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Re: Walstad's methods / green water virus

>From: Amy <amyh at atl_mediaone.net>
>Subject: Walstad's methods
>Hi all,
>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've been hearing about this book and this Walstad for quite sometime.  Now
I think I've got reason to drop some $ for her book!  For quite sometime
I've suspected this frequent water change business has been overblown.   My
setup method demands you not put in much free nutrients during the first
month to avoid algae.  Also, that of all the tanks biomass only 10% be
animal and 90% plant.  I find this to be a more ecologically sound approach
to balancing an aquarium than the ever popular inch of fish per gal etc.
The ecological formula is more sound and is independent of tank size and

I never have algae trouble in my aged tanks and I also do infrequent water
changes ( but keep in mind I dont do fish food & I only keep algae eaters).

There was a chap that posted an interesting hypothesis a while back
suggesting that green water blooms in an aquarium were controlled by
subsequent blooms in a virus which attacks the green water algae. It
sounded as if he had done some formal work in this area and I waited for
replies from list-lurkers but no one said a thing!

He thus went on to suggest that constant water changes as a means of
controlling green water are self defeating b/c it limits the virus before
it can bloom and destroy the green water.  If correct, one would expect
that nutrient control would have little effect on green water.  This part
of the hypothesis seems to be supported by to the recent
"Daphnia-green-water" posts.  If you WANT to maintain green water, adding
phosphate laden nutrients dont seem to help.  These folk are not changing
the water thinking as we have been taught, that infrequent water changes
promotes green water.

IF a phage (virus) eliminates green water THEN when the culture starts to
fail; restarting water changes, replacing the filtration material &
eliminating the plants will maintain green water [basically re-setting the
tank is what you need to do]. 

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