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RE: Onyx Controversy/water changes

I was reminiscing the other day about my wonderful grandmother, god rest her
soul, how she pulled me into this hobby and her views on water changes.
This was during the Kennedy era, for you younger folks, I don't mean the one
that flew his plane into the ocean, but the one that was president.  She had
a wonderful 30 gallon metal frame as well as a 20 high.  The one had plants,
angels, gouramis and the other had, well silver dollars and CAE's.  As a
young child I had questioned her on why she did so many water changes (50%
weekly on my Saturday visits) when the herby axelrod books said to really
just top off or do pathetic 10-15% water changes.  I think we had a
discussion about a toilet and how often it needs flushing and how that would
look if you only changed 10% of it.  Essentially she said that those were
pretty stupid rules and I had to agree.  Her tanks really showed that water
changes were better.  You have to ask yourself when you do large water
changes and the fish spawn, you do large water changes and now the plants
reward you with wonderful growth.  You read Amano and he also says (see book
2) 50% weekly water changes.  Yes, and he has the pics to back them up.  I
guess I would ask the same of anyone that would suggest today that a once
every six month water change was great.  Coincidently we don't see those
wonderful minimal tank shots with the Walstad book and I think for good
reason.  I'm sure that you can actually get plants and fish to live in a
container that hasn't had a water change for six months, but I would
guarantee that the same tank with regular water changes would do a whole lot
better.  People are always trying to talk themselves out of actually doing
the work it takes to do something right.  I think when talking about doing
minimal water changes you're just fooling yourself.  That was as true in the
sixties as is today.

Gary Lange

:That brings to mind the "rules" about changing aquarium water. In the early
:years, as reported by Dr. Innes, experienced aquarium keepers never changed
:their water and enjoyed its brownish hues. Then came the clean water era,
:when frequent water changes were the rule, and now some authorities, like

:Walstad, suggest that partial water changes occur no more often than every
:six months or so.

:"The more things change, the more they stay the same."