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RE: Walstad's methods

Amy <amyh at atl_mediaone.net> wrote:
> Just bought Diana Walstad's new book and must say I'm sorta shocked. In
> > it, she advocates nearly NO water changes and says she changes the water
> > in her tanks oh, about once every six months. While I'm used to
> > conflicting advice and methods in aquaria, the one thing that has seemed
> > to be a hard-and-fast rule is frequent water changes. Is anyone using
> > her methods?
I get tired of "it depends", but I think it may apply here in one
specific case:  There are areas where the water out of the tap
is _not_ as good as water already in the tank, leading to
balancing or prep issues as you get the chemistry right
to put the tapwater in the tank (some need to "settle" or treat
for chlorine or chloramine, balance the salts, remove 
hardness, etc.)  

In general, if you are like most where you happen to keep your
tank chemistry pretty close to that comming from the tap,
then water changes (periodic or frequent) can only help if you
don't shock the fish with temperature changes.  If you are
fighting with the chemistry in the tap, however, you could
try to back off on the water changes and attempt to hit a
better in-the-tank-balance over time (usually requires lower
fish loads, sometimes lower light.)

My 180g tank hasn't had a water change in 3 years and is
fine, but I change water in my 10g-55g every few weeks.  
I've gotten a good balance in most all my tanks, but I do 
think that water changes give a biological boost to the system 
and encourages spawning for a variety of reasons.  I'm mostly 
lazy, and am spoiled with good tap water so I can actually 
get away with almost anything and I still end up with a jungle 
and everything breeding.

charleyb at cytomation_com