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What kind of fish in a no-water-change tank?
> > I'm just wondering, for those of you who just do top-offs with r.o., and
> > infrequent or no water changes, what types of fish are you keeping in
> > tanks?
> > Just curious whether anyone's attempted to keep *sensitive* or
> > fish without diligent attention to water changes.
My 45g hex hasn't had a water change in five years. Closed top,
one power head over UGF, single flurescent tube, I top off once
every three or four months. Java moss (HUGE), java fern.
Fish are rosy barbs (HUGE) and some (3) of some type of banjo
catfish (Amaralia or Bunocephalus sp.)
My 180g hasn't had a water change in four years. It has quite
a mix of plants but the java moss is starting to take over (I should
deal with that). It's a nice community mix of characins, (gentle)
barbs, rasboras, and corydoras at about 1" per 5-7g (quantities
vary depending on who's breeding). Since they usually breed
in there, I haven't bought fish in three years. Surprisingly, even
the cardinal tetras do well after a long time (gift from a friend's
shut-down tank.) The barbs tend to breed the best, but I've
seen the neons breed in there too. I have a number of dye-injected
charicins also in the 180g that were given from other tanks that
surprisingly live many years and get quite large, although the
dye is long gone.
At work I've set up a 55g guppy tank. We moved it last January,
but it hasn't had a water change since. Open top, we have to
top it off every week or so. Community plant mix, external
whisper 3 filter, 4mm sand substrate. The guppies (metallic
cobra line) breed like crazy and quite a few people get the
"fish bug" and take them home to set up tanks of their own.
BTW, I've found tanks at work to be a good way to get free
stuff because many people find this hobby fun "for a while".
This year I've gotten (for free): two 10g tanks, a 29g (I paid $10),
20g, 5g, 10g iron stand, assorted potted plants (albeit on the
decline), substrate, nets, fish food, assorted gizmos, lights
and filters, two betta splendens, two 10" loaches I'm trying to
decide if I should eat ;-)), and a 10g fish community including
cardinals, catfish, and cichlids.
Because of the free stuff, I've had a lot of room to experiment.
I've got a 20g long set up with four crayfish my kids caught
in the nearby canal. They eat EVERYTHING and EVERY PLANT
you put in there. They dig and stake out territory. I'm thinking
that to set up an appropriate planted environment for these guys
I'd actually need about 400g for four of these guys in the same
tank, assuming good lighting and strong plant growth. (I guess
that's my next house with a reinforced floor.) Still, I bet their
palate will select the more delicate species and I may never
get some plants to go in there. I think I'll have to do regular
water changes, because when I put in a HUGE pile of java
moss and it's completely gone four days later, I'm wondering
what happened to all the nitrogen.
My favorite donors are the college kids that come into my office
and say, "Wow! Neat tanks!" and then drop $200 on a setup
(where in the world do they get $200? I never had $200 in college!)
Then, six weeks later after their favorite $90 fish died (did I
mention the extra $350 in fish they spent after their $200 setup?)
they decide that they are ready to move on to a new hobby.
This same person then did the whole thing again with a
sugar glider (Australian flying squirrel marsupial.) Ok, I
winced at that one, and paid $250 (half of what he paid) so
I could give the poor critter to my 15-year old for his birthday.
Yes, he's in college, and no, I have no idea where he got $500
in discretionary income for a flying squirrel.
What a world in which we live.