteria cling very well to the filter media, and will do just fine when the media is cleaned in used aquarium water.